There are good tennis players and then there are great tennis players. But, what makes the two categories differ? This has been a long time question for viewers, critics and journalists alike. However, with sports science and data analysis reaching its peak with the break of recent technology, little secrets are revealed every day. Such has been the scenario with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic is currently dominating the tennis world, while Federer had his time once and is still looking to get back as the No. 1 in ATP rankings. But, what makes them better than the rest of the pack? Of course, they have more skill, better technique and larger apetite for success. Keeping those aside, there seems to be another valid reason behind it. It’s called strategy.
All the tennis legends who have reached the pinnacle of the sport have used the strategy of time to their advantage. The moment they have lost hold of it, their grip on world domination has loosened and they faded out of the picture.
A recent Beyond The Number analysis by Infosys has shown that the best players in the world make matches last longer when they are under attack. They do this to find a strategic advantage over their opponent and then hit them back hard.
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Roger Federer averages the quickest time at 36 minutes when winning a set amongst the top 10 ranked players in the world. However, when he is losing a set, he stretches that time by 10 to make it 46 minutes, according to atpworldtour.com.
In comparison Djokovic’s average time when winning a set is 42 minutes and while losing is 49 minutes. So, we can definitely see a pattern here. The only exception to this cause is Stan Wawrinka, whose average losing set time is 3 minutes lesser than his winning time.
Here is the table showing the average set times of the top 10 players of the world.
The same can be said for Federer’s match times. He completes a match on an average of 89 minutes while loses it in 143 minutes.
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