Serve Chronicles

Serve Chronicles

For any tennis player, the serve is a delicate balance between power and control. How well do the best players in the world manage this balance? Guest blogger, Peter Tea, uses decades of match data to examine trends in the serve leaders and losers among top-ranked ATP and WTA players.

When Two First Serves are Better Than One - Part 2

When Two First Serves are Better Than One - Part 2

Guest blogger, Peter Tea, returns for another chapter of the conundrum that is Alexander Zverev’s serve. In this second part of the When Two First Serves are Better Than One series, Tea investigates the trends behind Zverev’s serve and attempts to identify the specific factors that have made him a surprising candidate for a two-first-serve strategy.

How to Game the UTS Cards

How to Game the UTS Cards

The Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS) is a new tennis league created by Patrick Mouratoglou that is aiming to attract younger fans to tennis. When the league debuted this month, it was clear that it was taking a lot of inspiration from e-sports, introducing more gaming features like UTS cards. These cards give players the chance to change the value of some points, adding extra chances for strategic advantage. So far, the players haven’t always seemed to know how to use the cards to their best advantage. In this post, I show how to estimate the expected value of each UTS card and rank them from most to least valuable.

When Two First Serves are Better Than One - Part 1

When Two First Serves are Better Than One - Part 1

The contrast between the first and second serves can sometimes give the impression that pros have incredibly fine control of the risk of their serve, tuning the risk like the dial of a thermostat. But even for great players, risk control isn’t always easy. Sometimes the control of the second serve can get so out of whack that they are better off sticking with their first serve. This post, by guest blogger Peter Tea, a masters student in statistics at Simon Fraser University, delves into when and for whom the two-first-serve strategy is a good option in tennis.

Charting the Longest Slam Matches of All Time

Charting the Longest Slam Matches of All Time

The suspension of the tennis season has given tennis fans time for a number of side projects. In this post, I share the story of my side endeavour to make a central database of the results of all Grand Slams singles matches ever played. Thanks to Wikipedia and weeks of data wrangling, I can now share the first analysis on this blog that includes the entire history at the Majors: an analysis of the longest matches of all time.