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Tennis: TOPSPIN - Baghdatis is likely to find further improvement.

Byline: James Pyman

ANALYSING the percentage of break points converted and saved by players this season can provide some useful pointers to their form and future development.

Throughout an entire season a player will encounter a number of different surfaces each of which has a unique pace and bounce.

Therefore you have to be careful when making direct comparisons between breakpoints stats derived from a series of matches, in this case the early season Rebound Ace hard-court swing, and a seasonal average.

Fortunately Rebound Ace is a medium-paced terrain so this season's break-points stats should measure up pretty well with players' 2005 averages.

To win matches it's a necessity to convert plenty of break-point chances while holding on to your own serve so you would expect this season's star performers to have high 2006 break-point ratings that are above, or close, to last year's average.

It could be a wise to treat the early season form of those whose break-point ratings are significantly higher than their 2005 averages with a degree of caution as lucky breaks at the key moments of matches may have contributed to these successes.

However, the performances of those who have been on fire this season but have breakpoint ratings that are inferior to their 2005 averages should be viewed in a far more positive light.

These players have been winning matches despite underperforming in breakpoint situations and they may be able to find further improvement in upcoming weeks. Marcos Baghdatis, Nikolay Davydenko and Ivan Ljubicic are the three players who fit this criterion.


Andre Agassi is a master at converting break-point chances
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Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 6, 2006
Previous Article:Tennis: TOPSPIN - Break-point stats reveal why Agassi has stayed a major force.

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