The current ATP event in Washington saw some rather interesting statistics from two matches in particular over the last 24 hours, both involving huge servers.
Ivo Karlovic of Croatia in fact won five points less than Jack Sock but still won the match in two tie breakers, as Karlovic usually does. Sock had just four break points for the match and could not win any of them. When you look at it realistically, a match with the big man from Croatia hinges on a small opportunity and a break point can usually be pencilled in as a set point and I suppose it's what frustrates his opponents so much.
It's why the return is such a necessity to master and none do it better than Roger as his ability to blunt even the World's biggest servers with that magnificent chipped backhand sees him get over the line more often than not. A two handed backhand is the shot of most Pros' however the smarter ones learn how to hit the one handed return also. Variety in tennis is everything.
The other match between Johnson and Isner was one that saw 12 set points in total go begging for Isner who must be starting to question his ability to return serve when it's most needed. Five set points went begging in the first set and seven in the second set as Johnson served his way out of trouble.
As good as the American's serve is however it was pure poetry watching Federer dismantle it at Wimbledon this year as he owns no fear of the big servers, his tactic on the return is so technically brilliant yet simple if you look at it in slow motion.
For the record the two tie breakers in the Johnson / Isner match were 9-7 and 17-15 and in the other match Karlovic took them 7-4 and 8-6 which says something of the Croatian's ability to return a slightly 'slower' delivery.
Tough way to make a dollar in tennis, playing twelve games against a big server before really even seeing a slight glimmer of an opportunity to break.
Mentally taxing as well as physically, silly game........