© Peter Staples/ATP Tour

Rafael Nadal doesn't back down from a 40/0 deficit when returning.

Nadal Is Best At 'Toughest Stat In Tennis'

Infosys ATP Insights shows how the Spaniard comes back from 40/0 down better than anyone

It’s the toughest stat in tennis. It’s basically a one out of 100 shot in the dark...

This specific situation is so rough for players in the Top 50 of the ATP Rankings that achieving it just once in half a season is considered a success. Quite a few players at the elite level of our sport actually fail to even get on the board.

What statistic could be so diabolical? Breaking serve from a 40/0 scoreline.

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An Infosys ATP Insights deep dive of the Top 50 players breaking serve from 40/0 from the start of the 2019 season up to this current week uncovers that they average breaking serve from this black hole just 1.38 per cent (84/6072) of the time. It’s such a dire situation that eight Top 50 (16%) players have failed to accomplish it even once so far in 2019.

Who is the leader of the pack in climbing out this incredibly precarious situation? None other than Rafael Nadal, who is the only player in 2019 to break serve from 40/0 five times. The 10 leading players in the Top 50 who have the best break percentage when returning at 40/0 are highlighted in the table below.

2019 Season: Top 50 Current To This Week - Percentage Breaking From 40/0

Ranking

Player

Game Won Returning From 40/0

Total Games Trailing 40/0

Win Percentage

2

Rafael Nadal

5

102

4.90%

18

David Goffin

4

99

4.04%

37

Laslo Djere

4

120

3.33%

33

Kyle Edmund

3

90

3.33%

36

Cristian Garin

3

99

3.03%

4

Dominic Thiem

3

124

2.42%

6

Kei Nishikori

3

124

2.42%

7

Alexander Zverev

3

132

2.27%

35

Jan-Lennard Struff

3

149

2.01%

38

Alex de Minaur

2

103

1.94%

Special mention must go to Taylor Fritz, who is in the group of players who have broken three times from 40/0 this season. But he has done it from 172 attempts, which drops his overall win percentage down to 13th best, at 1.74 per cent.

The only two players to break more than three times from a 40/0 hole so far in 2019 are No. 18 David Goffin and No. 37 Laslo Djere, who have both broken four times this season. Below is a breakdown of how many times the current Top 50 have broken from 40/0. The most abundant total is two times, accounting for 16 players.

Top 50 Analysis: Total Players Breaking From 40/0
5 breaks from 40/0 = 1 player
4 breaks from 40/0 = 2 players
3 breaks from 40/0 = 8 players
2 breaks from 40/0 = 16 players
1 break from 40/0 = 15 players
0 breaks from 40/0 = 8 players

The moral of the story is to never give up, no matter how much the odds are stacked against you. There is always a way out of the darkest hole.

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