Down 0-2 in Sets in Grand Slams - Federer and Nadal

McEnroeisanartist

Hall of Fame
Looking at the number of Grand Slam matches that Federer and Nadal have been down 0-2 in sets and come back to win.

Nadal 2-14 (12.50%)
Federer 7-22 (24.14)

Anyone else really surprised that the biggest fighter in tennis history (Nadal) doesn't have a better win/loss percentage when down 0-2.

Note: Sampras 5-21 (19.23%)
Connors 5-28 (15.15%)
Borg 6-8 (42.86%)
 

SStrikerR

Hall of Fame
Well, to be fair to Nadal, he isn't often 0-2 down on surfaces that suit him, so on most of the occasions that he is 0-2 down, he is battling the elements as well as his opponent.
How is that not being fair? If you're not good on a surface, that's your own fault. Plus, I thought Nadal wasn't a one surface pony?
 
It raises issues of the representativeness of the sample. If one player is never down 0-2 when the surface suits him, and only ever down 0-2 when it doesn't suit him, then you are not comparing like with like if you compare with a player who is down 0-2 both when the surface suits him and when it doesn't.

In other words, while the stat might indeed suggest that Nadal is less versatile than Federer, it can't be used as evidence of his fighting abilities or mental toughness.
 
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winstonplum

Hall of Fame
It's a legit fact. I don't that it's a secret to any honest Nadal fan that Nadal is not a great player when down 0-2. Usually by that point he is either upset that an injury is bothering him (totally legit) and/or he just doesn't problem solve as well in that situation. Federer is much better in this situation. Federer has seemed to fall into that hole against lesser players a lot more than Nadal, and he doesn't seem to panic at all. He realizes that he is the better play and eventually starts playing like it.

However, has Nadal ever lost a match in his career being up 2-0. He's probably the most spectacular front-runner ever.
 

Clarky21

Banned
It's a legit fact. I don't that it's a secret to any honest Nadal fan that Nadal is not a great player when down 0-2. Usually by that point he is either upset that an injury is bothering him (totally legit) and/or he just doesn't problem solve as well in that situation. Federer is much better in this situation. Federer has seemed to fall into that hole against lesser players a lot more than Nadal, and he doesn't seem to panic at all. He realizes that he is the better play and eventually starts playing like it.

However, has Nadal ever lost a match in his career being up 2-0. He's probably the most spectacular front-runner ever.
Yes. The Miami final in 2005.
 
Nadal has never lost a grand slam match when up 2-0. In fact, Nadal has only ever lost 3 grand slam matches when up 1-0. Now that is a mind-boggling stat.

His 3 losses after winning the first set of a grand slam match:

2007 USO 4R vs Ferrer: 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 6-2

2012 AO F vs Djokovic: 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5

2012 Wim 2R vs Rosol: 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4
 

Raz11

Semi-Pro
A post from may so this will need to be updated

Since making their first slam final,

When down 2 sets to 0:

Federer has won 6/16 matches = 37.5%.............16 times out of 284 Bo5 matches = 16/284 = 5.6%
Nadal has won 3/12 matches = 25.0%............. 12/231 = 5.2%
Djokovic has won 2/13 matches = 15.4%............. 13/151 = 8.6%
Murray has won 4/12 matches = 33.3%............. 12/109 = 11.0%

When down 1 set to 0:

Federer has won 28/44 matches = 63.6%........... 44/284 = 15.5%
Nadal has won 21/35 matches = 60.0%............ 35/231 = 15.2%
Djokovic has won 19/34 matches = 55.9%............ 34/151 = 22.5%
Murray has won 15/26 matches = 57.7%............ 26/109 = 23.9%

When down 2 sets to 1:

Federer has won 9/24 matches = 34.6%............. 24/284 = 8.5%
Nadal has won 7/19 matches = 36.8%............. 19/231 = 8.2%
Djokovic has won 7/15 matches = 46.7%............. 15/151 = 9.9%
Murray has won 4/12 matches = 33.3%............. 12/109 = 11.0%
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Nadal has never lost a grand slam match when up 2-0. In fact, Nadal has only ever lost 3 grand slam matches when up 1-0. Now that is a mind-boggling stat.

His 3 losses after winning the first set of a grand slam match:

2007 USO 4R vs Ferrer: 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 6-2

2012 AO F vs Djokovic: 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5

2012 Wim 2R vs Rosol: 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4
Considering how long he's been around, that's astounding. Nadal is a sick front runner.
 
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chandu612

Guest
Looking at the number of Grand Slam matches that Federer and Nadal have been down 0-2 in sets and come back to win.

Nadal 2-14 (12.50%)
Federer 7-22 (24.14)

Anyone else really surprised that the biggest fighter in tennis history (Nadal) doesn't have a better win/loss percentage when down 0-2.

Note: Sampras 5-21 (19.23%)
Connors 5-28 (15.15%)
Borg 6-8 (42.86%)
Numbers huh..you can twist however you want..Usually you will state the numbers by saying "Numbers after they won their first slam" or "Numbers in their peak" to somehow to give Federer a leg up. You have figured for this stat, you dont have to stretch..


You know another way to look at these numbers, when Nadal won or when Nadal is a better player in a match or on days Nadal should be winning a match, he is down 2-0 less number of times than Federer. Impressive.
 

McEnroeisanartist

Hall of Fame
Numbers huh..you can twist however you want..Usually you will state the numbers by saying "Numbers after they won their first slam" or "Numbers in their peak" to somehow to give Federer a leg up. You have figured for this stat, you dont have to stretch..


You know another way to look at these numbers, when Nadal won or when Nadal is a better player in a match or on days Nadal should be winning a match, he is down 2-0 less number of times than Federer. Impressive.
No, I think this statistic reveals a lot about Federer's severely underrated fight and mental toughness.
 
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chandu612

Guest
No, I think this statistic reveals a lot about Federer's severely underrated fight and mental toughness.
Or it can show his complacency, arrogance and under-preparedness.
List all the players he was down 2-0. How many of them are good players?
yeah..thats what I thought this stat will reveal.
 
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chandu612

Guest
A post from may so this will need to be updated

Since making their first slam final,

When down 2 sets to 0:

Federer has won 6/16 matches = 37.5%.............16 times out of 284 Bo5 matches = 16/284 = 5.6%
Nadal has won 3/12 matches = 25.0%............. 12/231 = 5.2%
Djokovic has won 2/13 matches = 15.4%............. 13/151 = 8.6%
Murray has won 4/12 matches = 33.3%............. 12/109 = 11.0%

When down 1 set to 0:

Federer has won 28/44 matches = 63.6%........... 44/284 = 15.5%
Nadal has won 21/35 matches = 60.0%............ 35/231 = 15.2%
Djokovic has won 19/34 matches = 55.9%............ 34/151 = 22.5%
Murray has won 15/26 matches = 57.7%............ 26/109 = 23.9%

When down 2 sets to 1:

Federer has won 9/24 matches = 34.6%............. 24/284 = 8.5%
Nadal has won 7/19 matches = 36.8%............. 19/231 = 8.2%
Djokovic has won 7/15 matches = 46.7%............. 15/151 = 9.9%
Murray has won 4/12 matches = 33.3%............. 12/109 = 11.0%
lol..is there anyway I can make this stat favour Fed..let me see
 
The OP misinterprets the data. Note that Nadal, compared to all of these players except Borg, has allowed himself to get down 0-2 in these matches far fewer times than Federer, Sampras, Connors. That in itself is indicative of fight and tenacity, not allowing oneself to get steamrolled early in a match.
 

tipsa...don'tlikehim!

Talk Tennis Guru
The OP misinterprets the data. Note that Nadal, compared to all of these players except Borg, has allowed himself to get down 0-2 in these matches far fewer times than Federer, Sampras, Connors. That in itself is indicative of fight and tenacity, not allowing oneself to get steamrolled early in a match.
Exactly !! ..
 

McEnroeisanartist

Hall of Fame
The OP misinterprets the data. Note that Nadal, compared to all of these players except Borg, has allowed himself to get down 0-2 in these matches far fewer times than Federer, Sampras, Connors. That in itself is indicative of fight and tenacity, not allowing oneself to get steamrolled early in a match.
Yeah, or not. No one ever says, wow, what amazing fight from that player when they win in straight sets. What fight to not lose a set and streamroll their competition. Absurd. No people say what fight after coming back from two sets to love down.

But yes kudos to Nadal for not falling behind 0-2 as much as those other guys. But bigger Kudos to Federer for fighting much more than Nadal when down 0-2.

Nadal has fallen 0-2 in 16 out of 194 Grand Slam matches or 8.25% of his matches.
Federer has fallen 0-2 in 29 out of 301 Grand Slam matches or 9.63% of his matches.
 
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tipsa...don'tlikehim!

Talk Tennis Guru
Federer used to be a great fighter, no doubt.

The way he came back in the 5th set vs Safin 2005 and Nalbandian 2005 was amazing to see.

Still lost both match though but it was fantastic.
 

tipsa...don'tlikehim!

Talk Tennis Guru
McEnroeisanartist, can you tell me which 3 Grand slam matches Nadal won in 5 after losing the first 2 ? Because i can find Zero match right now.


Edit: sorry, just found YOUZHNY and KENDRICK... the 3rd one ?
 

McEnroeisanartist

Hall of Fame
McEnroeisanartist, can you tell me which 3 Grand slam matches Nadal won in 5 after losing the first 2 ? Because i can find Zero match right now.

There isn't a third one. Only 2 matches has he come back from 0-2. weak.

Edit: sorry, just found YOUZHNY and KENDRICK... the 3rd one ?
There isn't a third one. Only 2 matches has he come back from 0-2. weak.
 

DMP

Professional
Of all the great players I've seen, Nadal strikes me as just about the least self-confident in his ability. He seems to me to have quite a bit of self doubt, even when at his best, and to be very much a 'confidence' player.

Which is why when he comes out he is so pumped up compared with eg Federer or Djokovic, and why he can quickly become a front-runner. That is the way he keeps his confidence up.

By comparison every other great, from Djokovic through Federer, and back to Laver and Rosewall, were pretty confident in their ability, to the point of being pretty arrogant. They don't show it, of course, but that confidence/arrogance means/meant that sometimes they could get 0-2 down because they were being a bit lazy, but always 'knew' they had it to get back.

That difference in self-confidence/arrogance is also a factor in some of the stats flying around IMO. People often underestimate these 'softer' mental characteristics, or misattribute behaviours.

PS Lendl may, surprisingly, also have lacked self-confidence, which would also explain some of his behaviours, again IMO.
 

winstonplum

Hall of Fame
Of all the great players I've seen, Nadal strikes me as just about the least self-confident in his ability. He seems to me to have quite a bit of self doubt, even when at his best, and to be very much a 'confidence' player.

Which is why when he comes out he is so pumped up compared with eg Federer or Djokovic, and why he can quickly become a front-runner. That is the way he keeps his confidence up.

By comparison every other great, from Djokovic through Federer, and back to Laver and Rosewall, were pretty confident in their ability, to the point of being pretty arrogant. They don't show it, of course, but that confidence/arrogance means/meant that sometimes they could get 0-2 down because they were being a bit lazy, but always 'knew' they had it to get back.

That difference in self-confidence/arrogance is also a factor in some of the stats flying around IMO. People often underestimate these 'softer' mental characteristics, or misattribute behaviours.

PS Lendl may, surprisingly, also have lacked self-confidence, which would also explain some of his behaviours, again IMO.[/QUO

Perhaps you've overstated it a bit, but there is some truth to what you're saying. Especially in the last three years or so, Nadal does show a lot of nerves out on the court. The fact that he really seems to have a lot of trouble serving out matches and sets speaks to that . However, Nadal is very interseting and quite contradictory. Even though he might get more nervous than other players of his pedigree, he also probably has the most spectacular ability in the history of tennis to focus on "the next point."

Without perhaps knowing it, that's what people are really talking about when they are talking about his "warrior spirit," his "never say die attitude," etc. It's not epic comebacks--he doesn't have too many, and it isn't chasing down every ball (which he doesn't do as much as he used to). It's really his preternatual ability to accept incredibly tough lost points/games/sets and keeping focusing. The fact that he has never broken a racquet in his entire tennis career speaks to that and speaks to a emotional and psychological resevoir of focus and problem solving that is unprecedented.

I think the the greatest game (considering the stakes) of Nadal's career was that ninth game of the USO this year, 3rd set. It was like a reduction sauce of Nadal's career. 0-40. He had fallen down. Embarrassing. Almost humiliating. When's the last time you've seen someone of that ilk fall down *** over tea-kettles on a court? Didn't matter. Next point. Total focus.

The greatest set of Nadal's life is still in the 5th at Wimby '08. He should have cracked. Any other player on the planet would have cracked. That was the day he become a legend for all time.
 

winstonplum

Hall of Fame
Yes. The Miami final in 2005.
Good catch, Clarky. I'm glad I wasn't a Nadal fan then, I would have eaten through my sofa as he ****ed that one away. Wasn't he two points away a couple of times? How many KB finals has he lost? Three. Ouch. He'll never skip IW because it might be his single favorite tournament, but I hope he gives KB one more big push.

On a side note, has anyone watched that 2011 final? I don't think I've ever seen a professional tennis player hit so many balls inside the service line during baseline rallies. All he had to do to start to turn around the Nole nightmare is watch that match and realize that he has to get rally balls past the service line. Amazed his took it to a TB and almost won.
 

mehdimike

New User
Looking at the number of Grand Slam matches that Federer and Nadal have been down 0-2 in sets and come back to win.

Nadal 2-14 (12.50%)
Federer 7-22 (24.14)

Anyone else really surprised that the biggest fighter in tennis history (Nadal) doesn't have a better win/loss percentage when down 0-2.

Note: Sampras 5-21 (19.23%)
Connors 5-28 (15.15%)
Borg 6-8 (42.86%)
Could anyone update the new stats for this question?
Also I would be pleased to see Djoko's stats after winning the first 2 sets in BO5 matches.
(my first comment on this site;))
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Could anyone update the new stats for this question?
Also I would be pleased to see Djoko's stats after winning the first 2 sets in BO5 matches.
(my first comment on this site;))
Federer since 2014 (after OP’s stats end): 2-6 (additional wins over Monfils USO 2014 and Cilic WIM 2016)
Total: 9-28 (24,3 %)

Nadal since 2014: 0-6
Total: 2-20 (9,1%)

Djokovic after winning the first 2 sets: 208-1 (only loss against Melzer RG 2010)

Everything is at Slams only, like the OP’s stats, which means no Davis Cup and old Best of 5 Masters or YEC finals. The total for Djokovic would be 231-2 with one retirement in Davis Cup.
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
This is the total I have them at in Slams, when down 2 sets to love:

Federer / 9-28 = 24.3%
Djokovic / 4-22 = 15.4%
Nadal / 2-20 = 9.1%

Federer has never retired from a match so this is reflected in these totals. He is the least likely to throw in the towel so he is tougher than he gets credit for. Nadal gets more credit for being the tough one and fighter, but the least likely to come back when down.
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
Borg’s 6-8 record in matches that he was down 0-2 is truly insane. He is Mr. Clutch. That’s my takeaway from these stats.
He retired at 26 and hit his peak early. That's why his numbers are so high. Had he played longer, when he exited his peak and prime like everyone else, that percentage would definitely not stay that way.
 

TheIntrovert

Hall of Fame
The idea of nadal being a ‘fighter’ is mostly based upon ones perception of him with all the grunting, fist pumping and all that jazz. Reminds me of a guy in my uni team who really should be on the second team but made it into the first just because he grunts.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Nadal is like Tiger Woods in this sense. They’re virtually unbeatable when ahead but they surprisingly don’t come back to win a lot
 

Forehanderer

New User
The idea of nadal being a ‘fighter’ is mostly based upon ones perception of him with all the grunting, fist pumping and all that jazz. Reminds me of a guy in my uni team who really should be on the second team but made it into the first just because he grunts.
Were those who picked him all women or gay men
 

Sport

Legend
This is the total I have them at in Slams, when down 2 sets to love:

Federer / 9-28 = 24.3%
Djokovic / 4-22 = 15.4%
Nadal / 2-20 = 9.1%

Federer has never retired from a match so this is reflected in these totals. He is the least likely to throw in the towel so he is tougher than he gets credit for. Nadal gets more credit for being the tough one and fighter, but the least likely to come back when down.
The least likely to come back when he is specifically two sets down, not when he is down in general.
 

Sport

Legend
It raises issues of the representativeness of the sample. If one player is never down 0-2 when the surface suits him, and only ever down 0-2 when it doesn't suit him, then you are not comparing like with like if you compare with a player who is down 0-2 both when the surface suits him and when it doesn't.

In other words, while the stat might indeed suggest that Nadal is less versatile than Federer, it can't be used as evidence of his fighting abilities or mental toughness.
I disagree with that interpretation. It only indicates he is less able to come back when he is specifically 2 sets down than Federer in Slams. I am not surprised. Federer is a big fighter as well.
 
The idea of nadal being a ‘fighter’ is mostly based upon ones perception of him with all the grunting, fist pumping and all that jazz. Reminds me of a guy in my uni team who really should be on the second team but made it into the first just because he grunts.
So nothing to do with his results then lmao.
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
This stat makes sense, when you think about it. Historically great servers can zone and not be broken for 3 straight sets, which increases their odds at a comeback. Nadal's serves have historically been the worst over their careers. It makes sense that his percentage is quite low. Conversely, it makes sense that Federer and Sampras have a comeback rate of 19%+.

Borg's 6 comeback wins before turning 26 is what blows my mind. Granted, he was a very good server. But he wasn't in Fed's league, let alone Sampras' league.
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
To be fair, imagine if Nadal served like Federer for his entire career. His comeback from 0-2 down would be substantially better. Of course, Nadal serving like Federer likely has 30+ slam titles.
 
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weakera

Legend
The idea of nadal being a ‘fighter’ is mostly based upon ones perception of him with all the grunting, fist pumping and all that jazz. Reminds me of a guy in my uni team who really should be on the second team but made it into the first just because he grunts.
At this point it's actually far more predicated on his resilience in the face of unrelenting injury adversity.
 

ADuck

Hall of Fame
Nadal has never lost a grand slam match when up 2-0. In fact, Nadal has only ever lost 3 grand slam matches when up 1-0. Now that is a mind-boggling stat.

His 3 losses after winning the first set of a grand slam match:

2007 USO 4R vs Ferrer: 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 6-2

2012 AO F vs Djokovic: 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5

2012 Wim 2R vs Rosol: 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4
I count only 2 more matches since 2012.

2015 USO vs Fognini

2018 AO QF vs Cilic

Can anyone confirm that just these 5 matches is correct?
 

Sport

Legend
This stat makes sense, when you think about it. Historically great servers can zone and not be broken for 3 straight sets, which increases their odds at a comeback. Nadal's serves have historically been the worst over their careers. It makes sense that his percentage is quite low. Conversely, it makes sense that Federer and Sampras have a comeback rate of 19%+.

Borg's 6 comeback wins before turning 26 is what blows my mind. Granted, he was a very good server. But he wasn't in Fed's league, let alone Sampras' league.
That is an interesting analysis. But I think it is a combination of both factors: Federer's huge serve AND his fighting spirit. It is time to recognize Federer's fighting capabilities.
 
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