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 the month of August, we have been looking at junior data from the 2021 French Open and Wimbledon Championships. Clay and Grass are on two opposite ends of the court surface spectrum. Conventional wisdom is that clay plays slow (longer rallies, better for returners), while grass plays fast (shorter rallies, better for the server). We’ll see if conventional wisdom holds up.
Stat of the Week: 33%
Once the rally is underway, the ending shot will always be a winner or error. Regardless of surface, there will be just over two errors to every winner. So, on average, around 33% of all ending shots are winners, and 67% are errors.
The top 3 ways rallies end are:
- Forehand Error
- Backhand Error
- Net Winners (Approach, Volley or Overhead)
Dropshots: As pointed out a few weeks ago, the dropshot is the only shot in the game where winners regularly outnumber errors.
Point of the Week
It makes sense to go to the net on both shorter and longer rallies. The data suggests that you will win 2 of every 3 points when going to the net. These odds cannot be ignored.
To get better at your net game, go to the net more. Getting passed will give you great insights to improve your net game:
- Was your approach too short? too soft? to the wrong side?
- Was your court coverage inefficient?
- Did you hit a quality first volley?
The “canned” short balls that you get in lessons are useful in developing technique, but only for that. In a match, your opponent is mostly trying to keep the ball away from you or at your feet.
Play live games where the point starts with a “drop hit” approach shot and then move forward. Your opponent practices passing shots and/or lobs. Then switch roles.
In match play, going to the net will not only help you improve your volleys, but it will force more errors as well.
Photo of the Week
Camila Giorgi’s backhand return.