Around the Net, Issue 2

Around the Net is my attempt to provide a clearinghouse for tennis analytics on the web. Each week, you’ll find a summary of recent articles, podcasts, papers, and data sources, as well as trivia and the occasional bit of interesting non-tennis content. If you would like to suggest something for a future issue, drop me a line.

Articles and Papers



  • Match Charting Project: The dataset has grown by 60 matches in the last week, from 5,083 to 5,143. Highlights include the 100th charted Petra Kvitova match, making her the 7th woman to become so well represented. We’ve also continued filling out the historical record of grand slam semi-finals, including a 1981 clash between Jimmy Connors and Bjorn Borg.


  • Last week’s New York semi-final between John Isner and Reilly Opelka set plenty of records, the number of which is probably limited only by our imaginations. First, their 59 tiebreak points tied a best-of-three record. Unsurprisingly, Isner (and Jeremy Chardy) held the previous record as well.
  • The Isner-Opelka tilt also set the record for most aces (81) in a best-of-three match–breaking another of Isner’s marks–and was also the first best-of-three match in which both players hit at least 37 aces.
  • Marco Cecchinato has somehow won three tour-level titles (and reached a Roland Garros semi-final!) with only 33 tour-level match wins. By contrast, Julien Benneteau won 273 tour-level matches but nary a title.
  • Since 2008, Fabio Fognini has played at least part of the South American golden swing every year but one. But 2019 was the first time he suffered three straight first-round exits, despite entering each event as a top-two seed.

Beyond the net

Thanks to Peter, Jeff, and Carl for help with this week’s issue.