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Swiss Roger Federer won more games serving at 30/30 than his Top 10 peers during the 2019 ATP Tour season.

Federer Holds All The Aces At 30-All

Swiss outperforms his Top 10 peers in key serving areas

In tennis, 30/30 is just like a fork in the road. One trail leads to almost guaranteed prosperity, while the other is basically a coin flip to decide if you are going to get out alive.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of the current Top 10 from the 2019 ATP Tour season uncovers the vastly different fortunes resulting from winning or losing the point when serving at 30/30.

Roger Federer led the Top 10 last season with the highest percentage of service holds from 30/30, at 86.1 per cent (174/202). Surprisingly, Federer performed just as well in this specific metric on clay as he did on grass.

Federer defeated Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in his opening round of the 2020 Australian Open on Monday. Federer was taken to 30/30 three times during the match and won all three of those games.

2019: Federer Holding From 30/30

Surface Win Percentage
Grass 89.4% (42/47)
Clay 89.2% (33/37)
Hard 83.9% (99/118)

Federer’s metrics led the Top 10 group of players on clay and grass, while Novak Djokovic led the Top 10 holding from 30/30 on hard, winning 85.0% (96/113). Across all surfaces, the Top 10 averaged a 79.9 per cent (1840/2303) success rate serving at 30/30.

2019: Holding Serve From 30/30

Rank Player Win Percentage
1 Roger Federer 86.1%
2 Rafael Nadal 83.2%
3 Matteo Berrettini 82.8%
4 Stefanos Tsitsipas 81.8%
5 Roberto Bautista Agut 80.9%
6 Novak Djokovic 80.6%
7 Dominic Thiem 78.8%
8 Daniil Medvedev 78.0%
9 Gael Monfils 75.3%
10 Alexander Zverev 73.0%
- Total/Average 79.9%

If the server won the 30/30 point and surged to 40/30, their percentage chance of holding serve jumped above 90 per cent. But if they lost the 30/30 point and fell to 30/40, they now were statistically more likely to be broken than to hold.

2019 Top 10: Holding Serve From 30/30, 40/30 & 30/40

Score Win Percentage
30/30 79.9% (1840/2303)
40/30 93.3% (2368/2539)
30/40 49.0% (608/1240)

Federer again led the pack holding from 40/30 at 97.1 per cent, only losing seven service games out of 240 last season from this dominant score line. Roberto Bautista Agut was second out of the Top 10 holding from 40/30, at 96.1 per cent (224/233) with Rafael Nadal in third place at 94.8 per cent (202/213).

When the Top 10 lost the 30/30 point and dropped to 30/40, that’s when their average hold percentage dipped slightly under half, at 49.0 per cent (608/1240). The five players to battle over the 50 per cent mark were:

Player Win Percentage
Roger Federer 58.8% (60/102)
Rafael Nadal 58.3% (56/96)
Matteo Berrettini 56.6% (73/129)
Novak Djokovic 56.2% (59/105)
Dominic Thiem 50.4% (62/123)

30/30 is a crossroads between pleasure and pain. Making a first serve is always a good start.

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