Beyond The Numbers: Dimitrov, Kyrgios Leading The Way This Season
The first quarter of 2017 is in the books, so let's see who had the hot hand to start the new year.
The big picture clearly shows Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal out in front in the Emirates ATP Race To London. But what about the specifics of serving, returning and elevating in the pressure moments? That’s where the specific metrics of our game step in to paint a clearer picture.
An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of the first quarter identifies four players who are outperforming their peers, laying the foundation for a rise up the Emirates ATP Rankings this season.
No. 1 Service Games Won = Nick Kyrgios 93.3% (208/223)
Ivo Karlovic has been the leader in this category for the past three years, but Kyrgios has knocked the 6’11” Croatian into second place to kick off 2017. Kyrgios defeated Karlovic 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-6(2) in the third round of the Miami Open presented by Itau last week.
Kyrgios broke Karlovic once in the opening set, while the Croatian was not able to break Kyrgios at all, seeing just one break point for the match. The Australian dropped serve twice in his opening-round match in Miami against Damir Dzumhur, and then only dropped serve once (to Federer) during the next 62 service games.
No. 1 Break Points Converted = Daniel Evans 53.7% (51/95)
Evans reached a career high of No. 41 just four weeks ago and currently sits at No. 44. He has a 10-6 record in 2017 after going 9-10 up to this point in 2016. Evans is taking advantage of the big moments so far this season.
He's the only player on the ATP World Tour who has converted more than half of his break points. Evans reached the final of the Apia International Sydney in January, converting an impressive 64.5 per cent (20/31) of his break points.
No. 1 Break Points Saved = Grigor Dimitrov 75.9% (101/133)
Dimitrov has been one of the most dangerous players on tour in 2017, with two titles and a 17-4 record. He played what some think has been the highest quality match so far this season, narrowly going down to Rafael Nadal in five sets during the semi-finals of the Australian Open.
The Bulgarian saved 61.5 per cent (8/13) of his break points in that match, and is saving an astounding 75.9 per cent so far this season. Dimitrov is now up to No. 12 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, from No. 17 at the start of the year, and is knocking hard on the Top 10.
No. 1 Second-Serve Return Points Won = Richard Gasquet 61.1% (225/368)
The 30-year-old Frenchman had a solid February, reaching the final of the Open Sud de France in Montpellier and the semi-finals of the Open 13 Marseille. Gasquet’s career average for winning second-serve points is 51 per cent, so he is clearly crushing that at 61.1 per cent. To give some historical perspective, Spaniard Alberto Berasategui has the career record for second-serve points won at 56.3 per cent.