Author Topic: Service Returns Missed by the Top 3 (ATP)  (Read 243 times)

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Offline dmastous

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Service Returns Missed by the Top 3 (ATP)
« on: August 11, 2013, 03:07:35 PM »
One thing that amazes me is just how few service returns Djokovic, Nadal & Murray miss. You can throw Federer in there, and perhaps a couple other players. But that to me is what sets these guys apart from, literally, the rest of the ATP tour.
I've never heard this discussed, I'm curious if anyone else agrees with me that this is one of the main reasons these guys are so dominate.

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Offline Tennis4you

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Re: Service Returns Missed by the Top 3 (ATP)
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2013, 11:21:33 PM »
It's a huge bonus to neutralize some of these guys big weapons.  What helps even more if that all 4 of those guys have such great defense that even if their return is not perfect they still have a chance due to their speed and shot making abilities to stay in a point and potentially turn it around into offense.
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Offline mav140

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Re: Service Returns Missed by the Top 3 (ATP)
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 03:39:30 PM »
well, if you are talking just about service returns, I would add Ferrer into that equation... I mean, yeah it's a BIG plus!! but to be honest, you have to look at the talent or work these guys put. I mean, to get an ace on Ferrer is practically impossible, but he doesn't have the shot making those 4 guys do, mentality and talent. But yeah, I do agree. This is one "factor" that sets aside these guys from the rest of the pack!

Offline Lugburz

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Re: Service Returns Missed by the Top 3 (ATP)
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2013, 03:47:58 PM »
well, if you are talking just about service returns, I would add Ferrer into that equation... I mean, yeah it's a BIG plus!! but to be honest, you have to look at the talent or work these guys put. I mean, to get an ace on Ferrer is practically impossible, but he doesn't have the shot making those 4 guys do, mentality and talent. But yeah, I do agree. This is one "factor" that sets aside these guys from the rest of the pack!

agreed.
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Offline dmastous

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Re: Service Returns Missed by the Top 3 (ATP)
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2013, 05:23:08 PM »
I would put Ferrer in that group as well. He's very consistent.
Scott, I know what you mean, but that's not what I'm talking about. It's actually part of what I've been to for a long time. Not taking chances that have a low percentage of panning out.
I've seen so many players (and have done so myself when I played) going after too much on the service return, trying to take advantage of a fairly weak serve. The top players just don't do that. They know what they can do, and don't attempt to do more. So they put themselves into a better place to perhaps winning a point, instead of going after a big return, and loosing the point right there.
It takes tremendous discipline and focus to do that and the top players have that in spades.
That being said Nadal got a lot more of Raonic's serves back, and once that happened Raonic was toast. No way Raonic was going to win a baseline battle with Nadal, and his attempts to get to the net were pretty much pathetic. So that is part of the equation, just not the part I'm talking about here.

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Online Babblelot

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Re: Service Returns Missed by the Top 3 (ATP)
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2013, 06:55:57 AM »
Here's what Harvard nerds say:

I took match statistic data from tennisinsight.com and looked at the current top 100 players as of the week of April 12th.  The five variables studied to predict ranking points were: number of aces per individual service game (aces per game), the percentage of times the player won his service game (service hold %), the percentage of points the player won when not serving (return points won %), the percentage of points won when, on his serve, his opponent had game point (break points saved %), and the percentage of points won when, on his opponent serve, he had game point (break points won %).

Service hold % is the most statistically significant predictor of the two variables (it had a larger t-statistic).  As we can see from the graph below that specifically examines service hold %, the tennis players that can hold serve sit atop the world rankings.


http://harvardsportsanalysis.wordpress.com/2010/09/22/what-predicts-atp-tennis-rankings-hint-its-not-break-points/#comment-820
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