Keeping Score: How to Watch Tennis: Trust Numbers, Not Eyes

I want you to watch the United States Open through a different lens, with an analytical eye, replacing guesswork and opinion with patterns and percentages.

I want to help you see what matters for winning a tennis match, and what does not. Once your tennis vision has improved, you will understand the game better โ€” and play it better.

The first thing to understand is that you are not watching only one match; you are watching two. The obvious match is the one during the point, but the more important match happens between the points. For a lot of players at the Open, the allotment of 20 seconds between points is simply an inconvenience. It should not be.


Statistics from the 2015 United States Open.

The New York Times

At some stage of every match, a mental storm cloud rolls in. It could come in the first game, or in the final one, or at any point in between. A bad line call, an exhausting point, the sun, wind and shadows, or a failure to convert a break point can make players reach for the self-destruct button.

The reality of tennis, at all levels of the game, is that…

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