Friday, January 11, 2013

The Big Three (Djokovic, Federer, Murray) & Del Potro- Statistical Precursor to Australian Open 2013 – Part 1


“Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected”. –Sunzi.

 If Roger Federer, Andy Murray or Juan Martin Del Potro wants to stop Novak Djokovic from claiming his third Australian Open title this year, they will have to do something similar to what was said by the legendary Chinese Military General and strategist Sunzi.

No matter what people predict, every year can prove to bring in new surprises. In 2011, it was Djokovic who stunned the world by displacing Rafael Nadal from World No .1, 2012 on the other hand was the year when Murray finally claimed his first grand slam title by defeating Novak Djokovic and not to forget a year where Roger Federer proved everyone wrong by winning a Grand Slam and becoming World no.1 once again.

2013 can prove to be the same this time. Will it be the year where Djokovic will continue his supremacy, or Murray will start to dominate the tennis world? Can it be the year when Roger Federer wins his 18th GS title or maybe just maybe Del Potro finally breaks the big 4 barrier? Or will it be the year where we will see Rafael Nadal repeating 2010 performance coming back after an injury?

I want to start the Australian Open discussion with a series of articles where we will look at the game stats of these players and let you decide who promises to be the most threatening player of all:

In my first part, let's have a look at the 2012 hard court statistics of the Big 3 and DelPotro:

2012 Hard Court Stats (%)
Novak Djokovic
Roger Federer
Andy Murray
Del Potro
First Serve
63
61
59
64
First Serve Points Won
75
79
73
76
Second Serve Points Won
57
61
53
54
Break Points Saved
69
70
64
70
Service Games Won
89
92
83
88
First Serve Return Points Won
35
31
32
28
Second Serve Return Points Won
58
50
56
53
Break Points Converted
48
44
42
41
Return Games Won
37
26
32
24

 Here is the Graphical Representation of the above stats:



 Clearly we can see that Roger Federer (the red bar) is better than the other 3 when it comes to service. But when it comes to return games, there is no match for Novak Djokovic (the blue bar) as he is way ahead of the curve. To me, these stats clearly reflect why Novak Djokovic has been the player to beat on hard courts. Overall he has the best balanced game of all the four. 

If Roger really wants to claim his 18th GS title, he will have to improve upon his return games won%. Murray on the other hand has to improve a little bit on his overall game.

For Delpotro, it’s simple. He has to improve on his return game and also the agility part in his game. Amongst the 4, he is the least agile and flexible player. 

The statistics are pretty revealing in themselves and if someone really wants to go past Djokovic, they will have to make sure to surprise him in an area where they are not considered to be very good at. Federer did it in Wimbledon and Murray in US Open. Can they do the same in Australian Open? 

Very difficult but not impossible.
If you have any questions- You can mail me at apekshaha@gmail.comhttp://twitter.com/#!/ApekshaHA or http://on.fb.me/pouTOy 
 

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