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Croatia's Borna Coric has played some of his best tennis on hard court this season.

Coric, Chung Are Young And Leading The Way On Return

Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers shows that the two 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifiers are among the best when it comes to returning serve on hard court

You don’t need to search far down an Infosys Return Stats LEADERBOARD to find just how impressive 2018 has been for the youth of our game returning serve on hard courts.

The ATP World Tour calendar has seven more weeks of hard court tournaments to complete the 2018 season, so one final push through Asia and back to Europe can help elevate a good season to a great one.

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An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis identifies that the following four players, all aged 22 and under, occupy half of the top eight positions with Return Games Won On Hard in 2018.

Return Games Won On Hard Court Ranking
No. 5 = 22-year-old Borna Coric (27.95%)
No. 6 = 22-year-old Hyeon Chung (27.75%)
No. 7 = 19-year-old Alex de Minaur (27.33%)
No. 8 = 20-year-old Andrey Rublev (27.30%)

Just think about that for a moment…

The average age of the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings this week is 27.4 years of age, but the average age of these four players is just 20.7. Their maturity returning serve on hard court is well beyond their years.

Read More: Who's The All-Time Best Hard-Court Returner On The ATP World Tour? View ATP Return Stats LEADERBOARD

Below is a breakdown of their current and best ATP Ranking, with both Coric and De Minaur both at their career best this week.

Current & Best Ranking
No, 18 Coric - best ranking No. 18 (this week)
No. 23 Chung - best ranking No. 19 (April 2018)
No. 38 De Minaur - best ranking No. 38 (this week)
No. 68 Rublev - best ranking No. 31 (Feb 2018)

Overall, David Goffin leads the Return Games Won category in 2018, winning 30.08 per cent of his return games. But this quartet of young guns is hot on his heels.

See Who's Pushing Goffin By Visiting The ATP Stats LEADERBOARDS

Coric’s game exploded on hard courts in March this year, reaching the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells, followed by the quarter-finals at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

The strong showings vaulted his ATP Ranking from No. 49 to No. 28. Coric has averaged winning 39 per cent of his return points this season, but that jumped up to 43 per cent (177/414) at Indian Wells.

When you look at the other side of the ledger – Service Games Won in 2018 – it's a fresh set of young players who lead this specific category. The following list shows the best four players aged 22 or younger, and their ranking in the specific category of Service Games Won On Hard Court in 2018.

Service Games Won On Hard Court Ranking
No. 7 = 22-year-old Karen Khachanov (87.87%)
No. 14 = 21-year-old Alexander Zverev (84.53%)
No. 22 = 19-year-old Denis Shapovalov (83.19%)
No. 23 = 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas (83.02%)

Roger Federer leads the Service Games Won category in 2018 on hard, winning 92.86 per cent of his service games. More than a third (34) of the Top 100 is thirty years of age or older. These young players are more than holding their own against their more experienced opponents.

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