By the Numbers, the Edge Goes to Petra Kvitova
Momentum May Be Eugenie Bouchard’s Best Statistic at Wimbledon
By CRAIG O’SHANNESSYJULY 4, 2014
Petra Kvitova has not made a single volley unforced error in the tournament. Credit Pool photo by Andrew Cowie
WIMBLEDON, England — The women’s final at Wimbledon will feature the surging Canadian Eugenie Bouchard against the former champion Petra Kvitova from the Czech Republic.
On the strength of her consistent results the past few months, Bouchard appears to be an early favorite. But Kvitova, a left-hander, holds the edge in several key statistical areas heading into Saturday’s final.
A huge weapon for Kvitova is her ability to hit an ace to either extend her lead or get out of a jam. She leads the tournament with 38 aces, while Bouchard is a distant 17th with 15. This will be worth a point here or there in each set.
That also spills over to unreturned serves: 34 percent of Kvitova’s serves have not come back into play, while 24 percent of Bouchard’s serves have not been returned.
Eugenie Bouchard has made 79 percent of her returns, ranking 17th for the tournament. Credit Al Bello/Getty Images
But Kvitova ranks second for the tournament with 64 percent of second-serve points won, and Bouchard is not in the top 25 in this category, winning 50 percent.
Kvitova’s serve advantage also plays out in service games won, where she leads the tournament with 93 percent. Bouchard’s 83 percent is eighth.
When it comes to returning, Bouchard has a definite advantage.
Bouchard has made 79 percent of her returns, ranking 17th for the tournament. Kvitova is a distant 74th in this all-important category, at 71 percent. But Kvitova has registered 19 return winners to Bouchard’s 15.
Kvitova has won 43 percent of her break points (22 of 51), slightly ahead of Bouchard’s 41 percent (24 of 58).
Kvitova enjoys a healthy advantage in hitting winners, 23 percent of her points, ranking fourth in the tournament. Bouchard ranked way back at 25th in this critical category, at 19 percent.
But the players are evenly matched in forehand and backhand winners and unforced errors, so advantages should be seized when they can.
What may be worth a critical point here or there is play at the net. Kvitova has not made a single volley unforced error in the tournament, and she has been more successful on net points, winning 76 percent (56 of 74) to Bouchard’s 72 percent (63 of 88).
Kvitova has a narrow statistical edge going into Saturday’s final, but the intangibles in mental and emotional areas of the game will play a major role in who triumphs.
Craig O’Shannessy is the lead strategy analyst for the ATP and WTA Tours. He runs Brain Game Tennis, a website about tennis tactics.