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Rafael Nadal remains one of the most imposing players on the ATP Tour in return games.

When The Score Is Deuce, Nadal Steps Up On Return

Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers looks at Nadal's clutch play in close return games

The longer it goes, the more Rafael Nadal thrives.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of players who break serve the most after extending service games to Deuce identifies that Nadal has no peer. The data set includes players who have had a minimum of 100 attempts to break from Deuce in the past five seasons from 2015-2019.

Nadal is the only player to break through the 40 percentile barrier with this specific metric, breaking serve 41.39 per cent (382/923) of the time when pushing the game to Deuce. And once you isolate the Spaniard just on clay, that percentage fast approaches a dead-even contest.

2015 - 2019: Nadal Breaking Serve From Deuce
Clay = 48.72% (190/390)
Hard = 35.12% (164/467)
Grass = 42.42% (28/66)
Combined = 41.39% (382/923)

Nadal has actually been above 50 per cent breaking from Deuce on clay in four of the past five seasons (2019, 2018, 2017, 2015), with the highest being 52.56 per cent (41/78) in 2018.

Andy Murray is ranked second overall in the past five seasons on all surfaces, breaking serve 38.10 per cent (253/664) of the time from Deuce. Murray is the hard-court leader in this category, breaking serve 37.56 per cent (157/418) on this surface from 2015-2019. The Brit was also the single-season leader in 2016, when he broke serve almost 44 per cent of the time from Deuce. The leaders over the past five seasons are.

2015-2019: Single Season Leader
2015: Rafael Nadal = 44.93% (93/207)
2016: Andy Murray = 43.86% (100/228)
2017: Yoshihito Nishioka = 48.84% (21/43)
2018: Rafael Nadal = 46.54% (74/159)
2019: Rafael Nadal = 41.12% (81/197)

Novak Djokovic sits in third place overall, breaking serve 36.62 per cent (377/1038) of the time from Deuce on all surfaces. 23-year-old Chilean Cristian Garin impressively sits in fourth position, breaking 36.25 per cent (58/160) of the time. Garin currently boasts a career-best FedEx ATP Ranking of No. 18 after winning the Cordoba Open and Rio Open.

The leading 10 players breaking from Deuce over the past five seasons are:

2015-2019: Breaking Serve From Deuce

#

Player

Break % From Deuce

Breaks Total

1

Rafael Nadal

41.39%

382/923

2

Andy Murray

40.38%

253/664

3

Novak Djokovic

36.62%

377/1038

4

Cristian Garin

36.25%

58/160

5

Damir Dzumhur

35.82%

197/550

6

Yoshihito Nishioka

35.14%

104/296

7

Richard Gasquet

35.07%

229/653

8

Fabio Fognini

34.14%

267/782

9

David Goffin

34.10%

313/918

10

Diego Schwartzman

34.06%

264/775

Pushing the server to Deuce is not an easy task in itself. These players are the best of the best at going the extra step and securing the break after an extended arm wrestle to Deuce and beyond.

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