Novak Djokovic’s path to another Australian Open title will be for the No. not necessarily just be 1 seed

Until the third round after his win against the American Frances Tiafoe on Wednesday, Djokovic’s quarter of the draw belongs to the US Open finalist Alexander Zverev 2020 and the former Australian Open semi-finalist Milos Raonic He could face the Australian finalist in 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem in the semifinals before taking on 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in the final

That’s a tricky road to go, but Djokovic remained a favorite out of 125 bets to win the tournament via Caesars from William Hill (equals 44) 4% odds) at the start of the tournament Tennis Abstract gave him a 366% chance of winning the tournament

He’s that good on hard courts, especially in Melbourne, where he’s won eight of the last 13 Australian Open

Thanks to hard court data over the past five years, it is clear where and why Djokovic stands out. Chart data confirms what you already know: He wins mostly on defense and depth, but it also tells you that he may have the most underrated backhand and serves second in the game

In the first act of the Serb, which lasted from 2011 to 2016, he won 11 of 24 slams and reached the finals in seven others.While succumbing to injuries and poor form in 2017 and the first half of 2018, things returned his surprising Wimbledon title run in 2018 (he won No. 12 seeds)

The 33-year-old has won five of the last nine slams and reached the final in a sixth Two of his four losses during that period involved special circumstances – he retired in the third set with a shoulder injury to Wawrinka in the fourth round of the 2019 US Open (he had admittedly dropped two sets to zero at this point), and he was in the fourth Round of the US Open 2020 delayed because he hit a line person with a ball

He saw a match point and lost in only two of his last 56 slam matches, in other words with the exception of the failure, he went 26-0 on hard courts in 2020

Efficiency and consistency in a particular sport offer sustained success and forward-looking, long-term quality. Imagine a soccer team that stays well on schedule, a baseball team that is a lot on the grassroots, or Caroline Wozniacki who is on the human backboard -Mode changes and returns every single ball

Explosiveness and raw playing skills provide the most straightforward way to win any given point, game, or game, albeit in a riskier, less reliable way. Imagine a quarterback lifting a deep ball, JR Smith who happened to smoke for the New York Knicks in the early 2010s, or Wawrinka who finds his groove and hits the forehead against the best defenders in tennis

Roger Federer Makes an Uninterrupted, Flawless Offense Patrick Mahomes completed over 70% of his passes with some of the highest yards-per-completion averages in the NFL Mike Trout tops the American League in both base and slugging percentages / p>

Djokovic thwarted this trend, however.He is by no means without his occasional explosiveness – after all, his most famous shot could be his match point in the 2011 US Open semifinals – but to become perhaps the greatest tennis player of all time, he didn’t combine efficiency and Explosiveness so much that it has made himself the most consistent and efficient player we will ever see

Thanks to matching graph data, we can delve deeper into what makes Djokovic’s game so unique

Jeff Sackmann and an army of volunteers have been recording tennis matches for years as part of the Match Charting project, which now has data on more than 8000 games, 1 million points and 5 million shots from last week’s WTA Gippsland Trophy includes tournament back to the 1959 men’s and women’s Wimbledon final.There are, for example, 370 Djokovic games (and the counting), 514 Roger Federer games and 397 Simona Halep games as well as many games by the greats in retirement: Andre Agassi (141), Steffi Graf (119), Boris Becker (91), Chris Evert (56) etc.

While it doesn’t (yet!) include every game ever played, graph data allows us to dig into the world of actual events via the top-line stats – winners, aces, casual mistakes – derives strategy and determines winnings and losses

Djokovic wins 410% of the return points compared to an overall average of 353% in the rehearsal. He wins “key points” (breakpoints, twos, game points) 409% of the time vs. a 352% mean

Its returns were rated “low” – between the service lines and the baseline – 753% of the time (avg: 665%) and “flat” only 195% of the time (avg: 223%)

In points decided within three shots, servers only win 606% of first serve points and 581% of second serve against Djokovic (average: 664% and 581%)

First serve points against Djokovic an average of 45 total shots, while the second serve averages 6 points3 (average values: 37 and 51)

Depth is the most underrated weapon in tennis, and no one comes back with depth and plays their way into a point like Djokovic.He neutralizes most serves with steady, deep returns and then massages the point in his favor, and its depth is universal:

Match charters also record whether a particular serve could be returned or “not returned” – “if the returnee does not get a full club on the ball (including the thighs), does not get the return all the way to the net, or misses wildly “You record 736% serve against Djokovic as reusable, which compared to 703% of the overall average in the sample suggest that his range is slightly better than normal but he also wins 509% of the points against a reusable surcharge; Of the 31 players with at least 1000 charted returns in this sample was David Goffin (50) 8%) is the only other player above 50% and only Andy Murray (96) 8%) and Alex De Minaur (962%) can beat their 961% rate of returnable surcharges in the Game

Opponents will serve the body at key moments, but that is perhaps its greatest strength: 776% of those returns go to the deep part of the court and while players are also trying to attack your backhand, that doesn’t work either – he wins 445% of the return points were given to the backhand (sample mean: 374%) and 518% of the points with reusable surcharges (446%)

Basically, he’s getting more serves, returning them with more consistency and depth, and waiting for you

On important points in the second leg, Djokovic wins 97% of the points with a forced error and only loses 143% with an unconstrained error (averages: 72% and 153%)

Especially with game points where the opponent tries to end a service game, Djokovic wins 125% of the points with an enforced error (average: 75%)

In most cases, a player’s forehand is better than their backhand. A general way to see who has the control points is to simply look at a player’s forehand to backhand ratio using the match chart data For example, in this five-year hard court sample, we see that the average player hits a forehand 55, in 9% of rallies, Federer is 612%, Nadal 602% Less successful players in the sample are mainly lower – Francis Tiafoe is 483%, John Millman 453%

Djokovic is only 50 years old9%, and it couldn’t be less important. On points with a backhand shot, players only win 48% 6% of the time, but Djokvoic wins 545%

Combine that with the depth above and you will see how frustrating it is to play against him He sends everything deep into the field and gives you a few balls to really attack.He turns matches into backhand battles too – he scores Backhand across the field, sending more forehead on the line (and towards a righthander’s backhand) than the normal player, and his backhand is far more consistent than anyone else’s: only 68% of his backhand results in casual errors compared to an overall average of 94% Even if you avoid casual mistakes, he’ll use you in certain areas of the pitch, waiting for you to press and try to get too big a shot, Djokovic is among the best in the world at that

He wins 673% of the first serve points were decided within three shots (average: 664%) – and 665% of the second serve points were decided within three shots (average: 581%)

He serves two dishes well 453% of the time (average: 240%) and serves the T 371% of the time on ad courts (average: 194%)

Djokovic’s resurgence in 2018 correlated almost perfectly with a redesign of his serve – or maybe I should say demodeling.After playing with a new service movement to relieve the recently injured elbow, he reverted to his original serving movement

The impact wasn’t really seen on first serve, where his numbers remain solid but unspectacular – he gained 734% of his first serve points on this sample versus 731% average, but his service move is consistent enough that he barely takes any of his second serve, and he often uses a more offensive slice for the forehand than the typical defense-friendly kick serve for the backhand.It has become one of the more aggressive and effective components of his game, with minimal drawbacks / p>

Djokovic makes double mistakes more often than most elite players – among the ATP top 10 last year, only Zverev made a higher percentage of the time double mistakes (20) 0% of second serves) than Djokovic (104%) But the most elites still have a double fault between 6 and 8% of second serves so it is not that far from normal pace and it is clear that the advantages have far outweighed the disadvantages last year it held serve 852% the time on hard courts, 10 among the ATP top 50 players In combination with his always elitist second leg, he breaks the serve 310% of the time on hard courts, second behind Monfils – that makes him pretty untouchable

Thiem won the US Open 2020 by winning only 55% of his points – 11 out of 20 Djokovic, perhaps the best hard court player of all time, won 55% of his hard court points in 2020, 56% in 2019

The difference between great and average game is that it wins a point or so for every 20 games played, and Djokovic will go down as an all-time great, perhaps an all-time great, by removing those tiny margins by a tiny amount in his game bends towards he hits shots deeper than you, he makes fewer mistakes than you and eventually he breaks you

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World news – FI – How Novak Djokovic breaks opponents: The numbers behind his success