Federer is 90th on the all-time list of percentage of break points converted. For context, Nadal is #2 and Djokovic is #7.

How is Nadal ranked so high? Well, at least right now Nadal has big problems with converting break points. In USO he needed like 10 break points to finally break Berrettini. Against Medvedev it was even worse.
 

TheFifthSet

Legend
How is Nadal ranked so high? Well, at least right now Nadal has big problems with converting break points. In USO he needed like 10 break points to finally break Berrettini. Against Medvedev it was even worse.
Completely wrong, hes #2 this year in % of BP converted.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
That's not a correct way to detect underperformance given that he wins fewer return points overall. What should be done is compare overall RPW% with BP conversion %.
Bingo. There is a direct relationship between return points % and BP%. Rafa obviously is going to be at the top on clay, but he is definitely NOT #1 on other surfaces.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
True. But Nadal is top 14 on hard and top 32 on grass on the ATP return rating. So Djokovic and Murray are better all-around returners, but Nadal is still a top retuner.
As I said, BP is directly linked to points. Nadal is going to be pretty close on HCs to here:


Both Fed and Sampras are low on this list, for obvious reasons. These stats go down more and more with age.

There are no stats for former players before 1991, but Borg would be right there with Nadal on clay, and any great returner from the past will be up there. Lendl is about where Nadal is, but those are stats for when he was old and his return had greatly declined. Since players in the past won more return games, they won more points and therefore had a higher % of BPs.
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
Bingo. There is a direct relationship between return points % and BP%. Rafa obviously is going to be at the top on clay, but he is definitely NOT #1 on other surfaces.
Moreso, as I've seen others say before in various ways, break point convertion percentage is a truly rubbish stat. What matters more is whether you broke when you had a chance regardless of how many opportunities it took (within a single game). If you view it like that then Fed is one of the best of all time without any doubt.

You could even also bias it towards breaks later in sets - at 3-all/4-all/5-all type scores, or when leading 5-4 etc. His success rate is through the roof in those more crucial moments across most of his career - probably almost as good as anyone in the game.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Moreso, as I've seen others say before in various ways, break point convertion percentage is a truly rubbish stat. What matters more is whether you broke when you had a chance regardless of how many opportunities it took (within a single game). If you view it like that then Fed is one of the best of all time without any doubt.

You could even also bias it towards breaks later in sets - at 3-all/4-all/5-all type scores, or when leading 5-4 etc. His success rate is through the roof in those more crucial moments across most of his career - probably almost as good as anyone in the game.
That would be linked to something else. Both Fed and Sampras, Sampras even more, have always coasted. With supreme confidence in serving they didn't worry until they got broken, then went for crucial breaks. Fed's career record on TBs shows how good he has been under pressure, and that's where aggressive players concentrate the most because by that time they have failed to get the convenient break that cruises them to a set win.

To say that a guy over 38 who has won more majors than anyone else is a choker just doesn't make sense.

HOWEVER: I do think that at times he lacks patience. He just doesn't like to grind in long rallies. Sometimes he does, and occasionally he wins one, but his ability to stay in there, stay stubborn and win long rallies at all cost started to fade in 2007 and never quite bot back up to where it was around 2004-2007. This is also hugely linked to age. You can see it happening now to Novak, less to Nadal because Nadal is the most stubborn player out there, usually unwilling or unable to concede any points. But that's probably why he gets injured so often.
 

Lew II

Hall of Fame
Active players return points won:

1) Nadal
2) Djokovic
3) Murray
4) Schwartzmann
5) Goffin
6) Simon
7) Federer


Active players break points won

1) Nadal
2) Carballes Baena
3) Djokovic
4) Dzumhur
5) Murray
6) Schwartzmann
7) Fognini
8) Chung
9) Simon
10) Carreno Busta
11) Zverev
12) Ruud
13) Mannarino
14) Del Potro
15) Bautista Agut
16) Berdych
17) Goffin
18) Klizan
19) Millman
20) Monfils
21) Robredo
22) Federer

So Federer drops from #7 position in normal points to #22 position in break points, while other Big4 stay at the top in both cases.
 

Thriller

Semi-Pro
Active players return points won:

1) Nadal
2) Djokovic
3) Murray
4) Schwartzmann
5) Goffin
6) Simon
7) Federer


Active players break points won

1) Nadal
2) Carballes Baena
3) Djokovic
4) Dzumhur
5) Murray
6) Schwartzmann
7) Fognini
8) Chung
9) Simon
10) Carreno Busta
11) Zverev
12) Ruud
13) Mannarino
14) Del Potro
15) Bautista Agut
16) Berdych
17) Goffin
18) Klizan
19) Millman
20) Monfils
21) Robredo
22) Federer

So Federer drops from #7 position in normal points to #22 position in break points, while other Big4 stay at the top in both cases.
Good stats, but we also need to talk about break points saved to get a true picture of 'clutch'.

Otherwise all we are saying is that Nadal and Djokovic are much better returners than Federer. Not even Fed's most deranged supporters can disagree with that?

I have the feeling that more than most, Federer finds a damaging first serve when he is in trouble on his own serve. Nadal probably gets broken more but it is less of an issue because he is so effective in return games and can more easily hit back.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
4/23 US Open 2015 Final
1/17 Roland Garros 2007 Final
1/12 Wimbledon 2008 Final

Yeah...Federer's probably the worst in BP conversions
0/12 against Tsitsipas at this year’s Australian Open.
1/12 against Tsitsipas yesterday.

Unreal, honestly.

Also the statistics showed that Federer only served in 54 points and Tsitsipas in 89. Normally the guy who serves more often (and by THAT margin especially) is the weaker player. Because serve is always an advantage for top players and who serves more often has to fight harder for his service games.

At one point the numbers in that regard were even 30/70, and still Federer was behind a set and a break. Also around that time he had won 50% of Tsitsipas’ first serve points!

All that only shows how bad he is in big points when he gets to 1/12 in such a match and loses it.
 

Mike Sams

Legend
0/12 against Tsitsipas at this year’s Australian Open.
1/12 against Tsitsipas yesterday.

Unreal, honestly.

Also the statistics showed that Federer only served in 54 points and Tsitsipas in 89. Normally the guy who serves more often (and by THAT margin especially) is the weaker player. Because serve is always an advantage for top players and who serves more often has to fight harder for his service games.

At one point the numbers in that regard were even 30/70, and still Federer was behind a set and a break. Also around that time he had won 50% of Tsitsipas’ first serve points!

All that only shows how bad he is in big points when he gets to 1/12 in such a match and loses it.
Yeah, I think he should take a page out of Nadal's book. Camp out 8 feet behind the baseline and just whack the living hell out of the ball on his opponent's 2nd serve and see what happens. Can't be any worse than his current strategy. Probably would convert at a higher percentage by swinging for the fences! LOL
 

Lew II

Hall of Fame
Good stats, but we also need to talk about break points saved to get a true picture of 'clutch'.

Otherwise all we are saying is that Nadal and Djokovic are much better returners than Federer. Not even Fed's most deranged supporters can disagree with that?

I have the feeling that more than most, Federer finds a damaging first serve when he is in trouble on his own serve. Nadal probably gets broken more but it is less of an issue because he is so effective in return games and can more easily hit back.
I already thought about it, but in break points saved they all stay about in the same position as in serve points won, so I decided not to post it.
 

clayqueen

G.O.A.T.

Unparalleled dominance

Sadly, no one else has been able to replicate Rafa's supreme dominance on his best surface on their best surface on which the majority of the tour is played. Federer and Djoker have far more opportunities to capitalise on their best surface but they are unable to take advantage of it.
 

Mike Sams

Legend

Unparalleled dominance

Sadly, no one else has been able to replicate Rafa's supreme dominance on his best surface on their best surface on which the majority of the tour is played. Federer and Djoker have far more opportunities to capitalise on their best surface but they are unable to take advantage of it.
If not for Djokovic, Federer would probably have 11 Wimbledons compared to Nadal's 12 French Opens.
 

Lew II

Hall of Fame

Unparalleled dominance

Sadly, no one else has been able to replicate Rafa's supreme dominance on his best surface on their best surface on which the majority of the tour is played. Federer and Djoker have far more opportunities to capitalise on their best surface but they are unable to take advantage of it.
That is because hardcourt is the most competitive surface as it's the most used. Most players build their game for hardcourt and adapt to clay or grass.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Yeah, I think he should take a page out of Nadal's book. Camp out 8 feet behind the baseline and just whack the living hell out of the ball on his opponent's 2nd serve and see what happens. Can't be any worse than his current strategy. Probably would convert at a higher percentage by swinging for the fences! LOL
Really, yesterday I was at the point when I hoped that Tsitsipas’ first serve would go in at break point, because I just knew Federer won’t even bring the slow serve into play. On the other hand, I rather trusted him to hit a good reflex return on a first serve without time to overthink it.
 
That is because hardcourt is the most competitive surface as it's the most used. Most players build their game for hardcourt and adapt to clay or grass.
Yup their haven't been any solid claycourters since guys Kuerten and Coria in mid 2000s retired early.
Poly also ruined clay court tennis with excessive topspin botting
 
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