Relentless. The two best returners of the ATP circuit in 2019 and in the first two months of 2020 were Rafael Nadal and Diego Schwartzman.
According to a study by the ATP itself, Nadal and Schwartzman were the only two players to earn more than 42% of the points since the return during this 14-month period, well above the 36% average reflected by the ATP Tour.
Points earned in return (January 2019 – February 2020)
1. Nadal = 42.39% (2499/5895)
2. Schwartzman = 42.07% (2689/6391)
Coincidentally (or not so much), Spain and Argentina have seven of the 10 best players in points earned in return and 44% of the members of the Top 50. The data includes players who have competed in at least 100 ATP Tour matches and Grand Slam between 1991 and 2020, excluding Davis Cup.
The first four positions are taken by both countries. The Argentine Guillermo Coria leads the table, followed by the Spanish Rafael Nadal, the Argentine Franco Davin and the Spanish Albert Berasategui.
Nadal is the reference in Spain and it is in the Montecarlo M1000 where he has achieved his best return figures during his career. It has gained 49.93% (2,369 / 4,745) of the points to the rest in the Principality. At Roland Garros, Nadal also performs above his career average, closing a remarkable 47.82% (4,245 / 8,877) of points played on return.
The ATP reported the percentage of points won by returning the serve in the last 30 years: Guillermo Coria is ahead of Nadal, Federer … In front of everyone, he is the one with the best return.
El Mago de Rufino ended his career with a 43.7% ERA: he won 11,139 / 25,492. And its general performance at Roland Garros stands out, where it reached 48.06%: 1,217 / 2,530, while returning. In the 2004 Parisian Grand Slam, when Coria reached the final, she achieved almost half the points to the rest: 49.85% (333/668).
Between 2019 and 2020, Nadal and Schwarztman were the best in this area: Manacorí achieved 42.39% of their points (2499/5895) while Peque reached 42.07% (2689/6391).
The historical table from 1990 to 2020 has three Argentines in the Top 10. In addition to the Magician, Franco Davín (3rd, with 42.37%) and Guillermo Pérez Roldán (9th, with 41.89%) appear.
Argentines in the Top 50 of best returners (1990-2020)
1-Guillermo Coria: 43.70%
3- Franco Davín: 42.37%
9- Guillermo Perez-Roldan: 41.89%
16- Diego Schwartzman: 41.71%
23- David Nalbandian: 41.32%
26- Gastón Gaudio: 41.27%
27- Horacio De La Peña: 41.22%
33- Juan Monaco: 40.77%
39- Juan Ignacio Chela: 40.55%
44- Guillermo Cañas: 40.36%
* Data includes players who have competed in at least 100 ATP Tour and Grand Slam matches between 1991 and 2020, excluding Davis Cup playoffs.