Originally Posted by Moose Malloy
This stat is still undocumented, only krosero & I have researched it, I've never seen a commentator or article or official stats mention it, even with today's players. Funny how primitive a sport tennis still is in so many ways. So easy to find out 1st serves made, 1st serve pts won, but no one thought it was important to track amount of 1st serves made down break point? aren't they the most important points?
I've said it before, but I think fans shouldn't just accept everything former players say as fact(often when players come off the court today, they are way off when asked about what they think their or their opponents 1st serve % was, etc. So while it may seemed to those who played Pancho that he always made first serves when down break point, who knows how true that was. unless these old players had photographic memories or something)
We all know how famous Becker was for hitting big serves down break point, coming back from 0-40 etc. Well, krosero & I have tracked many of his matches & turns out he was fairly average at making first serves down break point. I followed his entire career & would have bet good money that he would have a high number of 1st serves made down break points, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Many posters here(& commentators) repeat that about Becker frequently & probably always will. So something that isn't really true is widely accepted as fact, because of our "impressions" of watching matches, with no actual stats.
"must be?" again no actual facts, just guesses. That's tennis for you in a nutshell, past & present.
Turns out Sampras wasn't too special in this stat either(from matches tracked)
But his huge 2nd serves sort of balanced that out.
Well, just because he wasn't 'mentioned' doesn't mean jack to me. The more matches I track of his the more I realize how clutch he was. The serves he put in down break points in the '81 W final were ridiculous(not aces which leave more of an 'impression' on viewers, but virtual unreturnables. some of the most impressive serving I've seen in a Wimbledon final, esp considering the circumstances)
I see you frequently argue in GOAT debates that former players aren't historians and we should take their opinions with a grain of salt. I sort of feel the same thing here. They aren't statisticians, so their opinions should be taken with a grain of salt.
I know you'll probably never do it, but taking stats can really make you see things about players you would never notice otherwise. Stats don't tell everything, but certainly do add to the experience.
Chang made 1st serves on 15 of the 17 break points he faced in the last 2 sets in the '89 FO final. Will try to get complete stats.
how many 1st serves did Wilander make when down break point in that match?
I have more stats on this from some Federer matches. I think he's pretty good at making 1st serves down break point.
Navratilova had such a high serve % in many of her major finals, I would guess she had high numbers in this category as well.
Moose I agree with you in all these areas. My point with McEnroe was that it's amusing to me that people like McEnroe aren't noted for that but were superb. Better to be great in an important stat and not be known for it than not be great and get undeserved credit for being great.
I have always thought that tennis should have a Sabr type organization that researches important stats like this.
Incidentally Moose I do have stats for matches that I've charted but not nearly as many as you. I think it's a wonderful thing the work that you and Krosero have done.
But as I wrote earlier I was going to give comments by former pros about players like Gonzalez. I did not say it was necessarily true.