Low Five? (Tennis.com, February 13, 2007) [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Low Five? (Tennis.com, February 13, 2007)

02-14-2007, 07:33 PM
http://tennisworld.typepad.com/tennisworld/2007/02/low_five.htmlLow Five!
Posted 02/13/2007 @ 6 :26 PM

Hey, Tribe. If you're anything like me, you've probably grown a little jaded reciting the names of the usual suspects when it comes to the ATP Tour's MatchFacts. I mean, Andy Roddick is No. 2 in aces. Stop the presses! Roger Federer leads the pack in service games won. Who woulda thunk it! Rafael Nadal has the best record on clay (26-0) Whoop-dee-do!

Actually, what is kind of interesting is that Nadal is only No. 4 on the most-wins-on-clay category, behind Filippo Volandri, Nicolas Massu and Nikolay Davydenko, all of whom won more matches but can't match Nadal's winning percentage. How do you argue with 1.000?

Well, I thought it might be a whole lot more fun to forget about the Top 10, or Top 5, in any of these critical but not entirely decisive categories, and give some props, maybe exchange a low five or two, with the Low Five - the guys who finished at the bottom of the list in some of these telling statistical categories. In other words, I'm not going to tell you who led the ATP last year in aces, but you're going to know the names of the five guys who finished at the bottom of the pack. What shall we call it, the 2005 ATP MatchFacts Hall of Shame?

In order to avoid get bogged down typing a lot of names I can't spell, you can't pronounce, and neither of us is likely to every see striking a tennis ball in a major event (and this could be a good thing!), I've imposed a cut-off of No. 100 on the ranking computer. So these will be the five basement dwellers from among the Top 100 players in 2006. Today, we're going to look at some theoretically significant service numbers. Over the next few days, I'll post the results in other categories as well (if you enjoy this kind of thing).

Because the ATP is not sufficiently "enlightened" to honor the Low Five (would somebody please bring them up to speed on the Everyone Gets a Trophy! approach to that necessary evil, competition?), I've had to crunch the numbers myself. Of course, this means I may screw up along the way, because I'm notoriously out-to-lunch when it comes to adding, listing, column structure, etc. etc. But I done my best. Comment as you see fit, as long it's not relevant to being good at anything.

Aces: Match Average - You don't have to be Brad Gilbert to know that Ivan Ljubicic rolls along, slightly ahead of Andy Roddick, with an 11.9 aces-per-match average. If you're really tuned in, you may even know that Ivo Karlovic (ranked No. 98)pops a mind-boggling 18 aces per match. But unless you're regular poster Skip or Dunlop Maxply, you probably don't know that Benjamin Baby Boom Boom Becker, ranked No. 58, surpasses Jiffylube and Roddick with an impressive 12.8 per-match average.

But this about the Low five, so here they are:

1 - Christophe Rochus, No. 78, leads the pack with a decidedly underwhelming 1.5 aces-per-match average.

2 Christophe's diminutive brother, No. 36 in the world is stuck with a 1.8 per-match ace count, but look on the positive side. He's the Rochus family acemeister!

3 - Igor Kunitsyn, No. 94, is hard on the Rochus's heels at 2.1.

4 - Juan Martin Del Potro, No.92,is a big galoot (6-5) who rips them off at a blistering 2.2 pace.

5 - David Ferrer may be No. 14 in the world and a stud on clay, but it sure as hail isn't because of his serve. He's in a dead heat with No. 83 Potito Starace. Wait. Didn't I order Potito Starace at that Milanese restaurant the other night? Anyway, they both clean the lines at a modest 2.5 clip.

Double Faults: Match Average - We could call this next one the Elena Dementieva Roll of Honor; it's a list of the five Top 100 players who have the highest double-fault per match average:

1 - Robert Kendrick, No. 87, hits 6.2 Demis per match. As Roger Federer might say, Any questions, dude?

2 - Amer Delic, No. 93 and clearly struggling with rookie jitters, tags the Cyclone fences at a 5.5 double-faults per match clip.

3 - Dominik Hrbaty's famous shirt may have caused him to lose too much heat; he's No. 21 but hits a stone-cold 4.5 demis per match.

4 - Gael the hip-hop warrior Monfils (No. 46) serves more like a monkfish (you get the idea), putting up an average of 4 doubles per match.

5 - Stan The Man Wawrinka, a respectable No. 30, makes them groan at a 3.9 clip.

First Serve percentage: Lowest - Anybody can stink the joint out with his first-serve percentage on any given day, but it takes a real Low-Fiver to do it on such a consistent basis that it leaves you shaking your head, thinking, nope, it ain't timing, it ain't a technical glitch, it ain't the wind. This guy just can't stick the first serve.

1 - Mardy Fish (No. 47) had a first-serve percentage of 51 in 2006. And he's an attacking player who likes to volley. Can you say Suicidal Tendency?

2 - Daniele Bracciali, No. 65, is hard on Fish's heels, at 52 per cent, which is less surprising than the fact that grumpy Nicolas Kiefer (No. 48) is right up there with Danny.

4 - Bjorn Phau (No. 77), Christophe Rochus (No. 78) and Jose Acasuso (No. 27) all come in at 53 per cent, which puts them on even footing with two guys who routinely collect slightly larger checks: Marcos Baghdatis (No. 12) and Andy Murray (No.15).

Have a good evening, everyone! Should we do more tomorrow?

02-27-2007, 03:28 AM
Gael the "hip hop warrior"...?