Read & Watch: Clutch Kei Reigning Again In 2019

Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers shows how the Japanese has been dominant when it matters most

Kei is so very clutch. Kei Nishikori has found himself in a winner-take-all deciding set tie-break three times so far in 2019. Three times he has triumphed, including twice at the Australian Open in 10-point Match Tie-breaks. The tie-breaks, which are first to 10, win by two, were implemented for the first time this year to settle five-set matches that reach 6-6 in the fifth.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of the best performers in tie-breaks from the past 52 weeks identifies that the Japanese star leads the ATP Tour with tie-breaks won at 77.8 per cent.

Nishikori's Deciding Set Tie-breaks Won In 2019





BNP Paribas Open

Round of 64

d. Adrian Mannarino

6-4, 4-6, 7-6(4)

Australian Open

Round of 16

d. Pablo Carreno Busta

6-7(8), 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-4, 7-6(8)

Australian Open

Round of 64

d. Ivo Karlovic

6-3, 7-6(6), 5-7, 5-7, 7-6(7)

Nishikori’s tie-break record in 2018 from Roland Garros to the end of the season was a jaw-dropping 14-2. From Roland Garros to the Round of 16 at the Rolex Shanghai Masters, he was a perfect 12-0 in tie-breaks, including going five-for-five in his first four matches at Wimbledon.

Past 52 Weeks: Tie-Breaks Won / Win Percentage



Tie-Breaks Win Percentage


Kei Nishikori



Milos Raonic



Daniil Medvedev



Novak Djokovic 68%


Taylor Fritz



Felix Auger-Aliassime



Juan Martin del Potro



Fabio Fognini 66.7%


Alexander Zverev 65%


Radu Albot 64.7%

Jumping up the list into a tie for fifth place after the Miami Open presented by Itau is 18-year-old Canadian sensation Felix Auger-Aliassime. He was 4-3 with tie-breaks won in 2019 coming into Miami, then won a tie-break in four matches leading to the semi-finals, where he lost to John Isner 7-6(3), 7-6(4).

Isner actually played nine tie-breaks in Miami, winning them all. Four of his matches were decided only with tie-breaks. Despite that streak, he owns the 29th best tie-break record in the past 52 weeks with a win percentage at 57.7 per cent.

Milos Raonic is second on the list, having played 11 tie-breaks to begin the year at the Brisbane International and the Australian Open, and winning nine, including five in a row.

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Daniil Medvedev is third, and is currently enjoying a career-high ATP ranking at No. 14. He is 7-3 in 2018 with tie-breaks won, including defeating Reilly Opelka 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 7-6(0) in Miami. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic sits fourth on the list, winning both recent tie-breaks he played in Indian Wells and Miami.

Four players are tied for fifth with a win percentage of 66.7 per cent. They are Taylor Fritz, Auger-Aliassime, Juan Martin del Potro and Fabio Fognini.

World No. 3 Alexander Zverev is ninth on the list, winning 65 per cent of his tie-breaks in the past 52 weeks. Zverev won the Nitto ATP Finals in London in November, winning four tie-breaks against Marin Cilic, Isner and Roger Federer en route to the title.

Jumping into the 10th spot with 64.7 per cent is 29-year-old Moldovan Radu Albot. He has impressively won his last nine tie-breaks in a row, including defeating Daniel Evans 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(7) in the Delray Beach final in February.

Triumphing in tie-breaks seems like a 50-50 proposition after such a close set, but these players manage to find another gear and dominate their opponents right at the finish line.

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