Break Percentages of the Big Tournaments

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Nadal_Freak, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Though this isn't an exact formula for measuring court speed, it gives you a good idea on how hard it is to break. Here are the percentages to many of the big tournaments in order from hardest to easiest.
    Lyon (Indoor Carpet) 2007 13.57%
    Halle 2008 14.35%
    Artois Championships (Queens) 2007 15.76% 2008 16.75%
    Wimbledon Breaking Percentage 1998 19.78% 2001 19.01% 2002 19.21% 2003 19.55% 2006 (3rd-Final) 17.9% 2007 (Total) 17.34% 2008 16.77%
    Cincinnati 2007 19.22% 2008 16.45%
    Madrid 2007 (Total) 18.02%
    Paris 2006 19.89% 2007 (Indoors) 20.08%
    Dubai 2007-2008 21.10%
    Montreal 2005 20.76% 2007 21.12%
    Miami Breaking Percentage 2007 22.32% 2008 21.70%
    US Open Breaking Percentage 1998 21.53% 2002 (3rd round-Final) 2006 (3rd round-Final) 20.74% 2007 21.87%
    Indian Wells Breaking Percentage 2007 21.93% 2008 22.97%
    Aussie Open Breaking Percentage 2008 (Total) 23.18%
    Rome Breaking Percentage (Total) 2007 23.34% 2008 23.25%
    Toronto Breaking Percentage 2004 18.33% 2006 23.53% 2008 21.03%
    Roland Garros Breaking Percentage 2007 24.13% 2008 23.68%
    Hamburg Breaking Percentage (Total) 2006-2008 27.78% 2008 27.23%
    Monte Carlo Breaking Percentage 2005 30.55% 2007-2008 29.20%

    More Stats here to add to back up my breaking percentage idea. All slams are 3rd Round-Final only.

    First Serve Points Won Cincinnati 2008 75.78%
    Aces per First Serve Cincinnati 2008 18.94%
    First Serve Points Won Wimbledon 2006 73.85% 2007 73.94% 2008 74.64%
    Aces Per First Serve Wimbledon 2006 14.61% 2007 13.4% 2008 15.34%
    First Serve Points Won US Open 2002 71.75% 2006 71.78% 2007 70.42%
    Aces Per First Serve US Open 2002 14.66% 2006 12.63% 2007 11.94%
    First Serve Points Won French Open 2008 68.71%
    Aces Per First Serve French Open 2008 9.78%
    First Serve Points Won Rome 2008 67.8%
    Aces Per First Serve Rome 2008 8.18%
    First Serve Points Won Hamburg 2008 66.76%
    Aces Per First Serve Hamburg 2008 8.22%
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
    #1
  2. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Wimbledon 2008
    Round 1 17.6%
    Round 2 16.56%
    Round 3 15.51%
    Round 4 15.11%
    Rounds 5-7 15.88%
    Total 16.77%
    It looks like they sped up the courts slightly this year. Exactly the same as Queen's. Amazing that Nadal has won the top 3 fastest tournaments.
     
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  3. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Shocker here. I was expecting some really low breaking percentage in Wimbledon 2001 but I guess not.
    Round 1 20.97%
    Round 2 17.63%
    Round 3 16.29%
    Round 4 19.87%
    Rounds 5-7 14.05% Ivanisevic played 3 of those matches.
    Total 19.01%
     
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  4. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    That'd be Lyon, St. Petersburg and Basel. Used to be MS Paris. Indoor carpet is faster than grass. Always has been.
     
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  5. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    You're right with Lyon. 13.57% breaking percentage. That is extremely fast. I didn't bother to look up the other 2 but most of the top players don't show up anyways to those tournaments. Here is a video of Lyon. http://youtube.com/watch?v=Bf6swS5pfGg
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2008
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  6. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    So I guess you agree Feds was off pretty far at 7.6%, base on the 1 or 13 number I've seen. Don't know where that came from, just heard saw it on one of the threads.

    Odd conclusion you have the break point % says Wimby was faster this year, since all the experts are discussing how slow it was.
     
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  7. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Btw Nadal only got broken 5 times the whole tournament. ;) Yeah I think they feel this way since there is very little serve and volley now. If grass was sped up anymore, it would be approaching carpet territory. Surprisingly there were more breaks in 2001 than now. I think people remember the serve fest because we had Ivanisevic, Sampras, Rafter, and Henman doing very well at the time. It was not the speed of the court but an era of very good traditional grass court players. We don't have that now and people think it has to do with the surface.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
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  8. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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  9. Munj

    Munj New User

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    You are comparing apples & oranges.

    I think the stats posted are the % of breaks counting all service games. (Considering all of Nadal's service games Fed only broke Nadal like 1 out of 30.)

    That's a different stat than % of actual break points converted, which is the 1 out of 13 stat you referenced.
     
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  10. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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  11. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    Very interesting stats. Thank you for doing the research.
     
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  12. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Wimbledon 1998
    Round 1 20.92%
    Round 2 20.54%
    Round 3 18.10%
    Round 4 18.34%
    Rounds 5-7 12.27% (Ivanisevic, Sampras, and etc.)
    Total 19.78%
     
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  13. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    Amazing. So in 1998, 1 in 5 games at Wimbledon were breaks.
    Ten years later, the rate goes down to 1 in 6.

    In the meantime, the grass is supposed to have been getting increasingly slower to the point of resembling clay. But clay has break rates in the order of 1 in 4 or less.

    A theory is needed to explain how the slowing down of a surface has made breaks increasingly more difficult.
     
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  14. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    So far the only explanation I have is that the players serve better on average than they did 10 years ago.

    I've done some checking and, as could be expected, the break percentage on the serve of the top players is much much smaller than the average.

    Sampras in 98 had his serve broken (at Wimbledon) in 6 of 121 service game (4.96%) or 1 out of 20.2

    Federer in 08 had is service broken in 6 of 118 service games (5.08%) or 1 out of 19.6.

    Nadal in 08 had his service broken in 5 of 123 service games (4.10%) or 1 out of 24.4

    These are extraoridinarily low figures if you compare them with the average for the field. About 3 times lower. But they are fairly similar for all three, although somehow Nadal has managed to be broken even less often than the other two, who are considered to be among the toughest players to break.

    On the other hand, a reduction from 1 in 5 to 1 in 6 breaks allowed by the field as a whole seems pretty significant, particularly considering the reduction in court speed. I can only conclude that the bulk of players are serving better now. And that whatever reduction there has been in court speed, has failed to offset the improvement in serve effectiveness.

    There is another angle. To the extent that the s&v game has been significantly reduced since 1998, the observed trend in break percentages also means that players were having more success breaking serve when s&v was more prevalent (and with a faster grass) than they are now against baseliners on a supposedly slower grass.

    Somehow these things seem to defy common sense, and yet the numbers are what they are. Of course a more extensive analysis (over more years) would be necessary to confirm this trend. But I find it fascinating, if only because it seems to run counter to what one would expect.
     
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  15. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    I skipped the first 2 rounds of the other slams in 1998.
    US Open 1998
    Round 3 22.63%
    Round 4 21.23%
    Rounds 5-7 16.92%
    Total 20.9%
    Aussie Open 1998
    Round 3 29.4%
    Round 4 23.16%
    Rounds 5-7 29.32%
    Total 27.56% I wish Nadal got to play on these courts.
    French Open 1998
    Round 3 26.63%
    Round 4 26.33%
    Rounds 5-7 23.36%
    Total 25.58%
    Overall in 1998 24.68% (not including Wimbledon)
    Overall in 2007-08 23.06 (not including Wimbledon)

    So overall there is 1.6% less breaks nowadays than in 1998. I guess the faster the court, the bigger change in breaking percentage. Hard to tell if the Wimbledon of 1998 is faster than Wimbledon 2008 by these stats.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
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  16. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    The overall drop is slight in comparison with the drop at Wimbledon from 19 to 16. And what's curious is the latter ocurred almost entirely in the last 7 years.

    But it is likely that ignoring the first two rounds in the other slams for 1998 skews the outcome toward fewer breaks, because breaks tend to diminish with each round, as the quality of the field increases. So it is possible that a similar drop exists overall in all slam surfaces between 1998 and 2008.

    If that's the case, I see three explanations:

    1. the surfaces have somehow become faster (unlikely)
    2. the balls are a bit faster (unknown)
    3. the players have gradually improved their ability to hold serve.

    If 3 is the main cause, then it may offer some insight on the shift away from s&v. Perhaps the trend to abandon s&v resulted from a gradual realization by players that they held serve more successfully when they didn't follow all their serves to the net.
     
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  17. Mr Topspin

    Mr Topspin Semi-Pro

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    During the Wimbledon final, the BBC (English Broadcaster) showed a computer simulation of Federer's serve from 2003 to 2008. The speed was 126mph for both tests but showed that the ball in 2008 bounced about 3 ft higher than in 2003.

    It seems then that the speed is not the issue but the bounce. Somehow the ball is bouncing higher which gives more time to hit the ball back, especially on serve. The puzzling thing is that if the courts were relaid in 2001 with the new grass why is there a rapid change in bounce between 2003 and 2008?
     
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  18. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    French Open 2008
    Round 1 23.57%
    Round 2 23.61%
    Round 3 22.75%
    Round 4 25.29%
    Rounds 5-7 23.57%
    So Roland Garros seems to be a pretty fast clay court. You wouldn't know by the way Nadal breaks everyone at will though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2008
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  19. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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  20. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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  21. Cenc

    Cenc Hall of Fame

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    omg
    can someone explain me how can you judge court speed just looking at number of breaks on it?!?!?!
    find also net game stats even though it still wouldnt be any proof but it can be useful
     
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  22. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    It's what you call a measurement by proxy data. Same way you can measure hunger by the rate of nutrition-deficiency conditions among populations, or you can measure the adequacy of building codes in different world regions by the effects of earthquakes of similar intensity. Or you can measure the past temperature in a certain location by the isotopic composition of snow, or corals, etc.

    Break ratios are a good proxy for court speed because, in the first place, they are in accord with common sense. That by itself would not be enough, since common sense can often be wrong. But in this case, the suppositions of common sense are very well corroborated by the fact that the data consistently shows a nearly constant difference between different surfaces that are known to play at different speeds.

    Of course if you analyzed just a few matches by a few players, then all kinds of other random factors may come into play, which is why the variation would be much more inconsistent. But when you analyze a large enough amount of data, such as all the games played in each tournament by all players, those random factors will tend to cancel each other out, precisely because they are random (some players serving unusually well through one tournament will be cancelled by others serving unusually poorly, and so on) so what you are left with is the one factor that you know to be consistently different. And that would be the surface. If the result shows a consistent difference in break percentages between surfaces, then you can be pretty confident of a cause-effect relation.

    That's why, year after year, Montecarlo and Hamburg consistently show break percentages well higher than the others, in the high twenties. RG consistently shows break percentages in the mid 20s. The US Open consistently in the low 20s. Queen's and Wimbledon in the mid to high teens, and so on. That's also why a tournament that is widely perceived as having one of the fastest surfaces (Lyon) shows the lowest break percentage at 13.6%, while Montecarlo, generally perceived as one of the slowest, shows it at 29.2%. If you believe these consistent differences are not caused by the relative speed of the surfaces, what do you think they are caused by? Pure chance? Pure chance indicating consistently similar differences year after year?? That would be the same as believing in miracles.

    There are also small trends that can be observed across time within each surface. These are interesting because, if you can ascertain that the surface stayed the same, they point to variations in other factors, such as serving effectiveness, return efectiveness, faster balls, etc.

    Variation at Wimbledon over the last ten years seems to have been the largest in all slams, at least since 1998. But the trend is in the wrong direction from what you would expect by the surface change. And that is very interesting.
     
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  23. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    It is crucial to keep in mind that data from individual players is not very useful for this kind analysis by surface, because individual ability varies hugely. The top players will always hold serve and break serve more often than the rest. What's valuable for this analysis is only what the field as a whole is doing on average in each surface. For example, if you calculated the percentage of break games against Sampras' serve at Wimbledon through all the years he played there, he would probably have one of the lowest ever break percentages against his serve. Yet the Wimbledon field as a whole was significantly more successful at breaking serve ten years ago than they are now: 19.7% in 1998 vs 16.7% in 2008. You would have no idea this is the case if you just compared the top players.

    Or, again, take Nadal's return performance at this years RG. He broke his opponent's serve an astonishing 61% of the time for the tournament. Yet the RG field as a whole is playing a less succesful return game now than ten years ago: 25.6% breaks in 1998 vs 23.7% in 2008. Again, you wouldn't know it if you just looked at the top.
     
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  24. Thor

    Thor Professional

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    Ive addressed this in another thread:
    Those were 2 different serves!!!
    From the minute the ball left the racquet we were shown 2 graphs:
    Graph1: Trajectory of 2003 serve Graph2:Trajectory of 2008 Serve

    The entire ball path on the 2 serves was different and they landed in a different place.
    The 2008 serve landed closer to the baseline and had more spin.there was no spin indicator,but i concluded this by the way the ball had a loopier trajectory and then dipped,causing the rebound angle to be bigger.
    The 2003 serve rebounded at a smaller angle and seemed more flat.

    You can not conclude anything about the speed or bounce difference between 2003 - 2008 by this measurement-no spin indication,2 entirely different serves.
    I think this technology might help but we need ~100 serves at least and then check the average bounce difference.
     
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  25. JustPlayIt

    JustPlayIt Rookie

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    Great thread

    I love this thread. Scientific analyses and rational exchanges of thoughts rather than trolls' rhetorics.

    I would think that players serve with more velocity and higher accuracy today due to two factors. One is the rackets and strings. More powerful rackets allows faster serves without perfect full body mtion. The poly strings are siffer, therefore the string bed warp is smaller when hitting the ball. This is extremely important for serves.

    The other is probably that the players are generally taller today than 10 years ago, given that the height of the overall human race has been on the rise.

    These are purely educated hypotheses. Maybe someone can find data to support to disapprove.
     
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  26. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    I don't know if players are taller now than say 10 years ago. But the idea that the average speed of the serve is higher now than 10 years ago is plausible, though I don't think there is any reliable historical data on that. I once heard McEnroe say, well into his 40s, that he felt his serve was stronger at this age than when he was in his prime in the mid 80s, and he attributed it to the racquets. That would be one explanation for the decrease in break percentage over the years. Or maybe the balls are a bit faster. Who knows.
     
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  27. bolo

    bolo G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think there is real consistency in how serve speeds are measured. Some experts on tennis news groups :) think radar guns are on average 10 mph faster now than in the 1990s.

    The stats. in the op are really interesting and benhur makes many interesting points. But I think benhur went a little too quickly over one of the more important points.

    The key is having a good control group where the court surface speed hasn't really changed, which in my mind are the U.S. open and RG courts. I have never heard of any reports or anyone hypothesizing that the U.S. open court speed changed over time. I am less sure about what is happening at RG.

    But imo both of these show different results. I think even if we include the first 2 rounds into the U.S. open 1998 into the overall stat. it probably will only show that over the 98-07 period break percentage only dropped by 1% point (this is my guess from looking at the wimby numbers by round). The change in wimby looks like it dropped by almost 3% points. Which suggests that once we account for benhur's theory that serving advantage is increasing over time, it's still getting harder to break at wimbledon over time.


    CAN NADAL FREAK INCLUDE THE FIRST TWO ROUND STATS FROM U.S. OPEN 1998 INTO THE 1998 TOTAL?


    The stats. from the RG on the other hand seem to indicate that it is definitely getting harder to break over time, a fall from 25.58 (only rounds 3 on) in 1998 to 23.68 (all the rounds) in 2008. This difference will increase even more if we include the early round results from 1998. Once we do that that basically explains all of the wimby changes over time.

    The aust. stats over time are interesting too. There is a huge change there from 27.56 (later rounds only) in 1998 to 23.18 in 2008. This is an even bigger change that in wimbledon. Most reports here indicate that they have been speeding up the courts. These results would be consistent with both speeding up the courts and an increasing advantage to servers.

    The real tricky part with these comparisons even in the case where we are sure that the court surface hasn't changed over time is that over time there can still be a very different mix of individuals in the U.S. open field because of changes in the speeds of the other surfaces. The changes in the speeds of the other surfaces affects overall rankings which leads to a different mix of individuals given entry into the U.S. open field. If this is true this change will make the argument for the U.S. open being a good control group harder to justify.

    It would be interesting if nadal freak can dig up the numbers from the first two rounds of the 1998 U.S. open.
     
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  28. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    Regarding the AO, they changed the surface before this year's tournament. The current surface is supposed to be considerably faster, so that explains the big drop.

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/01/13/sports/srtennis.php

    There seems to be an overall trend toward fewer breaks in all four majors, least noticeable at the US Open and most noticeable at Wimbledon. I once heard the French started using faster balls at some point, but can't remember if this was before 1998. It may have been much earlier (rallies at RG in the 80s would regularly go to 25+ strokes, there were a number of moonball specialists then, and it was getting tedious, as tedious as the 2-second points at Wimbledon in the 90s). To me the biggest puzzle continues to be the 3% drop in break percentages at Wimbledon from 1998 (or rather from 2001) to 2008, considering the change of surface would suggest a change in the opposite direction, or at least it should have offset whatever improvement there has been on serve efficiency by the field as a whole. At the same time, Queen's has basically the same numbers as Wimbledon in 2008, though I don't think the courts at Queen's were changed. Also, given the large difference in the number of players between Queen's and Wimbledon, probably the first two rounds at Wimbledon should be ignored for a proper comparison with Queen's, in which case the break percentage would be even lower for Wimbledon.

    I thank Nadal_Freak for taking the time to do this very useful work. But I wouldn't ask him to do more, though, as it is obviously a tedious task. It's a pitty that tennis does not elicit more professional statistical studies of this kind to see the evolution of the game from a more number-based perspective, as baseball does. Maybe there is just no market for it.
     
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  29. bolo

    bolo G.O.A.T.

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    I agree the wimbledon stats. are the puzzle. Sorry I thought he was pulling the numbers from some other stats. site. :(

    I agree the market for this stuff is small. I ran into an interesting tennis data site once that seemed like it was geared towards gamblers and it had point by point breakdowns of matches. But you had to pay for it and I forget how much historical data they had etc.
     
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  30. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    It's long tedious work.

    http://www.atptennis.com/5/en/vault/

    As far as I can tell, you have to get the total number of breaks per match from the break-point conversion statistic for each match. You have to add up all the breaks for all the matches (127 matches for a 128-man draw) and then add up all the games played in the tournament, excluding of course tiebreaks, then calculate the percentage.
     
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  31. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    I use a formula on database so it automatically calculates the percentages for the amount of breaks and total games. Microsoft Excel is the program I use. I will be able to do the US Open 1998. I just didn't want to do all 4 slams in 1998 going through rounds 1 and 2. I believe the US Open used to be faster. I remember McEnroe mentioning how quick the US Open was in 1999. I think it has been slowed down slightly.
     
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  32. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    US Open 1998
    Round 1 20.8%
    Round 2 23.51%
    Round 3 22.63%
    Round 4 21.23%
    Rounds 5-7 16.92%
    Total 21.53%
     
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  33. bolo

    bolo G.O.A.T.

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    thanks!

    So basically no change at the u.s. open over the last 10 years.
     
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  34. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    OK, My bad, I was just doing it quick,

    but all the discussion earlier had centered around missed break opportunities, so I just incorrectly assumed that was what he was referring to and I don't think the OP specified.
    So actually the 3% that Fed broke makes the point even stronger, so the correction just serves the point stronger. Thanks.
    Yes, I realize we are just talking of one match, but that is not a problem, comparing any match to an overall avg.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2008
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  35. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I like what you have put together here and it does seem to make sense to a large extent as you compare the surfaces, as a way to measure game speed.
    But I do still feel something is wrong with it, and just can't put my finger on it yet. While your theory is very appealing in some respects, I feel there must be something offsetting for the slowing of the grass at Wimby. Sort of like when everyone thought the new rackets were going to make the serve too overpowering, but it turns out they offset by helping the returner so much as well.
     
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  36. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    This is a pretty good example of what is skewing the Wimby break numbers. Yes, Nadal hardly got broken. Very excellent play no doubt.
    Speed keeping him from getting broken- I don't think so. He didn't serve real fast compared to big servers and he played some pretty long rallies on many of his points. Avg length of rallies may have more to do with court speed? Carpet is known for very few strokes.

    Maybe there are fewer breaks due to more good servers. In the old days, 125 was a big number. Now even the avg servers hit that pretty regular and even a couple of gals too.
     
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  37. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Break percentages have nothing to do with court speed. If you want to play that game, I can say that the increasing number of extreme semi-western = > western grip players having success at Wimbledon (Quarters or greater) signals a slower surface. Or, the increasing number of more defensive / counter punching type players towards the end of tournaments is showing that all the tournaments are slowing down.


    Edit : Or, the increasing average ralley at Wimbledon (which HAS increased) can show that the surface has slowed down.

    You cannot say that break percentages have any relation to court speed, because you can't prove it. All it shows is how often you get broken during a match, and how the serve is affected. True court speed can only be measured by how fast the ball is coming off the surface, which can be done, but no one does it.



    About why Nadal has success at Wimbledon, that's a whole different thread. Let's not even get into that.
     
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  38. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    In other words, I don't like the results of the break percentage because it disproves that Wimbledon is green clay.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2008
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  39. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Can you prove there is an actual relation between break percentage and court speed? No, you can't. Therefore, you cannot say that Wimbledon is still the fastest court in the world, when everyone else begs to differ. John McEnroe, Marat Safin, and many other players, former pros, and full time commentators disagree with you. I'm pretty sure they know more about the surface then you do, as they actually PLAY ON it.
     
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  40. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Actually, Wimbledon wasn't the fastest court in the world. MS Paris' taraflex was ;)
     
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  41. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    They are all biased. They want the courts to be sped up. The courts are much bouncier now so it is easier to handle pace as it isn't too low to handle. A big serve is obviously harder to handle on a faster surface. Therefore, less breaks. Height of the ball, bad bounces, and conditions (Especially on clay) have a small part in breaking percentage but not enough to make up 5% which is the difference between Wimbledon and the US Open. Btw Wimbledon is far from being the fastest tournament in the World. There are no Carpet Master Series so Carpet would clearly be the fastest ones. I think Madrid might be faster as well since the true bounces take a little away from the server.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2008
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  42. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Why would Marat Safin want the Wimbledon courts to be sped up? He HATED the old grass. I just blew your whole entire "biased" argument to shreds right there. John McEnroe doesn't play on the tour, and he has no reason to lie about court speeds really. BBC Commentators are very unbiased, so I don't see how you can say any of these guys are "biased". Lendl himself, who hardly keeps up with tennis now adays, said that the surfaces are becoming too uniform, and that there needs to be a balance.


    A big serve does not necessarily mean less breaks. Nadal's serve is hardly the biggest serve, but holds consistently and breaks quite abit, even on surfaces like HC and indoors. Why? Because he has an excellent ground game and moves extremely well. Roddick has a MASSIVE kicker, yet he gets broken on clay all the time.


    Height of the ball doesn't make a huge difference? Nadal in 2005 got OWNED at Wimbledon, and all of a sudden in 2006 he is in the final? Safin, who's always sucked on grass, made a semi-final this year against very tough opponents, including a TRUE S&V player. Whatever dude.
     
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  43. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Marat Safin likes the higher bounces and he's got a pretty big serve so why would he like the slower surfaces? What has he done on clay? Those are just guesses from Safin anyway as I doubt he has that great of memory how excactly the ball bounced years before. Blame the racquet and strings for the lack of serve and volley now. They definitely have benefitted the baseliners. McEnroe also mentioned that strings these days, you need to take big swings and that doesn't help the volleyers. Nadal gets broken way more on hard courts and clay than he does on grass. He gets broken most on hard courts. Btw Nadal has a very good serve now so don't count out that why he only got broken 5 times. Fed only got broken 6 times. This isn't just going by ones opinion but going through the whole field.
     
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  44. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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  45. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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  46. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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  47. CONQUEST_OR

    CONQUEST_OR New User

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    Nadal_Freak, I think your hypothesis relating breaking percentages to court speed is a good rule of thumb to use and is particularly useful and valid for synthetic surfaces (assuming that factors like weather, temperature, humidity, etc. don’t vary too much from tournament to tournament and year to year). However, I’m sceptical about the validity of such inferences for natural surfaces (grass in particular), where the composition of the courts varies from year to year and the way in which the court plays depends on the weather to a greater extent than synthetic surfaces do. The low breaking percentage at Wimbledon can be explained by the irregularity of the wear of the grass itself (I’ve written an article here http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=210095 Hope it helps). The forecourt makes the ball bounce lower and faster (horizontally) than the areas of the court near the baseline. Still, your hypothesis is very handy when it comes to analysing hard and carpet court speeds.
     
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  48. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Now this post makes more sense. It supports the overall theory as being logical, as well as explaining why Wimby does not fit into the theory.
     
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  49. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    I don't agree with that theory because most of they dryness is behind the baseline. Maybe the movement is like clay but not the speed.
     
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  50. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Alright I decided to add a different stat to see if the results are different. The stat I used this time is the amount of aces per game. This maybe cuts down on bad bounces which make it harder to break and focuses more on how hard the ball goes through the court more. Looks very close between Wimbledon and the US Open on this stat. I'll finish it up later for these 2 slams.
    Wimbledon Round 1 (64 matches) 2008 55.84% or .568 aces/game.
    US Open Round 1 (64 matches) 2007 54.35% or .544 aces/game.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
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