There are some tennis players who disregard the value of statistics when it comes to improving and developing their game. I was never one of those players. I see statistics as very valuable information which can be used to assess current performance and predict future performances.
After each match, I recorded the final scoreline in my diary and got hold of any statistics available to me. I found it quite amazing at how often a good first serve percentage, low unforced error count and total points won would not tell the complete story in a tennis match. It’s not easy to remember every single detail over the course of a match, so I would often find this task very interesting. On many occasions I should have lost the match according to the statistics, but why didn’t I?
Traditonally, you are taught to simply ‘make’ the ball, which is another way to say ‘hit the ball in the court’. This is a very important concept at an introductory level to tennis however, there has to be a moment where you must begin to accept that you may need to concede points in order to produce a more effective result. This is because the philosophy of ‘making’ the ball only, will teach a player to become passive and predictable. I respect playing percentage tennis as a rule, but rules are made to be broken 🙂
Take a look at these statistics and see what you make of the performances by each player using statistics alone. Can you guess who won the match?*
*Match winners were Serena Williams, Gael Monfils and Petra Kvitova