Tennis can get frustrating. Sometimes it's nice to look at the pros and realize they struggle in their matches a lot more than you think. Before getting frustrated in your next tennis match over a missed shot, let's take a look at some stats that might put things in better perspective for you. These stats are all by the stat technician, Craig O'Shannessy. Let's dive in.
Stat #1: The best first-serve return points won
You may think that the top pros should win the majority of their points, regardless of returning or serving. If you had that mindset as a pro, I'm guessing you wouldn't last that long. Stefan Edberg remains the best career hard-court leader of first-serve return points won. It was a measly 33.64%
(3667/10,901) from 219 matches. Consider this the next time you miss a first serve return. Although the level is obviously different, the outcomes will be similar as the first serve is most likely a difficult shot to get back with any conviction to get the upper hand in your match.
In case you were wondering, the best second-serve return points won on a hard court was 56.08% (11,141/19,868) from 584 matches. His name? Andre Agassi. Considered one of the best returners EVER and he won barely over half of the second serve returns he played.
Stat #2: Conversion of Break Points
The top break points converted was Guillermo Coria 45.71% (career-high ranking No. 3). This means that he was able to win about 46% of all break points available to him on the return. This also means the best player at winning important points on the returned failed more than succeeded. Keep in mind Coria played most of his matches on clay, making it easier to break an opponent's serve. So keep this in mind when you miss an important break point opportunity!
Stat #3: Overall points won
You would think that the best players win most of the points they play. This is far from the case. In fact, if you want to be top 5 in the world, win about 54% of your points and you have succeeded. This is a crazy statistic to show how difficult it is to win points in tennis but also to show how much you can fail and still be successful. Stay positive and realize you will fail a lot in your matches!
Stat #4: Pressure while serving
You may think that pros fly through their service games with ease but many of the top 20 players in the world face pressure on the serve more often than you think. Over a third of the time, players that you are familiar with (see below) reach deuce on their serve. This tells you that even the best in the world have a hard time holding serve. The next time you are feeling pressure while serving, remember that even the best face these circumstances in every match they play!
Stat #5: Even the best can improve
Roger Federer is considered one of the best players to ever play tennis. His game makes things that are difficult look easy. Surprisingly, he has a glaring statistic that he has had trouble with over his career that he would like to improve upon. Federer is currently at No. 91 in break points converted with a conversion ratio of 41.13% (4,675/11,367). So remember, even the best can improve their craft, just like us!
Want to work on hitting the ball hard on the run? Focus on your wrist!