The Australian Open 2020 has unveiled a new statistic to measure the value of the serve - which is called Serve Value, according to the Tennis Tour Talk website. "The new Serve Value is a measure devised by the Game Insight Group (GIG) which is a joint venture between Tennis Australia and Victoria University.
It measures the quality of a serve that rates its combined speed, spin and placement on a scale of 1 to 100, where most aces score close to 100 and most serves that land in the middle of the service box at low speeds register scores closer to 0."
Tennis Australia Head of Innovation Dr Machar Reid commented, "We wanted to find a way to more easily differentiate serve quality for fans, players and coaches alike. The beauty of the measure is that it also allows us to get at the quality of the second serve in a unique way.
As a sport, we’re immediately drawn to the power of the first serve but have struggled to fully capture the magic of players’ second serves. Through serve value, we’re able to do that for the first time”.
Victoria University Professor of Sports Analytics Sam Robertson commented, “Using science to measure speed is easy, using science to measure the value of a shot not so much. Serve value brings tennis in line with many other major sports who are developing new and informative ways to quantify the skill of its players”.
On Day 1 of the tournament, the highest serve values were 96 for American Sam Querrey on the men's side and 87 for American Serena Williams on the women's side.