Five Players With Surprising Stats In 2018
Frenchman Herbert is 2018’s clutch player on break point
The first quarter of the year is in the books. Here are five fresh faces who are enjoying a fast start to the 2018 season that you need to keep an eye on in the coming months.
This Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis focuses on players ranked in the Top 10 in specific serve and return categories whom you might not expect to be ranked that high.
1. Pierre-Hugues Herbert
No. 1 - Break Points Saved
No. 1 - Break Points Converted
The Frenchman, currently No. 80 in the ATP Rankings, is 10-8 on the season, including a solid run to the Round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Interestingly, he is 4-2 on the year against fellow Frenchmen, and has saved 72.36 per cent (89/123) of break points he has faced when serving. Amazingly, he also leads the Tour in 2018 in the other break point metric - break points converted when receiving. Herbert has converted 51.47 per cent (35/68) of break point opportunities in the first quarter of 2018.
2. Alex de Minaur
No. 5 – Second-Serve Points Won
The 19-year-old #NextGenATP Aussie has won an impressive 55 per cent (192/349) of his second-serve points through 14 matches (8-6) so far this year. He currently is at his career-best ATP Ranking of No. 114, primarily off the back of reaching the semi-finals of the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp and the final of the Sydney International in January, a run that included six victories over Top 50 opponents.
3. Nicolas Jarry
No. 9 - Service Games Won
The 22-year-old Chilean went 14-7 in the first quarter, reaching the finals of the Brasil Open, the semis of the Rio Open presented by Claro, and the quarter-finals of the Ecuador Open. Jarry turned 22 at the end of last year, and his 6’6” frame has helped him win 86.21 per cent (209/241) of his service games so far in 2018. Jarry started the year ranked No. 113, and has shot up to World No. 64 after the first three months.
4. Andrey Rublev
No. 1 – Second-Serve Return Points Won
The #NextGenATP Russian leads the Tour in this critical metric, winning 55.78 per cent (328/588) of second-serve points so far this season. The 20-year-old is ranked second in Return Games Won, winning 30.95 per cent (65/210). Rublev started 2018 on a tear, reaching the final of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, and the Australian Open third round.
5. Kevin Anderson
No 1 - Aces hit
Anderson typically trails players such as Ivo Karlovic, John Isner and Milos Raonic in the aces department. Not so this year. Anderson has stuck 373 aces so far in 22 matches to be almost 100 aces ahead of Karlovic (281). His favorite target is down the T, with 124 struck there in both Deuce and Ad courts, and 99 hit out wide.
Anderson: 2018 Ace Direction
- Deuce Court Wide = 57
- Deuce Court T = 68
- Ad Court Wide = 31
- Ad Court T = 56