Analysis of Roger Federer’s Break Points

Ajay Jain
Ajay Jain
Jul 23, 2017 · 2 min read
My initial graph was a boxplot of the percentage of break points Federer wins in every single match that he has won. Generally, Federer wins around 46 percent of the break points that he faces in matches that he wins.
I decided to take a subset of my original data for my next graph by only looking at Federer’s wins against opponents ranked amongst the top ten men’s tennis players in the ATP. Federer’s median break point conversion percentage decreases slightly by a couple of percentage points. While he has managed to beat top ten opponents without breaking them whatsoever (in essence, taking full advantage of tiebreaks) multiple times, he has managed (in an outlier scenario) to defeat a top ten opponent by winning every single break point he faced.
A slightly different way to look at how Federer faces top ten opponents on the break points is looking at how many break points Federer actually wins during a match. This is because while Federer’s break point win percentage may be high, the amount of break points faced could be rather low, leading to inconclusive data. This graph shows that in matches Federer wins against a top ten opponent, Federer breaks his opponent around 3 or 4 times, with a slight skew in the right quartile.
I found it very interesting how the surface of the court Roger Federer plays on does not necessarily dictate the percentage of break points he wins. On each surface (other than the rarely used carpet surface), Federer wins around 45 percent of his break points. This backs up Federer’s playing style as an all-court player, as he succeeds at similar levels on every single court surface. If we looked at player who specialize only on certain surfaces, such as Andy Roddick and James Blake on hard court or Juan Carlos Ferrero on clay court, their percentages would most likely vary widely amongst each surface.
For my last two graphs, I decided to also analyze Federer’s break points won in his matches lost. I felt the best way to compare the amount of break points won and matches won or lost was through two bar charts. The two charts show an interesting correlation: Federer loses more games when he does not break his opponent. However, when he only breaks his opponent once, Roger Federer has an equivalent chance of winning a match as he does losing it. For every single number of break points won after, Federer’s chances of winning a match are much higher than his chances of losing.

Ajay Jain

Written by

Ajay Jain

Statistics & Computer Science and Political Science student at the University of Illinois. Interested in political analytics and data science.

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