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FedEx ATP Performance Zone

: 21 sty 2012, 18:05
autor: DUN I LOVE

Adres: ... nding.aspx

Spis treści (data dodania):

Styczeń 2011: Fifth Set Career Records
Luty 2011: 52-Week Clay-Court Records
Marzec 2011: Current ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Records
Kwiecień 2011: Career Clay-Court Records
Czerwiec 2011: Career Grass-Court Records
Lipiec 2011: Career Hard-Court Records
Sierpień 2011: Career Tie-Break Records
Wrzesień 2011: Current Hard-Court Records
Październik 2011: Career Indoor Records
Listopad 2011: After Losing The First Set Records
Grudzień 2011: Finals Records

Styczeń 2012: Grand Performers
Luty 2012: Lethal Against Lefties
Kwiecień 2012: Deadly In Deciders
Maj 2012: Top 10 Records A Measure Of Greatness
Czerwiec 2012: First Set Frontrunners
Wrzesień 2012: Hard-Court Heroes
Październik 2012: Tie-Break Titans
Listopad 2012: Impressive Indoors
Grudzień 2012: Outstanding Outdoors

Styczeń 2013: Clay Kings
Marzec 2013: Hard-court Heroes
Kwiecień 2013: Clay Collossi
Maj 2013: Top 10 Records
Czerwiec 2013: Grass-Court Giants
Lipiec 2013: Hard-Court Hardmen
Sierpień 2013: Grand Slam Greats
Wrzesień 2013: First Set Frontrunners
Październik 2013: Impressive Indoors
Listopad 2013: Best Under Pressure
Grudzień 2013: Best By Surface

Luty 2014: Current Tie-Break Records
Marzec 2014: Isner's Tie-Breaks Record
Kwiecień 2014: Nadal Stands Alone On Clay
Maj 2014: FedEx Reliability Zone: Finals Records
Czerwiec 2014: FedEx ATP Performance Zone: Great On Grass
Lipiec 2014: FedEx ATP Performance Zone: Hard Court Heavyweights
Sierpień 2014: Vs. Top 10
Wrzesień 2014: FedEx ATP Performance Zone: 52-Week Indoor Records

Lipiec 2015: FedEx Performance Zone: After Winning First Set

Re: FedEx ATP Reliability Index

: 21 sty 2012, 18:07
autor: COA
Fifth Set Career Records

Rafael Nadal, with a 14-3 record in fifth sets,
has the best record of any current player.

The 2011 ATP World Tour season has begun and the first Grand Slam championship is on the horizon. The Australian Open of course features best-of-five-set matches. So this month, we take an in-depth look at fifth set career records using the FedEx Reliability Index, with exclusive analysis from past and present ATP World Tour stars.

A player may have worked hard in training but with four sets completed and one set left to play, there is no turning back. It’s a case of step-up or go home. In tennis, there can only be one winner.

Three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker, who compiled a 32-14 mark in fifth sets, once said, “The fifth set is not about tennis, it’s about nerves.” Jonas Bjorkman, who always trained hard to be physically strong, adds, “You don’t win with great shots; you win by making less mistakes.”

It’s no wonder the fifth set is often considered the thinking man’s endurance test. It also proves to a player whether they are fit enough or not. If you are healthy and physically fit, then mentally you have an advantage over your opponent.

Brad Gilbert, the former World No. 4, who coached Andre Agassi to six major championships, says, “Andre made sure he was in great shape, so that in fifth sets he gave himself the best possible chance to win.”

Ivan Lendl, who reached eight straight US Open finals from 1982-1989, believes, “It is tough to train for them mentally — it's best to have the experience of playing many before. But it's much easier to be mentally tough if you are fitter than your opponent.”

Players such as Mats Wilander [26-12] and Aaron Krickstein [28-9] did not fear fifth sets. Yet others, such as Gilbert, did not look forward to them. “At times, I felt as if I was like a boxer who had taken too many punches,” explains Gilbert. “I eked out matches that I didn’t deserve to win, but I also had opponents baked but I still lost.”


One of the most memorable comebacks in recent tennis history was Pete Sampras’ great escape against Alex Corretja at the US Open in 1996. Sampras (pictured right) battled sickness and saved one match point in the fifth set tie-break for a 7-6(5), 5-7, 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(7) quarter-final win. Gilbert remembers, “It was Sampras who tired but he found a way to win. At the end of the match, Corretja was physically the stronger.”

Today’s fifth-set ironmen include Rafael Nadal [14-3], Novak Djokovic [12-5], Dmitry Tursunov [11-5], Tomas Berdych [13-6] and Janko Tipsarevic [13-6].

Tursunov confesses, “Nadal's fitness is not commonplace even in pentathlons.” Gilbert, who compiled a 16-15 record in fifth sets, reckons, “Nadal can easily manage himself. He is the sort of player that can go five sets, rest for 10 minutes then go back and play another 10 sets. He is so physically and mentally strong.”

Every player agrees that at the start of a fifth set it all depends on how you are feeling physically as to whether you maintain your focus or not when the finish line is in sight. How a player performs also depends on different situations such as weather, court speed and your opponent.

“The start of the set is most important,” says Lendl. “It is always good to get ahead as you are somewhat tired.”


Gilbert adds, “If you are strong and you see the other player flagging then your tactics change. If you are physically spent then you need to find another way to win. Sometimes you push on service games and not on the return games. You must pick your spots and keep it simple. You can either strike or coast in five sets. But when you’re spent, you must stay close."

Tursunov admits to one dominant feeling. “You just respond based more on instincts and feel at this point, as fear and reasoning is an emotion that disappears when you are physically tired.

“It proves your hard work is validated and not just as an excuse to eat a double portion of ice-cream, but as the foundation for long matches. You learn of where your boundaries really are as a competitor or just as an individual.”

Overall in ATP history (since 1973), Nadal (.824) leads the FedEx ATP Reliability Index with the best percentage figure ahead of Johan Kriek (.818), Ross Case (.813), Bjorn Borg (.800) and Harold Solomon (.762). ... cords.aspx

Re: FedEx ATP Reliability Index

: 21 sty 2012, 18:13
autor: robpal
52-Week Clay-Court Records

World No. 8 David Ferrer has a 5-7 record
in clay-court ATP World Tour finals.

The 'Golden Swing' of Latin American clay-court tournaments again showcased many of the world's best clay-court players. We take an in-depth look at the best clay-court records of the past 52 weeks using the FedEx Reliability ATP Index, with exclusive analysis from past and present ATP World Tour stars.

Sweden's Bjorn Borg, with Rafael Nadal arguably the greatest clay-courter in tennis history, told what attributes are needed to become a great clay-courter.

"First of all you have to be really fit," said Borg, who compiled a 245-39 career record and six Roland Garros titles on red dirt. "You have to realise that to win you will need to stay on court for many hours. You must be mentally and physically strong and have a great deal of patience. Because today, you have a lot of guys capable of winning long matches."

On a surface where the ball digs into a powdery top dressing and loses a lot of its speed, and where perfect balance and the ability to slide into a ball is a necessity, it isn't a surprise to learn that nine of the Top 10 clay-court match wins leaders since 2000 have been from Spain or South American countries.

Andres Gomez, the 1990 Roland Garros champion, told, "They grew up on clay [and] they expect to have a better clay-court season than on any other surface. Their schedule is designed that way. When there are players hoping for the [clay] season to finish fast, others have the mentality to tough it out week in and week out."

In that 10-season period, Nadal leads the field with an astonishing 203-16 (.9269) record, but we all know about the qualities of the 'King of Clay'. Yet, remarkably, four other Spaniards who will be plying their trade on Latin American red dirt - Nicolas Almagro, David Ferrer, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Albert Montanes - have also finished among the clay-court match wins leaders in each of the past five years.


Last year, Ferrer (31-7), Ferrero (28-7), Almagro (28-11), Nadal (22-0), Fernando Verdasco (22-7), Montanes (22-12), Thomaz Bellucci (21-10), Juan Ignacio Chela (21-12), Potito Starace (18-13) and Stanislas Wawrinka (17-6) ranked among the best players on red dirt.

There are currently 24 players from Spain or South American in the Top 100 of the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings.

"You have to have patience and imagination combined with good control in sliding on the clay," said Gomez, whose 17 of 21 ATP World Tour singles title came on clay courts."The tactics of clay-court tennis haven't changed, but the speed of the game has."

"You have a greater number of aggressive baseliners with the ability to finish points quicker thanks to the lighter balls and better equipment. But the counter-puncher has gotten better too. You have a more attractive game on clay, with the attacking players becoming more of a threat now than in the past ... and that makes for a more interesting game."

This week, the Movistar Open in Santiago, Chile, the first of 22 ATP World Tour clay events in 2011, opened the 'Gira Dorado'.

Juan Monaco, who has a 3-7 record in clay-court finals, told about the differences between the Latin American tournaments and European clay events.

"In Europe, fans are more impartial [and] educated," said Monaco. "Here, they are also educated but have greater passion. The crowd gets involved with the players. It always feels like Davis Cup atmosphere."

From the fast courts of Santiago and the Brasil Open at Costa do Sauipe, where the fans are patriotic, to the bright orange hue of the Copa Claro in Buenos Aires and the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco, where the purists turn out in force, several former Roland Garros champions have plied their traide.

Gustavo Kuerten, Carlos Moya, Albert Costa, Ferrero, Gaston Gaudio and Nadal have each used the 'Golden Swing' as a stepping stone to greatness in Paris. Who will breakthrough this year? ... cords.aspx

Re: FedEx ATP Reliability Index

: 21 sty 2012, 18:22
autor: robpal
Career Clay-Court Records

Rafael Nadal has the best career clay-court
wins percentage in ATP World Tour history
according to the FedEx Reliability Zone.

Combining insights from clay-court greats with revealing statistics from the FedEx Reliability Index, we explore the key ingredients for success during the European clay swing, which is arguably the most demanding – and important – period of the ATP World Tour season.

Thomas Muster, who's big-ripping, dual-winged baseline aggression was the forerunner of today’s clay-court game, says simply, "Playing on clay, in my mind, was the greatest test in tennis."

And there’s no greater test on clay than the European clay-court swing. With three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments - the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, the Mutua Madrid Open - and Roland Garros as the highlights, this stretch can determine a player's success or failure for the whole year.

Gustavo Kuerten, a three-time titlist in Paris, who compiled a 181-78 record on clay courts including 14 titles, told, "In my opinion the heart has a direct link with the clay. You have to get involved and practice for hours."

Clay-court greats Rafael Nadal, Bjorn Borg, Kuerten and Muster all know about the perils that await players who aren't physically and mentally prepared. Each mastered the surface and earned the nickname "King of Clay" for their red dirt heroics.

Six-time Roland Garros champion Borg, who regularly trained with his coach Lennart Bergelin at the Monte-Carlo Country Club, told, "When you are physically tired, you soon become mentally tired, and then you start to have trouble concentrating. When you're tired you're less patient during rallies, you take risks and in the long run that always means losing matches.

"I trained a lot to be fitter than my rivals and ready for my matches. But the game has changed a lot since I played and now more guys are capable of winning and are stronger on multiple surfaces."


Kuerten agrees with Borg. "Nowadays the major part of being a tennis player is getting regular results on all kinds of courts.

"The reasons for the diversity of players are physical conditioning, differences in speed of how hard the balls are hit and the variance of strategy. The same tennis players have been standing out on all kinds of court and therefore tennis has levelled off in recent years."

Over the past four years, Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray have largely held the top four positions in the South African Airways ATP Rankings. But one player has been pre-eminent on clay courts.

The 24-year-old Nadal has captured five Roland Garros titles in six years. Since 2005 he has compiled a 177-6 match record - 2005, 50-2; 2006, 26-0; 2007, 31-1; 2008, 24-1; 2009, 23-2; 2010, 22-0 - and his last clay-court loss came to Robin Soderling in the last 16 at 2009 Roland Garros.

In ATP history, since 1973, Nadal leads the FedEx Reliability Index for career clay-court matches with a 204-16 mark and 29 titles (.927 per cent). Borg is second overall with a 245-39 record and 30 titles (.863), followed by Ivan Lendl with a 329-75 record and 29 titles (.814).

Muster, the 1995 Roland Garros winner, has no doubts about why Nadal heads the current generation of players on red dirt. "Nadal has dominated because he has every shot in the book and because of the way he plays the angles,” Muster told “To win on clay, you have to have fantastic endurance, be powerful and flexible, a complete player. I always thought you needed to be physically fit and have ever shot. Nadal has that.

"If you win the first set on clay, it is mentally hard for anyone to come back. We see this so often with Nadal. If he wins the first set, then the match is as good as done. If I lost the first set, it didn't matter, because I was always physically fit. If you are strong, then mentally you are fresh."

Carlos Moya, who like Nadal, lives in Mallorca, and once mentored the current World No. 1, told, "It is hard to name just one thing [why Nadal is ahead of his rivals on clay] but it is a mix of many different things. The effects he puts on the ball, how hard he hits, his mentality and of course his fitness level."

Kuerten believes Nadal's dominance has not helped but hindered the development of other clay court talent. "It has not benefited, I think exactly the opposite. His dominance has so astonished [everyone] that it has meant that all tennis players have stagnated on a level lower than him."


"Spain has always had so many good clay-court players," says Borg. "They grow up on clay and develop their games as kids, so it is no wonder that Nadal feels at home on the surface."

One such player, World No. 4 Murray, who trained in Barcelona during his teenage years, but is more comfortable these days on hard-courts, admitted at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters this week, that he always take a bit of time to get used to the surface.

"Because I don't play a lot on clay, it always takes me a bit of time to get used to it: the sliding, which shots to hit at the right time," said the Scot. "Shot selection on clay is definitely different to the other surfaces." His thoughts may mirror the majority of players on the ATP World Tour.

While some perfect their balance and top-spin ground strokes for the clay-court grind, Nadal is far too professional to admit to having one eye already on Roland Garros.

"It's impossible to have the control of this [my form]," said Nadal at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. "If you are playing well now, I try my best every week. I don't know how to be at perfect condition for Roland Garros. I try to be at my 100 per cent in every place that I play."

Kuerten, who retired in 2008, openly admits to longing for his trip to Paris in late May. "Always, always. When the European circuit started, every week I felt a private desire and this increased the anxiety to go to Roland Garros."

Muster, who is third-placed in ATP history behind Guillermo Vilas and Manuel Orantes for most clay-court match wins (422-126 overall record), said, "I always focused on Roland Garros as I moved through the European clay swing. I wanted to make sure that I was not over tired, so sometimes I would skip tournaments in between, to stay physically strong.

"When I played you had to earn every point at every tournament, now with the courts and the balls slowing the game down, it is different. I wanted to play as well as I could at every tournament, get wins under my belt and build my confidence ahead of Roland Garros."


In 2010, Nadal became the first player to win the three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court and Roland Garros titles. But Muster believes Djokovic - unbeaten so far this season - has a shot at challenging Nadal's dominance on clay

"Nadal is the clear favourite to win again at Roland Garros," says Muster, "but Djokovic could challenge him. He can play well on clay and his unbeaten run of matches will have helped him confidence."

Kuerten also provides words of encouragement for 2009 Roland Garros champion Federer, who recently dropped to No. 3 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings, on how he can improve on clay courts.

"It's admirable to watch Roger playing in any kind of court, it's wonderful," said Kuerten. "But he needs to improve his resistance level and also take his game to a higher level to gain more power. Nadal knows how to do it, [as] he always plays with power and can raise his level quickly."

Will Djokovic, Federer or another player break the tradition of Nadal's dominance of European courts? Moya is in no doubt. "I think Rafa will dominate the clay season, he might lose a match on his way to Paris, but I think once there, under normal circumstances, nobody can beat him [over the] best of five sets." Over the next 10 weeks we'll find out. ... ecord.aspx

Re: FedEx ATP Reliability Index

: 21 sty 2012, 18:26
autor: DUN I LOVE
Career Grass-Court Records

Roger Federer has a 0.873 winning
record in grass-court matches.

Using the FedEx ATP Reliability Index and exclusive insights from Wimbledon favourites, we explore the secrets of success on grass courts and why serve and volley exponents are rare among the current generation of stars.

Crushed brick has been replaced by mown lawns. Ribbed soles have been unlaced in favour of pimple-soled shoes. Baseline battles and lengthy rallies won't be commonplace as knee-bending, dinks and sliced shots are now essential for success during the five-week grass-court swing.

In ATP history, since 1973, Roger Federer leads the FedEx ATP Reliability Index for career grass-court matches with a 96-14 mark and 11 titles (.873 per cent).

After his Roland Garros final loss to Rafael Nadal, the Swiss superstar admitted it is a "huge priority, to win Wimbledon in a few weeks' time. That's always, for me, the sort of No. 1 goal in the season. This is where it all started for me back in 2003; or even with Sampras earlier in '01." Federer has clinched six of his record 16 Grand Slam championships at SW19.

John McEnroe is second overall in the all-time list with a 119-20 grass-court record and eight titles (.856), followed by Bjorn Borg, who won Roland Garros and Wimbledon back-to-back for three straight years (1978-80). The Swede, who was the first to wear pimpled grass-court soles, compiled a 61-11 mark, including six Wimbledon titles (.847). Pete Sampras, who won 10 titles and ended his career with a 101-20 tally (.835), is fourth overall.


So what attributes are needed to succeed? Seven-time Wimbledon champion Sampras believes it is "a person who moves well on grass and is a good athlete. When I played folks said that the serve was the key, but I always felt the return of serve was the key."

Australian John Newcombe, a three-time titlist at the All England Club, says, "A classical grass-court player must have a very good offensive and defensive volley, which has to be backed up by a solid serve that features a variety of pace and spin."

Neither Sampras nor Newcombe found the transition from clay to grass-court play difficult. It was entirely natural to them. "It was more of a mind set and making minor adjustments to your strokes," says Sampras, who won 10 titles on the surface. "At the end of the day by the time you get to Wimbledon you should have had plenty of time on the grass to make those adjustments."

Over the past 10 years, serve and volley play has dwindled. The 2002 Wimbledon final featured, for the first time, two players, Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian, who played solely from the baseline.

Indian Vijay Amritraj, a long-time favourite among British galleries, says, "Grass-court technique and play was different 30 years ago, when I played. It was a tremendous attacking game and you cut off shots with volleys. Today, there is pretty much no serve and volley. The game does not warrant it. The serve and volleying games of Stefan Edberg, Patrick Rafter and Tim Henman are long gone."


Newcombe agrees. "Most players today can put away a volley at net height or above but hardly any can volley effectively below net height such as Edberg and Rafter could. The problem is not so much in the court speed but the players' lack of ability to play difficult volleys. Subsequently there is a natural reluctance to come to the net.

"Players today hit the ball as hard as they can and run to the net, then look surprised when the ball comes back to their feet around the service line. Learning the art of net play has to happen between the age of 10 and 15."

Sampras can't see the current generation starting to net-rush again. "I don't see it changing anytime soon. Players are having success staying back so I don't see a massive influx of serve and volley play anytime soon."

Among active players, Rafael Nadal, the defending champion at Wimbledon, is second behind Federer at No. 7 in the all-time grass-court matches list with a 40-8 record and three titles (.833). Andy Roddick is No. 9 overall. He has a 73-17 record and four grass-court trophies, followed by No. 10 Hewitt, with a 101-27 mark and seven pieces of silverware (.808).

Only Roddick, the four-time Wimbledon runner-up, attacks the net immediately after hitting his serve. "I think you have to have a weapon to be successful," said the American. "Sampras was able to serve himself through bad days on grass. The reason I feel I am good on grass is that everything I do naturally translates well to grass, whereas on clay I always feel like I am battling myself a bit."

So have the rye-seeded courts really slowed down since former World No. 1s Sampras, Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg ruled the All England Club? Could that explain the lack of serve-volleyers on the ATP World Tour? Sampras doesn't think so.


"I don't believe the courts are any faster from the time I played," said the Californian. "When I went to see Roger and Andy play in the 2009 Wimbledon final, the court seemed to play just as fast. What had changed, though, is how players play on the court and how the technology in racquets and strings has allowed players to stay back and compete."

For that reason, Sampras, Amritraj and Newcombe cannot see Prince Edward, Duke of Kent presenting the Wimbledon trophy to a player outside of the Top 4 on 3 July.

"The art of winning a Grand Slam comes down to experience," explains Amritraj. "The quality of men's play is so close right now, but the titlist will come from a select handful." Newcombe adds, "The draw will be open for someone to reach the semis or final, but the winner will be Nadal, Djokovic or Federer." ... ecord.aspx

Re: FedEx ATP Reliability Index

: 21 sty 2012, 18:28
autor: Robertinho
Career Hard-Court Records

Roger Federer has one of the greatest winning
percentages on hard court of all time.

Using the FedEx ATP Reliability Index and exclusive insights from former pros, we explore the secrets of success on North American hard courts and what it takes to become a powerhouse on the surface .

Over the course of the next six weeks, ATP World Tour players will hit the courts of the Atlanta Tennis Championships, Farmers Classic, Legg Mason Tennis Classic, Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University, the Rogers Cup and Western & Southern Open, which form the Olympus US Open Series, all looking to fine-tune their games and pick-up silverware ahead of the final Grand Slam championship of the year.

The endurance required for clay-court tournaments and the shorter points of grass tennis will be replaced by medium-speed hard courts, generally considered the fairest of all the surfaces that neutralises any advantage a player may have.

"So many players can compete well on hard courts now," Brad Gilbert, the former World No. 4 and coach, told "The ball obviously bounces higher and it takes a little time to adjust, but the surface suits any style.

"The temperature at a particular tournament can dictate the pace of the court and balls, but anyone can succeed if they play their game."

Former pro Justin Gimelstob, now an ATP Board member and television commentator, agrees with Gilbert, telling, "The great thing about hard-court tennis is it requires the most diverse variety of skills. Every type of player can be successful because every style can be rewarded."

Since Wimbledon, some players will have undertaken more distance running and track work to build a solid physical base and core strength for the stretch ahead. For others, who have continued to competed on the ATP World Tour, the switch from clay or grass to hard courts can take a few days. But as World No. 8 Tomas Berdych admitted to, "I won't change my game dramatically.

"Hard courts suit my game quite well. I like to play aggressively from the baseline. It is good that the bounce is always the same. It isn't physically tough, but it is tricky to keep the body, your joints healthy during the US swing.

"It will be really hot during the swing. It is tough to prepare. You need more endurance on clay, but on hard I feel you need power. You have to focus on the beginning of rallies to put pressure on your opponent. It is tricky playing defence on hard, as everything is that much faster."


Speaking to, former World No. 1 Ivan Lendl says, "Physically I had to learn how to move on hard courts because I grew up on clay." Gilbert, who grew up on hard in California, had "a natural confidence on the surface. It was a familiar change after the clay or grass tournaments."

Lendl, who leads the FedEx ATP Reliability Index for career hard-court matches (as of 22 Aug., 2011) confesses, "After playing shorter points on grass in mostly cool weather, I had to work hard on my conditioning for the run to the US Open.

"But tactically, I did not think about it. I just adjusted automatically." He reached eight straight US Open finals between 1982-1989.

Rod Laver, the 1962 and 1969 Grand Slam champion, a winner of 11 major singles titles, says, "I was fortunate not having a large frame, to stay competitive I had staying power. But one important part was making sure you are timing the ball off your racquet and finding the middle of your racquet. I was always trying to get my first serve in. Depth on my ground strokes kept the pressure on and gave me the opportunity to attack.

"It's a good idea to stay close to the baseline on hard courts and be ready to attack the short ball. Hitting the ball at the top of the bounce is important. I always tried to move my opponent around so I had the chance to get to the net and keep them off balance and finish the point off. I was never big on just keeping the ball in play. Getting off to a good start was always important."

Gimelstob believes, "The most successful players on hard courts are well rounded. They need weapons: to get free points on serve, to move and defend well, to feel comfortable finishing at the net and also they need to be fit, especially during the intense heat of the US summer hard-court swing."

It goes a long way to explain just why (as of 15 Aug., 2011) Lendl (394-83, .826), Roger Federer (702-101, .824), Jimmy Connors (509-108, .825), Laver (126-29, .813), John McEnroe (292-68, .811), Pete Sampras (427-104, .804), Novak Djokovic (230-60, .793) and Andre Agassi (598-159, .790) are ranked the top hard-court powerhouses since 1973. Each of these players have left their mark at the US Open. ... ecord.aspx

Re: FedEx ATP Reliability Index

: 21 sty 2012, 18:31
autor: COA
Career Tie-Break Records

Roger Federer beat Marat Safin 6-3 7-6(18)
at the 2004 Tennis Masters Cup in Houston.

The US Open is the only Grand Slam championship that features a fifth-set tie-break. This month we take an in-depth look at tie-break records using the FedEx ATP Reliability Index, with exclusive analysis from former ATP World Tour players.

Ever since the tie-breaker, conceived by Jimmy Van Alen, was sanctioned by the United States Tennis Association in 1970, partly to accommodate television at that year's US Open, the need to win by two games after the score reached 6-6 in each set was eliminated. It has been one of the only significant departures from the sport's rules.

For tournament directors, tie-breaks come as a schedule-making relief; for fans, the sudden-death method provides instant theatre. But for the players, it is a nerve-frazzling lottery - no matter how often they have played tie-breaks in practice.

In the 42 tennis seasons since the inception of the tie-break, there have been six instances of 20-18 scores in singles matches - including 1973-Wimbledon, Bjorn Borg beat Premjit Lall; 1993-US Open, Goran Ivanisevic beat Daniel Nestor; 1997-Queen's Club, Ivanisevic beat Greg Rusedski; 2004-Tennis Masters Cup Houston, Roger Federer beat Marat Safin; 2006-Rogers Cup Toronto, Jose Acasuso beat Bjorn Phau; and 2007 Australian Open, Andy Roddick beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Former World No. 1 Pete Sampras, third overall in tie-breaks since 1973 with a 274-156 mark, recalls, "I was a little more conservative going into them, but my approach was always to just play a controlled aggressive style of play."

Patrick Rafter, the 1997-98 US Open champion, with a 137-111 tie-break record, remembers, "Tie-breaks were interesting. I found it was a lottery and I didn't like that feeling very much. I found you were either on a roll with winning breakers or not. It was quite psychological."

Ivan Lendl admits, "In tie-breaks you have to do what got you there and go with your best plays. Fitness is important at the end of any match - tie-break or no tie-break - but I don't think tie-breaks favour anybody."

So do big servers have an advantage in tie-breaks? "It helps," says baseliner Sebastien Grosjean, "but the key is to be a little more aggressive. Don't wait too much. Take your game to your opponent."


Sampras never felt his big serve gave him an advantage. "If I felt I was a better player I felt more confident." said Sampras, who once beat his great rival, Andre Agassi, 6-7(7), 7-6(2), 7-6(2), 7-6(5) in the 2001 US Open quarter-finals.

Serve-volleyer Rafter admits, "Playing big servers was always tough and you felt a little extra pressure playing them in tie-breaks as you felt if they got up then it was hard to crawl back into it. I preferred playing the lighter servers when it came to tie-breakers.

"I always focused on trying to get a high percentage of first serves in, but sometimes in breakers you have to take a chance, as you were either on a good or bad run. There were different tactics when it came to breakers for me. I may of tried to get to the net as soon as I could to create a little more pressure."

Going into the 2011 US Open, Roger Federer leads the all-time tie-break titans list with a 301-156 record (.659), followed by Novak Djokovic at 117-63 (.650), Sampras (.637), Andy Roddick with a 289-174 mark (.624) and John Isner at 113-68 (.624).

There have been 137 fifth-set tie-breaks at the US Open since 1970, with Brian Gottfried and Chuck McKinley contesting the first "sudden death" tie-break in that first year. Marat Safin (3-1 overall), Tommy Haas (3-0) and Jimmy Connors (2-1) have all been involved in three or more at Flushing Meadows.

Neither Lendl nor Rod Laver like such an ending. "The US Open with sudden death in the fifth set, to me is a mistake," said Laver, the 1962 and 1969 Grand Slam champion. "Four hours of competition battling your opponent's tennis and you come down to one point to decide the winner."

But the US Open is the only major championship to implement a fifth-set tie-break. The Australian Open adopted the tie-breaker in 1971, Wimbledon in 1972 and Roland Garros in 1973. Yet - unlike the US Open - they all maintain long fifth sets as witnessed in June 2010 at the All England Club when John Isner defeated Nicholas Mahut 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(7), 7-6(3), 70-68 over 11 hours and five minutes.

Brad Gilbert, who won back-to-back fifth-set nail-biters 7-6(0) against Tommy Ho and Michael Stich at the 1992 US Open, says, "You're tired, but the end is in sight. You trust all the physical conditioning you have undertaken will help you through. It is difficult to stay relaxed, but I remember thinking that I must stay positive, because a lot of the time people get nervous, and serve well.

"If you're playing against somebody that is giving you a lot of heat, it is difficult. I feel, in a situation like that, it is important to keep a lot of balls in play and make the other guy win it."

At times, though, a player can lose a match without dropping his serve. On the day Van Alen died, aged 88 in 1991, Stefan Edberg lost his Wimbledon title to eventual champion Michael Stich 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(5), 7-6(2) in a semi-final. Edberg had not been broken. Afterwards, learning of Van Alen's death, Edberg said, not disrespectfully, "If he hadn't lived, Michael and I might still be out there playing." Tie-breaks are a lottery. ... cords.aspx

Re: FedEx ATP Reliability Index

: 21 sty 2012, 18:34
autor: COA
Current Hard-Court Records

Novak Djokovic has compiled a 40-1
record on hard courts this year.

As the dust settles on another memorable US Open, we take an in-depth look at the best hard-court players of the past 52 weeks, using the FedEx ATP Reliability Index, with exclusive analysis from former ATP World Tour players.

Over the past 12 months, Novak Djokovic has dominated virtually every hard-court tournament he has entered, compiling a remarkable 57-6 (.905) record and seven titles. In 2011, he has a near perfect 40-1 (.975) mark.

Stan Smith, the 1971 US Open champion, and former World No. 3 Brian Gottfried both agree that Serbia's Davis Cup win, which was played on an indoor hard-court, in December 2010 was crucial to building Djokovic's confidence.

"Djokovic has improved for several reasons and I think that they all lead to more confidence," said Smith. "His serve was very erratic last year and it has improved dramatically." Gottfried adds, "He has cut down on his mistakes, improved his serve and learnt how to play every shot better. He has grown in maturity and strength, and I think he will further improve."

Smith, who won 13 hard court titles during his career, also thinks Djokovic's gluten-free diet has helped how sizzling form this season. "[His] diet certainly could be a big factor," the American says. "Just thinking that it helps is enough to build your confidence.

"The culmination of wins over the tops guys has built his confidence and so he feels that he can raise his game at critical moments against anyone. That is key for a top player to be considered the favourite by the other top players."


By contrast, Djokovic's rivals - Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer - have been forced to raise their games to keep pace with the Serbian. Federer is .852 on hard courts over the past 52 weeks. Nadal is .796.

Former World No. 4 Gene Mayer insists, "Federer is just not as dominant or as confident as he was in the past, while Nadal has been run down physically in losing to Djokovic and playing so many matches."

Gottfried reckons, "Losing to Djokovic in six straight finals has affected Nadal's confidence. Whenever he steps onto the court, he knows he has to do something differently in order to break the losing streak. One victory over Djokovic could make all the difference and he'll become the player to beat once again." Smith says, "For the first time in three years, Nadal is questioning his game against Djokovic and his confidence level is down. Despite this, he is such a great competitor that he has the ability to compete and win even when not playing his best."

Now aged 30, Federer is looking more susceptible to losses, but Smith and Gottfried still believe the Swiss superstar can add to his 16 Grand Slam championships.

"Roger has played a sensible schedule his whole career, so there is no reason why he cannot win more major titles," says Gottfried. "For sure, two years ago, players were looking at Federer differently. He has lost some of his aura and is now more beatable."

Smith adds, "Federer seems to be rolling pretty well and it is just a question of him bringing out his best game against the top couple guys to finish the tournament victorious."

Earlier this year, Mardy Fish became the U.S. No. 1 for the first time. By winning the Atlanta Tennis Championships and finishing runner-up at the Farmers Classic and Rogers Cup, Fish clinched the Olympus US Open Series. He has compiled a 29-12 match record on hard courts over the past nine months.

Mayer says, "Fish's career is a real tribute to hard work and training." Smith admits, "Mardy has had a fantastic run the past two years and has proven to himself he belongs among the top players."


Smith, Gottfried and Mayer believe, even at 29 years of age, Fish can improve.

"He knows the formula now and he has to keep motivated to keep working hard and looking to keep improving in small ways," says Smith. "He has gained tremendous confidence, which will enable him to win tough matches in future."

Florida resident Gottfried thinks, "I feel that Fish can still improve. Thirty years of age is seen as a magical number amongst the media, when form drops and other interests such as family and business interests take precedence. But that isn't always true.

"You still practice the same way, you may fitness train differently, but it is always down to a player's motivation after years on tour. I am sure that if Roddick, who has led American tennis for so many years, can stay focused he can get back in the Top 10."

Djokovic, Federer, Nadal and Fish are joined in the Top 10 list of this hard-court leaders over the past 12 months by Robin Soderling (.787), Gael Monfils (.756), Andy Murray (.732), Milos Raonic (.720), David Ferrer (.717) and Viktor Troicki (.680).

Soderling, Monfils and Ferrer, considered strong clay-court players, have worked hard to improve their armoury on hard courts. Mayer insists, "Clay courters have learned to play on hard. The same is not true in reverse."

As the courts have slowed down, Smith says, "Players are even sliding more on hard courts, which is unusual. There are so many good players now, that every round poses a tough match-up." ... cords.aspx

Re: FedEx ATP Reliability Index

: 21 sty 2012, 18:37
autor: DUN I LOVE
Career Indoor Records

Roger Federer has a 198-51 indoor record,
including 16 titles.

Over the next six weeks, indoor tennis takes precedence on the ATP World Tour. So this month, we take an in-depth look at the best indoor players , using the FedEx ATP Reliability Index, with exclusive analysis from former ATP World Tour players.

For the majority of the past nine months, players have competed outdoors under sun-kissed skies and in different weather conditions.

But starting today, the tennis world focuses on seven indoor tournaments, culminating in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 in London. Players will contest matches in artificial light and low on-court temperatures, between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The tennis balls bounce lower and generally skid through on the indoor hard-court surfaces.

Three current ATP World Tour stars -- Swiss Roger Federer (No. 6), Scot Andy Murray (No. 8) and Swede Robin Soderling (No. 11) -- all rank highly in the all-time indoor list, according to the FedEx ATP Reliability Index. Each player hails from generally cold climates, where playing indoors was a regular part of their tennis education.

Federer, a winner of 16 indoor titles, has won almost one quarter of his career matches (792-186, .815) on indoor courts (198-51, .795), but Murray and Soderling have claimed a higher percentage of all their match wins indoors than outdoors. World No. 3 Murray is .791 indoors (87-23) and .740 outdoors (234-82), while Soderling is a remarkable .740 indoors (114-40) and .600 outdoors (196-130). The World No. 6 has won seven of his 10 trophies indoors.

So what makes the trio particularly effective indoors?


Ivan Lendl, No. 2 overall in the indoor list, who compiled a 344-71 (.829) indoor record including 41 titles, told, "Federer, Murray and Soderling all hit the ball pretty clean, which means they can be more aggressive. When I played, and even today, the faster the indoor court, the more aggressive you can and should be."

Former World No. 4 Gene Mayer revealed to, "Federer uses the benefits of the controlled atmosphere to hurry his opponents. Murray returns well and gains some pace of shot by the livelier conditions and Soderling can overpower his opponents by harnessing the extra power on top of his already powerful game."

The Top 10 indoor players in the FedEx ATP Reliability Index are a who's who of great talents. John McEnroe leads the overall indoor list with a 419-72 (.853) record and 51 titles, followed by Lendl, Jimmy Connors (460-103, .817, 41 titles), Bjorn Borg (215-51, .808, 23), Boris Becker (297-75, .798, 30), Federer, Arthur Ashe (265-70, .791, 21), Murray, Pete Sampras (213-61, .777, 23) and Rod Laver (136-41, .768, 14). Soderling is ranked No. 11.

For Mardy Fish, the list comes as no surprise. Playing indoors means one thing to the American. "Any time you have different variables -- cool and hot conditions, sun or wind -- it can sometimes be an equaliser," he admitted in Tokyo. "But a lot of the time, when the conditions are perfect, the better player wins more often than not."

Former pro Justin Gimelstob, now an ATP Board member and television commentator, told about the qualities a player needs to succeed on indoor courts.

"Indoor tennis favours players with weapons," said Gimelstob. "The controlled environment, no variables like sun or wind, gives aggressive players with weapons a huge advantage. Indoor tennis favours players who can finish points, that's one of the reasons Soderling is a great indoor player. Huge weapons everywhere on the court, serve, return, forehand and backhand.

"First strike tennis indoors is easier to execute, hurting players off the serve and return. It favours shot-makers like James Blake, that can turn defence into offence with one swing of the racquet. It is easier to execute high-risk tennis indoors due to the lack of variables. Adjusting to indoor tennis isn't overly difficult, it is more an adjustment to lighting as it is artificial not natural."


Mayer, who is No. 22 overall indoors since 1973, adds, "Being a good returner of serve is key, since serves are more potent indoors. With early stroke preparation, accuracy of shot is rewarded and positioning yourself near the baseline allows the player to dictate points."

Speaking to, David Wheaton, who won a $2 million first-prize at the 1991 Grand Slam Cup on the indoor courts of the Olympiahalle in Munich, believes, "When the surface is fast, you must move fast, stay aggressive and approach the net to volley or put away short service-line balls."

The European indoor swing, which begins this week at the If Stockholm Open and the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, followed by the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, the St. Petersburg Open, the Valencia Open 500, the Swiss Indoors Basel and the final ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event, the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, provides ATP World Tour stars ample opportunity to improve their South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings.

For three singles players and three doubles teams, the reward of performing well at these tournaments will mean securing the last remaining spots into the elite season finale, the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, from 20-27 November. ... cords.aspx

Re: FedEx ATP Reliability Index

: 21 sty 2012, 18:39
autor: COA
After Losing The First Set Current Records

Novak Djokovic won the 2008 season finale.

As the world's best converge on London for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, this month we take an in-depth look at the Top 8 and how they react to losing the first set using the FedEx ATP Reliability Index, with exclusive analysis from former ATP World Tour players.

Over the past 12 months, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has compiled a 73-6 match record and has battled back to win eight of 13 matches (.615) after losing the first set, according to the FedEx ATP Reliability Index. The Serbian has a 51-91 career record when coming from behind.

Of all the Top 8 in London, France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had a 13-17 (.433) mark over the past 52 weeks and is 40-62 lifetime after losing the first set. Perhaps his most memorable comeback came against Roger Federer in the Wimbledon quarter-finals, when he triumphed 3-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 on Centre Court.

In the same period, British favourite Andy Murray, who is attempting to finish year-end No. 3 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings, has a 7-10 mark (.411). While Spain's David Ferrer, whose improved serve is demonstrated in our latest RICOH ATP MatchFacts column, is fourth with an 11-19 record (.367).

Mardy Fish (6-17, .352), Rafael Nadal (4-10, .285), Barclays ATP World Tour Finals defending champion Federer (3-8, .272) and Tomas Berdych (5-18, .217) round out the singles field in London.

So should any of the field be concerned if they lose the first set? Sweden's Bjorn Borg, the master strategist under pressure, doesn't think so.

Borg exclusively told, "Tennis is a mental sport - so much is in your head. I was never worried when I lost the first set. If I did, I went on to play my game. I might change a few details, but I knew my opponent was still far from winning the match. It all depended on whether it was a three or five-set match.

"Of course, when you win the first set you have a mental advantage and a calm [outlook] in the match. You can really play out your own game. So maybe, when I lost opening sets, I became slightly more aggressive, but I still played my own game and never panicked."

Finland's Jarkko Nieminen agrees with Borg. He told, "I think when losing the first set, your only option is to be aggressive. Even if you have lost a tight first set, being aggressive keeps you positive and it can help you become physically stronger."

Borg compiled an 84-102 win-loss record (.452) after losing the first set - second only to Australian Rod Laver (71-74, .490) in ATP World Tour history (since 1973).

Speaking to, Laver confesses, "I was also a slow starter, I found it tough to get my confidence and timing until the pressure of the match was under way. The killer instinct never came out until I had to apply myself.

"I never changed my tactic, mostly my confidence had to get better. In five-setters you always knew you had time to catch up. I never changed my game. I felt my game would eventually improve as long as I could cut out the errors."


Interestingly, only one player, David Nalbandian (2005), in the past 13 years has lost the first set of the championship match at the season finale and recovered to lift the trophy. Since 1970, only nine other players - Manuel Orantes (1976), John McEnroe (1978), Ivan Lendl (1981), Boris Becker (1988), Stefan Edberg (1989), Andre Agassi (1990), Jim Courier (1991), Pete Sampras (1994 and 1996) and Alex Corretja (1998) - have achieved the feat.

Former World No. 4 Brad Gilbert, 102-227 (.310) after losing the first set, told, "You must resist the mental negativity of losing the first set. By staying positive and relying on the rituals you develop in practice, it can heighten your desire to win.

"It is essential you respond and bounce back quickly. You need to be physically fit to play a good mental game, but also you need the ability to concentrate for long periods. One thing is for certain, when two elite players meet the match is rarely over quickly. One player dominates the other in different phases."

The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals begins on 20 November. ... cords.aspx

Re: FedEx ATP Reliability Index

: 21 sty 2012, 18:41
autor: Robertinho
FedEx Reliability Zone: Finals Records

Roger Federer has a 70-30 record in finals.

With the 2011 tennis season in the history books, takes an in-depth look at players with superior finals records using the FedEx ATP Reliability Index and finds out what makes a big match player, with analysis from former ATP World Tour favourites.

When Roger Federer lifted a record sixth trophy at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals last month, it marked his 70 tour-level title in his 100th final (.700).

Nikolay Davydenko has the best record in finals among active players with a 21-6 mark in finals (.778). He tops his contemporaries: Federer, Andy Murray at No. 11, with a 21-9 (.700) record, No. 12-ranked Rafael Nadal, with a 46-20 (. 697) mark, and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, at No. 15, with a 28-14 (.667) overall. Only Davydenko, at No. 2, and Federer, at No. 9, rank in the all-time Top 10 (since 1973).

Brad Gilbert, a former coach of Andre Agassi (59-30, .663), Andy Roddick (30-20, .600) and Murray, is well qualified to define the qualities of a big-match player. "The journey to become a big match player is a process," Gilbert told

"A big match player has played a lot of matches and doesn't feel overwhelmed by the moment. It then comes down to how he executes his tactics. That's why a lot of times when you watch the top players they seem more relaxed in finals than they did in their first-round match."

Greg Rusedski, the 1997 US Open finalist and now a television analyst, believes, "the key is for a player that can be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. The more times you get to finals, the more experience you get and the bigger shots you play in the pressure moments.


"I think you have to learn to be comfortable in finals and just go after the match. If you look at all the greats, normally they win their first title in their first final. It then becomes second nature."

Overall, Thomas Muster heads the FedEx ATP Reliability Index with a 44-10 (.815) record in finals. Followed by Davydenko, Thomas Enqvist (19-7, .731), Bjorn Borg (64-24, .727), Pete Sampras (64-24, .727), Joakim Nystrom (13-5, .722), Jose-Luis Clerc (25-10, .714) and John McEnroe (76-31, .710).

Former World No. 1 Ivan Lendl, who reached 142 finals (92-50, .648) during his career, openly admits to that he finds it difficult to define what makes a big match player. Lendl said, "I feel it is a combination of a player's confidence, mental strength, technique, feel for the match and many other things."

Television analyst Justin Gimelstob reckons, "big-match players are players that can compartmentalise the pressure and play with a level of relaxation comparable to a less significant match. They believe in their games, their patterns, and their skills." The American adds, "It is important to realise every player feels pressure; the most successful players just handle it better and play closer to their potential than others."

This year, 22 trophies were won by the Top 4 players - Djokovic (10-1 in finals), Nadal (3-7), Federer (4-2) and Murray (5-1) - in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings.


"The Top 4 are the Top 4 because they consistently perform better than their rivals," said former World No. 4 Gilbert. "I think that wears on players mentally, knowing they have to maintain their best level to beat them."

Gimelstob believes, "the best players are technically more efficient, as technical flaws reveal themselves in pressure moments by breaking down and causing errors."

Djokovic compiled an ATP World Tour-best 70-6 match record in 2011 and won three Grand Slam championships. He beat World No. 2 Nadal in six finals.

Gilbert insists, "Belief and confidence are almost like brothers. When you have both, you just feel like you will always find a way to win. Athletes run on confidence. Djokovic didn't have it against Nadal before, but in 2011 he got it." ... cords.aspx

Re: FedEx ATP Reliability Index

: 21 sty 2012, 18:46
autor: COA
FedEx Reliability Zone: Grand Performers

Rafael Nadal has a 143-20 record
at Grand Slam championships.

This month, to mark the start of the Australian Open in Melbourne, takes an in-depth look at Grand Slam championship records using the FedEx ATP Reliability Index, with exclusive analysis from some great champions.

Every player attempts to peak for each major championship by working hard off the court and by gaining valuable match practise at ATP World Tour tournaments, but only a lucky few are able to take home silverware from the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open.

Bjorn Borg leads the all-time Grand Slam match-wins list with a 141-16 record (.898) since 1973, including 11 titles, ahead of second-placed Rafael Nadal, who has a 143-20 (.877) mark and 10 trophies. Roger Federer, the 16-time Grand Slam title-leader, is third overall with a 228-34 record (.870).

Borg told, "The goal for me every year was to win the Grand Slam tournaments. It helped if I arrived at each Grand Slam well-rested and alert no matter what surface it was. It was most important to hit peak form at those events.

"You could lose anyway, but if you did, you knew that you were in good shape and did your best. After the first two rounds I began to feel that I was in the tournament and I got more confidence. I played much better the longer the race went on." Borg's worst performance in 27 majors was a US Open second-round exit in 1974.


Novak Djokovic, who is currently No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings and defending champion at the Australian Open, is eighth in the all-time list (110-24, .821). He went .962 last year, with a 25-1 record. Meanwhile, World No. 4 Andy Murray is ranked No. 17 overall, with a 78-24 mark (.765).

Djokovic, who picked up three of the four Grand Slam championships and seven other titles last year, recently explained how confidence carried him through last season. "Every single [title] gave me a lot of confidence," he said. "I was building confidence with every trophy that I have won. Like everything in life, in tennis as well, you need to have a high confidence level. When you're playing on it, it feels like nothing can stop you."

Six-time major champion Boris Becker, who won his first big title, at 1985 Wimbledon, aged 17, told, "The difference between the top players, those who win Grand Slams titles, and other players is not a question of technique or their actual game, but having a positive attitude.

"When you play a major final, you have to play to win with aggression. You must take your chances and not give it away. Just by getting to a final, you should be confident. Then, it is a case of going out to win."

Becker, who is No. 13 in the all-time list since 1973, with a 163-40 match record, added, "In any era of tennis, talent has only gotten a player so far. The simple fact is that no one is going to lose a Grand Slam for you. The winner is the guy who dominates the middle of the court."

Last year, the Top 4 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings reached all four Grand Slam semi-finals.


Borg, who believes he won Roland Garros in 1978 and 1980 at the peak of his form, is not surprised. "Tennis is a mental sport, you need to be physically strong and know how to handle the important situations, through perfect practise. The difference between playing well in tight situations is the difference between the players at the top."

With the current Top 4 among the Top 20 grand performers since 1973, Pete Sampras (No. 5 overall, 203-38 record, .842) observed, prior to Wimbledon last year, that Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray "are just better movers than everyone else. They're better athletes." His one-time rival, Andre Agassi, added, "The players are quicker, stronger, bigger, fitter and the whole package is that there is much more strength in tennis today." ... cords.aspx

Re: FedEx ATP Reliability Index

: 21 sty 2012, 18:49
autor: DUN I LOVE
FedEx Reliability Zone: Masters Of The Court


Four weeks of North American hard-court action is underway with the first of the year's ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tennis tournaments at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, closely followed by the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. So this month, we take a look at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 match records of current ATP World Tour stars using the FedEx Reliability Index, with exclusive analysis from a few well-known players from the past.

The nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, held annually since 1990, across Asia, Europe and North America can be a brutal test of a player's physical and mental capabilities. Unlike the four Grand Slam championships, there are often no rest days between the matches. You are immediately pitted against Top 50 opponents and in these seven to 10-day competitions you must quickly master the conditions if you are to win six matches to lift the trophy. No one has ever clinched a title at each of the nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 championships.

Pete Sampras, who picked up 11 titles from 19 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finals between 1991 and 2001, told of the significance of doing well at these elite ATP World Tour events.

"They are three sets as opposed to five sets and you're also playing back-to-back matches a lot of the time," says Sampras, a six-time former ATP World Tour Champion. "This is more taxing as it is difficult to shutdown mentally. You're also playing against Top 40-ranked players, which you don't do really the first few rounds at the Grand Slams."

In the 20-season history of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, World No. 1 Rafael Nadal has won a record 18 titles. He was the quickest of any ATP World Tour player to win five (requiring 10 tournaments), 10 (28 tournaments) and 15 (38 tournaments) titles. Last year, he compiled an ATP World Tour-best 29-5 match record at these elite tournaments, which included lifting all three clay-court titles at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (d. Verdasco), the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Federer) and the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome (d. Ferrer).


Roger Federer, just behind Nadal with 17 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophies, had a 22-7 match record, followed by Andy Murray (20-7), David Ferrer (20-9), Andy Roddick (18-4), Robin Soderling (18-7), Tomas Berdych (16-8), Novak Djokovic (16-8), Ernests Gulbis (14-8) and Fernando Verdasco (14-9) in the Top 10 match-leaders of 2010.

This month, there are two mandatory 96-player ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments back-to-back at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, (starting 10 March) and the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, Florida (starting 23 March). Both tournaments are played on hard courts.

Having competed on indoor hard and at outdoor clay courts over the past five weeks, since the Australian Open in January, the mini North American swing on the West and East Coasts can be notoriously tricky. But former World No. 1 Carlos Moya told that the transition from the red dirt of Latin America to the desert conditions in Indian Wells never gave him too many problems.

"It isn't easy, but it isn't that complicated either," says Moya, who was the 2003 Sony Ericsson Open runner-up. "I used to play two or three events in Latin America, and before that, Australia. That means that four weeks before Indian Wells I was playing on hard courts so it was still fresh in my mind the way I had to move, how different the ball bounced etc. You just need a few days to adjust to that."

Historically, winning both the Indian Wells and Miami titles in the same year has been a rare feat. Federer is the only active player to win both, accomplishing the feat in 2005 and 2006. Jim Courier was the first player to complete the double in 1991, followed by Michael Chang (1992), Sampras (1994), Marcelo Rios (1998) and Andre Agassi (2001). Each of these players has ranked World No. 1 during their careers, with the exception of Chang.

Former World No. 4 Tim Henman, who is competing at an ATP Champions Tour event in Zurich this week, explained to, "Winning both titles in the same year hasn't been done many times, as all the top players compete in both tournaments. Both events have different conditions. Indian Wells has thinner air in the desert and it can be a hot and dry heat. Whereas you get down to Miami and it can be very humid and windy. So both can make for big adjustments. It is a tough task!"


"Starting off in Indian Wells is ideal," says Henman, who twice finished runner-up at Indian Wells. "It normally has incredible conditions, very little wind, amazing blue skies and fantastic courts. I think it is harder when you go to Miami. Out of the two, Miami is definitely the harder to play in."

Sampras adds, "Indian Wells and Miami tournaments are different. The ball goes through the air quicker in California, while you sweat more and have to work a little harder in Key Biscayne."

Since Federer's title double in 2006, Djokovic and Murray have gone closest to replicating the Swiss superstar's feat. In 2007, Djokovic lost to Nadal in the Indian Wells final, then defeated Guillermo Canas in Florida. Two years ago, Murray also lost to Nadal in the Indian Wells title-match before beating Djokovic for the Miami title.

Interestingly, in the past 10 years, the reigning Australian Open champion has won the Indian Wells title on five occasions and Miami three times. So that bodes well for Djokovic, right? Sampras believes, "one guy could potentially win both titles this year, but it will likely be someone in the Top 5. It could happen for Roger."

Re: FedEx ATP Reliability Index

: 01 mar 2012, 16:42
autor: Shinoda
FedEx Reliability Zone: Lethal Against Lefties

Rafael Nadal has a 60-5 lifetime record
(.923) against fellow left-handers.

There are just 13 left-handers in the Top 100 of the South African Airways ATP Rankings. Using the FedEx ATP Reliability Index and with exclusive analysis from some former and current players, takes an in-depth look at the challenge of facing left-handed players.

Rafael Nadal, a natural right-hander, is professional tennis' chief tormenter as a left-handed player. The World No. 2 is joined by fellow lefties Feliciano Lopez, Jurgen Melzer, Fernando Verdasco, Donald Young, Michael Llodra, Jarkko Nieminen, Thomaz Bellucci, Albert Ramos, Alejandro Falla, Gilles Muller, Cedrik-Marcel Stebe and Andreas Beck among the sport's elite.

When asked what advantages left-handed tennis players have, Roger Federer said, "Left-handers always get the break points on their favourite side. With their swinging serves, it makes it extremely difficult, especially with a one-handed backhand. It is tough getting used to left-handers' serves early on. But you must stay calm and find a way to break down their games."

Nadal, a winner of 10 Grand Slam singles championships, leads the FedEx ATP Reliability Index (since 1973) with a 60-5 record (.923) against left-handers. Only two other current players, who are also former World No. 1s and right-handers, make the all-time Top 10 list. Lleyton Hewitt is third overall, behind Pete Sampras, with a 79-18 (.814) mark, while fourth-placed Andy Roddick is 70-17 (.805) lifetime. Federer is 86-29 lifetime (.748) and No. 12 in ATP World Tour history.

Doubles specialist and left-hander Jamie Murray admitted to, "Left-handers are used to playing right-handers, but a right-hander isn't used to playing a left-hander. Sometimes that gives a left-hander a psychological advantage. Of course, if you have a good lefty serve you can put your opponents under pressure right from the beginning of matches."


Left-handers can quickly make their opponents feel extremely uncomfortable. A good left-handed server has the ability to take their opponent three to four feet outside the tramlines on the Ad court to return serve. The error count can also increase, when a left-hander hits a forehand into a right-handers' backhand, which is traditionally the weaker groundstroke for any tennis player. A poorly timed response, may then allow a left-hander to move up the court. Great lefties such as Rod Laver and John McEnroe were quick to expose these tactics during their careers.

Left-hander Petr Korda, the 1998 Australian Open champion and a former World No. 2, told, "When you play tennis you build up your muscle memory and your brain gets trained to hit to one side. So when you do play a left-hander, it often takes a couple of games to figure out the angles and how you will cover the court. A good left-hander can hit a wide serve in the Ad court and open up the court. The ball bounces differently and it doesn't make you feel comfortable."

When a player's favourite shot comes back as a winner you can lose games quickly. It signals a need for a game plan change. In order to regain supremacy against a left-hander, a right-hander may attempt to run around their backhands in order to hit forehand. But this tactic, more often than not, opens up the court and allows them to attack the net.

Former World No. 1 Carlos Moya, speaking from an ATP Champions Tour event in Delray Beach this week, admitted to, "I always tried to practise very often with left-handers, because I never liked playing them. But left-handers don't tend to like playing against left-handers either. Their wide serve on the Ad side is very tough. You have to move one step to your left, but then you can expose the middle. You always have to try to adjust little things."


So how can a right-hander, making up 87 per cent of the current Top 100, level the playing field? They can step in to the Ad court and attempt to return a left-handers' serve a little earlier or cover the wide angle at the expense of the centre of the service box. If your opponent hits an ace down the middle, then too good. A right-hander can also slice their own serve out wide in the deuce court to a left-hander and also hit crosscourt forehands, rather than down the line.

Certainly, it is a tricky proposition and it is an advantage to play tennis left-handed. Interestingly at The Championships, the sport's oldest tennis tournament, only eight left-handed male players have won the Wimbledon singles title, including Norman Brookes, Jaroslav Drobny, Neale Fraser, Laver, Jimmy Connors, McEnroe, Goran Ivanisevic and Nadal.

So who is the best left-hander of all-time? For Moya it's simple. "Rod Laver is the best left-hander in the sport's history. But, Rafa is not done yet. So we'll have to compare when he quits." ... cords.aspx

Re: FedEx ATP Reliability Index

: 09 kwie 2012, 11:23
autor: Kubecki

Novak Djokovic is the leader among current players
with an 82-35 lifetime record (.701), according to
the FedEx ATP Reliability Index.

As the clay-court swing gets underway, with 12 ATP World Tour tournaments on the road to Roland Garros, takes an in-depth look at players with superior deciding set records, using the FedEx ATP Reliability Index, with exclusive analysis from former ATP World Tour favourites.

In 908 tour-level matches this year, prior to last week's Davis Cup quarter-finals, there had been 247 deciding sets. Often, the mental strength of a player determines matches, as self-confidence is revealed during tough times. Ultimately, when tension is high and mistakes can be costly, it comes to the crunch: some players are just cooler than others.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is the leader among current players with an 82-35 lifetime record (.701), but Bjorn Borg leads the FedEx ATP Reliability Index overall (since 1973). The Swede compiled a 123-39 mark (.759) in deciders and contemporary Brian Gottfried admitted to, "Bjorn absorbed the pressure. Whatever the score, you could never count him out. He always seemed to pull through."

Jimmy Connors is No. 3 lifetime according to the FedEx ATP Reliability Index, with a 229-99 (.698) record in deciding sets, followed by Nadal (96-43, .691), John McEnroe (161-73, .688), Pete Sampras (188-88, .681), John Newcombe (94-44, .681) and Andy Murray (81-38, .681). Interestingly, Roger Federer is No. 31 overall with a 147-84 record (.636).


Johan Kriek, who is No. 9 in the all-time list with a 125-60 (.676) mark, told, "Fitness, speed, tenacity and a 'never say die' attitude were keys to my success. The fact that I always stayed aggressive, playing to win, rather than playing 'not to lose' was a huge factor in my favour."

So what kind of thoughts run through a player's mind at the start of a deciding set? Whether a player has won or lost the previous set, they must quickly assess the situation from an unemotional and analytical perspective. What has worked strategically and what hasn't? Why has the match turned in your favour or against you?

Current ATP Board member Justin Gimelstob told, "The best advice I ever received, was, when playing a match, and especially at important moments like the beginning of a final set, to focus on patterns that had been successful and change patterns that have not been effective."

Gottfried agrees. "You must re-affirm your game plan, but also try to serve first at the start of a decider to build pressure on your opponent as the set progresses," the former World No. 3 said. "Fitness is a part of playing, but winning a few deciding sets gets you in the right frame of mind, when you are about to start a third or fifth set."

Kriek, who enjoyed the "mental game" of deciding sets, looked to mix up his tactics. "I made sure that I did not miss any second serve returns and used 'surprise tactics'. Little things can sometimes derail a guy quickly. The main issue for me was not to panic that I was playing a deciding set. I used to smile to myself to relieve some tension and got on with the job. I made it a great mental game. It was actually fun!"


Former World No. 4 Brad Gilbert admitted to that "you cannot focus on your opponent. You must focus on what you can do by making little adjustments." Andre Agassi's former coach went onto add, "The day the season ended, Andre switched his focus to training hard. To thinking of potentially playing fifth sets in the heat of Australia. He wanted to be ready for it, so he pushed himself. Andre had an ability to keep points short, but he always made a player suffer if they were tired." Agassi is No. 27 overall with a 175-97 record (.643) in deciding sets.

Momentum plays a great part in tennis matches, but they are won by playing at the right tempo, not by hitting the ball better. Over the course of the next two months, in lengthy matches on the red dirt, we'll find out who is not only physically fit, but also mentally strong in deciding sets. ... cords.aspx

Re: FedEx ATP Reliability Index

: 24 maja 2012, 22:33
autor: Widzu
FedEx Reliability Zone: Top 10 Records A Measure Of Greatness
FedEx Reliability Zone: Records Versus Top 10


Roger Federer is No. 2 in the FedEx Reliability Zone list with a 153-75 (.671) lifetime record, as of 23 May. takes a look at Top 10 records (since 1973), using the FedEx ATP Reliability Index.

A true measure of greatness is how a player performs against Top 10 rivals.

Bjorn Borg, the 11-time major championship winner, who was 67-28 (.705) during his illustrious career, ranks No. 1 in the overall FedEx Reliability Zone list for the best winning percentage versus Top 10 opponents.

But, of current players, Roger Federer is No. 2 with a 153-75 (.671) lifetime record following last week's Internazionali BNL d'Italia. So far in 2012, Federer is 8-2 against Top 10 rivals (as of 24 May), while Rafael Nadal is third overall (97-51, .655) and is 9-2 this season. Boris Becker, who retired in 1999, is No. 4 with a 121-65 (.651) mark. Interestingly, Andy Murray is No. 9 overall with a 52-43 record (.548), with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic at No. 10 on 69-58 lifetime (.543).

L to R: Tipsarevic, Isner, Berdych, Federer, Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, Ferrer, Tsonga

To put into perspective the impressive nature of Federer and Nadal's winning percentages, speaks to several former Top 10 players who know the value - and difficulty - of each precious win against a member of tennis' most exclusive club.

Richard Gasquet, who is 19-55 (.257) versus Top 10 players, told, at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, that the elite are, "physically, mentally stronger and their tennis skills are more consistent. That is why they win a higher number of matches. The rankings don't lie." The former World No. 7 went onto admit, "There is a difference when you play a Top 5 player, you aren't the favourite. But No. 6 to No. 10 is another matter. Either way, your preparation for the match is the same."

Wawrinka, Federer in Davis Cup action for Switzerland versus USA in February 2012.

Federer's compatriot, Stanislas Wawrinka, who spent 19 weeks in the Top 10 - peaking at a career-high No. 9 on 9 June 2008, told at the Foro Italico, "It is always tough to maintain your level against a Top 10 player. Any drop in your level and they will exploit it quickly.

"Therefore, you always have to attempt to find new solutions to get a stranglehold in a set. If you do the same thing, then they will beat you. It is a great challenge to know where your own game is at. It is really tough and that is why they are Top 10." Wawrinka is 17-48 (.252) lifetime versus Top 10 opponents.

Speaking to, former World No. 8 Mikhail Youzhny believes, "On one hand, you have nothing to lose. You can play your best tennis. But it never is easy, as you really have to concentrate and be sure of your game plan and quickly adjust to the flow of the match."

So what about a player who is close to getting back into the Top 10? Gilles Simon, who is currently No. 12 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, recalled the time when he was No. 6 in 2009. "The first season you win a lot of matches and are able to beat the top guys," said the consistent Frenchman. "You're still improving.

"When I was No. 6, in 2009, I felt the guys ahead of me were really tough to beat. Because I was No. 6, I felt that I had to win as many matches as I could against lower-ranked players. It meant that before you walked onto court you were the favourite and your mentality changed. There is extra pressure being in the elite."

Troicki and Djokovic are long-time friends.

But Viktor Troicki, Youzhny and Wawrinka all believe there is a two-tier Top 10, with the Top 4 - Djokovic, Federer, Nadal and Murray - ahead of Nos. 5-12, followed by a wealth of talent in the world's Top 30.

Troicki told, "The difference between the Top 10 and guys No. 11 down to No. 30, in my opinion, is just mental." Youzhny stated, "When you play against the top guys, sometimes it is tougher. But the guys ranked No. 30 and down play just as hard. They don't give much away. That is the beauty of the tour right now, there is so much depth of talent."

Wawrinka added, "I felt that when I was in the Top 10, players did want to beat me. But I do feel that I am playing better tennis now than when I was No. 8. All the players in the Top 20, 30 are stronger now. That is why it is so tough to maintain a Top 10 ranking.

"I think that it is a difference between the Top 4 and the rest. They have been there for many years, winning everything. Then there is No. 5 to No. 12, you can see a difference in levels of play."

Troicki came so close to breaking into the Top 10, one year ago. The memory of failing to close out a fourth-round match against Andy Murray at Roland Garros remains fresh.

"I don't have a great record against Top 10 players [3-39 lifetime, .071] - in the past two years it hasn't gone well," said the former World No. 12, who is now at No. 31 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings. "There were times when I have been close to winning those matches. I feel pressure, sometimes I get excited when I am close to winning. My goal is to reach Top 10, I got to No. 12. At Roland Garros [in May 2011], I was serving for the match at 5-3, 30/0 against Andy Murray. It was a tough loss.

"I almost beat Gael Monfils at [the Rogers Cup in] Montreal last year, but when you don't use your chances that you get, then sometimes mentally it eats away at you. The difference between the Top 10 and guys No. 11 down to No. 30, in my opinion, is just mental. When you reach Top 10, you break a barrier, I'd imagine, and obviously there is a sense of relief."

Then the hard work starts. How high can you go? That can apply to all levels of tennis as you take the steps up the rankings ladder. "I take inspiration from Janko," said Troicki. "He got into the Top 20, now he is No. 8 and he deserves to be there." ... cords.aspx

Re: FedEx ATP Reliability Index

: 13 lip 2012, 10:14
autor: Wąski
FedEx Reliability Zone: First Set Frontrunners

Novak Djokovic is second overall in
the FedEx ATP Reliability Index after
winning the first set with a 377-19 (.952)
mark. looks at the positive effect winning the first set can have on a player's confidence using the FedEx ATP Reliability Index.

Tennis players like to get off to strong starts, which often settles early nerves. A player’s confidence level can often depend on winning the first set.

A couple of current ATP World Tour stars, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, rank behind Bjorn Borg in the all-time Top 3 according to the FedEx ATP Reliability Index (since 1973), because they have the ability to convert first-set wins into match victories.

Borg compiled a 524-25 record (.954) after winning the first set, better than second-placed Djokovic with a 377-19 (.952) mark. Nadal is third overall on 519-28 (.949).

The top players share the ability to figure out their opponents’ tactics and match conditions quickly in order to play their A-game. By imposing their own game plan early on in best of three or five set matches, they can put their opponents on the back foot.

Philipp Kohlschreiber, who is 213-33 (.866) lifetime after winning the first set, told, “Djokovic, Nadal and [Roger] Federer, particularly, have shown in recent years, by virtue of their Grand Slam records, that they have the ability to run away with matches. If you want to beat any of the current Top 4, it is important to get off to a good start. That means winning the first set.”

Djokovic and Nadal are joined by Andy Murray – seventh overall – with a 301-22 record (.932) and eighth-placed Roger Federer – 758-56 (.931) – in the all-time Top 10 FedEx ATP Reliability Index list.

Kohlschreiber adds, “Winning the first set gives you a mental advantage and the realisation that your tactics are working. In best of three sets, it is then important to stay calm, maintain your game plan and double your efforts to not let your opponent back into the match. But the momentum of a match can quickly change in best of five sets tennis. You always have time to fight back, if you believe you can.”

World No. 12 Gilles Simon, 197-28 (.876) overall, told, “Winning the first set is the best way to settle early nerves. You’ve started to figure out the conditions of the court and winning the first set can often free you up and allows you to feel more confident in your strokes. If you have won one set, you know you can win another. For your opponent, doubts may creep into their game.”

Physiologically, it is easy to switch-off mentally after you win a particularly close first set. But that can let your opponent back into the match.

World No. 7 Tomas Berdych explained to, “The best thing you can do, once you win the first set, is to double your effort to ensure you extend your lead by maintaining your concentration on each point and minimising the errors you make. You know your opponent may attempt to change their tactics and, maybe, their patterns of play. But when an opportunity to break serve does come your way: take it.” Berdych is 299-47 lifetime after winning the first set.

No player can compete at their highest level throughout an entire match, but if you get on top of an opponent by winning the first set, it is essential to try to maintain the mental advantage.

Former World No. 2 Tommy Haas, who beat Federer in the last month's Gerry Weber Open final, told, “The top players can quickly put a match to bed, mentally, if an opponent lets them. The key is to start strongly, play with confidence and be ready to take your chances –when they come – on the 15/30 and 30-all points. By remembering what you have practised in training, you can convert first-set success into victories.” Haas has a 391-52 (.883) record after winning the first set.

If we look at the rest of the Top 10 after winning the first set, in the FedEx ATP Reliability Index list, Jimmy Connors is fourth overall with a 1076-62 (.946) record, which is slightly better than his great rivals, John McEnroe (773-47, .943) and Ivan Lendl (932-66, .934), in fifth and sixth places. Eddie Dibbs (494-40, .925), Guillermo Vilas (835-70, .923) also rank highly. ... cords.aspx

Re: FedEx ATP Reliability Index

: 13 wrz 2012, 21:44
autor: COA
FedEx Reliability Zone: Current Hard-Court Records

Novak Djokovic went 15-2 during the summer US hard-court swing and leads the ATP World Tour for most match wins (35-3 mark, .897) on the surface in 2012.

As the dust settles on the US Open, looks at 2012 hard-court records using the FedEx ATP Reliability Index.

For a second year running, Novak Djokovic leads the ATP World Tour for most match wins on hard courts after the final major of 2012 with a 35-4 mark (.897). At the same stage in 2011, he was a near perfect 40-1 (.975) overall.

But 31-year-old Roger Federer has the best winning percentage, .911 (31-3 mark), on hard courts this year, according to the FedEx ATP Reliability Index. Four of his six tour-level titles in 2012 have come on hard courts.

Newly crowned US Open champion Andy Murray insists, “Hard courts do take a lot out of the body, and this is for sure the most demanding surface. Novak has taken things, I think, especially on a hard-court, to a new level.”

Djokovic compiled the most wins on the North American summer hard-court swing with a 15-2 mark. The Serbian says he always “focuses on quality of practice rather than quantity” when switching surfaces. “Winning matches can bring you necessary confidence to feel good about yourself on and off the court. Then, with experience, you learn to live with pressure and figure out ways to perform at your best level in the biggest tournaments.”

Both Djokovic and Federer will be battling to finish the 2012 season at No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, but in-form Murray will be looking to continue his recent run of fine form. The Scot has compiled a 21-2 record since the start of Wimbledon and a 6-1 tally against Top 10 opponents in that period. Djokovic has noticed “a mental change, plus a couple of adjustments in his game. Perhaps he is hitting his forehand more.”

Once Murray won the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics, he played three tournaments during the North American summer swing, registering a 9-1 mark that culminated in winning his first major title. In 2012, Murray has amassed a 26-5 match record (.838) on hard courts. Twenty of his 24 tour-level titles have come on the surface.


His coach, Ivan Lendl, who reached eight straight US Open finals (1982-1989), has been instrumental in tightening up Murray’s game. During the US Open, Murray admitted, “I think I have improved since I started working with him. I think I'm playing better tennis and understanding how best to play the big points in the important matches.

“Going into Grand Slams, I started to understand certain things better and how to go about my business not just on the court but off it, as well. How to conserve energy, to go into the matches with the right mind set and attitude.”

Milos Raonic is another player who has made a mental breakthrough this season. With an .800 hard-court record – the fourth-best winning percentage in 2012, according to the FedEx Reliability Index – the 21-year-old Canadian has compiled a 24-6 record on hard courts.

“I feel like I have the ability to be more dangerous than most players when I have the ball on my racquet, especially out of my hand on a serve,” said Raonic, who has won 93 per cent of his service games on hard courts this year. “I'm improving all the time. I'm working on my net game. I know for me to keep improving up the rankings, as a player, as a competitor, I'm going to have to keep improving there as well as my serve.”

Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin del Potro, John Isner and Janko Tipsarevic, who will all be battling to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 in London from 5-12 November, have also impressed this year on hard courts.

Berdych and del Potro share a 28-9 (.756) record on hard courts this season, while Winston-Salem Open titlist John Isner is 25-9 (.735). Two-time US Open quarter-finalist Janko Tipsarevic rounds out the Top 8 with a 22-9 (.709) mark.

Here's a detailed look at the Top 8 hard-court match wins leaders in 2012, comparing their North American summer hard-court swing and overall match records (as of 11 September):

2012 Season - Hard-Court Match Wins (Percentage) - Summer Hard-Court Match Wins - Best US Summer Hard-Court Result - Total Match Wins

Roger Federer 31-3 (.911); 8-1; Winner - Cincinnati; 59-8 (.880)
Novak Djoković 35-4 (.897); 15-2; Winner - Toronto; 60-11 (.845)
Andy Murray 26-5 (.838); 9-1; Winner - US Open; 47-11 (.810)
Milos Raonic 24-6 (.800); 7-3; QF - Cincinnati; 36-15 (.705)
Tomas Berdych 28-9 (.756); 11-4; Finalist - Winston-Salem; 46-17 (.730)
Juan Martin del Potro 28-9 (.756); 7-3; SF - Cincinnati; 52-14 (.787)
John Isner 25-9 (.735); 12-3; Winner - Winston-Salem; 43-16 (.728)
Janko Tipsarević 22-9 (.709); 8-3; SF - Toronto; 48-19 (.716) ... cords.aspx

Re: FedEx ATP Reliability Index

: 12 paź 2012, 13:47
autor: COA
FedEx Reliability Zone: Tie-Break Titans

Andy Murray is No. 2 overall in 2012 with the best winning percentage in tie-breakers, according to the FedEx ATP Reliability Index

Using the FedEx ATP Reliability Index, looks at current stars with the best tie-break records this year.

In an era of big servers, you have to work hard and stay highly focused to win tie-breaks. The top three players in 2012 with the best winning percentage in tie-breaks, as of 10 October, according to the FedEx ATP Reliability Index, are 5’10” Steve Darcis, 6’3” Andy Murray and 6’9” John Isner.

Each player differs in height, but possess one or both of the requisites to be great tie-break performers. According to former World No. 4 Gene Mayer, who told, “The best asset for tie-breaks is a big serve to get free points. The next best is a top return of serve to neutralise a big serve. In an ideal world, you would have both.”

Isner is No. 3 overall this year with a 40-15 record (.727) in tie-breaks (as of 10 October). The American, who has hit 941 aces in 2012 according to RICOH ATP MatchFacts, has the ability and the height to win easy point with his serve in tie-breaks. So how do today’s stars combat serving giants in tie-breaks?

Former World No. 3 Ivan Ljubicic, who retired earlier this year, admitted to, “Many times there's not much you can do on their serve. The key for me was always to focus on my turn and try to win points when I was serving.”

David Wheaton agrees, telling, “Rather than ask, ‘How am I going to winsome points of this guy’s serve?’ focus on winning your own service points, keep the score as close as possible – hopefully getting the lead – and do whatever you can to make a big server get into the point beyond his serve.”

But, for the majority of players worldwide, hitting aces at will isn’t possible. So guile, an ability to hit reliable, aggressive strokes and simplifying your mental focus to one shot and one point at a time come into play.

Andre Agassi admitted to DEUCE, in June, that he struggled to come up with a way to beat Goran Ivanisevic in the 1992 Wimbledon final. “The fourth set had an inevitable feel. I was living on the edge, I couldn’t do anything. He was firing a lot of aces and winners. The flood gates had opened and I was up against it.” But Agassi took his chances and won the first of his eight major championship titles.


By remaining positive, tie-breaks don’t have to be a mental drain and a series of points where nerves override confidence.

Former World No. 1 Stan Smith told, “Get more first serves in, so you don’t get stuck hitting too many second serves. Play your general game plan, which has been successful during the set and don’t try different tactics all of a sudden, i.e. just push the ball in or go for every shot.”

Ljubicic adds, “Focus on playing point by point and, no matter how the result looks bad, never give up. It happens so often the big turnarounds in tie-breaks.”

Murray ranks No. 20 overall for first serve points won this season, according to RICOH ATP MatchFacts, but the World No. 3 places each delivery effectively. He is able to maintain a positive record in tie-breaks by virtue of a natural aptitude for anticipating his opponent's next move. The Scot, who has a 17-6 (.739) record in tie-breaks this year, as of 10 October, has the ability to capitalise on half chances by jumping on serves and forcing himself to be aggressive. “When somebody is having a great year, normally tie-break results follow,” said Ljubicic.

Smith said of Murray, “I think his return of serve is so strong that he gets a lot of chance on the opponents serve. He is getting a higher percentage of his first serves in, which is critical in the tie-breaks. In general, the player who is more confident wins the tie-breaks. Murray has gotten more confident this year.”

“He gets a high percentage of service returns in play and then his quickness and consistency make an opponent have to hit and extra shot or two or three to win the point against him,” says Wheaton on Murray’s performance in tie-breaks. “Under pressure, his opponents aren't able to execute as well under the do-or-die pressure of a tie-break.”


In 2012, World No. 78 Darcis has compiled the best winning percentage in tie-breaks according to the FedEx ATP Reliability Index. The Belgian has compiled a 17-4 (.809) record, but at 5’10” in height he doesn’t win a lot of free points. In 38 matches on the ATP World Tour, he has hit 143 aces.

Darcis targets his serve well enough so he can take the return with his stronger groundstrokes. It is something Rafael Nadal does so effectively with his serve and his heavy forehand, which opens up the court.

Darcis told his key for success. "First I focus on my serve, putting a lot of deliveries into court," he said. "It is very important to hold your serve, especially at the beginning of the tie-break, because they go very fast. Against big servers, I just try to return every serve to make them play a lot and then fight after every return. Every point is important in the tie-break, which is little bit like a lottery so you also need a bit of luck."

As of 10 October, David Ferrer, a winner of five ATP World Tour titles this year, is No. 5 overall this season with a 20-11 mark (.645), followed by World No. 1 Roger Federer and Pablo Andujar at tied-No. 6 on 17-11 (. 607). ... cords.aspx

Re: FedEx ATP Reliability Index

: 26 gru 2012, 15:27
autor: COA
FedEx Reliability Zone: Outstanding Outdoors

Roger Federer compiled a 60-8 outdoor record (.882) that included five titles, according to the FedEx ATP Reliability Index.

Former World No. 1 Mats Wilander provides exclusive analysis on the best outdoor performers of 2012, according to the FedEx ATP Reliability Index.

When the results of outdoor matches often depend on the weather as well as a player's mental strength it may come as no surprise to learn that the Top 5 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings – Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer – were the leading players with the best winning percentage in outdoor matches in 2012. Together, they lifted a combined 22 outdoor trophies.

For the ninth time in 10 years, Roger Federer finished in the Top 2, largely on the back of a 60-8 outdoor record (.882) that included five titles. He compiled a 71-12 overall season record.

With the 2013 ATP World Tour season on the horizon, Wilander sees no reason why Federer shouldn’t add to his Grand Slam championship haul. “He can have a great year in 2013,” said Wilander, the 1983-84, ’86 Australian Open champion. “By winning 17 majors he knows he can win another one until the day he stops playing.”

Federer compiled a 12-6 record against Top 10 rivals in outdoor matches this year. Wilander adds, “I don’t think it is necessary for him to win five or six tournaments per year to get the confidence to win. I think winning Wimbledon [in July] proved to himself and to everybody that he can still win. He is the most amazing player at dusting himself off after a loss against the best players, when he hasn’t played well. He then bounces back, kind of saying, ‘here I am again’.”

Rafael Nadal, who will make his ATP World Tour comeback in January, is No. 2 overall for the best winning percentage in outdoor matches in 2012. The Spaniard put together a 42-6 outdoor mark (.875), including four clay-court titles. “Rafa has always played his best when he is confident,” said Wilander. “You build confidence by winning matches, so he will be keen to start the year well. I think that by the time the European clay swing begins, he could be playing at top form. To win Monte-Carlo eight times in a row is amazing.”

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic won more outdoor matches than any other player in 2012. The Serbian has a 70-11 outdoor record (.864) and was an ATP World Tour-best 50-5 on hard-courts. Wilander marvels at his consistency. “Last year was obviously one of the greatest years a male player has ever had apart from Rod Laver. This season has been more impressive than what he did in 2011.

“To come out and win the Australian Open, then not win, not win, not win and keep at it, including overcoming some personal issues, was incredible. He is a better player this year than he was in 2011. He knows it and I think when he plays well no one can beat him. After last year, I thought he was at the middle of his career. This is the start. I really can’t see anyone better than him. He can beat himself at times, but in terms of who has the brightest future it is hard not to say Novak Djokovic.”

Djokovic reached the semi-finals or better in 15 of his 17 tournaments in 2012 and went 24-10 against Top 10 players. “He knows he has a massive amount of natural talent,” said Wilander. “Therefore he allows himself to close his eyes and lets statistics and percentages take over. He knows if it doesn’t work, then he can fight his way through to victory. I think he is smart enough to believe he will win most of the time.”

This year, David Ferrer had the best winning percentage in indoor matches (16-2, .895). The Spaniard also compiled a 60-13 record (.822) in outdoor matches, including five titles, according to the FedEx ATP Reliability Index. Wilander puts his overall improvement down to his serve, but adds, "Ferrer is also playing smarter and constructive.

“He is probably the most constructive player out there right now. He gets the most out of his game and I think if there was a ranking for someone who is reaching his potential, then Ferrer would be World No. 1. He plays to his natural strength, which is smart foot movement to seize control. If that doesn’t work, he keeps at it but reins himself back and doesn’t go for as much. He is a pain for other players to play. And that is one of his key strengths. He is as ferocious and competitive as you can find.”

Andy Murray is placed No. 5 with the best winning percentage in outdoor matches this year. His London 2012 Olympics and US Open title runs helped him build a 53-13 mark (. 803). Wilander is certain further glory will follow in 2013.

“I see that the goal for Murray is to improve his forehand, have more kick on his second serve and hit less slice backhands and take it earlier," said Wilander. Then, the most important goal, I think, is to allow the natural talent that Murray has to take over from his brain, because he is too smart. He tries to complicate things. If he does that then he can probably win three majors out of the four. I don’t think he will ever win Roland Garros, but if he wins three majors, then World No. 1 will be next to his name.”

Juan Martin del Potro (45-13, .776), Nicolas Almagro (47-19, .712), Janko Tipsarevic (46-19, .708), Tomas Berdych (43-18, .705) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (42-18, .700) round out the Top 10 for the best winning percentage in outdoor matches this year, according to the FedEx ATP Reliability Index.

The 2013 ATP World Tour season begins on 30 December at the Brisbane International and at the Aircel Chennai Open and Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha on 31 December. ... cords.aspx