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Daily Data Viz: Roger Federer's difference-making stat at Wimbledon

Roger Federer has the best winning percentage in the Open Era at Wimbledon, but it's his return of serve that has proven to be the difference in the matches.

While Rafa Nadal is the “King of Clay” with his nine titles at Roland Garros, Roger Federer is the “Greatest on Grass.” His career match winning percentage on grass is the best of in the Open Era (.873) ahead of John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg and Andy Murray.

Federer’s serve and his forehand are his two signature shots, but it has been his return of serve that has proven to be the difference between winning and losing for him at Wimbledon.

Looking at Federer's final matches at Wimbledon 2003–15—seven wins (2003-07, 2009, 2012), six losses (2008 final, 2010 and 2011 quarterfinals, 2013 second round, 2014 and 2015 final)—it’s interesting to note that his performance on first serve was a bit better in his losses than in his winning performances. His second serve was down a bit in the matches he lost, but his return of serve—especially returning second serves and his conversion rate on break points fell dramatically in his six losses.


Check's Wimbledon 2016 Daily Data Viz hub page throughout the whole tournament for the latest data-driven infographics and charts from IBM, the official technology partner for Wimbledon. 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.