Nadal tops the leaderboard at ROS - It’s official

clayqueen

G.O.A.T.
Here's Why Rafa Breaking You On A Second Serve Is Bad News...

It’s break time for The Big Three.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic converting break points against first and second serves when winning and losing matches uncovers some revealing statistics into their stranglehold at the top of the tennis tree. The data set covers five seasons from 2015-2019.

Break Points Won vs. 1st Serves
The interesting first take here is how close the three players are for all the matches they played. Rafael Nadal slightly edged the other two, winning 38.02 per cent (576/1515) of break points against first serves, with both Djokovic and Federer close behind within one percentage point.

Surprisingly, it was Federer who led the trio with the highest percentage of break points won against first serves with all matches that he won, at 39.27 per cent (377/960). The commonly held view point is that both Nadal and Djokovic should eclipse the Swiss in all return categories, but it’s simply not so.

Nadal was the best performing player winning break points against first serves in the matches he lost, at 29.44 per cent (53/180). Overall, Nadal also had the least drop off between matches he won and matches he lost, at 9.74 percentage points (39.18% to 29.44%).

Break Points Won vs. 1st Serve (bold = leader)

PlayerAll MatchesMatches WonMatches LostWon v Lost Gap (Percentage Points)
Rafael Nadal38.02%39.18%29.44%9.74%
Novak Djokovic37.73%39.11%25.93%13.18%
Roger Federer37.08%39.27%22.38%16.89%
Break Points Won vs. 2nd Serves
Nadal was also the best performer of the Big Three winning break points against second serves, at 58.35 per cent (573/982). Nadal also collected the honours with Matches Won, at 60.55 per cent (528/972), while Djokovic had the highest metrics when losing the match, at 47.37 per cent (36/76).

Djokovic also had the least drop off between the win percentages against first and second serves at break point, falling just 11.42 percentage points (58.79% to 47.37%).

Break Points Won vs. 2nd Serve (bold = leader)

PlayerAll MatchesMatches WonLost MatchGap
Rafael Nadal58.35%60.55%40.91%19.64%
Novak Djokovic57.93%58.79%47.37%11.42%
Roger Federer51.72%53.86%36.89%16.97%
There are many ways to compare the performance of the Big Three to find out where they craft their small advantages as they constantly chase the biggest prizes in our sport. Performance around break points is as important as any stat they produce to determine if they are continuing to hold the silverware on any given Sunday.


 
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Hitman

Hall of Fame
The man is an f'n genius. From now on, I don't want to see anyone laugh about where Nadal returns the ball from, his level of thinking is way beyond any of us. Any person who can not only be so successful on returns, but also be able to do the job of a linesman and get a beer from the stands at that same time is a GOAT in my book.



 
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clayqueen

G.O.A.T.
The man is an f'n genius. From now on, I don't want to see anyone laugh about where Nadal returns the ball from, his level of thinking is way beyond any of us. Any person who can not only be so successful on returns, but also be able to do the job of a linesman and get a beer from the stands at that same time is a GOAT in my book.



(y) Closet Rafa fan :love:
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
Nadal edges Djokovic on 1st and 2nd serve bp conversion rate, Djokovic is by far the best overall in converting on 2nd serve bp in matches he won and lost, and Federer is on par with the 2 on 1st serve bp conversions but far behind on 2nd serve bp conversion which means it's totally mental.
 

clayqueen

G.O.A.T.
Nadal edges Djokovic on 1st and 2nd serve bp conversion rate, Djokovic is by far the best overall in converting on 2nd serve bp in matches he won and lost, and Federer is on par with the 2 on 1st serve bp conversions but far behind on 2nd serve bp conversion which means it's totally mental.
Rafa is the best.
 
Lol no he isn't. He just knows how to look balanced. I still respect him though for at least admitting things about Nadal others aren't willing to, which is all I ask for.
Hitman is a djokovic fan ffs.
But he's the most respectful nole fan towards Nadal and Federer, more so than the so called nadal fans like Stronkrule
 

MeatTornado

Legend
The man is an f'n genius. From now on, I don't want to see anyone laugh about where Nadal returns the ball from, his level of thinking is way beyond any of us. Any person who can not only be so successful on returns, but also be able to do the job of a linesman and get a beer from the stands at that same time is a GOAT in my book.



I've never made fun of Rafa's return position. I only make fun of the servers who can't take advantage of it with simple geometry.

AKA literally everyone besides Federer & Djokovic.
 

weakera

Legend
What's so awesome about Nadal's ros positioning is that he is daring the server to make him pay for it and almost no one can. He knows all he needs to do is just get the ball back in play and he has the best chance on tour of winning the point. That's how good he is from the baseline and when playing defense.
 
What's so awesome about Nadal's ros positioning is that he is daring the server to make him pay for it and almost no one can. He knows all he needs to do is just get the ball back in play and he has the best chance on tour of winning the point. That's how good he is from the baseline and when playing defense.
Lol the weak era trick.
 

Born_to_slice

Hall of Fame
Stats heavily skewed by clay. Djokovic is winning more return games on both grass and hard.
Clay - Nadal 43%, Djokovic 35%
Grass - Nadal 23%, Djokovic 26%
Hard - Nadal 29%, Djokovic 32%
 

Born_to_slice

Hall of Fame
Return stats is also skewed by Nadal's dogged performance in every single game. Once Djokovic breaks, he won't break his balls trying to break another time. Also Djokovic is way more aggressive with his return, while Nadal gets the ball back quite conservatively. Whoever says Nadal is better returner than Djokovic is either his fangirl or doesn't know much about tennis.
 

clayqueen

G.O.A.T.
What's so awesome about Nadal's ros positioning is that he is daring the server to make him pay for it and almost no one can. He knows all he needs to do is just get the ball back in play and he has the best chance on tour of winning the point. That's how good he is from the baseline and when playing defense.
Rafa can also return from the baseline at will if he feels that would work better under particular circumstances.
 

clayqueen

G.O.A.T.
Return stats is also skewed by Nadal's dogged performance in every single game. Once Djokovic breaks, he won't break his balls trying to break another time. Also Djokovic is way more aggressive with his return, while Nadal gets the ball back quite conservatively. Whoever says Nadal is better returner than Djokovic is either his fangirl or doesn't know much about tennis.
In your opinion.
 

Hitman

Hall of Fame
Stats heavily skewed by clay. Djokovic is winning more return games on both grass and hard.
Clay - Nadal 43%, Djokovic 35%
Grass - Nadal 23%, Djokovic 26%
Hard - Nadal 29%, Djokovic 32%
Sure, but look how much closer Nadal is to Djokovic on grass and hard in comparison to the gap between them on clay. It's not like Nadal is that far behind Djokovic on the other surfaces. And considering Nadal's worst surfaces are Djokovic's best surfaces, the fact that Nadal is still only 3% behind on them shows just how deadly he can be in return games on any surface.
 

Born_to_slice

Hall of Fame
Sure, but look how much closer Nadal is to Djokovic on grass and hard in comparison to the gap between them on clay. It's not like Nadal is that far behind Djokovic on the other surfaces. And considering Nadal's worst surfaces are Djokovic's best surfaces, the fact that Nadal is still only 3% behind on them shows just how deadly he can be in return games on any surface.
3% is a huge difference in return quality on fast surfaces. Djokovic's own best return surface is clay (by some margin) and so is Federer's (by not so much). There's simply more time on clay. And you have to account for the fact that Nadal buffs his stats by playing balls to the wall against every mug and his style is generally enigma for most of the field. Once he plays Djokovic, it's clear that he's way inferior on the return.
 

Hitman

Hall of Fame
3% is a huge difference in return quality on fast surfaces. Djokovic's own best return surface is clay (by some margin) and so is Federer's (by not so much). There's simply more time on clay. And you have to account for the fact that Nadal buffs his stats by playing balls to the wall against every mug and his style is generally enigma for most of the field. Once he plays Djokovic, it's clear that he's way inferior on the return.
Do we have return stats numbers specifically for Djokovic v Nadal matches?
 

Born_to_slice

Hall of Fame
Do we have return stats numbers specifically for Djokovic v Nadal matches?
I don't. Maybe @Lew II can help? :p

Get this. Nadal's return is about physicality and relentlessness of his game, not the ROS itself. Djokovic played like that in 2011 and had insane 39% return games won. But that kind of style is just not sustainable for him and he suffered the most injuries that season and ended it with a pretty serious injury.
 

Hitman

Hall of Fame
I don't. Maybe @Lew II can help? :p

Get this. Nadal's return is about physicality and relentlessness of his game, not the ROS itself. Djokovic played like that in 2011 and had insane 39% return games won. But that kind of style is just not sustainable for him and he suffered the most injuries that season and ended it with a pretty serious injury.
Interesting.
 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
The original stats posted seem a bit confusing, but here's a thought, as I dangerously think out loud while I should be sleeping...

Are there stats showing break-point games converted - and saved for that matter?
Let's say it takes Player A earns 5 break points in a game, but he finally secures the break, and he also has one opportunity apiece in 5 other games, for which he converts 2. His BP conversion rate is 30% (3 of 10), but more importantly, he converted 50% of games (3 of
6) for which he had break opportunities.

Perhaps, contrast that with Player B who had 8 break points - one apiece in 8 games - and converted three. His BP conversion is 38%, which is higher than Player A's. But Player A won 50% of games where he had one or more opportunities to Player B's 38%. That is more meaningful.
 
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MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Sure, but look how much closer Nadal is to Djokovic on grass and hard in comparison to the gap between them on clay. It's not like Nadal is that far behind Djokovic on the other surfaces. And considering Nadal's worst surfaces are Djokovic's best surfaces, the fact that Nadal is still only 3% behind on them shows just how deadly he can be in return games on any surface.
Thank you :)
 

prostaff1

Rookie
What percentage of matches did Nadal play on clay from 2015-2019?

Obviously easier to return on the super slow, high bouncing surface than other faster surfaces where the court helps the server.

Yawn.

KING FED!
 

zep

Hall of Fame
Strengthens the statement that Federer is way past his peak, if his ROS is now comparable to guys like Mannarino.
Federer's ROS game has always been a bit of a mystery to me. At times he looks like the best returner in the world and he can make the huge servers look out of sorts but then occasionally his return game looks pedestrian even against mediocre servers. His ROS has always been inconsistent. You know what you can expect from Djokovic or Nadal but with Federer you never know.
 
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