How come Federers first serve won stats went up for the last couple of years?

wangs78

Hall of Fame
#2
He’s attacking more. And on his first serve that is a good strategy that wins more points. Also over the last two years he has played the best returners (Djoke, Murry and Nadal) less than in previous years when those guys were regularly meeting Fed in the semifinals and finals. So that should be enough to bump the 77% up to 80-81%
 
#9
2005, 2006, 2007 =77, 77, 78%.. hard courts

That's PRIME Federer... How in the world was that beast with such a good serve below 80% first serves won on hard courts?:unsure:
 

Zeref

Professional
#10
He will always win high %age of First serve points given how accurate it is and how much aggressive he is on his serves.

The stats to see are only his First serve in %age. He was continously going under 50% in that department last year in his matches.

He was under 50% in few sets of AO 2019 too.

From steady at 77% first serves won to consistently 80-81% despite being past his peak. What happened?

https://www.atptour.com/en/players/roger-federer/f324/player-stats?year=2019&surfaceType=all

He changed the preparatory motion but it's still the same serve by and large. Is it superior racket technology to account for this, or a weaker era, or both?
I pointed this out in another thread and no one cared about it. To my untrained eyes it feels he definitely made some slight adjustments to the direction his racquet faces in crown stance that may have helped him to hit T serves well especially Deuce side in Madrid.

I just hope he doesn't get himself injured again this season since recovering from injuries is getting more and more difficult for him and he keeps serving the way he is rn, that is the super crucial element in his hyper-aggressive approach.


Coming back to your question, he hasn't faced any elite returner ( that is only Djokovic rn) this season, so it may have inflated numbers a little bit.
 
#12
He will always win high %age of First serve points given how accurate it is and how much aggressive is he on his serves.

The stats to see are only his First serve in %age. He was continously going under 50% in that department last year in his matches.

He was under 50% in few sets of AO 2019 too.



I pointed this out in another thread and no one cared about it. To my untrained eyes it feels he definitely made some slight adjustments to the direction his racquet faces in crown stance that may have helped him to hit T serves well especially Deuce side in Madrid.

I just hope he doesn't get himself injured again this season since recovering from injuries is getting more and more difficult for him and he keeps serving the way he is rn, that is the super crucial element in his hyper-aggressive approach.


Coming back to your question, he hasn't faced any elite returner ( that is only Djokovic rn) this season, so it may have inflated numbers a little bit.
2015, 2016 he was at the 80% and 81%, won on hard. Again quite a bit weaker player, yet superior first serve stats..
 

Zeref

Professional
#17
2015, 2016 he was at the 80% and 81%, won on hard. Again quite a bit weaker player, yet superior first serve stats..
Hyper aggressive Sabr Employing, Net rushing, super flashy, G.O.A.T intimidating Fedr. He improved his accuracy and got easy power with new frame and it helped a lot in winning cheap first serve points.
 
#23
The return stats indicates 2003:-D
Oh, well I think Federer was good in 03 from Wimbledon up to WTF (with a mug loss at UO). From AO till RG though, he wasn't quite the player he became afterwards.

Stats themselves are hard to interpret sometimes, and background info is needed ;)

I think Fed's serve as a standalone shot perhaps has even improved compared to his younger years, but his ground game, speed and obvious forehand decline can't all be compensated by a perhaps better first serve.
 
#24
I think Fed's serve as a standalone shot perhaps has even improved compared to his younger years, .
Here's Henmans take on it:

“Someone like Andy Roddick, who’s serving at 10mph or 15mph faster than Federer, is probably easier to return. I’m not saying that someone like Roddick should look for variation. Speed is one of the biggest assets for him, but with Federer, his variation and placement are second to none. People look at the speed-gun, and they don’t see 135mph or 140mph, but it’s his variation and his placement which is important. I watched a lot of his matches at the French Open, and so many times on big points he was cleaning the lines,” said Henman.
 
#25
The stats from Federer does not support Henmans conclusion...

Federer is a vastly superior player yet won less points off his first serves and had less aces than Roddick. There is no accounting for this other than Roddick possessing a superior serve.
 

Wander

Professional
#26
I doubt you would say that re-watching Fed-Safin 2005 AU. Federers court positioning and defence improved quite a bit since then.
Federer did play well at the most important tournaments winning three Majors and the Masters Cup, but he had some weak performances in 2007, mainly the two consecutive losses to Canas and the loss to Volandri. There weren't really losses like that in 2005.
 
#27
Federer did play well at the most important tournaments winning three Majors and the Masters Cup, but he had some weak performances in 2007, mainly the two consecutive losses to Canas and the loss to Volandri. There weren't really losses like that in 2005.
Canas play in those two matches was unbelievable...
 
#28
Nope... Stats are still better than in his prime on hard courts ONLY..
Ok I believe you since I'm too lazy to check. I do know without looking that he held around 90% of the time during his peak, so his serve definitely wasn't a problem then lol. Is this all for Roddick sake or what?
 
#31
He still has to break serve to win a set (unless tie breaks).
He’s still very good in all areas, but his serve and volley are the only “great” shots left in his arsenal. He’s got more variety than anyone on tour and his BH is better imo.
His movement and FH are WAY worse.
 
#36
Didn't play on clay!
Federer 2015 (Hard Courts ONLY)
Singles Service Record
Aces359
Double Faults93
1st Serve63%
1st Serve Points Won81%
2nd Serve Points Won57%
Break Points Faced141
Break Points Saved71%
Service Games Played505
Service Games Won92%
Total Service Points Won72%

Federer 2005
Singles Service Record
Aces381
Double Faults86
1st Serve63%
1st Serve Points Won77%
2nd Serve Points Won60%
Break Points Faced191
Break Points Saved70%
Service Games Played645
Service Games Won91%
Total Service Points Won71%

Most telling for me in comparing 2015 to 2005 is that he won a significantly higher percentage on FIRST SERVE in 2015. His 2nd serve points were lower in 2015 because his ground game wasn't as strong as 2005, but the first serve is undeniably better in 2015.
 
#37
2005-07, and 2004 was much better form (and greater speed) than 2008. But absolute imperious peak play was 2006-07. (y)
He was just as much of a beast in 2005, but his results were ever so slightly worse, same for 2004 (if we take the tour as a hole and not just slams). We who followed tennis back back then were quite excited if he lost a set on any non-clay surface.
 
#39
He either developed a much better hold-game (what to do after the serve is returned) or the competition is weaker, or his overall play is less error prone than when he ruled tennis (which makes no sense).
 
#40
He either developed a much better hold-game (what to do after the serve is returned) or the competition is weaker, or his overall play is less error prone than when he ruled tennis (which makes no sense).
It is an interesting topic. If I am not mistaken the serve holds have gone up across the field in the last 5-10 years, which can only be explained with racket/strings tech as it doesn’t look like the technique has changed much. If anything, some serves by the young guys are absolutely atrocious looking but still quite effective.

The second thing that influences mostly Fed is his stronger focus on holding serve since he aged. Nowadays he just makes sure to hold and looks for that 1 break in a set. That’s the reason he registers very little bagels and breadsticks, he is conserving energy and simply declined too much on return to win sets easily.

Now I am not saying that’s a definite answer, just offering an explanation, since I do agree it’s largely the same serve.
 
#41
Why can't people accept that a player actually can improve the serve over time? Sure, maybe the forehand & movement peaks at 25 and can't get any better, but other aspects of the game do. I felt Federer reached a new level of serving in the fall of 2010 and has maintained that ever since.
 
#42
Why can't people accept that a player actually can improve the serve over time? Sure, maybe the forehand & movement peaks at 25 and can't get any better, but other aspects of the game do. I felt Federer reached a new level of serving in the fall of 2010 and has maintained that ever since.
I can accept it when there's empirical evidence for it, not just stats which could be the result of many different factors.
 
#43
It is an interesting topic. If I am not mistaken the serve holds have gone up across the field in the last 5-10 years, which can only be explained with racket/strings tech as it doesn’t look like the technique has changed much. If anything, some serves by the young guys are absolutely atrocious looking but still quite effective.

The second thing that influences mostly Fed is his stronger focus on holding serve since he aged. Nowadays he just makes sure to hold and looks for that 1 break in a set. That’s the reason he registers very little bagels and breadsticks, he is conserving energy and simply declined too much on return to win sets easily.

Now I am not saying that’s a definite answer, just offering an explanation, since I do agree it’s largely the same serve.
I'm amazed that the greatest tennis player of all time, at his peak, only won 77% when the first serve went in. This is a guy who was better than his opponents at everything once the ball was in play.
 
#47
ON GRASS:
2005 Fed
Singles Service Record
Aces126
Double Faults16
1st Serve66%
1st Serve Points Won80%
2nd Serve Points Won63%
Break Points Faced33
Break Points Saved64%
Service Games Played174
Service Games Won93%
Total Service Points Won74%

2015 Fed
Singles Service Record
Aces128
Double Faults17
1st Serve68%
1st Serve Points Won83%
2nd Serve Points Won58%
Break Points Faced26
Break Points Saved73%
Service Games Played171
Service Games Won96%
Total Service Points Won75%

Same pattern as on Hard Courts here. 2015 Fed is clearly stronger on 1st serve but loses more 2nd serve points. The first stat on 1st serve has one obvious explanation--he got better on 1st serve.
With the 2nd serve, two explanations can be put forth:
1) Fed's second serve declined, perhaps due to the fact that back issues hurt him more on the 2nd serve later in his career (maybe less Thiemian oomph on the kick serve)
2) (more plausible): Fed's ground game was not as good and therefore he had less of a chance of winning neutral (or more neutral) points that ensue from a 2nd serve.
 
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#48
He either developed a much better hold-game (what to do after the serve is returned) or the competition is weaker, or his overall play is less error prone than when he ruled tennis (which makes no sense).
Or the 1st serve is just better. Better placement mainly (perhaps due to better string technology) and just sheer emphasis on improving that area of his game. Fed's a perfectionist and a genius, and he clearly made his serve better to pursue excellence in his career, knowing that his inevitable decline in speed and athleticism had to be offset by something.
 
#50
Or the 1st serve is just better. Better placement mainly (perhaps due to better string technology) and just sheer emphasis on improving that area of his game. Fed's a perfectionist and a genius, and he clearly made his serve better to pursue excellence in his career, knowing that his inevitable decline in speed and athleticism had to be offset by something.
His placement and disguise was consistently terrific when he was dominating the game, and it's consistently terrific now. I have ruled out any possibility that it has to do with the serve.
 
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