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I bring this up because there have been quite a few wipeout scorelines all over the place and many breaks of serve, sometimes breaks are more common than holds even (eg. Thiem-Pouille)
In Federer's match against Monfils, he served just over 50% but won just 66% of 1st serve pts. This is unusual considering Federer's good record for serving when 1st serve goes in. He wasn't getting many free points and many games went to deuce.

In Wawrinka's match vs Dimitrov, he served well at 72% first serves for the match, but had no aces and won just 47% of first serve pts for the match (max 60% for second set), only holding serve 3 times. Milos served just 4 aces against Robredo, while serving at 69% for the match (granted he had foot issues). We know Wawrinka has stinkers but holding serve just 3 times with his sort of serve and that percentage is ridiculous...

Does clay really have such a big offset on serve? Maybe ignoring Isner's cannonballs which probably won't change much...
 

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I'm not surprised. Serve isn't as effective on clay as it is on grass/hard. Things are far more dependent on their ground game.
 

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That's why Nadal is one of the best, if not the best, servers and returners on clay.
You can't use the standard on hard/grass to judge serve/ROS on clay.
Nadal's topspin serve and 5m behind baseline ROS are really effective.
He always gets more free pts than Djokovic by serve and ROS on clay
 

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In Federer's match against Monfils, he served just over 50% but won just 66% of 1st serve pts. This is unusual considering Federer's good record for serving when 1st serve goes in. He wasn't getting many free points and many games went to deuce.
Monfils reads the serve quite well (less aces/unreturned serves) and Federer had terrible ground game.

In Wawrinka's match vs Dimitrov, he served well at 72% first serves for the match, but had no aces and won just 47% of first serve pts for the match (max 60% for second set), only holding serve 3 times. Milos served just 4 aces against Robredo, while serving at 69% for the match (granted he had foot issues). We know Wawrinka has stinkers but holding serve just 3 times with his sort of serve and that percentage is ridiculous...

Does clay really have such a big offset on serve? Maybe ignoring Isner's cannonballs which probably won't change much...
Wawrinka was terrible (104mph average on first serve).That is WTAesque.
 

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I bring this up because there have been quite a few wipeout scorelines all over the place and many breaks of serve, sometimes breaks are more common than holds even (eg. Thiem-Pouille)
In Federer's match against Monfils, he served just over 50% but won just 66% of 1st serve pts. This is unusual considering Federer's good record for serving when 1st serve goes in. He wasn't getting many free points and many games went to deuce.

In Wawrinka's match vs Dimitrov, he served well at 72% first serves for the match, but had no aces and won just 47% of first serve pts for the match (max 60% for second set), only holding serve 3 times. Milos served just 4 aces against Robredo, while serving at 69% for the match (granted he had foot issues). We know Wawrinka has stinkers but holding serve just 3 times with his sort of serve and that percentage is ridiculous...

Does clay really have such a big offset on serve? Maybe ignoring Isner's cannonballs which probably won't change much...
Clay is slow and Monte Carlo slower than most, but it takes well to spin and the serve should theoretically still be a weapon for a good server, though less than on faster surfaces obviously. Bad bounces can also benefit the server. Ace rate is down generally.

Haven't seen the Thiem-Pouille match, so can't comment on it.

You are mentioning possible injury problems for Raonic and I agree, because his serve usually is a weapon on clay too as he showed last year at Rome and RG. So if he's fine it should be similarly effective (a bit less) to Isner's and he should be tough to break.

You are disregarding the fact that Wawrinka was serving at a fraction of his usual speed. He got a lot of first serves in, but at what cost? He was serving below 170 km/h on average (!) for first serves, i.e. around 30 km/h (!) slower than his usual average. No matter the surface - this kind of first serve would be easily returned on other surfaces than clay as well. He seemed weirdly without energy for the whole of the match. For his career, his first serve win percentage on clay is 70,3% as compared to 73% on all surfaces.

As for Fed, he used his serve on clay as a weapon before too, famously in that SF 2011 vs. Djokovic. His low first serve percentage would indicate it wasn't one of his better days on serve. It's also simply well below his usual first serve win percentage on clay, which is 74,3% for his career (77% for all surfaces) and 76,8% (78,6%) for 2014. (stats taken from tennisabstract.com).

So yes, it's less effective, but a great server should still win a large junk of the points. From the stats for Fed and Wawrinka it appears that the drop off on clay is around 3% as compared to hardcourt, maybe others can check on other players.
 
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So in other words, servebots are getting exposed on this surface. Great for the game!


And yes, Wawrinka's 1. serve quality was horrific yesterday, that doesn't prove anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It seems then Wawrinka wasn't feeling too good yet won the doubles against Paes/Nestor with Paire lol...I was particularly taken by Gulbis 6-0 6-1 (vs Haider Maurer) and Janowicz 6-3 6-1 loss to Fognini.
Both playing very badly to lose serve that many times...in fact Janowicz held serve just once!

I assume then more rallies and point construction is not the strength of many players who aren't accustomed to clay...

Nadal's topspin serve and 5m behind baseline ROS are really effective.
He always gets more free pts than Djokovic by serve and ROS on clay
Interesting considering how we bag him for returning serve from Antarctica...the spin and bounce on clay probably gives him extra room to respond to the next shot. Pretty annoying for anyone trying to get free points...
 

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Does clay really have such a big offset on serve?
Yep - clay events have service break numbers in the range of 20% to 30%. Monte Carlo is right at the top because it's cold and wet, while at the bottom are all altitude events.

Hard court events are fairly tightly clustered around 20%ish, with slow tournaments like Indian Wells/Miami being around 22.5% iirc.
 

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Yep - clay events have service break numbers in the range of 20% to 30%. Monte Carlo is right at the top because it's cold and wet, while at the bottom are all altitude events.

Hard court events are fairly tightly clustered around 20%ish, with slow tournaments like Indian Wells/Miami being around 22.5% iirc.
Nice stats to support it. Thanks
 
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