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Better All The Time: Isner's Mind-Bogging Serve Stats

  • Posted: Dec 07, 2018

Better All The Time: Isner’s Mind-Bogging Serve Stats

Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers shows how the American continues to improve on serve

John Isner has averaged north of 1,000 aces per season for the past 10 years and just posted his second highest ace total to finish 2018.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of Isner’s prodigious serving identifies that he hit 1,213 aces this year, which is second only to the 1,260 he crushed in 2015. He has averaged 1,024 aces per season during the past decade, which firmly cements his place as one of the biggest servers our sport has ever seen.

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Isner led the tour in most aces hit for the third straight season, and has now finished first in the category in six of the past 10 seasons. If anything, his serve is getting better, as he has not dipped below 1,000 aces in the past four seasons, after being under that mark in the previous three years.

Isner won the biggest title of his career earlier this season at the Miami Open presented by Itau, hitting 78 aces while committing just eight double faults in 70 service games to win his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title.

Isner

Isner narrowly finished second this season to Ivo Karlovic on the ATP Serve LEADERBOARD, powered by Infosys Nia Data, with the average amount of aces hit per match.

2018: Average Aces Per Match
Ivo Karlovic = 22.7
John Isner = 22.5
Nick Kyrgios = 19.8
Milos Raonic = 17.5
Kevin Anderson =16.4

Isner’s 2018 average aces per match total was his second highest in the past 10 years, and was a major driving force for the 33-year-old American qualifying for his first Nitto ATP Finals in London last month, and enjoying a career-high ranking of No. 8 in July.

Read & Watch: Isner Surges To Historic Miami Title

Isner’s average aces per match has steadily climbed during the past decade.

John Isner – Average Aces Per Match
2018 = 22.5
2017 = 19.7
2016 = 23.2
2015 = 18.5
2014 = 17.4
2013 = 16.3
2012 = 16.8
2011 = 14.7
2010 = 17.5
2009 = 14.5

Isner now sits in second place on the all-time ace list with 10,937 aces from 609 matches. The only man ahead of him is 39-year-old Karlovic, who has 12,936 aces from 657 matches. Two quality seasons from Isner, and that 1,999 ace gap could quickly vanish.

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Surprise! Goffin Celebrates 28th Birthday In Monte-Carlo

  • Posted: Dec 07, 2018

Surprise! Goffin Celebrates 28th Birthday In Monte-Carlo

Goffin is in Monte-Carlo preparing for the 2019 season

David Goffin is hard at work in Monte-Carlo, preparing for the 2019 season. But on Friday, the Belgian got a special surprise after practice.

ATP and the Monte-Carlo Country Club celebrated Goffin’s 28th birthday during the ATP Training Camp at the facility, as chefs from the club prepared racquet and tennis ball-shaped cakes to be presented by various staff including Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters Tournament Director Zeljko Franulovic.

Van Cleemput Goffin

Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych and Monaco’s Romain Arneodo paused training to join in the celebration. Goffin was also given a Moet & Chandon Magnum to commemorate the day.

Now, it will be back to work for the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up. Goffin is well into his offseason training, posting videos on his social media accounts showing him rock climbing in the local mountains, stretching while suspended in midair, ziplining, and doing conditioning work at Club 39 and Stade Louis II.

In 2019, Goffin will try to finish inside the Top 25 of the ATP Rankings for the sixth consecutive year. The World No. 22 last competed in Shenzhen due to a bone edema.

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Surprise! Goffin Celebrates 28th Birthday In Monte-Carlo

  • Posted: Dec 07, 2018

Surprise! Goffin Celebrates 28th Birthday In Monte-Carlo

Goffin is in Monte-Carlo preparing for the 2019 season

David Goffin is hard at work in Monte-Carlo, preparing for the 2019 season. But on Friday, the Belgian got a special surprise after practice.

ATP and the Monte-Carlo Country Club celebrated Goffin’s 28th birthday during the ATP Training Camp at the facility, as chefs from the club prepared racquet and tennis ball-shaped cakes to be presented by various staff including Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters Tournament Director Zeljko Franulovic.

Van Cleemput Goffin

Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych and Monaco’s Romain Arneodo paused training to join in the celebration. Goffin was also given a Moet & Chandon Magnum to commemorate the day.

Now, it will be back to work for the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up. Goffin is well into his offseason training, posting videos on his social media accounts showing him rock climbing in the local mountains, stretching while suspended in midair, ziplining, and doing conditioning work at Club 39 and Stade Louis II.

In 2019, Goffin will try to finish inside the Top 25 of the ATP Rankings for the sixth consecutive year. The World No. 22 last competed in Shenzhen due to a bone edema.

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Guga Named One Of GQ Brasil's Men Of The Year

  • Posted: Dec 07, 2018

Guga Named One Of GQ Brasil’s Men Of The Year

Kuerten was also honoured by the magazine in 2015

Gustavo Kuerten accomplished a lot on the ATP World Tour, from lifting 20 tour-level titles and ascending to No. 1 in the ATP Rankings to collecting nearly $15 million in prize money and endearing himself to countless fans around the world. But now, the 42-year-old can call himself one of GQ Brasil’s Men of The Year for the second time.

In 2015, the three-time Roland Garros winner was named Man of the Year in the social responsibility category. But this year, Kuerten was honoured in the GQ Icon category.

It’s important to note that Kuerten has long been respected for his efforts on the court — after his 2001 victory in Paris, Brazil issued a postage stamp of him with the Eiffel Tower in the background. But Kuerten has taken even more pride in his character. In 2000, the star founded the Gustavo Kuerten Institute to support children and the disabled.

“I am convinced that I was privileged, had conditions that few have without having to do much more than dedicate myself to my mission,” Kuerten told GQ Brasil. “It gives me the certainty that the least I can do is to serve these 700 children at the Institute better and better.”

While Kuerten knows he will be remembered for his triumphs on the court, he is focused on creating even more of a legacy off of it.

“The relation of the Brazilian is with the result, not with the sport. This is cruel, dehumanises the athlete. If he wins, he is deified, if he loses, he is execrated,” Kuerten said. “The athlete needs to return to a more normal cycle of existence. Otherwise, life moves you to a fictitious, superficial and finite path.”

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Guga Named One Of GQ Brasil's Men Of The Year

  • Posted: Dec 07, 2018

Guga Named One Of GQ Brasil’s Men Of The Year

Kuerten was also honoured by the magazine in 2015

Gustavo Kuerten accomplished a lot on the ATP World Tour, from lifting 20 tour-level titles and ascending to No. 1 in the ATP Rankings to collecting nearly $15 million in prize money and endearing himself to countless fans around the world. But now, the 42-year-old can call himself one of GQ Brasil’s Men of The Year for the second time.

In 2015, the three-time Roland Garros winner was named Man of the Year in the social responsibility category. But this year, Kuerten was honoured in the GQ Icon category.

It’s important to note that Kuerten has long been respected for his efforts on the court — after his 2001 victory in Paris, Brazil issued a postage stamp of him with the Eiffel Tower in the background. But Kuerten has taken even more pride in his character. In 2000, the star founded the Gustavo Kuerten Institute to support children and the disabled.

“I am convinced that I was privileged, had conditions that few have without having to do much more than dedicate myself to my mission,” Kuerten told GQ Brasil. “It gives me the certainty that the least I can do is to serve these 700 children at the Institute better and better.”

While Kuerten knows he will be remembered for his triumphs on the court, he is focused on creating even more of a legacy off of it.

“The relation of the Brazilian is with the result, not with the sport. This is cruel, dehumanises the athlete. If he wins, he is deified, if he loses, he is execrated,” Kuerten said. “The athlete needs to return to a more normal cycle of existence. Otherwise, life moves you to a fictitious, superficial and finite path.”

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Rivalries of 2018: Cilic vs. Djokovic

  • Posted: Dec 07, 2018

Rivalries of 2018: Cilic vs. Djokovic

ATP World Tour Season In Review: Best Rivalries

Continuing our Season In Review series, ATPWorldTour.com revisits the fiercest rivalries of 2018. Today we feature Marin Cilic vs. Novak Djokovic.

Marin Cilic and Novak Djokovic were both aiming for big pushes in 2018 — one to break into the Top 2 for the first time, the other attempting to return to his peak performance days. Their four FedEx ATP Head2Head clashes — at the Fever-Tree Championships, the Western & Southern Open, the Rolex Paris Masters and the Nitto ATP Finals — showcased precisely what confidence and form can do to transform a match in a matter of points.

While Djokovic had won his first 14 matches against Cilic, the Croatian finally snapped the streak in November 2016 with a 6-4, 7-6(2) quarter-final victory at the Rolex Paris Masters. Fast forward 18 months and Cilic, back in the familiar surroundings of The Queen’s Club in west London, where he lifted the 2012 Fever-Tree Championships trophy, was hungry for success once more.

In the afterglow of a runner-up finish at the Australian Open in January, which saw him rise to a career-high No. 3 in the ATP Rankings, Cilic came face-to-face with Djokovic, whose form had flickered (a 6-6 start to June 2018) following his return from a long-time elbow injury.

In an encounter that lasted almost three hours, Cilic highlighted his grass-court pedigree and a resurgent Djokovic his shot-making ability in a thrilling high-quality final – one of the matches of the 2018 ATP Tour season. Cilic, on the brink of defeat at 4-5, 30/40 in the second set, landed a powerful serve out wide, then overcame a 1/4 deficit in the tie-break en route to a 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-3 victory at the Fever-Tree Championships. Read More & Watch Highlights 

“I was just trying to stay mentally in it,” said Cilic, after capturing his first ATP Tour title since May 2017 in Istanbul. “And definitely, it was an extremely tough match. No breaks for me until that last [return] game. I definitely feel relieved that I won it and what a great week.”

Djokovic, who had reached his maiden final at the grass-court event in 2008, falling to Rafael Nadal in a tight two-hour, 16-minute battle, admitted, “He deserved to win. It’s a tough loss for me today, obviously. But I have to see it from a positive side. I haven’t played a final at any event in almost a year, so this felt great.”

Having lost his serve just once en route to the title match, his performances at The Queen’s Club proved to be a springboard for Djokovic to a remarkable second half of the season.

On 18 August, Djokovic met Cilic once more at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. But the Serbian was transformed, a different proposition entirely, having won 13 of his past 14 matches that included his fourth trophy at Wimbledon. In yet another enthralling encounter, Djokovic gave himself a shot at history with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 semi-final victory over Cilic in two hours and 32 minutes. Read More & Watch Highlights

For all his recent success, Djokovic considered his serve “still a work in progress.” He won just eight return points in the first set, but broke twice for an early advantage, before Cilic took a 5-1 lead to gain the momentum.

Djokovic took control of the decider when he broke in the eighth game, then later explained, “There are days where I’m able to serve, consistently well throughout the match. There are days when it goes up and down.”

As a five-time runner-up in Cincinnati, Djokovic added, “Obviously this time I’m hoping that I can get my hands on the trophy. History is also on the line and I’m aware of that and that motivates me even more.”

One day later, Djokovic did just that, beating Roger Federer to become the first player to complete the Career Golden Masters of all nine ATP Masters 1000 crowns (since the tournament series was established in 1990).

In the final week of the regular ATP Tour season, Djokovic had Cilic’s number again in a hard-fought 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 quarter-final victory at the Rolex Paris Masters. Cilic capitalised on Djokovic’s service woes to take a 2-1 lead in the decider, however, after Djokovic broke his racquet in frustration in the next game, the momentum shifted.

Afterwards, Djokovic explained, “This was the hardest match for me. Cilic has a lot of skills. He’s powerful. He’s very efficient on his serve. It’s not easy to play such a player who is so aggressive. This match was a great challenge. It’s a great thing to have a win tonight. I’m getting confidence from this.”

Two weeks later at the Nitto ATP Finals, Djokovic ended Cilic’s season with a 7-6(7), 6-2 victory at The O2 in London, when the Serbian saved one set point at 5/6 in the tie-break of the one-hour and 35-minute encounter. Djokovic’s 14-match winning against Top 10 opponents came to an end against Alexander Zverev in the title match on 18 November, but since his runner-up finish to Cilic at the Fever-Tree Championships on 24 June, the 31-year-old won 35 of his 38 tour-level matches.

In addition to four big titles, his haul helped him to become the first player to be ranked outside the Top 20 to finish the same season at No. 1 in the history of the ATP Rankings.

Cilic vs. Djokovic: 2018 Meetings

 Event  Surface  Round  Winner  Score
 London/Queen’s Club  Grass  F  Cilic  5-7, 7-6(4), 6-3
 Cincinnati  Hard  SF  Djokovic  6-4, 3-6, 6-3
 Paris  Hard  QF  Djokovic  4-6, 6-2, 6-3
 Nitto ATP Finals  Hard  RR  Djokovic  7-6(7), 6-2

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