Commentary

Serve key to Andy Murray's success

Updated: June 24, 2013, 8:51 AM ET
By ESPN.com

Andy Murray won his first career Grand Slam last year at the 2012 US Open, when he defeated Novak Djokovic in a marathon five-set final, 7-6 (10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2. This win reversed an agonizing trend for Murray who, before then, had made several deep runs at major championships but fell short every time.

It is no secret Murray covets winning Wimbledon the most. So as the Scot begins another quest for the title, what can Andy learn from his US Open triumph that will serve him well in London?

An analysis of the IBM match statistics from Murray's four most recent Wimbledon defeats (2009-2012) compared to the match statistics from his 2012 US Open final victory reveals a clear correlation between his first-serve tactics and his match results. In New York, Murray's first-serve percentage in the championship match, 64 percent, was significantly higher than his first-serve percentages in the past four Wimbledon losses (50 percent, 59 percent, 56 percent, 56 percent respectively).

Although Murray recorded fewer aces and won a lower percentage of his first-serve points at the US Open finals than at his Wimbledon losses, his ability to convert such a high percentage of first serves allowed him to avoid second-serve points -- of which he only won 48 percent. And, ultimately, that's what he needed to win the match.

Earlier this year, Murray lost to Djokovic in four sets in the Australian Open final. Murray's first-serve percentage dipped to 58 percent. As a result, he was faced with 52 second-serve points in four sets of which he only converted 46 percent, compared to 52 second-serve points in five sets when he beat Djokovic at the US Open.

All eyes will be on Murray over the two weeks. Let's see how his first serves hold up in his run to win the trophy at this year's Wimbledon Championships. .