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All about aces

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Roar Guru
4th November, 2019
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An ace is a point won in tennis when the receiver is unable to touch the serve of the player serving.

Aces have been recorded in tennis history since 1991. Aces in singles matches from the Grand Slam events and the ATP World Tour events and the Olympics (from 2008 onwards) are recorded by the ATP.

In this article I look at the two players who have served 1000 aces this season, at all the players with 1000 aces in a season, players with 100 aces in a match, players with 10000 aces in career and so on.

American Reilly Opelka, a former Wimbledon junior Champion, became just the eighth player to have 1000 aces in a tennis season during the Basel 2019. He becomes the second player to do so this year after “Big John”, the giant 6’10” American John Isner who achieved the feat in his match against world number one Novak Djokovic at the Shanghai Masters 2019.

Opelka’s breakthrough win coincidentally was against two big servers, first Jack Sock and then Isner himself which was at the 2019 Australian Open. He repeated his win against Isner a month later as well with his first tour title at New York ATP.

The 22-year-old American, who entered the world top 100 just a year back, reached the semi-finals at Basel and is now set to enter the world top 40. He is certainly a player to watch out for in the future.

Isner, in fact, has served 1000 aces in a season six times while Ivo Karlovic and Goran Ivanisevic have 1000 aces in a season four times each. Kevin Anderson and Milos Raonic have done so twice, while Andy Roddick and Pete Sampras have performed the feat once each.

Sampras was the first to do so in 1993 and Goran did so in the following year itself. 2019 has seen two players doing so, Opelka and Isner. Goran has the maximum in a single season, 1477 in 1996.

100 aces in a match have been done twice, both in the same match when Isner had 113 and Nicholas Mahut had 103. This was in their marathon first round in Wimbledon 2010, the longest match in history.

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Isner also has the maximum aces in a single tournament with 214 in 2018 Wimbledon while Goran with 213 in his 2001 triumph is the second. Roger Federer has the record for maximum aces in a tournament final, which was in 2009 Wimbledon final when he served 50 aces during his five-set win over Roddick.

John Isner

(AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

There are four players with over 10000 aces in their careers.\ Karlovic heads the list with over 13500, followed by Isner, just short of 12000. Isner is, however, six years younger than Karlovic and at a fit 34, it seems certain that he will end up as a player with maximum aces in career.

Third is Federer with 11244 and fourth is Ivanisevic with 10131. Of course Karlovic, Isner and Federer are still playing and these numbers will increase. Interestingly Karlovic and Opelka (the newest into 1000 aces in a season club), are both 211 cm tall, the joint tallest players in history.

Fifth in the list is 38-year-old Spaniard Feliciano Lopez who has the longevity record of participating in 71 Grand Slams in a row with his participation in the 2019 US Open, breaking Federer’s record of 65.

Lopez needs 500 aces to break into the 10000 aces club and though he is 38, he is still a top 60 player and looks good to join the club sometime in 2020.

Another interesting ace stats is that Sam Querrey is the only player to serve ten aces in a row. This was against James Blake in 2007 at Indianapolis. Querrey also has 8000 plus aces and looks likely to join the 10000 club as well.