Tennis is a 55-45 sport.
An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of match winners versus match losers shows that on average, match winners earn 55 percent of the points in a match, while match losers still accumulate a whopping 45 percent of total points played. The data set includes 464 players who played in 100 games or more in their careers beginning in the 1991 season when official game statistics were first recorded.
If only match winners are analyzed, Rafael Nadal sits at the top of the tree as the most dominant player in our sport for the last 30+ years. When Nadal wins his matches, he consistently creates a bigger lead than any other player. The top three players with the highest percentage of points won from winning games are listed below.
It’s fascinating to see how the “Big Three” are grouped together at the top of the leaderboard, all just a percentage point apart.
If you look at the downside of match losers, Federer is the player who is essentially the “toughest player” in our sport. In a losing effort, he has consistently won more points than anyone on the tour.
Federer tops this list of two big servers Richard Krajicek and Milos Raonicwho took second place. One assumption that can be made is that being a big server helps you hold tighter matches than a solid return. This theory is supported if you look at other large servers such as death Martin (47.19%), Peter Sampras (47.15%), Ivo Karlovic (47.06%) Andy Roddick (46.91%), Stefanos Tsitsipas (46.88%) and Greg Russedski (46.85%) among the top 10 players in this category.
Match winners gained a dominant 76 percent of first serve points, while match losers still scored a respectable 67 percent of first serve points in a loss. Goran Ivanisevic (85.56%) was the most dominant in the match winners column, while Karlovic still managed to gain 79.97 percent of his points in a loss.
australian leftist, Wayne Arthurs, topped the matchwinners chart, winning a whopping 60.45 percent, while the rest of the players in the dataset averaged 55.12 percent of their second serves. Only when games are lost John Isner (50.95%) and Arthurs (50.57%) managed to break the 50 percent threshold for second-strike points gained.
Losses in tennis can be disappointing and draining. Quite often, players have trouble even determining where things went wrong or what part of their game collapsed to contribute to the loss. But truth and inspiration can be found in the game analysis, which shows how far you really are from your opponent.
A good way to think about winning and losing in tennis is that every player who steps onto the court will win at least 45 percent of all points.
The real fight focuses on the remaining 10 percent.