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FedEx Reliability Zone: Grass-Court Giants

FedEx Reliability Zone: Grass-Court Giants

Federer© Getty ImagesRoger Federer has the best winning percentage in grass-court matches since 1973, according to the FedEx ATP Reliability Index. looks at the best grass-court records, using the FedEx ATP Reliability Index.

Grass is traditionally the fastest of surfaces, but it can also be unforgiving.

During the short grass swing – six tournaments in total – players are required to adjust their games and technique from crushed brick to mown lawns, as bending knees and attacking tennis is in vogue.

Former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, a winner of four Aegon Championships and 2002 Wimbledon, says, “If you go in with the wrong mindset, then it doesn't matter about your footwork.

“If you're positive about playing on grass, then normally you have to be a lot sharper on your feet instead of sliding through the shot like you do on clay.”

Hewitt has a 112-33 record (.772) on grass courts as of 10 June.

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On lush grass, early in tournament weeks, the risk of slipping increases.

For taller performers, such as 6’5” Tomas Berdych, the 2010 Wimbledon runner-up, grass poses other threats.

“My game is based on the fact that if I'm in position and I'm hitting the ball clear, then it's way easier. It all starts with my movement. Then my timing, confidence and everything is there.

Gael Monfils, often cited as one of the most flexible players on the ATP World Tour, has a 19-13 (.594) record on grass-courts as of the start of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle. 

He admits that, “It’s very hard for me. Movement is very hard. I’m moving, but I feel like I’m moving really weird. It’s tough because sometimes I want to run really fast but I can’t and, especially now, more than before, because I don’t want to get into any trouble with my body. Sometimes I prefer to avoid the point.”

Over the course of the past 10 years, Roger Federer has been pre-eminent. 

Twelve of his 76 tour-level titles have been won on grass courts. He leads the career FedEx ATP Reliability Index for the best match winning percentage at 117-17 (.873) as of 10 June.

His record is better than John McEnroe, who compiled a 119-20 (.856) mark and eight titles, and No. 3-ranked Rod Laver at 79-15 (.840) with six Open Era grass-court titles.

Andy Murray, the 2009 and 2011 titlist at The Queen’s Club, is second among current players with a 61-14 (.813) mark, followed by two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal at 50-12 (.806) and Hewitt.

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FedEx ATP Win/Loss Index

Performance On Grass

Current* Index Career Index
1. Don Budge .000 .912
2. Bill Tilden .000 .905
3. Bobby Riggs .000 .895
4. Fred Perry .000 .888
5. Rene Lacoste .000 .887
Fedex Reliability Zone


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