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 next couple of weeks, we will explore break points at the highest levels of our game.
Stat of the Week: 48%
When a server faces a break point, they are obviously under a lot more pressure than a normal point.
So, we would assume that the advantage tips slightly in favor of the returner. Right?
We looked at over 83,000 points played from the ATP tour in 2021 and 2022. The server won 65% of these points.
Break points accounted for 8% of all points. For these, the server won 62%, a 3% drop.
But look what happens on break points between first vs second serves…
- On first serves, the server wins 70% of break points and 73% of all points (3% gap in favor of the returner).
- On second serves, the server wins 48% of break points and 51% of all points (3% gap in favor of the returner).
This means that on break points, if the server misses a first serve, the returner has the advantage.
Point of the Week
On pressure points, the server may opt to be more conservative, a “don’t miss the 1st serve” philosophy. But this can then play directly to the advantage of the returner.
Serving on a break point is not the time to change up, or be tentative. As the 1927 song goes, “Dance wit de guy wot brung me.”
Tagged match footage allows you to filter and watch specific points in a match, like all second serves hit on break point. To find out how you perform on pressure points, check out our Player Packages.
Photo of the Week
Gael Monfils’ backhand swing path.