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.
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.
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.