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: 48%
We all know that our sport, regardless of age, level, and ability, is ruled by short rallies. Most rallies are over within four shots, so this is a key battle to win. It is rare that the victor loses this battle and wins the match.
So how are points won and lost on these short points?
At the 2021 US Open, we charted over 75 matches (17,150 points). Rallies of four shots or less accounted for 62% of all points played.
We looked at just this segment, which includes a serve, return, serve +1, and return +1, to find out how the points are being won.
Other findings include:
- Most winners (51%) are hit on the serve (aces).
- Most errors (48%) happen on the return.
- 2.5x serve winners to errors (aces to double faults).
- 15.6x return errors to winners.
- 1.6x serve +1 errors to winners.
- 4.4x return +1 errors to winners.
- Overall, 2.3 errors to winners for points ending in 4 shots or less.
Point of the Week
The return is arguably the most important shot in tennis. The server has the ability to control pace, spin, and placement… and, they get two chances!
The Returner gets just one shot. At the US Open, the top men in our game missed one out of every four returns. The mindset of the returner should be “Don’t be great. Be solid.”
How do you stack up? Send us your match footage to tag and then use these numbers to drive the practice court.
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Photo of the Week
Daniil Medvedev won the 2021 US Open. See his unorthodox forehand swing path below.
Rob Millsop says
Would be especially interested in the percentage comparison of missed shots landing out versus those finding the net..my best guess would be 2 long, for every 1 in the net…
Warren Pretorius & Will Boucek says
Hi Rob, we’ve looked at this before.
For returns, around 35% of errors are missed in the net.
For the S+1 & R+1, it’s around 40%.