Isner The King Of Serving In 2018
On Sunday, ATPTour.com looked at how the Top 10 players in the ATP Rankings stacked up against one another statistically in 2018. Continuing our 2018 in Review series, we take a broader look at the ATP Tour, using Infosys ATP Scores & Stats to examine which players on the entire circuit excelled in all of the key service and return categories this year, and how that helped shape their results.
All statistics are based off of Infosys ATP Scores & Stats’ Individual Match Stats Leaderboard, which includes players who competed in a minimum of 40 tour-level main draw matches in 2018.
Service Games Won
Roger Federer has finished inside the Top 10 in service games won in every year since 2002 with the exception of 2016, in which he missed time due to injury, and therefore did not qualify for the Individual Match Stats Leaderboard. At 37 years old, Federer won a higher rate of service games than anyone except 6’10” John Isner. Isner’s 93.6 winning percentage in service games is the best rate of his career.
|Player||Service Games Won||Service Games||Winning %|
|1. John Isner||805||860||93.6%|
|2. Roger Federer||686||753||91.1%|
|3. Milos Raonic||533||587||90.8%|
|4. Kevin Anderson||847||951||89.1%|
|5. Juan Martin del Potro||672||767||87.6%|
Two players cracked the 1,000-aces benchmark for the fourth time in five seasons. Isner was one of those two players in three of those four years.
|1. John Isner||1,213||54|
|2. Kevin Anderson||1,082||66|
|3. Milos Raonic||788||45|
|4. Nick Kyrgios||713||36|
|5. Karen Khachanov||655||66|
*does not abide by 40-match rule
First-Serve Points Won
Milos Raonic had previously led the ATP Tour in first-serve points won three times (2011-13). But the Canadian set a career-best mark by claiming 83.0 per cent of those points this year.
|Player||First-Serve Points Won||First-Serve Points||Winning %|
|1. Milos Raonic||1,756||2,116||83.0%|
|2. John Isner||2,914||3,600||80.9%|
|3. Roger Federer||2,208||2,753||80.2%|
|4. Kevin Anderson||2,995||3,772||79.4%|
|5. Marin Cilic||2,318||2,934||79.0%|
Second-Serve Points Won
Perhaps this Top 5 list is no surprise, as Isner, Federer, Raonic, Kevin Anderson and Juan Martin del Potro are five of the biggest servers on the ATP Tour. But could you guess who was sixth and seventh in second-serve points won in 2018? It was two players who stand 5’10”: Philipp Kohlschreiber (56.6%) and Kei Nishikori (54.9%).
|Player||Second-Serve Points Won||Second-Serve Points||Winning %|
|1. John Isner||772||1,296||59.6%|
|2. Roger Federer||988||1,686||58.6%|
|3. Milos Raonic||699||1,230||56.8%|
|4. Kevin Anderson||896||1,578||56.8%|
|5. Juan Martin del Potro||968||1,710||56.6%|
Return Games Won
One year ago, Argentine Diego Schwartzman announced himself as one of the best returners in the world, winning a higher rate of return games than anyone. And in 2018, he backed up that performance, finishing second in the category behind only Rafael Nadal and climbing as high as No. 11 in the ATP Rankings.
|Player||Return Games Won||Return Games||Winning %|
|1. Rafael Nadal||216||591||36.6%|
|2. Diego Schwartzman||207||675||30.7%|
|3. David Goffin||160||524||30.5%|
|4. Novak Djokovic||246||813||30.3%|
|5. Fabio Fognini||236||802||29.4%|
Break Points Converted
Break points are as pressure-filled as they come in tennis, and Frenchman Gael Monfils did the best job of converting his opportunities in 2018. For nearly every one in two chances he had this season, ‘La Monf’ was able to capture a break. Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev broke serve more than anyone else, doing so 252 times at a rate of 42.1 per cent, which places him in 12th place on this list.
|Player||Break Points Won||Break Points||Winning %|
|1. Gael Monfils||149||321||46.4%|
|2. David Goffin||160||348||46.0%|
|3. Adrian Mannarino||131||287||45.6%|
|4. Rafael Nadal||216||474||45.6%|
|5. Jan-Lennard Struff||118||264||44.7%|
First-Return Points Won
If someone told you that two players have finished inside the Top 5 in first-return points won in each of the past two seasons, Nadal would be a fairly safe guess as one of those players. But the second is Damir Dzumhur, who finished inside the Top 50 of the ATP Rankings for the second consecutive year. He also earned his third ATP Tour title at the Turkish Airlines Open Antalya.
|Player||First-Serve Return Points Won||First-Serve Return Points||Winning %|
|1. Rafael Nadal||865||2,425||35.7%|
|2. Novak Djokovic||1,191||3,463||34.4%|
|3. Damir Dzumhur||838||2,568||32.6%|
|4. David Goffin||688||2,117||32.5%|
|5. Alexander Zverev||1,156||3,568||32.4%|
Second-Return Points Won
Frenchman Gilles Simon enjoyed a resurgent year, climbing from No. 89 to No. 30 in the ATP Rankings. He can credit some of that success to his performance returning second serves, winning 54.3 per cent of those points. The last time Simon cracked the Top 10 in this category in a season was 2009, when he claimed 53.8 per cent of second-serve return points.
|Player||Second-Serve Ret Pts Won||Second-Serve Ret Pts||Winning %|
|1. Rafael Nadal||859||1,518||56.6%|
|2. Diego Schwartzman||982||1,761||55.8%|
|3. Novak Djokovic||1,148||2,106||54.5%|
|4. Gilles Simon||963||1,774||54.3%|
|5. Roberto Bautista Agut||807||1,492||54.1%|
View the rest of ATPTour.com’s 2018 In Review series.