After winning a 4th Wimbledon, a 3rd US Open and a 7th Australian Open crown, Novak Djokovic is back in business and better than ever. Everybody would agree to say that his return and his backhand are just out of this world. His forehand also starts to be regarded as effective as the one of Rafael Nadal for instance. Eventually, his serve & volley are maybe not among the very best but remains very effective.
TennisProfiler wanted to go more in depths to find out how such a man could be so dominant on the ATP tour. After the analysis of his data (22'024 points registered manually), TennisProfiler easily understood why Novak was one of the greatest of all time. From all the players analyzed in its database of half a million points, Nole is actually the only player with these kind of stats. But before telling you what it is all about, let's just talk about the way TennisProfiler analyses tennis matches.
TennisProfiler always analyzes tennis matches on two different degrees: 1. The player versus the general ATP averages (made by TennisProfiler database). 2. The player versus his rivals. The first analysis is to compare a shot result with the general average of the ATP tour. For instance, during the AO final against Rafael Nadal Novak won 16 points with the forehand and he played a total of 142 points in this final. So his ratio of forehand points is 11,27% (16/142) and this result is above the general average of the ATP players. The second analysis is to compare Novak with his rivals. Let's take the previous example with Nadal in the AO final. Djokovic won 16 points with the forehand against 14 for Nadal. So he made 14,3% more points with the forehand than Nadal in this match.
For this stats article, TennisProfiler only took Novak Djokovic's second analysis: the comparison of his results with the ones of his rivals. It means that his number of points with the serve, the return, the forehand, the backhand, the volley and his number of errors with these five shots will be compared with the results of his rivals when he played them. Like this, the condition were exactly the same for the two players and we can easily understand where Novak Djokovic is better than his rivals.
As said previously, 22'024 of Novak Djokovic's points were taken into account for this study. His results are then compared with to the ones of his rivals and here is the shocking news:
Djokovic dominates his rivals in every possible aspect of the game!
As you can see on this chart, Djokovic makes on average 3% more points with the serve, 83% with the return, 19% with the forehand, 45% with the backhand and 4% with the volley than his rivals.
As you can see on this second chart, Djokovic makes on average 8% less errors with the serve, 9% with the return, 23% with the forehand, 1% with the backhand and 36% with the volley than his rivals. Before going any further, I just want to make clear one thing: these results are averages and it often happens in one match that Novak makes less points with the serve or more errors with the backhand for instance. It only depends who he faces but his global results are the ones displayed above.
Let's now compare Novak Djokovic's results with the rest of the big four (Federer, Nadal & Murray). Let's see on the 10 shot comparisons, how many each of the players have better than their rivals.
Out of the big four, Novak Djokovic is the only player to have better stats than his rivals with every possible shots. Roger Federer makes on average 2% less points with his return and 13% less points with his backhand than his rivals. Andy Murray makes on average 11% less points with the forehand and 56% less points with his volley than his rivals. Eventually, Rafael Nadal makes on average 12% less points with the serve, 38% less points with the return, 10% less points with the backhand and 53% less points with the volley.
Novak Djokovic is so strong because he is a complete player capable of doing every possible thing on a tennis court. If we use the Profile types from the book "Tennis quel joueur êtes-vous ?", he can play in Tempo close to his baseline and that gives him an excellent backhand & return. Stats revealed that Novak takes a bigger edge with his forehand than his backhand and that also makes him an excellent Puncher. His Retrieving and Counterpunching skills are one of the best in the world and that allows him to make less errors than his rivals with every possible shots. We often forget the quality of his Offensive game style that he developed throughout his career. Against some players he comes in more frequently to get an edge. Eventually, he is not among the top Servers in the world but against the best baseliners he often dominates them by making more aces / service winners.
Novak Djokovic is not as popular as Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal but in a statistical point of view he is just better than them. If he keeps on playing the level he showed in Melbourne, we wouldn't be surprised if one day he wins more slams than Roger Federer or Rafale Nadal.