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FedEx Reliability Zone: Hard-Court Hardmen

FedEx Reliability Zone: Hard-Court Hardmen

Djokovic© AFP/Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic has a 20-2 record on hard courts in 2013.

Ahead of the start of the US summer hard-court swing, ATPWorldTour.com looks at records on the surface this year using the FedEx ATP Reliability Index

Hard-court tennis is a great leveller. The bounce is consistent, yet higher than clay or grass, and the surface suits any style. Hard courts also neutralise any advantage a player may have.

Over the next two months, at the Claro Open Colombia, BB&T Atlanta Open, Citi Open, Coupe Rogers, Western & Southern Open – Cincinnati, Winston-Salem Open and US Open, ATP World Tour stars will try and master the conditions in a bid for title glory.

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Justin Gimelstob told ATPWorldTour.com, "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, especially during the intense heat of the US summer hard-court swing."

So far in 2013, Novak Djokovic leads the field on hard courts, according to the FedEx ATP Reliability Index, with a 20-2 (.909) record that includes two titles at the Australian Open (d. Murray) and Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (d. Berdych). 

Djokovic, who has a 6-1 hard-court mark against Top 10 opponents in the Emirates ATP Rankings, insists that he always “focuses on quality of practice rather than quantity” when switching surfaces. “Winning matches can bring you necessary confidence to feel good about yourself on and off the court. Then, with experience, you learn to live with pressure and figure out ways to perform at your best level in the biggest tournaments."  

Andy Murray has a 19-2 record on the surface, the second-best overall this year. The World No. 2, who often trains in Miami, says that “Hard courts do take a lot out of the body, and this is for sure the most demanding surface.”

But Gimelstob believes that, “Every type of player can be successful because every style can be rewarded." Brad Gilbert confirmed that theory to ATPWorldTour.com, "The temperature at a particular tournament can dictate the pace of the court and balls, but anyone can succeed if they play their game."

Interesting, David Ferrer has the third best hard-court winning percentage this year according to the FedEx ATP Reliability Index. The World No. 3 has compiled a 16-4 (.804) record that includes a fourth title at the Heineken Open. 

Roger Federer, a winner of 52 hard-court titles, has an all-time ATP World Tour best 546-113 on the surface (13-4 this year). Juan Martin del Potro has a 16-5 mark in 2013. 

Since The Championships at Wimbledon, some players will have undertaken more distance running and track work to build a solid physical base and core strength for the stretch ahead.

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FedEx ATP Win/Loss Index

Performance On Hard

Current* Index Career Index
1. Roger Federer .889 .829
2. Novak Djokovic .870 .828
3. Kei Nishikori .796 .655
4. Rafael Nadal .769 .778
5. Andy Murray .754 .778
Fedex Reliability Zone

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