Is There such a Thing as "Key Points" in Tennis?


As we digest the epic Wimbledon final and look at the statistics, one has to wonder: how did Roger lose with those numbers?

Federer Djokovic

Points won 218 203

Aces 25 10

Winners 94 54

Break Points 3 7

Net Points Won 51 24

Unforced Errors 61 52

Can the 9 point difference in unforced errors really explain the outcome? Probably not! It seems like the only way to explain Djopkovic’s win is by talking about “Key Points”. In other words, in order for Djokovic to win with those stats, he must have won more of the points that really make a difference in the match. For example: the game points, the set points and the match point.

This concept of the “important points” is often used by coaches and throughout my career I have heard many other points labeled as key points., among others, the first point in each game, the deuce point and any break point.

But, is there really such a thing as a key point? After all getting to deuce or break point is a result of winning and loosing earlier points in the game, and had one not lost some of those point, one would have won the game before getting to deuce. Similarly, if the first point in the game is key, why not the second? 30 love is much better than 15 all, or? How about 30/15? That is certainly key! Winning that point for both players means either 30/30 or 15/40, a huge difference, and on an on and on. Isn’t every point a key point?

Possible… but definitely some points seem to be more key!

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