Tennis Stats of the Pros – Djokovic v Medvedev

HomePro Match StatsTennis Stats of the Pros – Djokovic v Medvedev
Daniil Medvedev salutes the crowd in Cincinnati

Tennis stats don’t usually lie. After Daniil Medvedev took out Novak Djokovic last week in Cincinnati, a lot of tennis experts and amateurs are having a look at how he did it.

For the junior tennis player, the most important thing to realize is not necessarily what Medvedev did to change his own game. It’s what those changes did to Djokovic’s game.”

“He was more aggressive” has been the most used comment. That doesn’t actually tell us how, so we looked into it.

The First Two Sets

Sets one and two were fairly routine. Djokovic made sure he looked after his serve while getting as many balls in play and running his opponent from one side of the court to the other. Sounds pretty familiar so far right?

Medvedev played his usual game, using his first serve as his main weapon. He stands a long way back to return serve, which plays into the longer rally game of Djokovic. Up until late in the second set, even the commentators were calling Novak’s play “a clinic”.

Medvedev didn’t have a break point on the Djokovic serve until 3-4 in the second set. He converted with a backhand return of serve winner up the line. It was one of the few times Medevedev had actually attacked the Djokovic second serve.

The Third Set

The serving stats below tell the story of how Medvedev turned the match around.

First set serving stats Djokovic v Medvedev Cincinnati semi final 2019
Third set serving stats Djokovic v Medvedev Cincinnati semi final 2019

Note that Medvedev has gone from a first serve percentage of 59% in the first set to 75% in the third set. He’s also increased the percentage of points won behind his first serve from 75% to 86%. Both those numbers are pretty big.

He was also a lot more aggressive on Djokovic’s second serve. Djokovic went from winning 71% behind his second serve in the first set, down to 33% in the third set. Medvedev didn’t hit a lot of return winners. He was still measured, but aggressive enough to set up the point a lot better rather than play to Djokovic’s strength.

Last of all is the Medvedev second serve. No huge increase in the percentage won, but the percentage in would normally be cause for concern at 57%. That’s because he was blasting them. He went from an average second serve speed of 96mph in the first set to 110mph in the third. Why? To put Novak off his rally game and get him out of his groove.

In Summary

From around midway through the second set, but more particularly in the third set, Medvedev did the following:

  • Increased his percentage of first serves in.
  • Increased the percentage of first serve points won by hitting his spots better.
  • More aggressive on the Djokovic second serve.
  • More aggressive on his own second serve.

For the junior tennis player, the most important thing to realize is not necessarily what Medvedev did to change his own game. It’s what those changes did to Djokovic’s game.

Djokovic was cruising until midway through the second set. After that, and especially in the third set, he was taken out of his “groove”.

Not as many long rallies. No weak second serves to set up points with returns. Djokovic wasn’t able to dictate play like he was earlier in the match because Medvedev took away his opportunities to do so.

Medvedev has been described as boring by some commentators, but his performance last week showed his ability to think his way through a match, and change his game when what he was doing wasn’t working. A great lesson for junior players.

You might also like

Leave a Reply