4. The Clutch Index 2013 and When Dmitry Met Marcos

As discussed earlier this week, the Clutch Index has a compelling correlation with ATP ranking: both conceptually and empirically. The Clutch Index ranks players on their ability to win tight sets and tight matches (see Methodology at the bottom of this page): better players win tight matches. The Clutch Index for 2008-2013 featured all players…

2. Court speed – Act Two: Your real estate or my cannon?

In the previous post, we noted that there are empirical differences between the four court surfaces/conditions in which tennis is played (outdoor hard, indoor, clay, grass). By using a metric known as cross-courts or XC*, we found that indoor and grass court tournaments were quicker than outdoor hard court tournaments and clay court tournaments. Further…

1. Court speed – Act One: XC marks the spot

A widely held opinion about professional tennis in the last few years is that court speeds have been sufficiently harmonised so that the pace of general playing conditions has converged. Examples of this opinion can be found here and here. How true is this on the ATP Tour? And how can we measure it? Measuring…

Prologue: O for a Muse of Fire

“Tennis has a data problem”, a Wall Street Journal blog reported in the aftermath of the 2013 US Open. That and other blogs criticised the inanity of IBM statistics at the US Open: one IBM “key to a match” for one player was reportedly to serve at less than a specific miles per hour. In…