So, you want to be #1 in tennis? Here’s your formula…
Hint: It has to do with percentage tennis as you’ve never heard before.
I like to reverse-engineer tennis coaching.
I like to start at the end to know all that I can about the destination I am trying to get to. I like to start with a thorough investigation of the final result. It helps you sail your ship in the right direction, instead of around and around in the ocean – lost at sea.
Imagine being No. 1 in the world… just imagine what that would be like. There have only been 26 players ranked No. 1 in the world in the Open era. It’s an insanely difficult thing to accomplish!
The Average Percentage of Tennis Points Won
From 1991-2016 the average percent of points won in a season for the No. 1 player in the world is just 55%. That advantage does not seem big enough, especially because players that end up No. 1 in the world win around 90% of their matches. But it is. Tennis is a game of small margins, played over great distances. Here’s an example from 2016.
Win Percentage of Points by the World #1
2016 No. 1 = Andy Murray
- Matches Won = 90% (78-9)
- Points Won = 55% (6987/12814)
- Murray finished No. 1 and lost 5,827 points… think about that for a minute or two.
Why is it SO important to know these numbers? Well, for a multitude of reasons, but here’s the one I like the most…
How To Teach Percentage Tennis
Imagine a promising 12-year-old boy or girl.
They simply love tennis! It’s fun for them, they enjoy competing, they love to run around, and they love hanging with their tennis buddies. But, here’s the deal.
- When they win the point, they are happy.
- When they lose the point, they are sad.
They try and win every point they play. They want to win every point they play. They want perfection. There’s a problem…
- tennis is not a game of perfection
- tennis is a game of percentages
Once kids learn that it’s OKAY to lose 45% of all points they play, they get off the “happy/sad” rollercoaster that destroys them mentally between the points.
They learn percentage tennis, and that competition means losing a lot of points. They learn to lose a point and say to themselves “It’s okay. That’s just one of the 45%.”
They freak out less. They cry less. They stay in our sport longer.
It’s Good To Lose 45% of Tennis Points
Here’s a BIG PICTURE statistic for you. Do you know what the real difference is between winning and losing? Here it is…
2016 Australian Open Men’s Draw
- Match Winners = Won 10,500 points (55%)
- Match Losers = Lost 8740 points (45%)
That’s why 55% is the most important number in tennis. It represents the pinnacle of our sport, and it also represents the real difference between winning and losing. Trying to truly understand tennis without this number is impossible.
Average Win Percentage of Points Over 25 Years
Here’s the average amount of points won by the No.1 player in the world from 1991-2016.
- 55% = 12
- 54% = 7
- 53% = 4
- 56% = 3
- TOTAL = 26
- AVERAGE = 55%
As you can see, you can actually become No. 1 in the world and win just 53% of total points for the season. It’s incredible to think that global domination is predicated on such a small margin.
Here’s how the current Top 10 are performing (as of May 15, 2017)
|Ranking||Player||Points Won/Total||Win Percentage|
Click HERE to read my recent ATP World Tour analysis, including the full breakdown of players ranked No. 1 from 1991 to 2016.
For a deeper analysis of the massive impact rally length has on winning a match, I highly recommend THE FIRST 4 SHOTS. Click HERE for more information about this tennis strategy product, focused on the importance of the start of the rally.
All the best,