© Peter Staples / ATP World Tour

Henri Kontinen and John Peers owe a good amount of their recent success to their dominant serves.

Kontinen/Peers Serve Up Success

Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers explains how the No. 1 team has dominated with their serves

The highest ranked singles players in the Emirates ATP Rankings are overwhelmingly at the top of the tree because of their prowess returning serve. Not so in doubles.

The current No. 1 ranked doubles team of Henri Kontinen of Finland and Aussie John Peers are the best performing serving team, propelling them to five ATP World Tour titles last year and helping them to break through for their first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers Ratings analysis of the Top 20 doubles teams when serving, returning, and under pressure provides new insights into what creates separation in doubles at the elite level of our sport. Teams must have played a minimum of 10 matches in 2017 to be eligible for this analysis.

The ATP Stats Serve LEADERBOARDS, powered by Infosys Nia Data, is calculated in the following six areas:

1st Serve Percentage

1st Serve Points Won

2nd Serve Points Won

Service Games Won

Add Average Aces per Match

Subtract Average Double Faults per Match

Kontinen and Peers enjoyed an Infosys Serve Rating of 299.8 through the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.. The top five:

1. 299.8 Kontinen/Peers

2. 292.3 Bryan/Bryan

3. 289.0 Koolhof/Middelkoop

4. 288.7 Peralta/Zeballos

5. 288.0 Daniell/Demoliner

What’s fascinating, and completely counter-intuitive, is that Kontinen and Peers have the lowest first-serve percentage (61.8 per cent) of the Top 20 ranked teams in the Infosys Serve Rating. The leaders are Peya/Pavic, who make a substantial 75.8 per cent of their first serves.

But when the first serves do go in for Kontinen and Peers, they are No. 1 in the Top 20 in First Serve Points Won, at 80.5 per cent, and No. 1 in Service Games Won at 94.9 per cent. They are as close to unbreakable as it gets.

The top five in first-serve points won:

1. 80.5% Kontinen/Peers

2. 79.4% Rojer/Tecau

3. 78.3% Murray/Soares

4. 78.2% Koolhof/Middlekoop

5. 77.5% Bryan/Bryan

A primary reason is the overwhelming number of aces Kontinen and Peers hit against their opponents. The top five in aces per match:

1. 7.6 Kontinen/Peers

2. 4.8 Bopanna/Cuevas

3. 4.1 Herbert/Mahut

4. 4.0 Rojer/Tecau

5. 4.0 Klaasen/Ram

Kontinen and Peers also commit the third highest amount of double faults per match at 3.2, but with their ace total more than double that, they are well rewarded for dropping heat on first serves.

When you examine the returning side of the equation, Kontinen and Peers are ranked only 14th out of the Top 20 in the Infosys Return Rating. Dodig/Granollers lead the list and are also No. 1 of the Top 20 in break points won at 48.8 per cent. The top five teams in the Infosys Return Rating:

1. 151.9 Dodig/Granollers

2. 150.0 Murray/Soares

3. 146.4 Herbert/Mahut

4. 145.1 Raja/Sharan

5. 142.5 Bryan/Bryan

(14. 130.6 Kontinen/Peers)

The team of Bopanna/Cuevas leads the tour this season with return points won against first serves, at 33.3 per cent, while the Bryan brothers have won the most amount of points returning second serves, at 53.3 per cent. The top five teams with return games won:

1. 26.1% Murray/Soares

2. 25.2% Peya/Pavic

3. 25.2% Herbert/Mahut

4. 24.5% Bryan/Bryan

5. 24.4% Dodig/Granollers

The Infosys Pressure Rating, incorporating break points saved and won, and tie-breaks and deciding sets won, is led by the doubles team of James Cerretani and Philipp Oswald, with a pressure rating of 258.7. The top five teams in this specific area:

1. 258.7 Cerretani/Oswald

2. 232.3 Klaasen/Ram

3. 226.5 Kubot/Melo

4. 222.0 Zverev/Zverev

5. 218.7 Kontinen/Peers

The art of good doubles incorporates many facets of power and touch, but at the moment, the engine room of the best team in the world squarely begins with blasting a dominant first serve.