This Part Of Chung's Game Is Nearly Top 10 Already
The golden age of the returner has spawned another great returner.
Hyeon Chung is the Mover of the Week in the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings, charging up 29 spots to No. 29 on the back of his semi-final run at the Australian Open.
The 21-year-old from South Korea follows a recent trend in our sport where the elite-level players are more proficient returning than serving.
For example, when you examine year-end No. 1 players from 1991 to 2017, the best return performance was from 2011 to 2016. Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal have taken the returning side of our game to a whole new level.
By comparison, the five best years for elite serve performance were all before 2010, with Andy Roddick, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer leading the way.
An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of what is powering Chung up the ATP Rankings clearly shows that his return of serve is mature beyond its years.
Chung is ranked No. 29, but he is 11th best on the ATP Stats Return LEADERBOARD, powered by Infosys Nia Data. The Leaderboard is determined by adding the winning percentage in the following four areas:
First-Serve Return Points Won
Second-Serve Return Points Won
Return Games Won
Break Points Converted
Chung’s performance serving is not yet at this elite level, as he is ranked just 59th best on tour in the ATP Stats Serve LEADERBOARD during the past 52 weeks.
Watch Chung Discuss His Career-Best Grand Slam
Second-serve points won is his lowest area, being 77th best in this specific category. He actually has a losing record there, winning just 49.3 per cent of points. That’s not going to last for long.
Chung did improve that second-serve stat in his run to the semi-finals in Melbourne, winning an impressive 57 per cent to the semi-finals before having to retire against Roger Federer with blisters on his feet.
Read More: From Milan To Melbourne, Chung Keeps Surging
On the receiving side in Melbourne, Chung elevated his break points converted to the semi-finals, winning 47 per cent (24/51), which was significantly better than the 42 per cent he had won during the past 12 months.
Chung was tied for first in Melbourne with Baseline Points Won, winning an impressive 55 per cent (350/641) of his points from the back of the court. Federer, who won the tournament for a sixth time, won only 51 per cent (322/632) of his baseline points.
There is no doubt about it: Chung is definitely trending towards the Top 10. The returns and baseline play are already there. Expect to see improved serve numbers this season.