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Isner The King Of Serving In 2018

  • Posted: Dec 24, 2018

Isner The King Of Serving In 2018

Best of 2018 Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers: Part 2

On Sunday, 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.

 Player  Aces  Matches
 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’s 2018 In Review series.

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Johanna Konta: British number one hopes to be 'better equipped'

  • Posted: Dec 24, 2018

British number one Johanna Konta hopes she will be “better equipped to deal with challenges on court” after linking up with new coach Dimitri Zavialoff.

Konta hired Zavialoff on a permanent basis after reaching the Kremlin Cup semi-finals in October while working with him on a trial.

She says they have had a “very strong pre-season” which leaves her positive about her chances in 2019.

“He is teaching me to be quite self-sufficient on court,” said Konta, 27.

“It is much more of a partnership than I have had in previous coaching relationships.”

Konta, who parted company with American coach Michael Joyce in October, reached a career-high ranking of fourth in 2017 but goes into the new year 37th.

“I think last season I didn’t have many quarter-final or semi-final opportunities so getting to the end of a tournament was definitely a good feeling to have in the last tournament of the year,” she said.

“We’ve been in this place many times, and it doesn’t always guarantee that it kicks off well, but I definitely feel I’ve had a very strong pre-season so that has given me a good chance to have a good overall 2019.”

Frenchman Zavialoff was Stan Wawrinka’s first coach, and also helped Timea Bacsinszky break into the world’s top 10.

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