In addition to the Stats Corner look at hard-court stats for the ATP, we will now assess the WTA for players who perform well on the hard courts.
The graphic below shows the top ten players in terms of win percentage over the last 12 months on hard courts.
A reminder of Andreescu’s talent
Bianca Andreescu comes out head and shoulders above the rest of the tour on this measure, with a quite remarkable 85% win rate. This obviously comes from her wins at Auckland, Newport Beach, and, most impressively, at Indian Wells. She will be very keen to return to the tour as soon as possible to try to take advantage of more North American hard-court tournaments, especially the US Open.
As far as the remainder of the top ten goes, it mirrors the ATP list in that there are a lot of players with “big” games. A lot of these players will use a powerful serve and groundstrokes to dominate their opponents.
Who else shows their best on hard courts?
Kiki Bertens’ presence on this list confirms that she has progressed from being seen as a clay court player to an all-around top player. Aryna Sabalenka will be desperately hoping that she can rediscover some of this form in the forthcoming swing as she has really fallen down the rankings in the last few months.
It is also interesting to see that Serena Williams only sits at seventh on the list. Perhaps if she had played more tournaments in the last year, she would have compiled a higher percentage win rate. But, obviously, she is solely concentrating on the biggest tournaments now.
As with the ATP, I have also looked into the points-won percentage on hard courts for the WTA. The results can be seen in the graphic below:
Serena: Still the queen of hard courts after all?
This is where we can see that Serena is still at the very top of her game in her general play. She wins a higher percentage of points on hard court than any other player, and by quite some distance. This then begs the question–why isn’t she converting this into more wins? That may be a topic for a later date, especially if she fails to win the US Open once more.
There are a few more surprising names in this list. Maria Sharapova’s continued presence in the higher echelons of these stats must be entering the end of its time given her struggles, but it is a reminder of how good she still can be that she wins such a high percentage of points.
Jessica Pegula’s performance is largely based around her great run at Newport Beach in early 2019, while Qiang Wang has failed to replicate her great run of form at the end of 2018. It is also possible that a small sample size for some of these surprising players may be responsible for their position in the top 10.
Does the surface matter as much as it used to?
I will certainly be an interested observer of the hard-court swing to see if some of the proven hard-courters can return to form, or whether surfaces don’t matter as much in the modern game.
We have just seen apparent confirmed clay-courter Simona Halep triumph majestically at Wimbledon so perhaps the old adages of surface preference should go out of the window. We will reassess after the US Open perhaps.
Main Photo from Getty.