A model that could predict a player’s performance on serve would have a number of interesting uses like forecasting the outcome of matches or identifying surprising performances. But for any of these uses the model would need to be accurate and reliable. How should we evaluate a model’s performance? And how do we know when a model is good enough?
Every player has days when everything seems to work and other days when nothing seems to go right. Saying when a player has truly over (or under) performed is tricky in tennis because there is always an opponent on the other side of the net that is also influencing the outcome of points. In this post, I look at a basic strategy to try to isolate the ability of the server and receiver, and discuss how this might be used to identify surprising performances on serve.
Pressure is one of those concepts in tennis that we all know exists but we struggle to calculate. I’ve made multiple attempts at quantifying scoreboard pressure and have yet to come around to one that is both statistically useful and easy to interpret. But some recent experimenting has uncovered what I think could be as close to a ‘best’ statistic for pressure as I am likely to find.
In his win over Roger Federer, 20 year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas not only earned the biggest upset of the 2019 Australian Open so far, he caused many to wonder whether tennis was seeing the start of a new era. Tsitsipas’s journey at the 2019 AO is the biggest of multiple success stories for a young crop of talents on the men’s tour, stories that have already made this year one of the most unique in AO history.
The introduction of a super tiebreak in the deciding set of singles matches was one of a number of changes at the 2019 Australian Open. After two rounds, 3 men’s and 2 women’s matches have already put that rule to the test. What do the outcomes of those matches tell us about the possible impact of the new format?
Ahead of the first round of the Australian Open, I take a look at some of the likely winners on the men’s side. The forecast bodes well for the Big 3, with Novak Djokovic leading the race toward the first slam title of the 2019 season.
Ahead of the first round of the Australian Open, I take a look at the top prospects for the women’s title at the Australian Open. Could it be Karolina Pliskova’s year?
After introducing Pressure Ratings for matches, this post looks at how a similar approach can be used to develop a Set Competitiveness rating for players. The Set Competitiveness measures the pressure of a player’s sets in a way that allows direct ranking against the pressure typically faced by other players.
Last week’s 252-point Paris Masters semifinal between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer got many wondering whether it was the best match in their 47 match long rivalry. In this post, I introduce a pressure rating for sets and matches that can help to tell us to rate their relative competitiveness.
On Monday, Novak Djokovic will regain the World No. 1 ranking, climbing from outside the top 20 at the start of the year. Djokovic’s comeback has been the major story this week. In this post, I look at his rise in terms of his match-by-match Elo rating and put it in context of his best season performances in 2011 and 2015.