Every week, Tennis Analytics dives deep into the data, bringing you a stat of the week to help you understand tennis better and become a little smarter.
April is conference month for college tennis. This month we will take a look at some brand new college data from a study by Warren Pretorius (Tennis Analytics) and Craig O’Shannessy (Brain Game Tennis). They’ve compiled this data and more in their online course A Million Points of College Tennis (coupon code “StatOfTheWeek” for 20% off).
Stat of the Week: 67%
Approaching the net will always remain a staple, winning strategy in our sport. We saw in last week’s Stat of the Week that match winners make more net appearances than match losers.
So now we get to see how many of those net points turned into successful forays forward.
Net Points Won
- 2019 US Open Men = 66%
- Collegiate Men (2015-2020) = 62%
Overall, collegiate men are at 62% won and the pro game at the US Open is at 66%. If you only look at match winners, you get 67%, which is right at the US Open mark.
Another key element of this analysis is that match losers still had a winning percentage above 50% when they went to the net. That absolutely would not be the same from the baseline.
Going to the net to finish points works at Flushing Meadows and also works at the collegiate level all over the country.
Here’s the bottom line…
- Match winners go to the net more than match losers.
- Match winners win more at the net than match losers.
- Match losers still have a winning record at the net.
Point of the Week
Studies have shown that using a square stance, or stepping into a short ball, gets you 10-15 feet closer to the net, compared to hitting that same short ball using an open stance.
Why is this important?
Getting closer to the net…
- Creates more angles of attack.
- Takes time away from the opponent.
- Reduces targets and angles of the opponent.
- Volley contact height more likely to be above net height = more placement options.
Here are some comments from Steve Smith, founder of Great Base Tennis.
Photo of the Week
Alexander Zverev’s forehand.