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Recently, I came across a stat that was surprising to fathom in the tennis world. Any tennis lover would agree that the three greatest tennis players over the last 3 years to play together would be Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. It was interesting to note that the 3 players who dominated tennis amongst themselves over the last 15 years have the below stats:

A win percentage of total career points played:

Nadal: 55%

Federer: 54%

Djokovic: 54%

(Eg: Nadal has won 55% of the total points he has played in his entire career)

The interesting point about this stat is the narrow range of the total number of points the best 3 have won over a 15-year career. This is not something that the human brain would intuitively think about. In order to understand this better, I had to take help from the above game which breaks down scenarios in a more intuitive way:

Simulate a tennis match

The site above simulates a tennis match, where the user can assign a probability of a player winning a point. So, assume you give Player A, a 55% probability of winning a point, the site calculates the probability that Player A wins a 5 set match. If one plays around with this, you understand that the probability of Player A winning a 5-set match (with a 55% probability of winning a point) becomes 95% (what we in English would define as a near-certain event).

The numbers stack up very similar to probabilities in investing. A study of investment legends who have managed money over 30 years, shows that their individual track record of a positive return (of each decision – being a stock) would be around 55-60%. When this is combined with the benefit of time and prudent risk management, they outperform significantly over the market.


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