Stefanos Tsitsipas Way Ahead of Rivals Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, and Rafael Nadal in This Forehand Stat

Published 12/06/2020, 8:47 AM EST
Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in action during his group stage match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Toby Melville


A good first serve is not uncommon in tennis, and it makes for a useful weapon. But having a potent second serve is also vital in the sport. 2020 has been an odd year, one in which we have also seen some variations in the second serve as well.

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A second serve to the forehand of the opponent is seen as a mistake, but this year, players have found success using that strategy, especially Stefanos Tsitsipas.

From the deuce court, the second service is usually placed close to the ‘T’ or on the body of the opponent. But this year players have tried serving wide at the forehands of right-handed players.

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Tennis – ATP Finals – The O2, London, Britain – November 17, 2020 Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in action during his group stage match against Russia’s Andrey Rublev Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Considering the top 10 players in 2020 and their second serves from the deuce court versus right-handers, players have won 65% of their points serving wide on the forehand. That is higher than serving down the ‘T’ or the body.

How far ahead is Stefanos Tsitsipas in this statistic?

Mastering this serve in 2020 was World No.6 Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Greek player fired in 28 of his second serves out wide on the forehand of right-hand opponents. And he won 21 out of those 28 points, thus having a 75% win percentage.

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Tsitsipas in his service games has looked solid this year. He has served well and has won 88% of his service games this year. The biggest improvement has been in his second serve. Overall, he has won 58% of his second service points, which was 52% last year.

Dominic Thiem in action during his group stage match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Toby Melville

Tsitsipas is way ahead of his rivals with the win percentage. Second on the list are Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal who are tied with a win percentage of 67.5%. And Alexander Zverev is third with a win percentage of 66.7.

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Any coach would disregard having a second serve out wide on the forehand of the opponent. So players don’t use it much often, but this year players have used it as a strategy to surprise the opponent. The opponent would anticipate a second serve out wide on the forehand and thus wouldn’t be ready.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1060 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.

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