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: 11%
On the men’s side at the 2019-20 US Open, we saw that the gap between match winners and their opponents was 6.4% on first serve points won.
On the women’s side, this variance is even greater.
Match winners win 11% more points on first serve! Like the men, this metric is a key determinant to winning matches. On second serve, the victor outperforms opponents by almost 9%.
Point of the Week
The 4 variables that great servers use are:
- Pace: Unless you are close to 7’ tall, the harder you hit the serve, the less angle you can hit with. Sometimes less is more…
- Spin: Adds margin for error and “opens up” the target area. Inversely proportional to pace – the more spin you hit, the less pace you hit with.
- Placement: A good mix of pace and spin aids placement. Wide serves open up the court and are a hallmark of great servers.
- Variation: Like great baseball pitchers, good servers know when to throw the fastball or use a change-up. If you only use the big serve down the T, a good returner will eventually adjust. Structuring points to “set up” other weapons in your game (like your forehand on the next shot) is very important.
Do you know your serve metrics? Film your match and order a player package to find out.
Photo of the Week
Leylah Fernandez is into the 2021 US Open Semifinals. Here is her forehand swing path.