Karlovic tactics

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by joeri888, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

    Jan 23, 2008
    I've been looking at some stats from Ivo Karlovic.

    For 2010 it is like this:
    1st serve percentage: 65%
    1st serve win percentage: 85%
    2nd serve win percentage: 49%

    in every 100 service points he wins: 0.85 x 65 + 0.49 x 35 = 68.40 out of points won by Karlovic

    If Karlovic went for a 1st serve on every 2nd serve he gets he'll win: 65 x 0.85 + 35 x (0.65x0.85) =74.6 out of 100 points won by Karlovic

    I'll explain: He'll still hit 65 first serves in. He'll still win 85% of those. Which is already 55 percent of points on his serve. Of the remaining 35 points, instead of 49% on a normal second serve, he'll win 85% of 65% of those (presuming he's strong enough mentally to get as many first serves in at the second time of asking as he normally would) and lose the remaining points (35% of 35 points) on a double fault.

    My Statement: Karlovic should never hit a second serve and just go for another first serve.

  2. Danstevens

    Danstevens Semi-Pro

    Feb 21, 2009
    Nottingham, England
    Sampras hit a pretty hard second serve and he did pretty well for himself. Don't worry, I'm not likening Karlovic to one of the all time greats of the game, I was just pointing something out.

    I'm not sure if Karlovic should go for another first serve on his second, I can't imagine him being mentally strong enough to maintain a decent percentage. On the other hand, do I think he should edge towards a more aggressive second serve? Yes. Karlovic lives and dies by the serve and has very little to fall back on compared to other pros once the rally starts. You don't need to have to do the maths (as interesting as it is) to get the idea that Karlovic going for the second serve more could probably be quite beneficial to him as long as he could hold it together mentally.
  3. tuk

    tuk Rookie

    Jul 26, 2006
    very interesting...never thought about it.....the numbers are correct and I wolud certainly like him to give it at least one try to se what happens....
    that would be cool to watch as long as he can maintain the first serve percentaje around those numbers....
  4. sh@de

    sh@de Hall of Fame

    Feb 1, 2009
    That is some cool analysis!

    I don't think it works out though because of the mental aspect. I highly doubt his second serve success rate would remain at 65% if he were to hit it that hard. And if it drops, he's in trouble. It's a mental/confidence problem.
  5. Kostas

    Kostas Semi-Pro

    Jul 7, 2008
    Memphis, TN
    I'm actually coming up with different numbers (using your same statistics)....

    I was going to try to figure out how bad his win% would have to be for this new strategy to be break-even for him.

    I could be doing something wrong I if so I apologize but here's what I'm getting:

    65 First Serves * 85% win = 55.25 points
    35 Second Serves * 49% win = 17.15 points
    72.4 points won out of 100

    If he goes for 100 first serves:
    65 First Try Serves in at 85% win = 55.25 points
    35 Second Try First Serves with only 65% of them going in and still winning 85% = 19.3375
    74.5875 points won out of 100

    Or an increase of 3%.

    What did I mess up?
  6. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

    Feb 29, 2008
    somewhere in calif
    I got the same as you. 72.4 & 74.6. maybe the OP made an error?
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  7. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

    Jan 24, 2008
    Stillwater, OK
    You're forgetting that in tennis some points are more important than others. Even Ivo has games where his first serve is in the crapper, and if he just wailed away on both it could be the difference between winning/losing the set. You can't just take an overall percentage and conclude that he'd do better this way.
  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Concur with DJ...
    As you all know, there is much less mental pressure hitting a first serve than there is hitting a second serve. First serve is all about getting loose and carefree, to allow all the kinetics to work. Second serve is pressure.....you lose the point if you don't get it in. You lose the point if you get it into your opponents sweetspot.
    Not talking mechanics here, talking mental pressure.
    And as DJ said, plenty of times Ivo would miss his first serves 3 in a row....couple that with more pressure, he'd only get ONE of the remaining second serves in, to lose 5 points quickly.
  9. djokovicgonzalez2010

    djokovicgonzalez2010 G.O.A.T.

    Oct 8, 2009
    SW Virginia, USA
    I've been saying this for a long time, the man can't play, he needs to go for it more
  10. Bittabonga

    Bittabonga Banned

    Mar 29, 2010
    Be tall, hit big serve.
  11. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

    Jan 23, 2008
    You are right. I made a mistake. The point's still valid, but to a less extent. Maybe the 2% deficit will go away because of the mental aspect. But anyway, I think if you always do it like this and just hit 20 to 30 double faults in a match, you learn to deal with the mental side of it all.

    I'd just like to see him try, especially against guys like Federer and Nadal who won't lose many rallies against ivo's second serve.
  12. iamke55

    iamke55 Professional

    Apr 18, 2006
    If he did this he would hit way too many aces. 78 is nothing if you don't hit any second serves!
  13. Six.One.Tour.90FAN

    Six.One.Tour.90FAN Professional

    Dec 3, 2009
    wiltshire, uk
    This is why your status is 'legend'!
    Great analysis
  14. decades

    decades Guest

    but, it will still be his second serve, no?

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