Holding & Breaking From 0/30

Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers looks at how the Next Generation compares to the Top 8 in two key categories

There is a groundswell of youth currently coming through the ranks on the ATP World Tour that have aptly been labelled the Next Generation of our sport.

The ATP unveiled the #NextGen campaign at Indian Wells this year, focused on getting to know the 15 young players in the Top 200 who are aged 21 or younger. Their speed, agility and youthful exuberance are all easy to identify, but their courage under fire and ability to handle scoreboard pressure are not quite as easy to pinpoint so early in their careers.

This Infosys ATP Beyond the Numbers analysis of 14 of these young players focuses on their performance in the very specific score scenario of 0/30. Are they more likely to win the game when they are serving down 0/30, or when they are returning and the server has fallen into his own 0/30 hole? It’s an interesting snapshot into our sport that first needs a Top 8 yardstick to measure success in these two critical score categories.

From the 2015 season, up to and including the first week of the 2016 clay-court swing, the Top 8 players in the world averaged holding serve 50 per cent of the time at 30/0, with the #NextGen group only at 37 per cent. The Top 8 broke 38 per cent of the time when they got ahead 0/30 in their opponent’s service games, with the #NextGen players quite a distance back at 26 percent.

Of the 13 young players with full data, eight of them (Alexander Zverev, Elias Ymer, Yoshihito Nishioka, Kyle Edmund, Quentin Halys, Nick Kyrgios, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Andrey Rublev) performed better on the serving side of this equation, while the other five (Borna Coric, Hyeon Chung, Taylor Fritz, Jared Donaldson, and Frances Tiafoe) all did better returning. Twenty-one-year-old Brit Kyle Edmund held 50 per cent of the time from down 0/30, which was actually better than Britain’s No. 1, Andy Murray, who only managed to do it 41 per cent of the time during the same stretch.

Nineteen-year-olds Donaldson and Chung broke the most when the opponent fell behind 0/30, at 46 per cent. Remarkably, that was actually better than World No. 1, Novak Djokovic, who was at 41 per cent during the same period. Zverev, a 19-year-old German, was the only player to be ranked in the Top 4 in both categories, putting up stronger 0/30 serve numbers than David Ferrer and stronger return metrics than Tomas Berdych.

The talent is oozing from this young bunch, and the diversity of playing styles is well preserved from this international group of rising stars. In some ways, they are already performing at an elite level, while in others, experience should help them figure out exactly how to make the leap to the elite.

Ranking  Player Serving & Holding Down 0/30 Percentage
1 Kyle Edmund 50
2 Nick Kyrgios 45
Quentin Halys 44
Alexander Zverev 42
Elias Ymer 41
Taylor Fritz 38
Hyeon Chung 35

Ranking Player Breaking With Opponent Serving At 0/30 Percentage 
T1 Jared Donaldson 46
T1 Hyeon Chung 46
3 Alexander Zverev 37
Borna Coric 36
Taylor Fritz 35
Frances Tiafoe 30
Andrey Rublev 26