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October 25 • 01:27
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Federer Elevates Game During Win Streak - RICOH ATP MatchFacts 2011

December 17, 2011
Now that the year is over and encapsulated in stats, yours truly would be asleep at the switch if I didn't relay a dose of what is being done with the RICOH ATP Match Facts. The ATP home page featured this article on the Fed's numbers during his year-end streak back to #3 on the strength of 17 straight wins and 3 titles:


Within that article, Click to Top 200 RICOH ATP MatchFacts Leaders and review data in the categories, available in any of the last 20 years for all matche, or just for clay, hard or grass matches:

Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I'll share some of the numbers which jump out at me (below) as I browse the pages of the top 200 players. While some of the stand out numbers this year will simply dramatize what we already know about established leaders (Rog had a great serving year, even by his standards; Rafa and Joker are as great at winning return games as Karlovic is bad), others give us reason to believe that some players should be winning more than they are.

Here are some general guidelines I'll follow in reviewing the data:

- for the top 50 and most of the top 100, there is data from over 25 matches, enough for meaningful

comparisons within 2011;

- with the 30 of the top 50 players who have more than 15 matches on either hard courts and clay, the surface

specific data provides a pretty accurate picture of how they performed on it in 2011;

- most top 100 players' data over the last 3+ years provides an ample enough view to reveal any notable

improvement and, to some degree, their potential; sometimes there is a clear trend in just 3 years;

- there aren't enough grass events to provide meaningful data except across a player's career.

With a little work, we can assess the potential of the 6 Americans and others whose rankings improved in 2011 (Fish, Isner, Young, Blake, Sweeting, and Ryan were the rising Americans). Among Americans, Young, Sweeting and Ryan are young enough to suggest they have not reached their potential. We'll look at how these 3 compare... later. First,

Key stats from Top 20 in 2011:

- the range of Serve Games Won is from 78% (Simon at #12) to 91% (Isner at #18)

- (among the top 10) the range is from 80% (Murray!) to 90% (Federer)

- the range of Return Games Won is from

- on CLAY, the range among the top 20 for Serve Games Won is from 70% (MURRAY!) to 88% (Federer and Joker)

- on CLAY, RETURN Games Won range from 9% (Isner) to 44% (Rafa)

- on CLAY, (among the top 10) the range is 24% (Federer and Fish) to 44% (Rafa)

- on CLAY, only Rafa (44%) and Murray (43%) won more than 40% of Return Games; Joker was a distant 3rd with 37%; drop to #11 Del Potro, #12 Simon and #13 Sodering to find other players who won a little more than 30%

- on CLAY, in terms of the percentage of TOTAL Games Won, the totals range from 39.5% (Roddick) to 63.5% (Rafa)

- on CLAY, only Isner (45.5%) and Roddick (39.5%) failed to win 50% of Total Games; though neither played many clay matches, Isner played one of the ATP's top 10 matches of the year on clay against Rafa in the 1st round of Roland Garros, when he led 2-1 in sets after winning two tie-breakers

- on CLAY, 4 players topped 60% in the percentage of Total Games Won (Rafa, Joker, Ferrer and Del Potro);

- on HARD, only 2 players topped 60% in Total Games Won: Joker with 63% and Federer with 60%;

Murray won 59% and Rafa 57%; the rest of the top 10 except Almagro, along with Del Potro and Roddick, won at least 55%

- on HARD, the range of Return Games won is from 14% (Isner, Lopez and Almagro) to 41% (Joker)

- on HARD, the only players who won 30% or more Return Games were Federer (30%), Rafa (32%) and Murray (37%)

- on HARD, the only players who won less than 80% of their Serve Games were Simon (79%) and Dolgopolov (78%)

- on HARD, the only players with 90% of Serve Games Won were Isner (91%) and Federer (90%); next were Soderling (88%), Del Potro and Roddick (87%), Tsonga (86%); Joker was 85%, Rafa 82% and Murray 81%

- on HARD, all the top 20 won between 71% (Rafa, Simon) and 79% (Federer, Tsonga, Berdych) of 1st Serve Points

- on HARD, all the top 20 won between 51% (Berdych, Dolgopolov) and 57% (Federer) of 2nd Serve Points

Rick Devereux

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