During USO15 I bullishly predicted Federer would take Djokovic out, on the basis of stats. But he choked big time, and I made a thread about it.

Like USO15, in AO16 Federer has kicked Djokovic's ass on the paper battle. I hope these stats convince you that, pound-for-pound, Federer has been a better tennis player than Djokovic this past week and a half.

A large part of what remains is self-belief. Federer still needs to prove that he can mentally rise to the big occasion vs. peak Nole in a major. Until he does that, I will not predict a Federer victory based on these stats. Not least because, as @helterskelter points out, Nole's opponents may not have brought out the best in him; and he may have another gear! But I hope you enjoy the stats anyway.

(blue means substantially better)

* this average of 16 excludes Safin's ranking of 86 in 2004

Like USO15, in AO16 Federer has kicked Djokovic's ass on the paper battle. I hope these stats convince you that, pound-for-pound, Federer has been a better tennis player than Djokovic this past week and a half.

A large part of what remains is self-belief. Federer still needs to prove that he can mentally rise to the big occasion vs. peak Nole in a major. Until he does that, I will not predict a Federer victory based on these stats. Not least because, as @helterskelter points out, Nole's opponents may not have brought out the best in him; and he may have another gear! But I hope you enjoy the stats anyway.

**1. Federer was much more dominant overall.**- The one stat which captures a player's overall level is dominance ratio. i.e. % of pts lost on serve, divided by % of points lost by your opponents on your serve. For example, Federer won 45% of return points, and his opponents won 26% of points on his serve. So D/R = 45% / 26% = 1.70
- Federer's ratio was much higher than Djokovic (1.70 vs. 1.46). This is what I mean that Federer was better pound-for-pound. (Given that their competition was comparable.)
- Here is an illustration of how much better 1.70 is than 1.46. For example, 1.71 is the dominance ratio Federer achieved over 12 matches in the first three rounds in his 4 title years at the Australian open. Against players ranked 83 on average. 1.48 is the dominance ratio he achieved in the 8 semis and finals of those same tournaments. Against players ranked 16 on average*.

**2. Federer was more dominant on serve.**- Fed won more points on serve (74% vs. 70%). This was the result of a higher first serve winning percentage (84% vs. 75%.).
- Djokovic's second serve was better (61% vs. 55%). In slow conditions when the second serve itself wins fewer points, this suggests Djokovic had a better ground game.
- Federer was broken fewer times (5 vs. 8). This is because Federer faced break points in fewer service games (14% vs. 19%). Although they both lost exactly half of those games when they DID face BPs.

**3. Federer was better on return of serve too**- Fed was much better at return. Winning 39% of return games compared to 32% for Djokovic.
- However, both players won roughly the same number of return points (45% vs. 44%), and had similiar success on break points (43% vs. 42%).
- This implies Federer's return points were clustered better. Which means more return games lost at love and 15, but also more games with break points. It's hard to say whether this is chance, or good strategy at selective effort.
- As a result of better clustering, Federer saw break points in more return games than Djokovic (53% vs. 47%). When he did earn break points, he earned more than Djokovic did (1.71 per game, vs. 1.62 per game - not shown in chart). As a result, Federer was able to win more of the games in which he had break points (74% vs. 68%).

**Comparable number of winners but far fewer unforced errors, leading to a far better differential for Fed (+58 vs. -5). If we remove the Djokovic-Simon match, Federer still had a cleaner game (differential of +58 vs. +33).****4. Fed had a much cleaner game.****This was a shocker. Both went to the net about as often as the other (11% vs. 13%), and won a comparable number of points (71% vs. 76%)****5. Not much difference in net play.****6. Opponents were of comparable quality.**Fed's opponents' average rank was a little higher (35 vs. 50), but they only had a slightly better record on hard courts in the last year (74% vs. 71%).**Far less time on court (9 vs. 12 hours), almost 200 fewer points played and two-thirds the distance run. Thanks to his aggressive style, Fed ran less per point (9.7 meters per point vs 12.6).****7. Federer should be much less fatigued.**

(blue means substantially better)

* this average of 16 excludes Safin's ranking of 86 in 2004

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