Top 20 vs. Top 100. Here’s the difference…

Week 1 vs. Week 2.

 The inner workings of a Top 20 player…


Got a question for you.

I divided the 2016 Australian Open men’s draw into two parts – Week 1 & Week 2.

Week 1 = 112 matches = 88%
Week 2 = 15 matches = 12%

Week 2 starts with the 4th Round. Just 16 players. They are typically either in the Top 20 in the world, or are lower ranked players playing at a Top 20 level.

So here’s the question…

What is the difference in average rally length between Week 1 & Week 2?

What are the players in Week 2 doing better? Why are they not on a plane yet? Can it be quantified in rally length?

The 16 players that made the second week (and their seeding) were:

Novak Djokovic (1)
Andy Murray (2)
Roger Federer (3)
Stan Wawrinka (4)

Tomas Berdych (6)
Kei Nishikori (7)
David Ferrer (8)

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (9) 
John Isner (10)
Milos Raonic (13)
Gilles Simon (14)
David Goffin (15)
Bernard Tomic (16)
Roberto Bautista Agut (24)
Gael Monfils (unseeded)
Andrey Kutzetsov (unseeded)

The players in red posses big games and lots of power. The players in black are typically comfortable building points from the back of the court. 

Thirteen of the 16 were ranked in the top 20, while three elevated their games to a Top 20 level in Melbourne to reach the second week.


I am going to give you half the answer.

Week 1 Average Rally Length = 3.6 Shots

Week 2 Average Rally Length = ?

When you are considering your answer, keep in mind these 3 factors.

  1. 12 of the 16 players have no problem staying back, and playing longer points if need be.
  2. There is a whole lot more defense on the board than offense.
  3. The three longest matches for the entire tournament are included in Week 2. They were Djokovic v Simon, Djokovic v Murray, and Murray v Ferrer.

HINT: Week 2 is definitely longer.

Your answer is how much longer?

Please email me back your thoughts – [email protected] – on what it is. Loved all the feedback from last week’s question!

This type of research and analysis is what The First 4 Shots is all about. Tomorrow (April 1) you get the answer, and on April 11, you will get to know exactly what to do with this advanced research with the launch of  The First 4 Shots.

Have a great day, and don’t forget to email me back with what you think the average rally length was in Week 2.

All the best,