Lawn tennis traditionally favors big servers, with skillful rebounding on the grass adding to the big hitting arsenal. But with Wimbledon fast approaching, keep an eye out for two of the most successful grass-court players of all time, who have succeeded in nullifying this powerful threat on the surface.
Although two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and six-time winner Novak Djokovic are more than capable on serve, it’s their return matches that lift them to historic heights on grass. Djokovic leads all active players with a 26.4% win rate in return games on the surface, while Murray is just second with 26.3%, according to statistics from the Infosys ATP performance area.
As a result, these two men have won more titles on grass than any active player other than Roger Federer, whose 19 tour-level titles are the most on grass since records were kept. Murray has won eight of those titles, while Djokovic has won seven.
Diego Schwartzman is the only other active player to top the 25% mark (25.3%) in grass-court return games won, with Denis Kudla fourth on the list (23.9%).
Returning Games Won % On Grass (Active Players)
All surfaces combined, Djokovic and Murray win 32.2% and 31% of their return matches respectively. That still puts them in elite company, but slightly behind active leaders Rafael Nadal (33.6%) and Schwartzman (32.4%). Seventeen active players eclipse 25% in this stat.
A similar discrepancy can also be seen in service statistics. Only three men have maintained a service rate above 90% throughout their careers: Ivo Karlovic (92%), John Isner (91.8%) and Milos Raonic (91.2%). Federer is second best at 88.8%. But narrow the range to grass courts and 12 men top 89%, including Djokovic.
The Serb is seventh in retention percentage on all surfaces (85.8%) and ninth on grass (89.4%). Murray ranks 24th overall (81.8%) and 14th on grass (88.4%).
Two-time Wimbledon champion Nadal is seventh among active players in on-court retention percentage at 89.8%. That leaves him just below Matteo Berrettini (90.9%) and Nick Kyrgios (90%).