On Sunday in Paris, No. 1 Novak Djokovic will take on No. 2 Andy Murray for the 2016 French Open title. Djokovic leads their head-to-head 23–10 but Murray won their most recent meeting last month in Rome in straight sets. This is a pretty even matchup with Murray having a slight edge on first serve performance through the tournament and Djokovic having an edge on return of serve.
The problem that Murray faces is simple. These two have similar games but Djokovic is just a bit better overall. Djokovic leads the tour returning 1st serves and Murray is 7th on Tour. The big difference is in winning points on their own 2nd serves. Again Djokovic is No. 1 on Tour in that category and Murray is 15th. The matchup sees the best 2nd serve on Tour (Djokovic) facing the 2nd best return and the best return (Djokovic) facing the 15th best 2nd serve. Advantage, Djokovic.
Given those numbers and how they've played here so far, it's understandable that in their last 16 meetings, the player who has won the 2nd serve battle has won 14 times. The only thee times Murray has beaten Djokovic in the last four years, he has held Djokovic to 50% 2nd serve points won or less.
There's an old saying in tennis, "You're only as good as your 2nd serve.” In that case Djokovic is the clear No. 1.
Djokovic Roland Garros Highlights
• Solid serving: 69% 1st serves in play, 69% 1st serves won (below his Grand Slam average of 75%), 61% 2nd serves won
• Dominant return game: 42% won returning 1st serves, 59% won returning 2nd serves, 40 breaks in 86 return games (47%)
• Has played almost 5 hours less than Murray to reach the final
Murray Roland Garros Highlights:
• Strong 1st serve: 48 aces, 76% 1st serve points won; solid 2nd serve: 55% won
• Strong ground game: 82 forehand winners, 60 backhand winners
• Has been on court almost 18 hours in 6 rounds to reach the final
Check SI.com's French Open Daily Data Viz hub page throughout the whole tournament for the latest data-driven infographics and charts from IBM, the official technology partner for the French Open. IBM captures and analyzes the data that powers all of the Grand Slams, as well as the digital platforms that extend the experience to fans around the world.