12 Responses

  1. Matt M
    Matt M March 27, 2013 at 7:52 pm |

    I’ve always known that she has a good backhand but I never realized just how good it was. I love watching maria play when she’s hitting the ball well and I would really like to see her grab another slam this year. Great analysis JJ, this is why I love this site!

  2. 0Emmanuel
    0Emmanuel March 27, 2013 at 7:56 pm |

    As a Masha fan I thank you for this interesting analysis.
    Now, if you had taken into account the shot direction you could have been able to clear up an impression I’m having lately, namely that her DTL BH is both more error-prone and less lethal than the CC variety. Which, now that I think about it, is probably not all that strange, considering that DTL would be the more difficult shot. But I have the (possibly wrong) notion that her BH DTL used to be the crown jewel in her shot repertoire.
    Anyway, related to that, I have an idea for another stat that might be interesting and that’s winners/shots percentage. Call it “lethality rating”. 😉
    This would not only show which wing is more dangerous, but also provide additional context for the efficiency ratings. For example, a low efficiency/high “lethality” could indicate a more aggressive attitude on that particular wing.

    1. tjc05
      tjc05 March 27, 2013 at 9:21 pm |

      Love the stats. Emmanuel brings up something I had been thinking about, which is incorporating winners into the analysis somehow. If a player hits 30 winners to 30 ufe, the efficiency rating would be much lower then someone who lets say hit 3 winners to 4 ufe. Something like a True Shooting Percentage in basketball looks at not only attempts vs. makes, but also the shot that is attempted, a 3pt shot is weighted more then a 2pt shot etc. Just a thought. Keep up the great work, always fun to read!

  3. Brian H
    Brian H March 27, 2013 at 10:04 pm |

    How fascinating. Never ever would have guessed her backhand was that error-free. Or that her forehand was as good as it is either.

    This confirms, I suppose, that those DFs are the last big thing that’s holding her back. (That, and her Serena-related mental block…)

  4. Irina M
    Irina M March 28, 2013 at 1:09 am |

    Juan, I love this post, really.
    But I think your evaluation is not perfect. You don’t regard forced errors as bad shots – that’s ok. What can we say about efficiency if the player can barely touch the ball? Nothing. But why do you regard forced errors as good shots – that’s a mystery for me. Maybe you should exclude forced errors from your calculation at all, and formula will be something like that:

    Forehand Efficiency Rating = (Total Attempted Forehands – Forehand Errors)/(Total Attempted Forehands – Forehand Forced Errors)

  5. Karen
    Karen March 28, 2013 at 11:21 am |

    Could it be that the reason her backhand is so good is because she is a natural lefty? As someone who plays myself and who is right handed, I have always found that my 2HBH was incredibly bad just because I had no natural power on that particular stroke. However, when I changed to a 1HBH, I found that I was more efficient with my backhand.

    I have always found it strange that players would go Sharapova’s backhand because it is so deadly. However, one of the reasons why she was so effective with it yesterday was perhaps due to her opponent. Errani’s forehand is not a flat shot. It sits up right into Sharapova’s strike zone and she has all the time in the world to set her feet and just blast away. If you watch matches where players are able to flatten out their shots to her BH you will see the difference in the unreliability of that particular shot. For me it always leads to a question of match ups

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