Minimax Play at Wimbledon

We use data from classic professional tennis matches to provide an empirical test of the theory of mixed strategy equilibrium. We find that the serve-and-return play of John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, Boris Becker, Pete Sampras and others is consistent with equilibrium play. The same statistical tests soundly reject the assumption of equilibrium play in experimental data, including the data from Barry O'Neill's celebrated experiment.