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Andy Murray improved his ranking and increased his time spent on court in 2016.

How Murray's Time On Court Compares To The Top 10

Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers investigates the link between time on court and a player's ranking

Time is one of the most precious commodities a tennis player has to manage. Time on court is invaluable, but then again, so is limiting that time to avoid injuries and stay fresh. The big picture clearly dictates that improvement is predicated on playing more matches, which means more time on court in the cauldron of competition.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of the 2016 season showed Andy Murray’s ascension to the No. 1 Emirates ATP Ranking was built on spending substantially more time on court than anyone else in the Top 10.

Murray spent 162 hours on court in 2016, which was up from 151 hours in 2015. Murray’s average set time in 2015 was 44 minutes, and that rose to 46 minutes last year as he climbed to take the No. 1 ranking.

Time Spent On Court During The 2016 Season

No.  Player   Hours On Court Average Set Time In Minutes
 1 Andy Murray 162 46
 2   Novak Djokovic 130 44
 3  Milos Raonic 127 42
Stan Wawrinka 121 42
Kei Nishikori 129 42
6   Gael Monfils 90 39
7 Marin Cilic 109 43
Dominic Thiem 136 40
Rafael Nadal 89 47
10  Tomas Berdych 107 43
--  AVERAGE 120 43

It’s interesting to note that there is no link between hours on court and ranking spots, as eighth-ranked Dominic Thiem spent the second most amount of time on court of the Top 10 at 136 hours. Rafael Nadal spent the least amount of time on court of the Top 10 in 2016 at just 89 hours.

He played only 53 matches as injury took him away from the tour. Nadal completed a full workload in 2015, spending 152 hours on court.

Even though the Spaniard racked up the least amount of match hours in 2016, his average set time was the longest, at 47 minutes. Murray was next highest at 46 minutes, with Gael Monfils being the quickest per set at 39 minutes.

The Top 10 average of 120 hours on court for the season is a valuable number for players to know and prepare for with their off-court training regimens. The average time per set is more of a reflection of playing styles and shot tolerance.

As players rise up the Emirates ATP Rankings to the coveted Top 10, they now have a clearer understanding of the on-court workload that is required, and the off-court preparation that must fuel it.

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