All Or Nothing On Break Points - Who Holds Their Nerve?
Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers investigates how John Isner comes up clutch on break points
All or nothing. Ace or double fault. Sometimes break points are decided without the returner even touching the ball.
Facing break points are inevitable at all levels of the game, with the server having to balance the aggression of a potential ace with the possibility of missing both serves and committing a double fault.
An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of the current Top 20 players reveals a wide range of results in this important moment in a match, with the statistics dating from the beginning of the 2015 season to the 2017 US Open.
John Isner is the only player in the current Top 20 to hit more than 100 aces on break points during the two-and-a-half-year period. He blasted 133 aces when facing break point, while yielding just 33 double faults. That created a positive differential of 110 more aces than double faults to also lead the Top 20 in that category as well.
Remarkably, Isner averaged an ace on one out of every four break points he faced since the beginning of the 2015 season, really stepping up his game in this pressure situation. At the same time, he only committed a double fault once out of every 23 break points - an outstanding ratio that makes him the best server in our game at the moment.
Isner tops the ATP Stats Serve Leaderboards in the past 52 weeks with a 316.1 rating, slightly ahead of Ivo Karlovic, who is currently positioned at No. 38 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
Other accomplished servers, such as Marin Cilic, Milos Raonic, Nick Kyrgios and Tomas Berdych, were all in the top five in the differential between aces and double faults.
Interestingly, there were only two players that held their double faults to single digits in this critical moment in a match. The leader was Roger Federer, only hitting a double fault seven times when facing break point in over two and a half years. The other was Raonic, with nine.
Alexander Zverev’s game has matured a lot during this period, moving from outside the Top 100 into the Top 10. He combined 52 aces on break points with 46 double faults since the beginning of the 2015 season, to have a positive differential of plus six. Jack Sock came out even in this analysis, hitting 41 double faults and 41 aces on break point.
Overall, the current Top 20 averaged hitting 31 more aces than double faults in the past two and a half years. Stepping up in these clutch moments is a trademark of their game.
Current Top 20: Aces & Double Faults on Break Point - 2015 to 2017 US Open.
|Ranking||Player||Break Pts Faced||Aces||Double Faults||Differential|
|T11||Pablo Carreno Busta||954||49||25||24|
|18||Roberto Bautista Agut||1174||34||30||4|