Stats Prove Why Andrey Rublev Is the Most Improved Player in 2020

Published 12/12/2020, 8:06 AM EST
Russia’s Andrey Rublev celebrates winning his group stage match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

You don’t win five titles in a year without a radical change in your gameplay. Andrey Rublev has seen a meteoric rise in 2020. He won five titles and ended the year ranked 8th. But what made him the most improved in 2020?


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Andrey Rublev in action during his group stage match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas. REUTERS/Toby Melville

The answer is his increased pedigree of winning his service games and return games. In 2019, he won just a single tournament. His service wasn’t polished enough, and his ability to pounce on the opponent hadn’t matured.


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But in 2020, there has been a monumental rise. His service game win percentage has increased substantially. He is serving more accurately and is becoming harder to break.

Moving over to his return games, there, too, we can see a significant rise with respect to 2019. What is surprising is that he has improved a lot on the clay as well.

It is harder to hold serve on clay but he still has a healthy average among his peers. And his return game win percentage on clay is one of the best in 2020.

[ATP Service & Return Game Won in 2020] (Data: @atptour )

🎾 Top100 performance on Sv vs Ret Games Won % for 2020, 2019, and Δ(2020-2019)
🎾 SvGWon% in 2020 is lower and RetGWon% is higher wrt 2019 (no Grass WB etc.)
🎾 Several players improved a lot, ex. Rublev, RBA(Ret)

— 禮 (@Vestige_du_jour) December 8, 2020

In 2019, Rublev‘s service game win percentage wasn’t spectacular, and neither was his return game win percentage. It was average, and that showed in his other stats from the 2019 season as well.

But in 2020, he is winning more points; he is winning more matches and titles. His win record in 2020 is the joint best with World No.1 Novak Djokovic.

Where does Andrey Rublev stand among his rivals?

Rublev’s growth is the best by any player in 2020. No one comes close to matching the improvements he has had with regards to his service and return games win percentage.

The other young players around Rublev have continued their steady rise, but Rublev, out of nowhere, has accumulated stats that can’t be ignored.


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Andrey Rublev celebrates winning his group stage match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem. REUTERS/Toby Melville

This year, Rublev won 3 ATP 500 titles and two ATP 25o titles. Next season’s obvious mission would be to influence the ATP Masters 1000 tournaments and the Grand Slams.

And if he has another skyrocketing season, then we might see him breach the top 5 of the ATP rankings as well.


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Bhavishya Mittal

900 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.