What a Model of Player Availability Can Tell Us About Probable Injuries in Tennis

What a Model of Player Availability Can Tell Us About Probable Injuries in Tennis

The 2020 tennis calendar was put into a tailspin by the pandemic. In a normal year, a player’s competitive schedule can tell us a lot about a player’s overall readiness to play, what I will call a player’s ‘availability’. In this post, I show how a Hidden Markov Model can be used to describe a player’s competitive schedule as the output from periods of varying availability and how irregularities in availability can be a tell-tale sign of probable injury.

Sizing Up the Height Advantage on Serve

Sizing Up the Height Advantage on Serve

Can you ever have too much height in tennis? In this post, Peter Tea analyzes two sides of the “big server” equation as he delves into the influence of height on the rate of aces hit and aces allowed among ATP players.

Was Djokovic's Drop Shot Strategy at the French Open a Mistake?

Was Djokovic's Drop Shot Strategy at the French Open a Mistake?

The tennis world has now had a week to process the end of the 2020 French Open, but many of us are probably still struggling to understand how the 56th meeting of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal could turn out to be so underwhelming. As one of the most noticeable changes in Djokovic’s game strategy this year, it is tempting to point blame at the drop shot. But would that be a fair assessment? Using data from the Match Charting Project, let’s see if we can determine if Djokovic’s drop shot strategy was what cost him his latest chance at an 18th Major title.

Who's Got the Power? - Classifying Speed Styles on Serve

Who's Got the Power? - Classifying Speed Styles on Serve

A recent data feature on the ATP website gives us insight into the average speeds of shots at more top events than just the Grand Slams. What can these speed stats tell us about a player’s style? In this post, I look at the speeds on first and second serve and use a mixture model to identify the different power styles that are used by today’s top male players.

Is the Approach Game Making a Comeback?

Is the Approach Game Making a Comeback?

If you’ve been tuning into the 2020 French Open and found yourself saying, ‘man, seems like guys are going to the net a lot’, you wouldn’t be wrong. So far, the approach rate at RG this year is an average of 19 per 100 points compared to 17 per 100 points in 2019 and 15 per 100 points in 2017 and 2018. It may seem small, but an upward shift of this size requires multiple players to be going to the net at an above average rate. So who might be driving this shift? And is the shift more than a one-off?