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Juan Martin del Potro has been broken only once in the past four years when leading 40/0.

With Delpo Serving At 40/0, It's Game Over

Infosys ATP Insights also shows how dominant Del Potro, other members of the Top 10 have been on serve

Serving at 40/0 versus 0/40 could not be more opposite – or the same.

An Infosys ATP Insights deep dive into these two contrasting game scores over the past four seasons for the current Top 10 identifies a massive gap in the expected chance of holding serve, as you would expect. What is also uncovered is a surprising symmetry in where first serves go when a player desperately needs a point (0/40), or has the freedom to surprise the returner with a secondary serve pattern (40/0).

Holding from 40/0 & 0/40
From 2015-2018, the Top 10 have averaged holding serve a dominant 99.4 per cent (9845/9904) of the time when leading 40/0 on serve. Juan Martin del Potro was the most successful holding from 40/0, amazingly dropping serve only one time (594/595), with John Isner and Marin Cilic dropping serve twice, and Roger Federer three times.

When the tables were turned and the Top 10 found themselves down 0/40 attempting to hold, the percentage plummeted all the way down to 20.6 (213/1032). Isner led the Top 10 holding from 0/40 at 27 per cent (20/74).

Current Top 10: Percentage Of Holding From 0/40 and 40/0 – 2015-2018

Ranking

Player

Holding from 40/0

Holding from 0/40

1

N. Djokovic

99.2%

21.4%

2

R. Nadal

99.5%

22.8%

3

R. Federer

99.7%

25.8%

4

A. Zverev

98.8%

15.9%

5

M. Cilic

98.8%

13.4%

6

J. M. Del Potro

99.8%

10.3%

7

K. Anderson

99.5%

26.8%

8

D. Thiem

99.0%

22.7%

9

K. Nishikori

98.8%

21.1%

10

J. Isner

99.8%

27.0%

-

AVERAGE

99.4%

20.6%

Serve Direction 40/0 & 0/40
You would suspect that serve direction would vary greatly at these two contrasting game scores, as players either elect to go with their favourite location to increase the percentages of winning the point, or surprise to a new location to keep the opponent guessing.

As it turns out, the Top 10 average exactly the same amount of first serves out wide (50 per cent), at the body (eight per cent) and down the centre T (42 per cent) at 40/0 and 0/40.

Current Top 10: Serve Direction at 0/40 and 40/0 - 2015-2018

Ranking

Player

0-40 Wide

0-40 Body

0-40 T

Total

40-0 Wide

40-0 Body

40-0 T

Total

1

N. Djokovic

24

2

24

50

257

25

220

502

2

R. Nadal

39

13

13

65

196

39

156

391

3

R. Federer

14

1

20

35

273

21

173

467

4

A. Zverev

5

3

9

17

55

9

45

109

5

M. Cilic

13

1

11

25

77

22

86

185

6

J. M. Del Potro

18

1

13

32

98

23

51

172

7

K. Anderson

5

1

15

21

113

20

80

213

8

D. Thiem

8

0

13

21

60

7

54

121

9

K. Nishikori

25

5

13

43

81

33

44

158

10

J. Isner

14

0

10

24

131

16

218

365

-

TOTAL

165

27

141

333

1341

215

1127

2683

-

PERCENTAGE

50%

8%

42%

100%

50%

8%

42%

100%

There was no set pattern of play on an individual basis, with some players switching locations, and others sticking to what they know best.

For example, Kevin Anderson served 71 per cent (15/21) of his first serves down the T at 0/40, but switched his primary target to out wide when leading 40/0, where he served 57 per cent of first serves. Some players, such as Rafael Nadal, kept the same location where they hit most serves, which was out wide for the Spaniard at both game scores.

It turns out there that 40/0 and 0/40 have a lot more in common than we ever knew.