Five Stats That Explain Thiem's Win Over Nadal, Barcelona Title
Dominic Thiem’s collective body of work in Barcelona was scary good.
Thiem won the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell for the first time, defeating five opponents along the way without dropping a set. It was a foreboding performance for the rest of the Tour, with ATP Masters 1000 events in Madrid and Rome building towards ultimate clay-court glory at Roland Garros.
An Infosys ATP Beyond the Numbers analysis of Thiem’s run in Barcelona uncovered five interesting stats that provide a deeper understanding of just how good he is playing at the moment.
Dominic Thiem’s Barcelona Draw
Rd32 d. No. 25 Diego Schwartzman (ARG) 6-3, 6-3
Rd16 d. No. 57 Jaume Munar (ESP) 7-5, 6-1
QF d. No. 28 Guido Pella (ARG) 7-5, 6-2
SF d. No. 2 Rafael Nadal (ESP) 6-4, 6-4
F d. No. 14 Daniil Medvedev (RUS) 6-4, 6-0
1. Double Faults Dried Up
Thiem hit 89 second serves in the five matches, winning an impressive 62 per cent (55/89). As a comparison, he won only 53 per cent (1211/2300) of second-serve points in the full 2018 season.
A big part of the improved win percentage was reducing double faults. Thiem committed only two double faults from 89 second serves in 46 service games in Barcelona.
2. Return Game On Point
Against five accomplished opponents who know their way around a clay court, Thiem dismantled their advantage when serving, winning exactly half of all first- and second-serve points combined. Against Schwartzman in the Round of 32, Thiem won 56 per cent (38/68) of all return points.
Thiem: Barcelona Five Matches
First-Serve Return Points Won = 45% (93/206)
Second-Serve Return Points Won = 57% (66/115)
Overall = 50% (159/321)
3. Building A Lead = Unstoppable
Thiem was broken only six times for the tournament, saving 68 per cent (13/19) of break points that he faced. When Thiem got ahead in his service games, opponents could not find a way to reel him back in to break serve.
Holding Serve From:
30/0 = 16/16
40/0 = 11/11
40/15 = 16/16
40/30 = 16/16
4. One Point Won Returning Made Him The Favourite
When Thiem won the opening point of his opponents' service games, moving the score to 0/15, he was able to break serve 60 per cent (18/30) of the time. If he won the next point for 0/30, that break percentage rose up to 77 per cent (10/13). He was jumping on opponents' service games early and not letting go.
5. Total Points Won = 58 Per Cent
In the 2019 season prior to Barcelona, Thiem’s match record was 9-6, with a title at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Thiem had won just 51 per cent (1165/2300) of total points coming into Barcelona, but that elevated all the way up to 58 per cent in Spain.
Points Won Winning 2019 Titles
Indian Wells (Six matches) = 54.6% (405/742)
Barcelona (Five matches) = 57.6% (350/608)
All aspects of Thiem’s game are firing at the moment. It’s a case of come catch him if you can for the rest of the clay-court season.