Looking back at the 2020 season, we can see some surprising leaders in certain statistics. Most probably expect the usual suspects in Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic to lead the charts, but surprisingly some young stars have left the big 3 behind in some endurance stats. Interestingly, World No.4 Daniil Medvedev has won the most number of decisive sets in 2020.
The decisive set is the last set of the match. In the case of a Grand Slam match, it will be the fifth set on the men’s side, and in a normal ATP match, it will be the third set. In 2020, Medvedev had played 13 decisive sets. Out of them, he won nine and lost four.
Medvedev is on a hot streak. He has won his last five matches which have gone the distance. Notably, in the ongoing streak, Medvedev beat Alexander Zverev in three sets in the Paris Masters final. And after that, en route to the ATP Finals title, the Russian beat Rafael Nadal in the semifinal and Dominic Thiem in the finals.
Top 2020 players: Dominic Thiem, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic don’t feature in the top 5 list. Djokovic had a great win-loss record in decisive sets with 8-1. Nadal had a win-loss record of 4-1. And Thiem had a decent win-loss record of 7-5.
The others who join Medvedev in the top five are Diego Schwartzman, Cristian Garin, Daniel Evans, and Ugo Humbert. All of them are tied with Medvedev on nine decisive set victories, but they all have a much lower win percentage than the Russian.
The decisive set victories show us multiple things. Now a player needs to have his stamina and focus right to win the decider. Sometimes players run out of steam and thus aren’t able to last long enough in the last set. Further, handling pressure is paramount in the last set. It essentially becomes a game of endurance and skill. If the player can endure discomfort and remain loyal to his skill, then he can take the set.