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.
May is National Championship month for college tennis. For the next 2 weeks, 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: 58%
The data below is for college men.
58% of return winners are hit by the match winner.
This is a quirky kind of stat, especially when pairing it with match winner and match loser. Overall, return winners are extremely low in the big picture. But they still have a story to tell…
2019 US Open Men Return Winners = 417
The table above shows that in every year from 2015 to 2020 the match winner ALWAYS hit more return winners – not less. What does this really mean?
It means that we play an aggressive sport much more than a consistent sport and this is a “canary in the coal mine” statistic that helps prove it. Match winners generally take the outcome of the match by the scruff of the neck. They want to be the person who controls the point and who decides who wins and loses. It’s on their racquet. Return winners signify this.
Be aggressive against second serves. It’s a good thing!
Point of the Week
The return is arguably the most important shot in the game. Unlike the serve, you have just one chance to get the ball back in play.
- Against first serves the returner is generally “reactive” with the main goal of just getting the ball back in play, ideally deep and to the middle of the court.
- Against second serves though, at most levels of tennis, the returner has the upper hand and is more “proactive”.
Great players work on both scenarios.
Sale Ends May 15!
Check out A Million Points of College Tennis and use coupon code
statoftheweek to get 20% off.
Photo of the Week
Leylah Fernandez’s forehand.