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.
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.
With so much time these days to walk down tennis memory lane, I thought it would be fun to rank the wildest runs at the Grand Slams. In this post, I show how we can use the total gain in player ratings over an event to identify surprising individual results at the majors from the 1990s to the present.
There is no time in tennis history that compares to what tennis (or the world, for that matter) is going through right now. The World Wars were the only other time where multiple Majors were suspended for an extended period of time. In this post we look at the slam winners in the 10 years before and after World War I and II and consider what history might tell us about the difficulty of coming back from the public health war against COVID-19.