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How Murray, Djokovic Cut Down Big Servers On Grass

Grass-court tennis traditionally favours big servers, with the slick bounce off the turf adding to the arsenal of heavy hitters. But with Wimbledon rapidly approaching, keep an eye on two of the most successful grass-court players of all-time, who have found success by nullifying that potent threat on the surface.

Although two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and six-time winner Novak Djokovic are more than capable on serve, it is their return games that lift them to historic heights on the grass. Djokovic leads all active players with a 26.4 per cent win rate in return games on the surface, while Murray is a close second at 26.3 per cent, according to statistics from the Infosys ATP Performance Zone.

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As a result, those two men have claimed more grass titles than any active player other than Roger Federer, whose 19 tour-level titles are the most on the lawns since records have been kept. Murray has won eight such titles, while Djokovic has claimed seven.  

Diego Schwartzman is the only other active player to surpass the 25 per cent mark (25.3%) in grass-court return games won, with Denis Kudla fourth on the list (23.9%).

Career Return Games Won % On Grass (Active Players)

When considering all surfaces, Djokovic and Murray win 32.2 per cent and 31 per cent of their return games, respectively. That still puts them in elite company, but slightly behind active leaders Rafael Nadal (33.6%) and Schwartzman (32.4%). Seventeen active players eclipse 25 per cent in that statistic.

A similar gap can be seen in serving statistics as well. Just three men have held serve at a rate better than 90 per cent throughout their careers: Ivo Karlovic (92%), John Isner (91.8%) and Milos Raonic (91.2%). Federer is the next-best at 88.8 per cent. But narrow the scope to just grass courts, and 12 men surpass 89 per cent, including Djokovic.

The Serbian is seventh in hold percentage across all surfaces (85.8%) and ninth on grass (89.4%). Murray clocks in at 24th overall (81.8%) and 14th on the grass (88.4%).

Nadal, a two-time Wimbledon champion, is seventh among active players in grass-court hold percentage with a rate of 89.8 per cent. That leaves him just below Matteo Berrettini (90.9%) and Nick Kyrgios (90%).

Source Tennis – ATP World Tour

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EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team
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