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Why Federer & Djokovic Are Different, But Still The Same In Rally Success

  • Posted: Apr 12, 2020

Why Federer & Djokovic Are Different, But Still The Same In Rally Success

Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers takes a closer look at the rally lengths where Federer and Djokovic shine

Roger Federer is a first-strike player who prefers to attack first and ask questions later. Novak Djokovic is a precision baseliner who patiently picks his opponents apart from the back of the court with depth, direction and consistency.

Two different styles – but with almost identical metrics in rallies short and long.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic from 2018-2020 at ATP Tour events on Hawk-Eye courts identifies how incredibly similar their percentages are, even though the way they go about collecting their points is strategically different.

The data set comes from 2,854 ATP matches from 2018-2020 and includes players that have played a minimum of 2,000 points combined in the following three rally lengths.

Rally Lengths
•0-4 shots
•5-8 shots
•9+ shots

0-4 Shot Rallies
This is where you would expect Federer to have a clear edge over Djokovic in winning rallies with a maximum of just four shots – which means each player gets to touch the ball a maximum of just two times. The analysis uncovers that the pair are almost identical with their performance in this key battleground.

Points Won 0-4 Shots
•R. Federer = 53.75% (4,816/8,960)
•N. Djokovic = 53.54% (4,382/8,184)
Gap = 0.21 percentage points

Federer’s lead over Djokovic was right around two tenths of a percentage point, which is infinitesimally small. The leader in this category was Daniil Medvedev, who won 54.98 per cent (5248/9546) of first-strike points.

9+ Shot Rallies
This is where you would expect Djokovic to widen the gap over Federer in their head-to-head win percentages. We all perceive longer rallies to be much more in Djokovic’s wheelhouse than Federer’s. Once again, the numbers show us how our perception does not align with the statistical reality.

Points Won 9+ Shots
•N. Djokovic = 54.63% (1,404/2,570)
•R. Federer = 54.53% (806/1,478)
•Gap = 0.10 percentage points

Amazingly, only a tenth of a percentage point separated the two players. Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka led this category by winning winning 56.57 per cent (784/1386) of these rallies.

5-8 Shot Rallies

Points Won 5-8 Shots
N. Djokovic = 55.51% (2,086/3,758)
•R. Federer = 53.27% (1,840/3,454)
•Gap = 2.24 percentage points

The most separation between the two players was in this medium rally length, with Djokovic edging a couple of percentage points higher than Federer. Rafael Nadal, No. 2 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, led the Tour in this category by winning a dominant 59.71 per cent (1304/2184) of the points.

The data clearly shows that Djokovic is just as accomplished in shorter rallies as Federer is, while Federer has been posting almost identical numbers as Djokovic in rallies that get extended to nine shots or more.

Sometimes you need to go to a stats sheet to really understand the greatness of these two players.

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Wawrinka's Bear Essentials, Thiem's Puppy Time: Tennis At Home Roundup

  • Posted: Apr 12, 2020

Wawrinka’s Bear Essentials, Thiem’s Puppy Time: Tennis At Home Roundup looks at what your favourite players have been up to

Your favourite players are all back at home, but they’re finding plenty of ways to stay active. From Stan Wawrinka’s cuddly backgammon buddy, to Dominic Thiem spending quality time with his dog, find out how the biggest names in tennis are keeping busy.

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Thiem is making sure that his dog stays in shape with him.


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After quarantine Hugo will likely be the fittest dog around here 🐶

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Wawrinka found a partner for an intense game of backgammon.

Novak Djokovic and his wife, Jelena, successfully passed Andy Murray’s 100-volley challenge.

Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan also reached 100 volleys together, but swapped out tennis racquets for cell phones.


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If @andymurray’s #100volleychallenge was too easy for you, here’s Level 2…🏓 #stayhome #stayconnected #razr

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Jamie Murray challenged players and fans to see how skilled they are with a football.

Tennis At Home | How ATP Players Make The Most Of Stay At Home

Stefanos Tsitsipas found new ways to work on his fitness with limited space.

Fabio Fognini took a relaxed approach to working on his volleys.

Casper Ruud had a moment of nostalgia for ice baths.


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Hubert Hurkacz cranked out 300 sit-ups during one of his training sessions.


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#abschallenge #300 @grupa_lotos @emocjedopelna @atptour @tennistv #tennisathome @yonex_tennis #hubi

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Roddick: ‘We Have To Serve Families That Put Their Faith In Us’

  • Posted: Apr 12, 2020

Roddick: ‘We Have To Serve Families That Put Their Faith In Us’

The Andy Roddick Foundation is raising money through its Family Emergency Fund to support families in need in Austin, Texas

In 2000, former World No. 1 Andy Roddick founded the Andy Roddick Foundation to help support underprivileged children. Ever since, the foundation has helped provide high quality out-of-school learning and enrichment opportunities for families that wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford such experiences.

On 3 April, the foundation announced the creation of a Family Emergency Fund to help those families in Austin, Texas, in new ways during the coronavirus pandemic. Roddick tells that even the smallest donation will help. Not only does the closing of schools hurt childhood education, but he says there are families in the area that rely on the two meals per day kids get at school.

“It’s a huge deal. If you think about the cost of groceries, even the smallest donation can cover groceries for a day, which in these times is huge. That was our first goal: we’ve got to replace these two meals a day, to not throw a family that’s already potentially in a stressful situation in a financially stressful situation,” Roddick said. “Thankfully we do plan ahead so we do have a little bit of a runway, but we also have staff and food and there are so many different needs we have to fill right now. Anything we can get helps, and the Austin community has been amazing… Every little bit at this moment in time can make the difference for a family.”

Contribute To The Family Emergency Fund

Roddick and his foundation’s team take pride in following the children and the families they support throughout their growth. Although the typical after-school programs the foundation runs can’t take place now, that doesn’t mean they don’t feel responsible for the well-being of those families.

“We sign up and we want these kids. We start them in kindergarten and we go through fifth grade and our job is to really supplement the parents, giving the families the tools they need to succeed. That doesn’t end at the school bell. That doesn’t end when they walk off campus,” Roddick said. “The families that we serve are the types of families that get hit the hardest during something like this. You have to be able to act quickly, so we had a bunch of emergency strategy meetings with our board, with our staff. It’s a tough thing, because a lot of our value is the person-to-person interaction… We have to continue to serve the families that put their faith in us.”

Tennis At Home | How ATP Players Make The Most Of Stay At Home

The foundation’s programs team has created weekly activity menus to work with teachers, made daily videos to be sent directly to families and posted on social media, and various take-home and student-supply kits have been distributed.

The Family Emergency Fund raised more than $15,000 within three days of its launch last Friday, and foundation staff has extended person-to-person outreach to follow up with networks of individuals, corporations, and foundations to make them aware of the fund.

“We serve a lower socio-economic area in Austin, and those families rely on getting the two meals a day. We’re just getting our final data back now, but some of them, the kids don’t have access to Internet, especially if their parents need it to work. There aren’t enough devices,” Roddick said. “There are constant questions being asked and we’re certainly learning as we go and then we start trying to address the educational piece of it. We still want to service the kids and we don’t want them to have the dive afterwards. We’re all just reacting like everyone else, but we think we were well-positioned to be an agent for help.”

The Andy Roddick Foundation is part of the Austin Community Resiliency Trust, a leadership network of 48 non-profit leaders formed two weeks ago to meet in order to plan the most efficient way to maximise scarce resources and prevent duplication of efforts.

“One of the biggest strengths we have that hasn’t been taken away from us is communication. You still have access to voices. Not physically face to face, but one of the bigger things is if United Way has something that works, Central Texas Food Bank has something that works, they can leverage resources that we have as far as staffing or something else,” Roddick said. “The broader the network, the more resources we have. It was a pretty easy decision to throw our name into a hat.”

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Roddick has been appearing on Tennis Channel throughout the pandemic, and along with wife Brooklyn Decker, they have highlighted good deeds that they have seen posted on social media.

“That’s something that Brooklyn and I were struggling with. On top of what we do for the foundation and financially different things, we were thinking of how we can effect change now,” Roddick said. “It felt so overwhelming to where you can’t control a virus, you can’t be tougher than a virus. There are ways you can try to avoid it, but we were behind the curve. We didn’t know what it was, when it was there. There were so many unknowns, so to be able to take control over something and say, ‘Hey listen, this is small, this is what we’re going to do. We left gifts for delivery people, sent cookies to frontline workers’, these small acts of kindness are kind of needed and if you build enough of a trend you can effect change on a bigger level.”

Roddick has seen charitable acts done by the likes of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, helping the tennis world lead with its philanthropic efforts. The fact that tennis players have been out in front in that way is no surprise to Roddick.

“What it does is I think it puts a magnifying glass on what tennis is doing now, but it’s not a one-off for tennis. Tennis has always stepped up and when I travel around speaking on behalf of the foundation to either other non-profits or conferences, my opening is about how I was lucky to be in the right vacuum,” Roddick said. “When you’re looking at people like Billie Jean King and Arthur Ashe and Andre Agassi and Martina Navratilova and what Venus and Serena have done, tennis has always had that culture… It does elicit a sort of pride to be part of that community, but it also creates a responsibility to do your part.”

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One And Done: Tsitsipas & Co. Brace For Sudden Impact

  • Posted: Apr 12, 2020

One And Done: Tsitsipas & Co. Brace For Sudden Impact

Infosys ATP Insights analyses 10 recent matches from the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion

What is the most common rally length in tennis?

The statistical term is called the mode, and it’s the least known metric in our sport. It’s been hiding in plain sight since tennis began. An Infosys ATP Insights analysis into 10 recent matches of World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas uncovers that a one-shot rally occurs substantially more than any other rally length in a match.

It’s important to note that rally length in our sport is predicated by the ball landing in the court, not hitting the strings. So a “three-shot” rally is a serve in, a return in, and a winner, while a “two-shot” rally is a serve in, a return in, and an error. That explains a “zero-shot” rally, which is a double fault. The ball simply didn’t land in the court.

The 10 matches in the data set are outlined at the bottom of this report.

Tennis At Home | How ATP Players Make The Most Of Stay At Home

When asked to guess about the most abundant rally length, players at all levels of the game typically gravitate to a four-shot rally as their answer. They are not even close…

Tsitsipas and his opponents played almost 30 per cent of total points as a one-shot rally. The serve went in, and it was sometimes an ace, or more commonly a return error. That was almost double the next highest rally length of three shots, which occurred 15.8 per cent of the time.

You would naturally think that if a one-shot rally is the most abundant, then a two-shot rally would logically be next. It’s not. In fact, both three-shot rallies and five-shot rallies rank above two-shot rallies as the most common.

The reason is the “halo effect” of the serve. The serve is such a powerful force at the start of the rally that the third shot and fifth shot, both won by the server, get to feast on the weaker balls from the returner. It’s also important to note that the server can only win odd-numbered rallies, while the returner can only win even-numbered rallies.

Tsitsipas vs. Opponents: 10 Match Rally Length Analysis

Rating Rally Length Total Percentage
1 1 Shot 458 29.8%
2 3 Shots 243 15.8%
3 5 Shots 153 10.0%
4 2 Shots 151 9.8%
5 4 Shots 123 8.0%
6 7 Shots 88 5.7%
7 6 Shots 65 4.2%
8 8 Shots 48 3.1%
9 0 Shots 40 2.6%
10 11 Shots 40 2.6%
11 9 Shots 36 2.3%
12 10 Shots 32 2.1%
13 15+ Shots 26 1.7%
14 12 Shots 15 1.0%
15 13 Shots 13 0.8%
16 14 Shots 6 0.4%
Total/Percentage 1,537 100.0%

Overall, Tsitsipas lost slightly more of the 458 points in the dominant one-shot rally length, even though he won 70 per cent (7/10) of the matches.

Tsitsipas vs. Opponents: One-Shot Rallies

Player Rallies Won Percentage
S. Tsitsipas 226 49.3%
Opponents 232 50.7%

It’s interesting to note that only three rally lengths made it to double digits. Those were one shot (29.8%), three shots (15.8%), and five shots (10.0%). They may as well be a roadmap for what players need to focus on most when they step onto the practice court.

2019/2020: 10 Match Snapshot: Stefanos Tsitsipas

Event Win/Loss Score
Dubai 2020 Win d. J. Struff 46 64 64
Marseille 2020 Win d. F. Auger-Aliassime 63 64
Rotterdam 2020 Loss l to. A. Bedene 75 64
Nitto ATP Finals 2019 Win d. D. Thiem 67(6) 62 76
Paris 2019 Loss l to. N. Djokovic 61 62
Paris 2019 Win d. A. de Minaur 63 64
Shanghai 2019 Win d. N. Djokovic 36 75 63
Shanghai 2019 Win d. H. Hurkacz 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(5)
Shanghai 2019 Win d. F. Auger-Aliassime 76(3) 76(3)
Beijing 2019 Loss l to. D. Thiem 36 64 61

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