When browsing through tennis stats (as you do…), I was surprised to find that Jeff Sackmann’s Tennis Abstract site has player serve stats – points won on first serve, second serve and so on – all the way back to the early ’90s. If you like, you can have a look at Sampras for example; the stats are shown in the far right columns of the table. I was surprised because my usual source of data, OnCourt, only has these as far back as about 2003 or so.
Much like Steph Kovalchik did a few days ago, now that there is no live tennis I found myself wondering which historical matches to watch. We both developed approaches to pick the most interesting ones, and I think the results are different enough that I thought I’d put my selection up too.
In these tennis-free days, I thought it could be fun to look back at the history of tennis and chart some general trends in playing style.