How Wawrinka & Djokovic Raise Their Games In Paris
Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers shows how two Roland Garros champions have improved in Paris
How does a player get a hot hand? A study of the past two Roland Garros champions, Novak Djokovic (2016) and Stan Wawrinka (2015), identifies obscure yet fascinating areas of their games that they improved in Paris to capture the sport's prized clay-court Grand Slam title.
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An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of Djokovic at Roland Garros in 2016, and Wawrinka in 2015, uncovers 10 areas that saw them perform much better than their season average in each year.
Roland Garros 2016 - Novak Djokovic
1. Serving at 0/15 (73% won)
Djokovic fell behind 0/15 30 times on serve at Roland Garros in 2016. He won the 0/15 point 73 per cent (22/30) of the time, which was higher than his 2016 season average of 69 per cent. The eight times he did fall behind 0/30 at Roland Garros, he won his serve on only one occasion.
2. First Serve Percentage Down Break Point (70%)
Djokovic faced 43 break points at Roland Garros in 2016. He made 70 per cent (30/43) first serves, which was five percentage points (65 per cent) higher than his season average. At Roland Garros, he made 73 per cent (8/11) in the deuce court, and 69 per cent (22/32) in the ad court.
3. Second Serve Points Won (60%)
Djokovic won a dominant 60 per cent (120/199) of his second-serve points in Paris last year. His career average in this specific area on clay is 54 per cent (3,073/5,669), while his 2016 season all-surfaces average was 56 per cent. The career leader of second-serve points won on clay is Rafael Nadal, at 56 per cent (4,358/7,765).
4. Total Return Points Won (49%)
Djokovic actually won fewer service points (67 per cent to 66 per cent) at Roland Garros compared to his season average. But on the return side, he improved from a season average of 44 per cent (2,498/5,657) to a mind-blowing 49 per cent (335/689).
5. First Serve Return Points Won (42%)
Djokovic is 19th in the career averages list of first-serve return points won at 36 per cent (3,807/10,517). Overall in the 2016 season he was at 35 per cent (1,185/3,413). This part of his game caught fire at Roland Garros last year, winning a staggering 42 per cent (175/418) of first-serve return points.
Roland Garros 2015 - Stan Wawrinka
1. Break Points Saved (82%)
Wawrinka found himself down break point 51 times at Roland Garros in 2015. He saved an astounding 82 per cent (42/51) of them, which was way up from his 2015 season average of 68 per cent (288/426).
2. Holding After Breaking Serve (97%)
When Wawrinka broke serve, he did an excellent job of holding serve in the following game. Wawrinka held serve 30 of 31 times (97 per cent) in this specific situation, which was up from his 2015 season average of 90 per cent (179/198).
3. Receiving With New Balls (42%)
Serving with fresh balls always seems to be a psychological advantage for the server. In the 2015 season, Wawrinka broke serve 20 per cent of the time (21/106) when facing new balls. But that percentage more than doubled at Roland Garros, as he broke serve 42 per cent (5/12) when facing new balls.
4. Breaking After Losing Serve (56%)
The disappointment of losing serve can make it tough to break straight back. In 2015, Wawrinka broke straight back after losing serve 24 per cent (31/130) of the time. At Roland Garros, he got straight back on the horse, breaking 56 per cent (5/9) of the time.
5. Breaking from 0/40 (100%)
Wawrinka finished what he started when returning at Roland Garros in 2015. Ten times he got his opponent to 0/40 on serve, and 10 times he broke. In the 2016 season he was at 90 per cent (45/50), and from the start of the 2015 season up to Madrid earlier this month, he broke serve just 76 per cent (105/139) of the time after building a 0/40 lead returning.
Go inside the tournament at RolandGarros.com.