Stefanos Tsitsipas is the ultimate “closer” when serving this season.
An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of the current Top 10 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings from the 2022 season identifies the Greek as the leading player who holds serve the most after building at least a two-point lead in his service games. Tsitsipas has surged to a 30/0, 40/0, and 40/15 lead 946 times this season and has only dropped serve seven times from these three specific point scores. It’s a jaw-dropping stat, especially considering it does not add up to getting broken even one percent (.007%) of the time.
A “closer” is a specialized baseball pitcher brought in toward the end of the game when his team is leading. His job is to convert the lead into a victory. Tsitsipas perfectly fits the bill from a tennis serving perspective.
Stefanos Tsitsipas: 2022 Season
• Holding from 30/0 – 4 service games lost from 366.
• Holding from 40/0 – 0 service games lost from 269.
• Holding from 40/15 – 3 service games lost from 311.
• Combined – 7 service games lost from 946.
• Combined Hold Percentage – 99.3%
The following breakdown identifies the leading players in the Top 10 rankings holding serve from 30/0, 40/0, and 40/15.
Holding From 30/0 (Top 10 Average = 97.2%)
1. Stefanos Tsitsipas = 98.9% (362/366)
2. Taylor Fritz = 98.6% (285/289)
3. Felix Auger-Aliassime = 97.5% (314/322)
A 30/0 lead is a solid way to start a service game, but the server has still only won two of the required four points to hold serve. It seems like there is still ample opportunity for things to get sideways for the server. Not so for Tsitsipas, Fritz, and Auger-Aliassime, who close the door on their service games better than anyone else in the Top 10. They were also the only three players in the data set to hold from greater than 97 per cent of the time.
Holding From 40/0 (Top 10 Average = 99.5%)
T1. Stefanos Tsitsipas = 100% (269/269)
T1. Felix Auger-Aliassime = 100% (213/213)
T1. Alexander Zverev = 100% (112/112) )
T1. Novak Djokovic = 100% (93/93)
Overall, the current Top 10 have only dropped serve 10 times (1844/1854) this season when leading 40/0. No current Top 10 player has dropped more than two service games from 40/0. Stepping outside the data set, Maxime Cressy is the only player since 2015 to have led 40/0 more than 200 times and not dropped serve, holding 275 consecutive times from 40/0.
Holding From 40-15 (Top 10 Average = 98.1%)
1. Stefanos Tsitsipas = 99.0% (308/311)
2. Felix Auger-Aliassime = 99.0% (287/290)
3. Alexander Zverev = 98.5% (133/135)
The point score of 40/15 is once again a dominating scoreline for the Greek, only dropping serve three times in 311 service games. Interestingly, current world No. 1, Carlos Alcaraz, has dropped serve from 40-15 eight times (247/255) this season, which is more than any other Top 10 player.
Tsitsipas is currently ranked No. 5 in the ATP rankings and is competing in the Stockholm Open this week. He is less than 900 points behind the players ranked two to four, and only 1800 points separates Tsitsipas and world No. 1, Alcaraz. Tsitsipas is in contention to equal or surpass his career-high ranking of No. 3, and the top rung is certainly in play if he can once again capture the Nitto ATP Finals, which he did in 2019.