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.
For April, we will take a closer look at the winners and errors from over 1,000 ATP and WTA matches from 2021 and 2022, totaling over 156,000 points.
Stat of the Week: 8%
A player wins a point in 2 ways:
- Directly by hitting a winner.
- Indirectly by drawing an opponent error.
As we would guess, the match victor usually hits more winners and makes fewer errors than their opponent.
If you could only pick one of those battles to win, you’d want to make fewer errors.
For top men, the match winner hits 3% more winners and makes 5% fewer errors. This results in a net difference of 8%.
Any idea of what this number is on the Women’s side? Check back next week to find out.
Point of the Week
Rather than working on hitting more winners, a better developmental plan is to force your opponent to make more errors. There are a number of ways to force opponent errors.
- Consistency – Keep the ball in play one more time than your opponent.
- Direction – Make your opponent move.
- Depth – Pin your opponent behind the baseline to draw short balls for yourself.
- Height – Make your opponent hit balls out of their comfortable stroke zone (above shoulders, or below knees).
- Spin – Use of topspin or slice adds a degree of difficulty on the return play.
- Power – Cut down opponent reaction time.
- Court Position – Playing from closer to the baseline opens angles and options.
- Time – Taking the ball early or going to the net are great examples of taking time away from your opponent, and forcing an error.
Most coaches and players have no idea which of these is most effective for them or which areas they are weak. Get your matches tagged so that you can plan the practice court around the facts.
Photo of the Week
Danielle Collins’ backhand.