11:59 AM GMT December 29, 2020
The youngest player in the Top 100 posted the eighth-best return metrics on the ATP Tour this season. The hype is real for nineteen-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner.
An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of eight players aged 21-and-under identifies Sinner as the peak performer on the Infosys Serve and Return LEADERBOARDS in 2020 thanks to his efforts on the return. Both leaderboards aggregate multiple serve and return metrics to come up with a singular rating. Emil Ruusuvuori, aged 21, did not have enough match data this season to qualify for the leaderboards.
Sinner led the group in posting the best rating on the Return LEADERBOARD at No. 8. He did particularly well this season with first-serve return points won, claiming 32.5 per cent of them. That winning percentage was seventh-best among all qualifying players on Tour this season.
Sinner finished 2020 by capturing his first ATP Tour title in Sofia. He started the year at No. 78 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, went 19-11, and finished the year at World No. 37.
The only other 21-and-under player to have a Return Rating in the leading 20 players on Tour was 21-year-old Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who came in 11th place. His best return performance was finishing sixth-best in first-serve return points won at 32.6 per cent, just ahead of Sinner. Davidovich Fokina finished 13-10 on the year, moving from World No. 85 to year-end No. 52. Season highlights for the Spaniard included a trip to the fourth round at the US Open and the semi-finals of Cologne-2.
21-And-Under Players: Return LEADERBOARD Rating
What’s interesting is that the average placement for the eight 21-and-under players in the Return Rating category was 35th, which was considerably better than the average of their Serve Ratings, which put them in 48th.
Felix Auger-Aliassime, a 20-year-old Canadian, led the group with the best Serve Rating at No. 20. He reached three ATP Tour finals in 2020, posting a 23-19 record. Fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov was second in the group with a Return Rating ranking 26th-best. Shapovalov reached the quarter-finals of the US Open and the semi-finals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia this season.
21-And-Under Players: Serve LEADERBOARD Rating
The future looks extremely bright for these rising stars, who are already mixing it with the best in our game as they continue to march up the FedEx ATP Rankings.