It has always been known Kei Nishikori like the unbeatable man when the duel goes to the deciding set. Whether in a Grand Slam or an ATP 250, on the ground or on a hard court, the Japanese, without being by far the greatest physical wonder on the circuit, always finds one more gear that leaves his rivals behind when the game is gone. to the deciding set. If we focus on the ATP level matches accounted for by statistics since 1990, the result is curious: nobody is better than Kei when the duel goes to the third set, especially if it is he who reaches the decisive quarter with the positive dynamics.

An analysis by Craig O’Shannessy for ATP perfectly shells Nishikori’s success when a match to three sets lasts until the decisive quarter. The data, here, elevates him above the best rackets on the circuit, always contextualizing that the analysis has been made based on players who have played at least 50 matches in three sets (contesting the last set), both if they lose the first manga as if they lost the second. Here we also have an interesting first conclusion: the winner of the match is usually who wins the second set, taking with him the positive inertia of this partial to the decisive sleeve and closing the duel.

57.2% of times in these matches with three sets it is the tennis player who wins the second set who takes the duel, while only 52.1% of times the person who won in the first set wins (let’s consider the deviation in the sample, due to the aforementioned condition, which causes the data not to be perfectly symmetrical). And in the particular statistics of the winners of the second set, Kei Nishikori is the only tennis player on the circuit who manages to win, at least, in three out of four occasions.

its 76.5% effective (65 wins in 85 games) earned him the lead, the first statistical sample that supports his apparent unbeatability in the deciding set. Thus, it follows in this scale Rafael Nadal, who after winning the second set is capable of winning 74.3% of the time. The podium completes it Stefan Edberg, a surprising inclusion although in a relatively small sample with respect to the rest (official ATP statistics began to be counted since 1990); 72% for Swedish.

When the duel follows the opposite dynamics and you are the player who loses the second set capable of mentally recovering and taking the cat overboard, the leader in this category will probably not surprise anyone. Is Novak Djokovic, 7th in the previous table but undisputed leader in this. In 76% of occasions (73 of 96) Nole is able to recover from the loss of the second set and win in the decisive one, a quality that is not surprising, although perhaps it is more enhanced in Grand Slams, where on numerous occasions it has been imposed in the deciding set after giving up the room.

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In this category, his companions on the podium are also characterized by an incredible resilience and a warrior spirit molded by serious injury. Thomas muster He is second, with a 73.1% effectiveness (57 wins in 78 duels), and he takes the bronze medal Juan Martin del Potro, with 70.5% (43 of 61). Behind them? It reappears, no more and no less, than Kei Nishikori: 69.2%, in a sample that although it is more dangerous on one stage, neither does anything bad develop on the other.

To expand and contextualize this statistic, through TennisAbstract I have decided to investigate and see what the global percentage of Kei is compared to the largest. Considering that duels of all categories are compatible (including Davis Cup, Challenger …), the Japanese is still the best of all. The numbers, I think, speak for themselves:

Nishikori vs ‘Big-4’ comparison in duels that go to the third decisive set:

Nishikori 75%

Djokovic 72%

Murray 71%

Nadal 69%

Federer 66%

Are you surprised to see the Japanese in this privileged position? Do you think that he is so mentally strong or that luck influences this statistic?