How Important is the Speed of the Serve?
October 12, 2011There's never been any data reported before this on the topic, and at least a partial answer on the ATP tour is in Jeff Sackmann's latest blog at Heavytopspin.com:
The post includes an interesting table and suggests it is pretty important, with the caution about why further work needs to be done it. You can guess from serve stats that those who serve harder than 130 hit considerably more aces and service winners, and robably win a high percentage of points on serve, at least on fast courts. One key stat that's missing from this, aside from the one's Jeff mentions about serve placement, is the percentage of service games won.
SHANGHAI 1000 RESULTS & 4th Round Schedule
Bernard Tomic's 3 set win today over 5th seed Mardy Fish in Shanghai was his 6th win this year over a top 20 player. Along with Fish, the Australian has wins over Troicki (twice), Cilic, Wawrinka and Soderling. His play against Fish was decisive after the first set: 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. Next he will play Dolgopolov. At #49, Tomic is the highest ranked 18 year old in the world, and has risen 160 spots since January. Given the likelihood of success for players who reach the top 100 before age 20, Tomic is very promising.
Milos Raonic earned a crack at #3 seed David Ferrer by defeating Llodra today in 3 sets, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6 (5). At #31, Raonic is the highest ranked 20 year old. The last time he won 2 matches in a row was before Wimbledon at Halle, so this would have been a good chance for him to stage an upset of a top 20 player, something he hasn't done since the winter. Ferrer eked out a 7-5, 7-6 (7) win over him.
Ryan Harrison, 19, beat the 11th seed Troicki 6-3, 6-4, but then lost in straight sets to Matthew Ebden.
Lopez beat Tipsarevic 7-6, 7-6 and then Bogomolov in 3 sets (7-6, 3-6, 6-3), a first round winner over Granollers.
Like Fish, #4 seed Tsonga so his momentum toward London dented when he was upset in his first math by Nishikori, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4.
Berdych was alone in carrying over his winning from Beijing, defeating Stepanek 6-4, 6-3.
#1 seed Nadal got help from Lopez-Garcia in the first set when his countryman served many of his 8 double faults, winning 6-3, 6-2.
Tomorrow's 4th Round Schedule (below) looks toward quarterfinal match-ups between::
Rafa and Berdych
Ferrer and Roddick or Almagro
Murray and Simon
Dolgopolov or Tomic v. Giraldo or Nishikori
THURSDAY, 13 OCTOBER, 2011
STADIUM start 12:30 pm
 A Roddick (USA) vs  N Almagro (ESP)
 D Ferrer (ESP) vs J Ferrero (ESP)
Not Before 3:30 PM
 S Wawrinka (SUI) vs  A Murray (GBR)
Not Before 6:00 PM
 R Nadal (ESP) vs  F Mayer (GER)
Not Before 8:00 PM
F Lopez (ESP) vs R T Berdych (CZE)
GRANDSTAND start 12:30 pm
B Tomic (AUS) vs  A Dolgopolov (UKR)
S Giraldo (COL) vs K Nishikori (JPN)
 G Simon (FRA) vs [Q] M Ebden (AUS)