No One Tops Murray Returning First Serves

Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers shows who was best while returning in 2017

Andy Murray played only about half a season in 2017, but when he was on the court, he was at his devastating best returning serve – especially against first serves.

Murray finished 2017 ranked No. 16 in the Emirates ATP Rankings with a 25-10 record. He has not played since Wimbledon because of a hip injury.

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But an Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of Murray’s limited season identifies that he was actually the tour leader in first serve return points won, at 34.7 per cent. It's only the second time that the Scot has finished first on Tour in this specific category (along with 2011).

Andy Murray 2017-2006 First Serve Return Points Won / Category Ranking

Year

First Serve Return Points Won

Category Ranking

2017

34.7%

1

2016

33.8%

4

2015

32.7%

5

2014

33.4%

6

2013

33.7%

6

2012

32.1%

13

2011

37.1%

1

2010

32.2%

11

2009

34.9%

2

2008

33.1%

5

2007

34.0%

4

2006

34.2%

5

Murray finished 2017 with the second best Infosys Return Rating, edged out by the greatly improved Diego Schwartzman of Argentina. Schwartzman started 2017 outside the Top 50 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, but broke into the Top 25 in October after reaching the final at the European Open in Antwerp (l. to Tsonga). Schwartzman also finished as the Tour leader in 2017 in Second Serve Return Points Won (56.1%) and Return Games Won (34.8%).

Learn More at the Infosys ATP Stats LEADERBOARDS

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal finished 2017 as the third best returner, as measured by the Infosys Return Rating, followed by another former No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Rounding out the Top 10 returners for 2017 were Damir Dzumhur, Roberto Bautista Agut, Kei Nishikori, Next Gen ATP Finals champion Hyeon Chung, Pablo Carreno Busta, and David Goffin.

Serbian Filip Krajinovic finished first on Tour in the Infosys Return Rating metric of Break Points Converted. The 25-year-old won 52.8 per cent of his break points, which helped power him through qualifying to the final at the Rolex Paris Masters (l. to Sock).

2017 Infosys Return Rating Top 10

Ranking

Player

Infosys Return Rating

1

Diego Schwartzman

168.7

2

Andy Murray

168.6

3

Rafael Nadal

164.3

4

Novak Djokovic

164.0

5

Damir Dzumhur

162.2

6

Roberto Bautista Agut

159.4

7

Kei Nishikori

157.3

8

Hyeon Chung

154.6

9

Pablo Carreno Busta

152.9

10

David Goffin

151.9

The return of serve is one of the least practiced shots in our sport, but success in this specific area has been a driving force for many long and prosperous careers on the ATP World Tour.

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