The serve return is the most important shot for a receiver. What can receivers do to put themselves in a better position to make a good impact on the serve return? The answer to that question is too big a task for one blog post alone. As a small first step, I take a look at a new public data source that includes the position of players at the time of return impact in ATP matches. Through a handful of case studies, it delves into the kind of patterns in return positioning these data could help reveal.
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.
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.
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.
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.