How Rafa Separates Himself From All Other Winners

clayqueen

G.O.A.T.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thirteen million tennis points can be boiled down to one core principle: Just 10 points from every 100 are the difference-makers between winning and losing.

An Infosys ATP Insights deep dive into 13,536,026 points of ATP Tour and Grand Slam matches from 1991 to 2020 identifies that match victors average winning 55 per cent of points while match losers still collect a healthy 45 per cent of points. The secret sauce of winning and losing is the 10 percentage-point gap that separates the two.

No match winner creates more separation over their defeated opponent than Rafael Nadal, who wins 56.4 per cent (79,529/140,987) of points on average when he claims victory.

The following list contains the leading 10 players from 1991-2020 with the highest points won percentage when winning their matches (minimum 50 matches won).

1991-2020 Grand Slam/ATP Tour Results
Highest Percentage Points Won When Winning The Match

#PlayerMatches WonPoints Won %
1Rafael Nadal96156.41%
2Anders Jarryd7856.35%
3Novak Djokovic87756.10%
4Roger Federer119555.93%
5Andre Agassi65155.81%
6Filippo Volandri16855.78%
7Nikolay Davydenko46855.69%
8Guillermo Coria21355.66%
9Tomas Berdych60855.65%
10Markus Hipfl5555.60%
Rafa has inflicted the most pain on his defeated opponents in Barcelona. Nadal has won the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell 11 times, boasting a 61-4 record. The Spaniard first played the tournament in 2003, losing to Alex Corretja 6-3, 2-6, 1-6 in the Round of 32. He then went on a 42 match winning streak there, claiming eight titles before losing to Nicolas Almagro 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 in 2014.

The following table highlights Rafa’s points-won percentage at events where he has won at least 30 matches.

Nadal Points Won Percentage When Winning Matches (Minimum 30 matches won at the event)

#PlayerMatches WonPoints Won %
1Barcelona6158.18%
2Monte Carlo7157.97%
3Roland Garros9357.89%
4Rome6156.60%
5Miami4056.56%
6Australian Open6556.38%
7US Open6456.34%
8Indian Wells5456.08%
9Madrid5255.97%
10Canada3855.57%
11Wimbledon5355.52%
This analysis helps mentally reframe our perception about the real difference between winning and losing. Imagine two players walking out on court to compete. They don’t yet know who will win, but they do know that regardless if they play a great match or not, they will still probably win at least 45 per cent of points played.

This way of thinking can help players respond more positively when losing points in a match. Instead of reacting with disappointment or anger when losing a point, just remind yourself that you are giving your opponent a quota of 45 per cent of all points anyway. That last point you lost was just one of them.

 
Last edited:

clayqueen

G.O.A.T.
Fairly meaningless stat (I expect Borg would hold the all time record if such stats had always been kept, btw).

PETE only needed one break per set to win the match, therefore wouldn’t score highly on this measure. However, this takes nothing away from his greatness.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
This probably is a reflection of Nadal's tenacity and willingness to run down balls that anyone else would give up on. He wins a small but nevertheless significant share of points that way, which would contribute to the percentages.

Someone like Federer lets those balls go because he's happy to serve his way out, so that would explain why his numbers are a bit lower.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
@clayqueen

Vast majority of Nadal's matches are on clay that contributes to his high percentage.

Many players including Federer's matches are much more spread across all 3 surfaces.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
The biggest myth in tennis, Nadal is only good on clay :rolleyes:
(Sigh)Never said that he's not good off clay. The point is when a player plays so much more(percentage wise) on his favorite surface, it enhances his winning percentage. The same would enhanced Federer had he played vast majority of his matches on his best surface(grass).
 

The Blond Blur

Hall of Fame
(Sigh)Never said that he's not good off clay. The point is when a player plays so much more(percentage wise) on his favorite surface, it enhances his winning percentage. The same would enhanced Federer had he played vast majority of his matches on his best surface(grass).
Nadal has played more matches on HCs than CCs so right off the bat you're wrong. 2nd did you even look at the table? of those 11 tournaments listed half were on clay half were on hard and then there's Wimbledon. Given the make up the modern day tour that is about as spread out as it gets. Clayqueen can come off as an insecure RAFAN at times, but you're basically the Fed Fan version of her :whistle:
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Nadal has played more matches on HCs than CCs so right off the bat you're wrong. 2nd did you even look at the table? of those 11 tournaments listed half were on clay half were on hard and then there's Wimbledon. Given the make up the modern day tour that is about as spread out as it gets. Clayqueen can come off as an insecure RAFAN at times, but you're basically the Fed Fan version of her :whistle:
Nadal plays more on his favorite surface than other player's favorite surface, "percentage wise".
 

clayqueen

G.O.A.T.
@clayqueen

Vast majority of Nadal's matches are on clay that contributes to his high percentage.

Many players including Federer's matches are much more spread across all 3 surfaces.
What you are saying is, Rafa is the only one who totally dominates a surface; everyone else is a Jack of all trades and master of none.
 

clayqueen

G.O.A.T.
(Sigh)Never said that he's not good off clay. The point is when a player plays so much more(percentage wise) on his favorite surface, it enhances his winning percentage. The same would enhanced Federer had he played vast majority of his matches on his best surface(grass).
Federer is average on grass. He's only dominated Halle which was a 250 tournament until very recently, other than that he doesn't dominate on grass. Federer doesn't dominate Wimbledon. Yes he's won the most titles there but less than 50% of the number of times he's played there. Fedr has only won Wimbledon once in the last 10 years so you can't say he hasn't had the opportunity to dominate it. He has the same opportunities to win Wimbledon as Rafa has to win RG.

Federer couldn't even win the Gold Medal at the 2012 Olympic Games at Wimbledon.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
#PlayerMatches WonPoints Won %
1Barcelona6158.18%
2Monte Carlo7157.97%
3Roland Garros9357.89%
4Rome6156.60%
5Miami4056.56%
6Australian Open6556.38%
7US Open6456.34%
8Indian Wells5456.08%
9Madrid5255.97%
10Canada3855.57%
11Wimbledon5355.52%
Playing so much on his best surface(clay) and so little on his worst surface(grass) greatly inflate the winning percentage.

He played 286 matches on clay and only 53 on grass. LOL
 

clayqueen

G.O.A.T.
Playing so much on his best surface(clay) and so little on his worst surface(grass) greatly inflate the winning percentage.

He played 286 matches on clay and only 53 on grass. LOL
So what? Why is Rafa just one title behind Federer at the USO and won 4 titles there to Djokovic's 3?
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Tennis is dominated by hard courts so those who say it's their best surface have a lot more opportunities to excel on it.
Every player has his favorite/worst surface.

For the big 3: Federer - grass, Nadal - clay, Nole - hard
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
So what? Why is Rafa just one title behind Federer at the USO and won 4 titles there to Djokovic's 3?
I've already told you. Playing more matches on your best surface(percentage wise) than other players, it helps raise your winning percentage.

Common sense.
 

clayqueen

G.O.A.T.
I've already told you. Playing more matches on your best surface(percentage wise) than other players, it helps raise your winning percentage.

Common sense.
Sorry. Your logic doesn't wash. Federer doesn't dominate any surface.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
I guarantee you Joker and Ol' Rog have played have played a similar percentage on their favored surfaces HC.
You mean grass for Federer. He played very few on grass mainly because the grass season is so short, and there's no MS1000(clay has 3 MS1000).
 

Tennis_Freak99

Hall of Fame
I don't see a big revelation out of this stat honestly for two reasons

1) Tennis is about winning the important points rather than all points. Not every point has the same significance. For a big server 1 break of serve is usually enough to win the set and so on.

2) The top 10 values hardly differ by 0.8%. That's not a big distinction to boast about VB. They all lie in the same ball part. Except that we can remove players with less than 400 wins to increase quality of the group but that's about it.
 

The Blond Blur

Hall of Fame
You mean grass for Federer. He played very few on grass mainly because the grass season is so short, and there's no MS1000(clay has 3 MS1000).
Grass is now a niche surface that costs by far the most to maintain which is why it has largely been phased out. Even then, Ol' Rog isn't going to win as many points on grass as he is on hard or clay because grass is much more serve dominate. Lower tier players are more likely to hold on grass than any other surface. As far as which surface has too much representation, that would be HC. If any surface should lose a MS1000 to give grass a tournament of that caliber it should be HC.
 
Last edited:

Third Serve

Legend
Federer is average on grass. He's only dominated Halle which was a 250 tournament until very recently, other than that he doesn't dominate on grass. Federer doesn't dominate Wimbledon. Yes he's won the most titles there but less than 50% of the number of times he's played there. Fedr has only won Wimbledon once in the last 10 years so you can't say he hasn't had the opportunity to dominate it. He has the same opportunities to win Wimbledon as Rafa has to win RG.

Federer couldn't even win the Gold Medal at the 2012 Olympic Games at Wimbledon.
ROFLMAO
 
Top