Amazing double fault statistics confirm star names are in the top ten for 2023

Aryna Sabalenka in action

You might expect the world No 1 tennis player to feature prominently in the key annual statistics, yet some big names leap out when it comes to the numbers in the women’s and men’s stats tables for 2023.

Aryna Sabalenka suffered an embarrassing collapse in form in 2022, as she became as famous for her double faults as her heavy-hitting winning shots.

In one infamous Adelaide tournament during January of last year, her service motion collapsed to a point where she was forced to consider rolling the ball in underarm, as the negative stats started to mount up against her name.

Sabalenka played 55 matches and served an astonishing 428 double faults in 601 service games. Her first serve percentage was only 59.7% and points won on first serve was 67.7%.

A year after that nightmare in Australia, she returned to the country to win the first major of 2023 and spoke about the effort she put in to overcome her demons.

“I worked so hard. Even when my serve was a disaster, I worked a lot on my serve. I kept trying, kept believing, kept changing. Then I worked on my biomechanics,” said Sabalenka.

“I thought it was my mentality, but it wasn’t. We changed a lot of things on how we work on my serve. We tried so many different things. In the end of the season when I started working with the biomechanic guy, he helped me a lot.”

Working with a psychologist could have been the answer to her problems, but she decided to solve the problems with her serve via her own route.

“To be honest I decided to stop working with a psychologist. I realised that nobody (other) than me will help me,” she said.

“In pre-season, I spoke to my psychologist saying ‘Listen, I feel I have to deal with that by myself,’ because every time I’m hoping that someone will fix my problem, it’s not fixing it.

“I just have to take this responsibility and I just have to deal with that. Yeah, I’m my own psychologist.”

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Sabalenka backed up her Australian Open win with a consistent year on the WTA Tour, which was confirmed as she claimed the world No 1 ranking after her run to the US Open final last month.

Yet the old double fault demons returned as she lost that final against Coco Gauff, as he threw in six double faults in that match and remarkably, she is still high on the list of double faults for 2023.

Double fault stats for 2023
Double fault stats for 2023

Despite her success and her position at the top of the WTA rankings, Sabalenka has served the sixth-highest number of double faults in tour events this year.

Her 256 double faults are partly due to the fact she hits her second serve with so much venom, but it is a remarkably high number for a world No 1.

World No 14 Jelena Ostapenko also appears the double faults list in fourth position with 270, while world No 17 Liudmila Samsonova is seventh on the list with 251 double faults.

By contrast, men’s world No 1 Novak Djokovic has just 149 double faults from his matches this season, with world No 2 Carlos Alcaraz throwing in 162 doubles faults.

There is also a surprise name at the top of the double faults list for men, with world No 3 Daniil Medvedev serving 311 misplaced second serves, ahead of world No 36 Alexander Bublik in second place.

World No 6 Holger Rune is also in the top ten of the men’s double fault list for 2023 after throwing in 229 and world No 9 Alexander Zverev is just behind him with 218.

The presence of so many highly-ranked players in the double fault table is due, in part, to the fact they play more matches than most players on the tour as they tend to reach the latter stages of events.

Yet the statistics highlight a big area players like Sabalenka, Medvedev and Rune could improve on.