The tennis world is buzzing about the dream final of Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal. A total of 31 grand slam titles will soon become 32 for one of these two great champions. But let’s take a look at their history, specifically focused on their service hold percentage. Below is a plot of all the meetings between Federer & Nadal and their respective percentage of the time they held serve.
Although there is a lot of spread, we can pull out key insights already. For Federer’s wins, he had to hold serve 80% or more. But this data set is skewed by the number of meetings on clay. If we remove clay and grass meetings and just focus on hard courts, the variance of the plot tightens.
Now there are clear implications on service hold percentage. For example, if Federer holds 80%+ of the time, he has won 6 of 7. If Nadal holds 80%+ of the time, he has won 7 of 8. So keep an eye on service hold percentage and see who can hold more than 4 out of every 5 games. Should be fun!