This column changes names, I ask whether tennis is in the analytical dark ages, Fernando Verdasco struggles, and more.
I just can’t stop thinking about this Ben Rothenberg piece, aptly titled “Unforced Error Is Unloved Statistic Among Tennis Players“. You probably read it already — it came out during the first week of Indian Wells. If you haven’t, do take a look. Rothenberg tells the story of how this particular statistic came to be, […]
The Backboard: Andy Murray’s Fantastic Gameplan That Didn’t Work, Rules that the Pros Don’t Know, and More
This week I examine Andy Murray’s fantastic gameplan for his quarterfinal loss to Juan Martín Del Potro, laugh when I read that pros don’t know some basic tennis rules, and more.
A look at the backhands down the line hit during the 2013 Dubai final between Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych.
A statistical look at Novak Djokovic’s uneven performance in tiebreaks during his career.
Stats from week one of the Australian Open.
Looking at stats from Week One of the Australian Open.
There has been a lot of talk recently about those nice baked goods we love to eat, and tennis players love to dish out (and avoid receiving): bagels. That got me thinking … how do the Big Four of the ATP compare against each other in terms of dishing out 6-0 sets to the opposition, specifically, how do they compare at Grand Slam events? And what do we see when we look at the WTA? My wife and I did some scavenging around on the ATP and WTA sites (the same task took us about four times longer on the WTA site, but that’s a rant for another day) and we found some interesting things. Let’s start!
A few days ago, when Grigor Dimitrov beat Milos Raonic, the stat that was making the rounds was this: Dimitrov had managed to win all 26 points played on his first serve. What was my first reaction? Make fun of Milos Raonic, one of the worst returners of serve on the ATP. The Canadian is, after all, the man who failed to break Juan Mónaco’s serve over five sets at Roland Garros last year (think about that “feat” for a second. #neverforget). However, when Dimitrov rolled over Jürgen Melzer and lost just six of the 39 points played on his first serve – 85% – I started wondering if the Bulgarian’s incredible serving stats were not so much a result of facing poor returners, but of an improvement in his serve.
The ATP website offers a wealth of data, including their RICOH ATP MatchFacts, which track the top players on serve and on return of serve. With the 2012 season in the books, let’s take a look at some of those numbers.