Who's The Most Clutch Server In Tennis?
Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers discovers the most 'clutch' servers on the ATP World Tour
Is there such a thing as clutch serving?
All points in tennis are not created equal, and holding serve to win a set provides an ideal snapshot to understand who stands tall when the important moments arrive.
An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of the current Top 10 players in the world so far this season reveals that all of the leading players perform better when the pressure to close a set increases but at slightly different rates.
Big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic leads the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings when it comes to holding serve, winning a commanding 90 per cent of his overall service games. But Raonic elevates to a rarified level when the opportunity to close out a set presents itself.
Raonic has had 48 opportunities to serve out a set so far in 2016 and has successfully closed out 47 of them. That must be a daunting statistic for the rest of the ATP World Tour to reckon with.
Roger Federer is next in line with the second highest hold percentage when closing out a set in 2016, at 95 per cent.
|Emirates ATP Ranking||Player||Overall Holding Percentage||Holding Percentage When Serving For Set||Percentage Point Increase|
|7||Milos Raonic||90%||98% (47/48)||8|
|3||Roger Federer||88%||95% (92/97)||7|
|2||Andy Murray||84%||91% (98/108)||7|
|10||Richard Gasquet||80%||87% (61/70)||7|
|9||Tomas Berdych||83%||89% (80/90)||6|
|6||Kei Nishikori||84%||90% (79/98)||6|
|1||Novak Djokovic||87%||92% (122/134)||5|
|5||Stan Wawrinka||86%||90% (83/93)||4|
|4||Rafael Nadal||81%||82% (79/97)||1|
|8||Dominic Thiem||82%||83% (43/52)||1|
Heading into Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic, No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, boasted an incredible 44-3 record this season. He also owned the third highest hold percentage when serving out a set, at 92 per cent. That represents a five percentage point jump over his already spectacular 2016 average.
Overall, the Top 10 combine to increase their dominance by 5.2 percentage points from holding at any point during a match to when they have to close out a set. It’s not often that a number can clearly show the guts and determination of ATP World Tour champions, but these numbers seem to capture those characteristics perfectly.
The scoreboard will always provide pressure for a player, but how you react to it will ultimately define how far you climb in our sport.