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Medvedev, Berrettini Test World's Best Returners

  • Posted: Sep 16, 2021

When Matteo Berrettini cracks a first serve in the Ad court, it’s basically a coin flip if it is coming back in play or not. When first serves are returned, it’s Stefanos Tsitsipas who reigns supreme, winning almost two out of three points in the Deuce court following his first serve.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of the Top 10 in 2021 uncovers who forces the most unreturned serves and who wins the most points when the first serve is returned back in play in both the Deuce and Ad court. (Detailed data set information can be found at the bottom of this story.)

Deuce Court: 1st Serves Unreturned
Daniil Medvedev leads the Top 10 this season in extracting the most unreturned serves in the Deuce court, at 44.3 per cent (227/512). That total is comprised of 103 aces and 124 returns that did not make it back in play. Sixty-five aces were struck straight down the T, while 38 aces were hit out wide. Matteo Berrettini (44.2%) and Alexander Zverev (43.8%) were both within a percentage point of Medvedev’s leading Deuce court unreturned percentage.


Deuce Court: 1st Serves Unreturned

Top 10 Player Unreturned
D. Medvedev  44.3% 
M. Berrettini 44.2% 
A. Zverev 43.8%
D. Shapovalov 41.3%
A. Rublev 40.4%
C. Ruud  38.7%
S. Tsitsipas  37.8%
P. Carreno Busta 31.8%
N. Djokovic 30.9%
R. Nadal  27.5%


Ad Court: 1st Serves Unreturned
Berrettini surged to the top of the list with first serves unreturned in the Ad court at 46.3 per cent (195/421). The Italian struck 80 aces (47 wide / 33 T) while also collecting 115 wayward returns from his potent first serve. The only two players who were also over the 40 per cent threshold in unreturned serves in the Ad court were Denis Shapovalov (42.7%) and Medvedev (42.6%).


Ad Ct: 1st Serves Unreturned

Top 10 Player  Unreturned
M. Berrettini 46.3% 
D. Shapovalov 42.7%
D. Medvedev 42.6%
A. Zverev  38.4%
A. Rublev  38.1%
S. Tsitsipas  38.1%
C. Ruud  36.8%
R. Nadal 30.4%
P. Carreno Busta                         26.2%
N. Djokovic 25.4%

Deuce Court: 1st Serves Returned & Won Point
When the first serve is put back in play, the returner has gained a valuable foothold in the point. Stefanos Tsitsipas led the field serving in the Deuce court, winning 65 per cent (241/596) of first-serve points that were returned. World No. 1, Novak Djokovic (63.5%), Christian Ruud (62.0%), and Andrey Rublev (61.4%) were the only players to break through the 60 per cent points won barrier when the return came back in play.


Deuce Ct 1st Serves Returned & Won Point

Top 10 Player  Won Point
S. Tsitsipas  65.0%
N. Djokovic 63.5%
C. Ruud  62.0%
A. Rublev  61.4%
M. Berrettini 59.7%
D. Medvedev 59.6%
P. Carreno Busta                         58.1%
A. Zverev 57.4%
R. Nadal  55.5%
D. Shapovalov  54.6%

Ad Court: 1st Serves Returned & Won Point
Twenty-two-year-old Canadian lefty, Shapovalov, led the Top 10 in points won in the Ad court from first serves returned back in play at 63.5 per cent (139/219). Medvedev (62.5%), Tsitsipas (61.8%), Rublev (61.5%) and Berrettini (60.6%) also won north of 60 per cent in the Ad court.


Ad Court
1st Serves Returned & Won Point

Top 10 Player  Won Point
D. Shapovalov  63.5%
D. Medvedev  62.5%
S. Tsitsipas  61.8%
A. Rublev  61.5%
M. Berrettini  60.6% 
A. Zverev  59.3% 
P. Carreno Busta                         58.5%
C. Ruud  57.4% 
N. Djokovic  56.4%
R. Nadal  55.9% 

Traditional tennis statistics such as first serves made and first serves won help us begin to understand a player’s performance behind his first serve. The Infosys Serve Tracker sheds new light on how many first serves do not come back in play, and who performs better when they do. Berrettini and Tsitsipas have risen to be the cream of the Top 10 crop so far this season.

The data set includes 2021 matches from ATP Cup, ATP Masters 1000s, select ATP 500s and 250s played on Hawk-Eye courts. Top 10 players (as of Aug. 23) must have played 20 matches on Hawk-Eye courts to be included. No. 11 Christian Ruud and No. 12 Pablo Carreno Busta take the place of the injured Dominic Thiem (18 matches) and Roger Federer (13 matches).

Editor’s Note: Craig O’Shannessy is the strategy analyst for the Italian Tennis Federation and players including Matteo Berrettini.

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Scouting Report: Murray, Musetti, Medvedev In Action

  • Posted: Sep 16, 2021

After a one-week break following the conclusion of the US Open, the ATP Tour resumes this week, with two ATP 250 events in Metz and Nur-Sultan beginning Monday and the Laver Cup in Boston kicking off Friday.

Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz, Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta and former World No. 1 Andy Murray are among those in action at the Moselle Open, with Alexander Bublik and Aslan Karatsev leading the field at the Astana Open.

At the Laver Cup, Team Europe will look to extend its dominance over Team World, after winning the three previous editions of the tournament. Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Felix Auger-Aliassime are just a few of the players competing in Boston. looks at five things you should watch at each event.

View Metz Draw | View Nur-Sultan Draw

1) Hurkacz Leads The Field: The top seed in Metz is Hurkacz, who is aiming to win his third tour-level title of the season, after triumphing on hard in Delray Beach, before capturing his first ATP Masters 1000 crown in Miami. The Pole fell in the first round on his debut at the indoor-hard event in 2019 and arrives on the back of a second-round exit to Andreas Seppi at the US Open. The 24-year-old will face French wild card Lucas Pouille, who won the title in 2016, or a qualifier in his opening match.

2) Former Champions In Action: Alongside Pouille, two other Frenchmen in the draw have tasted success at the Moselle Open and will look to replicate that again. Former World No. 6 Gilles Simon has clinched the title three times, dropping just one set en route to the crown in 2018, while third seed Gael Monfils triumphed in 2009. Simon faces Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the first round with Monfils, who will aim to build on his run to the third round at Flushing Meadows, starting against Marco Cecchinato or a qualifier.

3) Murray Accepts Wild Card: Having competed in Cincinnati, Winston-Salem and at the US Open in North America, 34-year-old Murray will return to tour-level action in Metz after accepting a wild card into the ATP 250 event. The Scot has competed in seven tour-level tournaments this season, with his best result a run to the third round at Wimbledon. The World No. 116 will face sixth-seeded Frenchman Ugo Humbert in the first round.

4) Carreno Busta Targeting More Success: The second seed reached the quarter-finals at the Moselle Open in 2019 and will look to go further this week as he targets his third tour-level title of the season. The Spaniard, who defeated Novak Djokovic to win the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, has lifted trophies in Marbella and Hamburg this year and begins against Winston-Salem finalist Mikael Ymer or Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

5) Kontinen and McLachlan Team: In the doubles draw, Henri Kontinen and Ben McLachlan lead the field as the top seeds as they compete together for the first time, facing Matt Reid and Ken Skupski in the first round. Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic are the second seeds, while Oliver Marach and Philipp Oswald are seeded third. Australians Luke Saville and John-Patrick Smith are the fourth seeds.

1) Bublik Holds Home Hopes: Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik will look to regain his form on home soil in Nur-Sultan, having suffered a slight blip following a strong start to the season, in which the 24-year-old reached finals in Antalya and Singapore. The second seed opens against Miomir Kecmanovic or Fernando Verdasco and could face Dusan Lajovic in the semi-finals.

2) Karatsev Aiming For Strong Finish: Karatsev currently sits in 12th place in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin and will need a strong finish to the season if he is going to qualify for the 2021 Nitto ATP Finals. The top seed, who won his maiden tour-level title in Dubai in March, fell to #NextGenATP American Jenson Brooksby in a five-set thriller at the US Open earlier this month. The 28-year-old will face Emiil Ruusuvuori or Benjamin Bonzi in his opening match.

3) Musetti Making Debut: #NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti will make his debut in Nur-Sultan as he continues his push to qualify for the 2021 Next Gen ATP Finals on home soil. The 19-year-old, who has reached semi-finals in Acapulco and Lyon this year, is in sixth place in the ATP Race To Milan, after reaching the second round at the US Open.

4) Reigning Champion Returns: Australian John Millman has fond memories in Nur-Sultan, having lifted his first tour-level title at the first edition of the event last year. The 32-year-old reached the quarter-finals in Washington last month and returns this week to Kazakhstan to try and defend his title, starting against a qualifier.

5) Ivashka Arrives In-Form: Ilya Ivashka, currently at a career-high No. 53 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, arrives in form after cruising to his first ATP Tour title in Winston-Salem, before reaching the third round at the US Open. The 27-year-old has won eight of his last nine matches and will aim to improve this record in Metz.

1) Medvedev Makes Debut: Medvedev will return to action less than two weeks after winning his maiden major title at the US Open earlier this month as he makes his debut at the Laver Cup. The Russian, who defeated Novak Djokovic in the final at Flushing Meadows, has compiled an 18-2 record since Wimbledon.

2) Tsitsipas and Zverev Return: In 2019, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev both competed for Team Europe as they defeated Team World to win the title for the third time. The pair will reunite this week in Boston as they aim to extend their dominance over Team World. Zverev arrives in form, having captured his fifth ATP Masters 1000 crown in Cincinnati, before enjoying a run to the semi-finals at the US Open.

3) Canadians Competing For Team World: Canada’s Denis Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime will look to lead Team World to a first victory at the Laver Cup, with the latter full of confidence after he reached his first major semi-final at Flushing Meadows. It will be the third time Shapovalov has competed at the event, after starring in 2017 and 2019.

4) Others To Watch: Fresh off his rise into the Top 5 of the FedEx ATP Rankings, Andrey Rublev is part of Team Europe’s squad, with Matteo Berrettini and Norway’s Casper Ruud in action, too. Big-serving Americans Reilly Opelka and John Isner will compete for Team World alongside Diego Schwartzman and Nick Kyrgios.

5) Borg & McEnroe Lead The Teams: Former World No. 1 Bjorn Borg and seven-time major champion John McEnroe will captain the teams again for a fourth time. Borg will hope Team Europe can replicate their dominant form this week, after Zverev secured its third-straight victory in the final match of the 2019 event.

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Medvedev, Tsitsipas Unite On Team Europe At Laver Cup; All You Need To Know

  • Posted: Sep 16, 2021

Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas headline the fourth edition of the Laver Cup, to be held 24-26 September in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Laver Cup field includes four other Top 10 players, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev, Matteo Berrettini and Casper Ruud, who will join Medvedev and Tsitsipas on Team Europe. Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Diego Schwartzman lead the charge for Team World.

Team Europe has won all three previous editions of the tournament, with Zverev overcoming Milos Raonic to seal their victory in 2019. Team World captain John McEnroe will be hoping to end Team Europe’s run of dominance in America.

Here’s what you need to know about the Laver Cup: what is the schedule, where to watch, who is playing and more.

Established: 2017

Tournament Dates: 24-26 September 2021

Tournament Director: Derek Fisher

Who Is Playing
Team Europe: Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev, Matteo Berrettini, Casper Ruud
Team World: Diego Schwartzman, Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Reilly Opelka, John Isner, Nick Kyrgios

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Schedule (View On Official Website)
Friday, September 24: 1pm Match 1 (singles) followed by Match 2 (singles)
Friday, September 24: 7pm, Match 3 (singles) followed by Match 4 (doubles)
Saturday, September 25: 1pm, Match 5 (singles) followed by Match 6 (singles)
Saturday, September 25: 7pm, Match 7 (singles) followed by Match 8 (doubles)
Sunday, September 26: 12pm, Match 9 (doubles) followed by Match 10 (singles), Match 11 (singles), Match 12 (singles). If points are even, then there will be a one-set doubles decider.

How To Watch
TV Schedule

Venue: TD Garden
Surface: Indoor Hard

Both singles and doubles are best-of-three sets with ad scoring. The third set is a 10-point Match Tie-break.

Each match win will be worth one point on Friday, two points on Saturday and three points on Sunday. If points are tied at 12-all on Day 3, a doubles set with ad-scoring and a tie-break will decide the Laver Cup champion. The winning team must reach 13 points.

Each player will play at least one singles match during the first two days. No player will play singles more than twice during the three days. At least four of the six players must play doubles. No doubles combination can be played more than once, unless for the Decider on Day 3, if points are 12-all. Match-ups will be determined prior to the first match each day through the exchange of lineup cards by the captains.

2019 Laver Cup
Team Europe d Team World 13-11
Clinching result: Alexander Zverev d Milos Raonic 6-4, 3-6, 10-4 Read More

Laver Cup
Photo Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Hashtag: #LaverCup
Facebook: @LaverCup
Twitter: @LaverCup
Instagram: @lavercup

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Hurkacz, Carreno Busta Headline Field In Metz; All You Need To Know

  • Posted: Sep 16, 2021

Former champions and established stars are heading to northern France for a shot at the title at the Moselle Open, an ATP 250 indoor-hard event in Metz.

Held from 20-26 September, Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz will lead the field, while Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta will be aiming to capture his third ATP Tour title of the season and first one hard.

Former World No. 1 Andy Murray will be competing after accepting a wild card and Ugo Humbert will be leading French hopes on home soil, with four-time champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and 2009 winner Gael Monfils also in action.

Established: 2003

Tournament Dates: 20-26 September 2021

Tournament Director: Julien Boutter

Draw Ceremony: Saturday, 18 September at 6:30 p.m.

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Schedule (View On Official Website)
* Qualifying: Sunday, 19 September – Monday, 20 September at 11:00 a.m.
* Main Draw: Monday, 20 September – Sunday, 26 September at 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
* Doubles Final: TBC
* Singles Final: Sunday, 26 September at TBC

How To Watch
Watch Live On Tennis TV
TV Schedule

Venue: Arenes de Metz
Surface: Indoor Hard

Prize Money: €419,470
(Total Financial Commitment: €481,270)

View Who Is Playing, Past Champions, Seeds, Points & Prize Money Breakdown

Honour Roll (Open Era)
Most Titles, Singles: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (4)
Most Titles, Doubles: Nicolas Mahut, Edouard Roger-Vasselin (4)
Oldest Champion: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 34, in 2019
Youngest Champion: Novak Djokovic, 19, in 2006
Highest-Ranked Champion: No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2012
Lowest-Ranked Champion: No. 185 Jerome Haehnel in 2004
Last Home Champion: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2019
Most Match Wins: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (23)

2019 Finals
Singles: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) d Aljaz Bedene (SVN) 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 6-3 Read More
Doubles: Robert Lindstedt (SWE) / Jan-Lennard Struff (DEU) d Nicolas Mahut (FRA) / Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 2-6, 7-6(1), 10-4 Read More

Hashtag: #MO
Facebook: @moselleopen
Twitter: @MoselleOpen
Instagram: @moselleopen

Did You Know?

Renowned for its yellow limestone architecture and for its reputation as ‘The Green City,’ Metz is a must-see French destination for international visitors.

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Bublik, Karatsev Descend On Nur-Sultan; All You Need To Know

  • Posted: Sep 16, 2021

Home favourite Alexander Bublik will be aiming to capture his first tour-level title on home soil in Kazakhstan at the Astana Open, with Russia’s Aslan Karatsev also competing at the indoor-hard ATP event from 20-26 September.

In the second edition of the tournament, Hamburg finalist Filip Krajinovic and reigning champion John Millman will all be in action, too.

Belarusian Ilya Ivashka will be targeting a second tour-level title, having triumphed at the Winston-Salem Open, while #NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti will hope for a strong run as he aims to strengthen his position in the ATP Race To Milan.

Established: 2020

Tournament Dates: 20-26 September 2021

Tournament Director: Dmitriy Savchuk

Draw Ceremony: Saturday, 18 September at TBC.

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Schedule (View On Official Website)
* Qualifying: Sunday, 19 September – Monday, 20 September at 12:00 p.m.
* Main Draw: Monday, 20 September – Sunday, 26 September, Monday-Thursday 12:00 p.m., Friday 1:00 p.m., Saturday 2:00 p.m., Sunday 12:00p.m.
* Doubles Final: Sunday, 26 September at 12:00 p.m.
* Singles Final: Sunday, 26 September at 2:30 p.m.

How To Watch
Watch Live On Tennis TV
TV Schedule

Venue: National Tennis Center
Surface: Indoor Hard

Prize Money: $480,000
(Total Financial Commitment: $541,800)

View Who Is Playing, Past Champions, Seeds, Points & Prize Money Breakdown

Honour Roll (Open Era)
Most Titles, Singles: John Millman (1)
Most Titles, Doubles: Sander Gille, Joran Vliegen (1)
Oldest Champion: John Millman, 31, in 2020
Youngest Champion: John Millman, 31, in 2020
Highest-Ranked Champion: No. 45 John Millman in 2020
Lowest-Ranked Champion: No. 45 John Millman in 2020
Last Home Champion: NA
Most Match Wins: John Millman (4)

2020 Finals
Singles: [4] John Millman (AUS) d [3] Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 7-5, 6-1 Read More
Doubles: [1] Sander Gille (BEL) / Joran Vliegen (BEL) d Max Purcell (AUS) / Luke Saville (AUS) 7-5 6-3 Read More

Hashtag: #AstanaOpen
Facebook: @kaztennis

Did You Know?

The Astana Open was given an additional single-year licence for 2021 after it was one of four new ATP 250 events added to the 2020 provisional schedule as tennis returned following the suspension of theseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Rublev Continues Russian Charge, Rises Into Top 5

  • Posted: Sep 16, 2021

Russia has two players inside the Top 5 of the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time in almost 20 years, with Andrey Rublev joining second-placed countryman Daniil Medvedev at the top of the men’s game this week.

You have to go back to September 2002 for the last time two Russian men sat inside the Top 5, when Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov were in second and fourth place respectively. Back then, 20-time major champion Roger Federer was still waiting to win his first Slam and #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz was yet to be born.

However, with the success of Rublev, US Open champion Medvedev, Olympic silver medallist Karen Khachanov and World No. 25 Aslan Karatsev, Russian tennis is a dominant force once again.

This season, Russians have won seven tour-level trophies, including the ATP Cup title. For Rublev, the relationships they have built have been a crucial factor.

“All of us have a really great connection,” Rublev told “Especially me, Karen and Daniil because we have known each other since the juniors when we were six or seven years old.

“We knew Aslan from before, but we never really talked that often in the past, but now we are in teams together and see each other on Tour each week in the tournaments, we are having a good connection with Aslan and together.”

While Rublev believes these strong bonds have been important in their success, the 23-year-old insists it ultimately comes down to individual work ethic, with all four following different routes.

“All of us are good friends, but we don’t cross with each other or work with the same guys or follow the same strategy,” Rublev said. “Daniil has his own vision of how to practise. I have my own vision, Karen has his own, Karatsev has his own.

“All of us practise in different places and in the end, all of us found a way to make it. We didn’t all have the same coach until 15. We all just had our own way and it has worked out for us.”

Rublev captured his first victory over Medvedev in his fifth tour-level match against the 25-year-old in the semi-finals in Cincinnati. But he watched from afar when the World No. 2 defeated Novak Djokovic to win his first major title at the US Open last week.

It is a triumph Rublev, who advanced to the third round at Flushing Meadows, hopes will help further grow the sport in Russia.

“I hope now after this, he brings tennis in Russia to the next level,” Rublev said. “For the last three years, tennis in Russia was a lot, but I hope even now after he won a major, it is going to be double. Even more people will follow and even more parents are going to bring kids to tennis.

“I hope tennis will be one of the main sports in Russia like it was when Kafelnikov and Safin played. I can’t even imagine how he is feeling now. I wish, maybe one day I can feel what it feels like, but what he did was unreal.”

Alongside Medvedev, Rublev has enjoyed great success in the past year since first soaring into the Top 10 last October. The 23-year-old won his fourth ATP 500 crown in Rotterdam, before enjoying runs to ATP Masters 1000 finals in Monte-Carlo and Cincinnati.

These results have been crucial in helping Rublev crack the Top 5, with his target now to remain there and finish the season strongly as he aims to qualify for the 2021 Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

“I am working really hard and in the past, I got a bit injured, so it was not easy,” Rublev said. “Now I feel I can play freely and nothing is destroying me. After these years I have fixed everything and am not having injuries and I kept working and, in the end, everything came together.

“I would like to finish the season really strongly, the best I can. I would like to qualify for Turin. I am not thinking about finishing fourth, fifth or sixth. I am just trying to finish as well as I can and then we will see what happens.”

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