Originally Posted by Henry Chinaski
winners shouldn't be subjective, but unforced errors clearly are.
Winners can't be subjective, yet it's far from a reliable stat, as first of all winners should be counted as % of the number of strokes (as any mug can hit 30 winners if a match lasts 300 points, while 30 winners from 80 points is another story).
Then they need to be separated from the service winners, as Karlovic should have a minimum of 50% of his winners from this shot, while f.e. Nadal's are 90% from the FH, which is a very different thing.
About the magical statistic that the return of serve is the best indicator - i agree, but it's just as good of an indicator as the ranking is.
Better % of returns, points won on return or whatever - higher ranking. And vice versa. So this won't be very helpful if it's intended to be used in defining odds for betting f.e.
It's like saying that the higher average speed of the driver defines him as the better driver - yes, so does the ranking of the race...
To have any decent use of the stats in tennis you need much, much more precise and in depth data like - winners from the net against defensive shots/offensive shots, hitpoint of the winner - first third near the net/middle/last third till the baseline/behind the baseline, winners from serve, winners from return of first serve with oponent at the net/baseline, winners returning second serve, etc., etc.
That's for the winners only and you can have the same for UEs, forced errors, BH, FH, percentages of winners/UEs per type based on number of shots per type, etc., etc.
That would give you a clearer picture of who's doing what. The plain official stats are useless.