FEDEX RELIABILITY ZONE
FedEx Reliability Zone: Hard-Court Heroes
FedEx Reliability Zone: Career Hard-Court Records
by James Buddell|
With two hardcourt ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in the month of March in Indian Wells and Miami, we look at career hard-court records using the FedEx ATP Reliability Index.
Hard courts are often medium paced and neutralise any advantage a player may have. "So many players can compete well on hard courts now,” Brad Gilbert told ATPWorldTour.com. “The ball obviously bounces higher and it takes a little time to adjust, but the surface suits any style.”
Roger Federer has proven time and again his excellence on the surface, compiling a 543-112 (.829) record with 52 hard-court titles. He leads Ivan Lendl, 394-83 (.826), and Jimmy Connors, 509-108, .825), in the FedEx ATP Reliability Index for the best match wins percentage on hard courts. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is fourth overall with a 309-70 (.815) mark.
Mats Wilander told ATPWorldTour.com, “Federer has the greatest variety and his passion for the sport continues to pay off. He shrugs off losses and bounces back quickly. Obviously, when you get older you do slow down, you become a step slower, but that is where Federer’s mental strength comes into effect. There is no doubt that over the next year or two he will pick up plenty of titles.”
This month, the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and Sony Open Tennis in Miami provide different challenges to the cream of the ATP World Tour.
Tim Henman explained to ATPWorldTour.com, "Indian Wells has thinner air in the desert and it can be a hot and dry heat. Whereas you get down to Miami and it can be very humid and windy. So both can make for big adjustments. It is a tough task!" Pete Sampras, who completed the Indian Wells-Miami title double in 1994, added, "The ball goes through the air quicker in California, while you sweat more and have to work a little harder in Key Biscayne".
Justin Gimelstob told ATPWorldTour.com, "The great thing about hard-court tennis is it requires the most diverse variety of skills. Every type of player can be successful because every style can be rewarded. The most successful players on hard courts are well rounded. They need weapons: to get free points on serve, to move and defend well, to feel comfortable finishing at the net and also they need to be fit."
Federer, who is the second seed in Indian Wells, has won the BNP Paribas Open four times, including last year.