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.
This week we continue exploring the differences between the Big 3 (Novak, Roger, and Rafa) and the NexGen 3, the highest-ranked next-generation players (Thiem, Medvedev, Tsitsipas). We know that Zverev should be thrown into the mix, but we went with the 3 highest ranked at the time.
*The data below is from 2018 through 2020 for the Big 3 and 2019 through 2020 for the NextGen 3.
Stat of the Week: 3%
The Big 3 win around 54% of all points they play, while our NextGen 3 average 51%. That 3% is a BIG difference!
This is something that we will revisit in the near future – to see if NextGen players close the gap to arguably the 3 greatest players to ever play in the same era.
The Big 3 also hit more rally winners (5%) and are more effective at the net (4%).
Below are the stats for each individual in our NextGen 3.
You can see that Medvedev again is a bit of an outlier. He hits fewer winners and wins at a lower percentage when approaching the net (these two stats are correlated).
Point of the Week
Most players judge improvement by their ranking or rating (UTR, NTRP), or wins and losses.
The implication then is that if you lose a match and your ranking, rating drops, you are not improving. The problem with these metrics is that they are outcome-oriented.
To get a better idea of whether you (or your players) are improving, you need to use performance data through match analysis over time. Compare your own stats to players above your level to know what you need to work on in practice.
Photo of the Week
Novak Djokovic’s forehand.