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.
February is Aussie Open month. Below, we will feature some key insights from the tournament.
Stat of the Week: 10%
After being tested early on by Americans Tiafoe and Fritz, Djokovic settled down and lost just 2 more sets in the next four matches at the 2021 Aussie Open.
- From the quarterfinals to finals, Novak decimated his opponents, winning 55% of all points played.
But the real difference in these matches was on 2nd serve.
Djokovic outperformed his opponents by 10% on second serves!
This stat, one of the key determinants for success in our sport, is influenced in two areas, the 2nd serve itself, and then the return of 2nd serve – like opposite sides of the same coin. If you win 51% of 2nd serves, your opponent wins 49% of 2nd returns.
Novak was the master of both.
Where did Djokovic hit his 2nd serves?
Most players would go to the body or weaker backhand side, especially on 2nd serves. Not Novak. He targeted the opponent’s forehand side, looking to draw more serve+1 forehands for himself.
It paid dividends, especially in the ad court.
Point of the Week
Your 1st shot – the serve or return – is the most important shot in the game. Ironically, these are also the least practiced shots, most often an afterthought at the tail end of lessons.
You can make a big difference in your game by designing your drills to always include one or the other.
- For example, with the universal “1st to Eleven” drop game, start each point with a 2nd serve rather than a groundstroke. You get just 1 serve and can only score points when serving. If you lose the point, your opponent gets the serve (and opportunity to score).
How effective are you on your 1st shot?
Aussie Open Special
Purchase a player package before March 15th and we will include a Key Performance Indicator Comparison Report, comparing your numbers alongside 2021 AO Champions, Novak Djokovic or Naomi Osaka.
Next week, we’ll have Naomi Osaka’s 2021 AO performance.
Photo of the Week
Novak Djokovic’s forehand return with key positions.