You want to hit a bucketload of aces. You want to curtail double faults. You want to be Matteo Berrettini.
An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of the 2021 season to date shows that the 6’5” Italian has mastered better than anyone the art of dropping heat while not giving up free points. Berrettini has not hit the most aces so far in 2021 — that honour goes to Alexander Bublik, who has crushed 517 aces.
Berrettini sits in second place with 430 aces from 39 matches. But Bublik has amassed 227 double faults through the first seven months, while Berrettini is much lower with only 58. When you combine both stats to deliver a single metric, it’s Berrettini who sits at the top of the tree. The following table includes the ten leading performers evaluating aces minus double faults.
2021 Season: Aces & Double Faults
|Player||Aces||Double Faults||Aces-Double Faults|
|1) Matteo Berrettini||430||58||372|
|2) Reilly Opelka||350||46||304|
|3) John Isner||317||22||295|
|4) Alexander Bublik||517||227||290|
|5) Andrey Rublev||301||74||227|
|6) Daniil Medvedev||341||120||221|
|7) Marin Cilic||334||117||217|
|8) Lloyd Harris||282||66||216|
|9) Jan-Lennard Struff||332||128||204|
|10) Sam Querrey||300||98||202|
Berrettini scored the biggest title of his career last month when he won the cinch Championships at The Queen’s Club, an ATP 500 event in London. The Italian was lights out with his serving performance, racking up 68 aces while only committing five double faults for a combined total of 63. That was more than twice as good as the second-best performer at the tournament, Marin Cilic, who hit 45 aces and committed 14 double faults for a combined total of 31.
As you would expect, Berrettini excelled in this part of his game in reaching the recent Wimbledon final. He collected 117 aces while committing just 15 double faults at SW19 for a combined total of 102. That was once again more than twice as good as the second-best player in this data set, who was Nick Kyrgios with 56 aces and eight double faults, which combined for a total of 48.
Berrettini also won Serbia Open in Belgrade this year, hitting 33 aces while collecting just six double faults, for a combined total of 27. The success has helped the 25-year-old Italian climb into third place in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, which determines who will compete at the Nitto ATP Finals in Italy from 14-21 November.
Berrettini’s first serve is a bomb. He recorded the second-fastest serve at Wimbledon this year at 139mph (224 kmh). His second serve is a heavy kick, which keeps the ball safely away from the net before it dives sharply into the service box. It’s the ideal one-two punch that underpins his current FedEx ATP Ranking at No. 8, his career-high.
Berrettini has mastered power and consistency with the ultimate first-strike weapon.
Editor’s Note: Craig O’Shannessy is the strategy analyst for the Italian Tennis Federation and players including Matteo Berrettini.