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.
Stat of the Week: 60%
Last week we looked at the “halo” effect of the serve on the men’s side. Within the first SIX strokes, the server won 69% of all points, but the returner gained the edge after that.
Now let’s compare the data on the women’s side, again looking at over 88,000 points from the WTA 2021 and 2022 seasons.
Like the men, the server had a distinct edge in the rallies, winning 60% of all rallies under six shots.
But, the reality is that the “halo” effect of the serve extended for just 1 extra shot after the serve. After the fourth shot, the edge switches to the returner.
Point of the Week
Like a stuck record (or a short TikTok video for the youngsters), we keep mentioning the importance of the first two shots in the point – the serve and the return. We see players doing “token” practice on these shots – hitting serves out of a basket one after the other, or returning dozens of balls in a row on the same side of the court.
Practicing using match tempo and situation is a much better idea.
Tempo – Serve or return no more than twice (1st and 2nd serve) in each court
Situation – Simulate the important points in a match, e.g. play mini games starting at 30-30, so that all points are pressure points.
See how we can analyze Alcaraz’s 2nd serve efficiency here. You can do the same with your matches.
Photo of the Week
Ash Barty’s serve with key positions.