Welcome back to the series everyone is talking about*! The one in which we examine the questions: how advantageous is it to have the home court on the ATP tour? Does it confer the same enormous weight as it does in team sports like football and basketball? (You know, the pressing issues of the day.)
Let’s have a look at the data:
|Player||Home Hard Court Win%||Away Hard Court Win%||Home Clay Win %||Away Clay Win %||Home Grass Win %||Away Grass Win %||Overall Home Win %||Overall Away Win %||% of matches played at home|
|Player||Home HC Wins||Home HC Loss||Away HC W||Away HC Loss||Home Clay W||Home Clay L||Away Clay W||Away Clay L||Home Grass W||Home Grass L||Away Grass W||Away Grass L|
In Part I of the Home and Away series, we saw that American players spend the majority of their year at home. Even Wayne Odesnik, who spends the most time playing abroad, spends 64.4% of his match time in North America.
This time around, we see the Aussies are just the opposite**. Since there aren’t enough events (and enough points on offer) inside of Australia, the Oz contingent must hit the road to ply their trade***. And once they’re overseas, they try to stay awhile; these guys (the smart ones, anyway) aren’t going to fly 24 hours to a destination only to play one event. That eventually would be fiscal, if not physical, suicide.
So away they stay. Whereas the American Top 20 play an average of 81% of their matches at home, the Aussie Top 10 (of those who still play regularly on the Challenger/Futures Pro Circuit) only play an average of 36% of their matches in Australia. Of that bunch, the person most like Marge Simpson’s husband (in that he’s the biggest homer) is also the only guy to play more than 37% of his matches at home. That would be 21-year-old Matthew Barton (with a whopping 66% of his matches played at home), and this year even he has played the majority of his tennis Up Over (as opposed to, you know, Down Under).
Although one must reconsider the definition of “home tennis” when one considers the case of one John-Patrick “J.P.” Smith. The 24-year-old Townsville, Australia native made another home for himself in Knoxville, USA, where he was a four-time ITA All-American in singles and doubles at the University of Tennessee. Hmmmm, an Australian All-American, eh? The plot thickens.
When we look at the numbers, we see that J.P.’s only ostensibly played 10% of his matches at “home” (i.e. Australia). And he performs far better on non-Australian soil — he wins 64.5% of his “away” matches, as opposed to his 31% in Oz. It seems as if the table is inverted where J.P.’s concerned, and his true tennis home is much more Americentric these days.