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John Isner comes up big when there's a lot on the line.

Isner Aces Break Points Like No One Else

Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers shows how Isner comes up big under pressure

Bang. Bang. Ace. The pressure cooker moment of saving break points is when John Isner blows the ball right by you like no other.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of Isner serving at break point from 2015 through the 2018 season uncovers that one out of every three break points he saves (33.6%) when serving is an ace, putting him in a league of his own in this specific moment in a match.

For context, the rest of the current Top 20 average an ace 8.6 per cent (1166/13511) of the time they save a break point. Impressively, Isner is almost at four times that average, at 33.6 per cent.

The leading five players out of the current Top 20 who average the most amount of aces saving break points:
John Isner = 33.6% (187/557)
Kevin Anderson = 21.2% (154/725)
Marin Cilic = 18.8% (148/789)
Milos Raonic = 16.1% (87/541)
Roger Federer = 14.5% (74/509)

When you look at the bigger picture of all break points Isner faces, not only the break points he saves, the 6’10” American serves an ace 23.9 per cent (187/783) of the time. The rest of the Top 20 average an ace just 5.9 per cent (1275/21662) of the time they face a break point.

The only other player who comes close to Isner is the all-time ATP Tour aces leader, Ivo Karlovic, who is currently No. 81 in the ATP Rankings. Isner has hit an ace on 33.6 per cent of break points saved since 2015, while Karlovic has hit an ace 31 per cent of the time.

The new Infosys ATP Serve & Return Tracker identifies which direction Isner has hit his aces on break point since the 2011 season. This data is sourced from 2011-2018 ATP Masters 1000s and Nitto ATP Finals.

2011 - 2019: Isner Serve Direction / Aces On Break Point

Point Score

Wide

T

30-40

19

11

Ad Out

16

4

0-40

3

0

15-40

13

8

TOTAL

51

23

Isner clearly favours going wide to hit his aces on break point in both the Deuce court and Ad court. The most striking ratio was at Ad Out, when he struck an ace 16 times out wide and just four times down the T. It must be nice to roll the dice on break point and find an ace one out of three times this critical point is saved.

Current Top 20: Percentage of Aces Saving Break Point

Top 20 Player

Percentage Of Aces Saving Break Point

J. Isner

33.6%

K. Anderson

21.2%

M. Cilic

18.8%

M. Raonic

16.1%

R. Federer

14.5%

K. Khachanov

14.5%

D. Medvedev

13.1%

J. M. Del Potro

10.8%

S. Tsitsipas

10.4%

A. Zverev

9.5%

B. Coric

9.4%

D. Thiem

8.6%

N. Djokovic

7.3%

M. Cecchinato

7.0%

K. Nishikori

5.4%

R. Nadal

5.3%

F. Fognini

5.2%

N. Basilashvili

5.0%

R. B. Agut

4.3%

D. Schwartzman

3.7%

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