They look the same, they smell the same…
G’day from Austin,
On the surface, there are a lot of similarities between the score lines of 30-30 and deuce. Both point scores see the players even in the game, and both point scores are just two points from the end of the game.
I just did an analysis of the Top 10 players in the world so far in the 2017 season, both serving and returning from 30-30 and deuce. When you dig a little deeper you uncover the subtleties of our sport.
The Top 10 average holding serve between the two score lines is almost identical.
Current Top 10 Average Holding Serve
- 30-30 = 77.6%
- Deuce = 77.4%
- Total 30-30 points = 58% (787)
- Total Deuce points = 42% (562)
A score line of 30-30 happens around 28% more than a scoreline of deuce. Interesting to know…
When you look at the overall Top 10 averages, things behave how you would expect them to behave. But when you look at player by player, it swings wildly. Consider the following two players:
No. 1 Andy Murray
- Holding from 30-30 = 71.9%
- Holding from deuce = 80.0%
- Difference = 8.1 percentage points
Murray is much tougher to break when the score gets a little deeper to deuce.
But then there is Marin Cilic…
No. 8 Marin Cilic
- Holding from 30-30 = 72.0%
- Holding from deuce = 64.7%
- Difference = -7.3 percentage points
If you can get to deuce against Cilic, your chances of breaking him rises significantly from just two points earlier at 30-30 – yet you are still the same distance from the finish line.
The averages don’t change a lot on this side of the equation either:
Current Top 10 Average Breaking Serve
- 30-30 = 32.7%
- Deuce = 31.4%
- Total 30-30 points = 57% (906)
- Total Deuce points = 43% (684)
Once again, the overall average is extremely close, but individual players vary a lot between the two points scores when returning as well.
No. 5 Rafael Nadal
- Breaking from 30-30 = 33.9%
- Breaking from deuce = 39.8%
- Difference = 5.9 percentage points
You really want to hold serve as quickly as you can against Rafa.
Novak Djokovic is not enjoying his typically stellar start to the season. Here’s an indicator of that…
No. 2 Novak Djokovic
- Breaking from 30-30 = 27.6%
- Breaking from deuce = 20.4%
- Difference = -7.2 percentage points
Novak is not as dangerous this year (so far) breaking serve from deeper in the game.
To see the full Top 10 metrics, click on the my ATP website analysis HERE.