Nadal, Federer Dominate The Break Points Better Than Anyone

Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers shows how the two all-time champions make their money when a lot is on the line

Rafael Nadal was the king of break points in 2018.

The 32-year-old Spaniard finished the season at No. 2 in the ATP Rankings with a 45-4 record, including five titles. He also earned more than $8.6 million dollars in prize money. Nadal's outstanding performance in the crucible of break points – both when serving and receiving – was a major reason.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of Nadal on break points in 2018 uncovered that he finished second best on tour this year with break points saved, and third best with break points converted.

Rafael Nadal: 2018 Season
No. 2:
Break Points Saved = 70.46% (198//281)
No. 3: Break Points Converted = 45.57% (216/474)

The following analysis combines break points saved when serving along with converting break points when receiving into one number. As you will see from the table below, which includes the best 10 players in this combined metric, Nadal’s separation on break point is evident.

2018 Season: Combined Total - Break Points Saved & Converted

#

Player

Break Points Saved

Break Points Converted

Combined Total

1

Rafael Nadal

70.46%

45.57%

116.03

2

Roger Federer

68.49%

41.88%

110.37

3

Pierre-Hugues Herbert

66.56%

41.74%

108.30

4

Steve Johnson

70.75%

36.3%

107.05

5

Pablo Carreno Busta

62.57%

44.21%

106.78

6

Kei Nishikori

62.85%

42.63%

105.48

7

Borna Coric

62.18%

43.23%

105.41

8

Roberto Bautista Agut

63.64%

41.76%

105.40

9

Adrian Mannarino

59.25%

45.64%

104.89

10

Gael Monfils

58.42%

46.42%

104.84

Roger Federer finished second best with the combined total (110.37), which helped power the Swiss to an end-of-season ATP ranking of No. 3. He also spent six weeks at No. 1 earlier in the year.

Gael Monfils finished 10th best in the combined totals list, and actually finished first in Break Points Converted for all players on tour in 2018, winning 46.42 per cent (149/321). Steve Johnson was the tour leader in Break Points Saved, at 70.75 per cent (208/294).

Nadal and Federer both had an outstanding win rate on break points in 2018.

2018: Nadal & Federer - Percentage of Break Points Played

Players

Total Points Played

Break Points Played

% of Break Points

R. Nadal

7728

755

9.76%

R. Federer

9377

637

6.79%

The illustrious careers of both Nadal and Federer have been built around winning the big points, and 2018 was no exception.