Read & Watch: Nadal, Federer, Djokovic: The Second-Serve Titans
Any time you find Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic at the top of a specific statistics list, it will grab your attention.
These three icons of our sport are not the most powerful servers on Tour, but their wealth of experience and strategic prowess with second serves is once again shining bright in 2019.
An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of second-serve points won so far this season sees Rafael Nadal leading the Tour coming into Roland Garros. The Spaniard has won 61.26 per cent (400/653) of second-serve points from 30 matches.
Nadal has amazingly featured in the Top 10 in this category for the past 15 seasons, and his current win percentage is greater than any of his previous years. Nadal has impressively finished first in this category four times.
Rafael Nadal 2004-2018: Second-Serve Points Won Ranking / Percentage Points Won
2018 = No. 1 (59.57%)
2017 = No. 1 (61.17%)
2016 = No. 10 (54.38%)
2015 = No. 9 (55.44%)
2014 = No. 6 (55.44%)
2013 = No. 2 (56.78%)
2012 = No. 2 (57.07%)
2011 = No. 2 (56.72%)
2010 = No. 1 (59.52%)
2009 = No. 3 (57.01%)
2008 = No. 1 (60.12%)
2007 = No. 3 (56.49%)
2006 = No. 2 (57.18%)
2005 = No. 2 (57.30%)
2004 = No. 10 (53.92%)
Roger Federer narrowly trails Nadal in this category so far in 2019, winning 61.04 per cent (398/652) from 25 matches coming into Roland Garros. Federer has impressively finished first seven times (2014, 2012, 2011, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004).
It should come as no surprise that either Nadal, Federer and Djokovic have topped this list for the past nine years, dating back to 2009 when Andy Roddick led the category. In third place so far in 2019 is John Isner, who has won 59.22 per cent (257/434) of his second-serve points from 22 matches.
Djokovic currently sits in fourth place, winning 58.09 per cent (413/711) from 28 matches. Djokovic has previously finished first in this category three times: 2016, 2015 and 2013.
Rounding out the top five in 2019 is German Philipp Kohlschreiber, who has won 57.51 per cent (398/692) of second-serve points from 26 matches.
When the inevitable discussion begins about how Nadal, Federer and Djokovic separate themselves from the pack and create a stranglehold on Big Titles, second-serve performance deserves to be right at the top of the list.