© Peter Staples/ATP Tour

Roberto Bautista Agut's second-serve success helped Spain reach the ATP Cup final in Sydney last month.

Bautista Agut Thrives Where Other Players Struggle

Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers shows how the Spaniard has started so well this season

Roberto Bautista Agut is slaying it on second serves to start 2020.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of the Spaniard’s first month of the season identifies that he is leading the Tour in both second-serve points won and second-serve return points won.

Bautista Agut has played nine matches so far in 2020, going 8-1, including a perfect 6-0 at the inaugural ATP Cup.

Roberto Bautista Agut - January 2020
No. 1: Second-Serve Points Won = 60.66% (111/183)
No. 1: Second-Serve Return Points Won = 63.60% (152/239)

Impressively, Bautista Agut is the only player so far in 2020 to cross the 60 per cent threshold in either of the second-serve metrics.

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Bautista Agut reached the third round at the Australian Open, defeating countryman Feliciano Lopez and American Michael Mmoh, before bowing out to Marin Cilic in a five-set thriller.

Performance around second serves was a key to all three of those matches. Combined, Bautista Agut won 57 per cent (57/100) of his second-serve points and 60 per cent (72/121) of his second-serve return points. Bautista Agut finished third highest in second-serve return points won at the Australian Open, and 15th best for second-serve points won.

In the final of the ATP Cup in Sydney, Bautista Agut defeated Dusan Lajovic 7-5, 6-1 to give Spain a 1-0 lead over Serbia. Bautista Agut won an extremely dominant 67 per cent (10/15) of his second-serve points and an even higher 73 per cent (16/22) of his second-serve return points for the match. Nothing mattered more to the final outcome than this specific battleground.

Bautista Agut was also in positive numbers in both metrics in the ATP Cup semi-final against Australia’s Nick Kyrgios, winning 54 per cent (7/13) of his second-serve points and 53 per cent (9/17) of his second-serve return points in the 6-1, 6-4 victory.

The following directional breakdown identifies where Bautista Agut served second serves during the ATP Cup, and his win percentages.

2020 ATP Cup: Bautista Agut Second-Serve Direction & Win Percentages

DEUCE COURT

2nd Serves Hit

2nd Serves Won

Win Percentage

Wide

8

7

88%

Body

11

5

45%

T

26

19

73%

Total

45

31

69%


AD COURT

2nd Serves Hit

2nd Serves Won

Win Percentage

Wide

12

6

50%

Body

11

8

73%

T

11

8

73%

Total

34

22

65%

In the Deuce court, Bautista Agut went primarily down the T with 26 second serves, winning 73 per cent (19). In the Ad court, he mixed far more, with 12 wide, 11 body and 11 down the T. Overall, Bautista Agut won 69 per cent (31/45) of his second serves in the Deuce court and 65 per cent (22/34) in the Ad court.

Bautista Agut is currently No. 12 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, with his career-high No. 9 coming last November.

In the next five months to Wimbledon, where he reached his first Grand Slam semi-final last year, he has only 695 points to defend, which represent just 29 per cent (695/2360) of his total ranking points. February through June represents a sweet spot in the Spaniard’s tournament calendar, where another push to a new career-high FedEx ATP Ranking is very likely.