Duel Match Stats/Reports - Djokovic vs Nadal, Doha final, 2016 & Paris semi-final, 2009


Hall of Fame
Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal 6-1, 6-2 in the Doha final, 2016 on hard court

It was Djokovic's first title at the event and 6th title in a row (US Open, Beijing, Shanghai, Paris, Year End Championship) stretching back to the previous season and he would add the upcoming Australian Open. It was also his 5th successive win over Nadal and he would go onto add 2 more. Nadal had previously won the title in 2014

Djokovic won 57 points, Nadal 30

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (33/44) 75%
- 1st serve points won (26/33) 79%
- 2nd serve points won (8/11) 73%
- Aces 4
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (10/44) 23%

- 1st serve percentage (27/43) 63%
- 1st serve points won (13/27) 48%
- 2nd serve points won (7/16) 44%
- Aces 3
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (6/43) 14%

Serve Patterns
Djokovic served...
- to FH 40%
- to BH 58%
- to Body 2%

Nadal served...
- to FH 29%
- to BH 52%
- to Body 19%

Return Stats
Djokovic made...
- 36 (17 FH, 19 BH), including 1 runaround FH & 1 return-approach
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 3 Errors, comprising...
- 1 Unforced (1 FH)
- 2 Forced (1 FH, 1 BH)
- Return Rate (36/42) 86%

Nadal made...
- 33 (12 FH, 21 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 6 Errors, all forced...
- 6 Forced (3 FH, 3 BH)
- Return Rate (33/43) 76%

Break Points
Djokovic 4/7 (4 games)
Nadal 0/1

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Djokovic 25 (18 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 2 OH)
Nadal 6 (1 FH, 1 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH)

Djokovic's FHs - 4 cc, 1 cc/inside-in, 6 dtl (2 passes, 1 return), 6 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- BHs - 2 cc and 1 dtl

- the FHV was a second volley off a serve-volley point

Nadal's FHs - 1 dtl at net
- BH - 1 dtl pass

- 1 FHV can reasonably be called an OH and the other was a swinging dtl shot
- the BHV was a drop

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Djokovic 17
- 11 Unforced (6 FH, 4 BH, 1 BHV)
- 6 Forced (5 FH, 1 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.2

Nadal 21
- 9 Unforced (7 FH, 1 BH, 1 BHV)
- 12 Forced (6 FH, 6 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.6

(Note 1: All 1/2 volleys refer to such shots played at net. 1/2 volleys played from other parts of the court are included within relevant groundstroke numbers)

(Note 2: the Unforced Error Forcefulness Index is an indicator of how aggressive the average UE was. The numbers presented for these two matches are keyed on 4 categories - 20 defensive, 40 neutral, 50 attacking and 60 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Djokovic was
- 9/11 (82%) at net, including...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve
- 0/1 return-approaching

Nadal was...
- 6/11 (55%) at net

Match Report
Almost perfect from Novak Djokovic

Nadal doesn't play badly. Or even flat. Hits consistently with reasonable force and depth - nothing special, but nothing terrible either. Nothing weak enough to invite attacks

But he's... what's the word? Some combination of blasted, whisked away, beaten down

To start with, Djoko serves at 75%. First serves are strong of power, and moderately widely placed. Not line-licking, but not allowing stand-and-deliver returning either. At 75% in, that's a handful and probably match winning even with equality in play. Second serve is strong too, not at all easy to attack (not that Nadal tries)… generally, Djoko's second serve can look attackable but not here

On return... he just doesn't miss a ball. Just 3 errors (Nadal also has 3 aces). Nadal also doesn't lick lines with his serve, but does serve powerfully. First serve is about the same level as Djoko's - and he serves at a healthy 63%

Doesn't matter... everything comes back firmly. Even most wide serves and good body serves. Brilliant for most anybody else, not abnormal for Djokovic

Djoko's not at his very best as far as sending returns back to baseline (i.e. initiative snatching stuff), but most returns neutralize server's advantage. And he returns at 86% rate. That's a handful and probably match winning even with equality in play

Play is not equal

a) Starting point with initiative after first serve - Djoko capitilizes and frequently finishes with third ball FH winner. Nadal's return is good enough that Djoko's initiative isn't an overwhelming one... these are very good third ball shots. Or he pushes Nadal back or moves him to the side before finishing with point ending force

b) Starting from neutral position after Nadal return - players exchange solid groundies, Djoko's apt to squeeze out an advantage via moderately up from normal power and depth groundies… and then finishes as he does with initiative

c) Nadal's service points aren't much different. Return neutralizes Nadal's advantage most of the time, then play follows as in b)

d) When Nadal has initiative (which is rare), Djoko hustles defensively... not a big part of play though. On the run, Djoko hits strongly too

Nadal's movements are down by his standard, but normal for all but the fastest movers norm. Not sure Nadal's footspeed in 2016 would qualify him for being exceptionally fast anyway

FH is Djokovic's killer weapon in the match. He has 18 winners - which is more than all of his errors combined and just 3 short of all of Nadal's - and more than all his other winners, all of Nadal's winners and both players UEs and FEs individually

Note the varied distribution of the winners too - 4 cc, 6 dtl, 6 inside-out and 2 inside-in (1 is a combo of inside-in and cc). The points themselves are of all types too - 1-2 combos, point construction, shots out of neutral position... the whole nine yards

The strength of his BH is in redirecting balls. Just sends the ball wherever he wants - powerfully cc or sending Nadal running with dtl. Forces a lot of errors with both shots (Nadal has 12 FEs, Djoko 6)

He comes to net a fair bit (by his standard), 11 approaches in all, winning 9. There's a carefully controlled FH1/2V winner. Late in the match, probably drunk on how well he's playing, he serve-volleys to end a game and is challenged by a decent and return followed by a strong, wide pass. Makes a good FHV winner against it

Just one case of being too drunk. He hits a powerful BH cc return - and hesitatingly follows it to net. He's behind the service line when the ball comes back and misses a BHV to open court. No need to come in behind returns... was doing just fine doing what he was doing

Alternatives for Nadal?
Nadal looks to - and largely does - plays steady and consistent. Just 9 UEs (2 less than the significantly more aggressive Djoko), and just 1 of those a BH (and that was a rare, defensive UE)

Playing steady and consistent can be good strategy against an error prone, attacking opponent. His problem is that Djoko isn't making errors

Nadal doesn't look to unduly play FH cc's, his usual favourite. I imagine he'd learnt it wasn't particularly effective against Djokovic, whose BH cc can at least hold even with it and who can redirect ball dtl without trouble

In this match though, it'd probably have at least cushioned the beating he took (assuming Djokovic wouldn't be hitting 18 BH winners in 15 games). Djoko actually gets better of cc rallies starting from Nadal FH due to better movement (he also hits some extra angled balls)… but nothing to the extent of how things were going of the other wing

Nadal looks to play FH dtl quite often. Usually not a bad move against Djokovic. This day, its just whacked or whisked away FH cc - often with point ending force

11 net approaches is a lot for Nadal. Following common sense, if your losing from the baseline, you have to come to net. His missing an easy BHV brings home how infrequently he misses such balls in general
Nadal has his sole break point in opening game of match. That's erased with a FH inside-out/FH cc 1-2 ending with a winner, followed by a third ball FH inside-out winner

Net play, drop shots and a error forcing FH cc give Djoko the break next game

He adds a second in an excellently played game - the last 3 points of which end with winners - FH dtl, FH inside-in (set up by another FH dtl) and BH cc (after being on defensive most of the point)

Nadal tries slicing to start second set. Doesn't work. Djoko deals with and ends a point with FH inside-out winner. Next point, he slices back and point ends with Nadal BH error. Djoko breaks to move ahead 2-0

Djoko gains second break middle of the set in an exhibition of BH direction changing shots. There's an anticipated FH dtl passing winner against an at net Nadal's FH inside-out, a BH dtl winner and finally, overpowering Nadal from back to come in and finish with a smash

Djoko finishes with a flourish too. Serving for the match, he moves to 40-0 with 3 FH winners - cc, inside-out and dtl - the 1st and 3rd being third balls, the 2nd a wrong footing shot, before finishing with an unreturned serve

Summing up, near flawless stuff from Djokovic - strong serving, strong returning, killing FHs, varied BHs and even net approaches. Not bad from Nadal, but you barely notice him in this match
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Hall of Fame
Djokovic beat Nadal 6-2, 6-3 in the Paris semi-final, 2009 on indoor hard court

Djokovic would go onto win the his first title at the event, beating Gael Monfils in the final. Earlier in the year, the two had played finals in Monte Carlo and Rome with Nadal winning both, as well as a semi-final in Madrid. Their most recent meeting had taken place in Cincinnati, with Djokovic winning

Djokovic won 55 points, Nadal 33

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (29/50) 58%
- 1st serve points won (24/29) 83%
- 2nd serve points won (13/21) 62%
- Aces 4 (1 not clean), Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (13/50) 26%

- 1st serve percentage (25/38) 66%
- 1st serve points won (14/25) 56%
- 2nd serve points won (6/13) 46%
- Aces 4
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (10/38) 26%

Serve Patterns
Djokovic served...
- to FH 33%
- to BH 67%

Nadal served...
- to FH 25%
- to BH 75%

Return Stats
Djokovic made...
- 26 (6 FH, 20 BH)
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 5 Errors, all unforced...
- 5 Unforced (5 BH)
- Return Rate (26/36) 72%

Nadal made...
- 33 (12 FH, 21 BH), including 4 runaround FHs
- 8 Errors, comprising...
- 3 Unforced (2 FH, 1 BH)
- 5 Forced (1 FH, 4 BH)
- Return Rate (33/46) 72%

Break Points
Djokovic 3/3
Nadal 0

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Djokovic 25 (13 FH, 5 BH, 3 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 2 BHV, 1 OH)
Nadal 8 (5 BH, 3 FHV)

Djokovic's FHs - 1 cc at net, 2 dtl, 2 dtl/inside-out, 5 inside-out, 2 inside-out/dtl, 1 longline
- BHs - 3 cc (1 return, 1 pass), 2 dtl

- 1 from a serve-volley point, a first volley FHV

Nadal's BHs (all passes) - 2 cc (1 at net), 2 dtl, 1 inside-out

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Djokovic 11
- 10 Unforced (4 FH, 6 BH)
- 1 Forced (1 FH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47

Nadal 15
- 5 Unforced (2 FH, 3 BH)
- 10 Forced (7 FH, 3 BH)... with 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 42

(Note 1: All 1/2 volleys refer to such shots played at net. 1/2 volleys played from other parts of the court are included within relevant groundstroke numbers)

(Note 2: the Unforced Error Forcefulness Index is an indicator of how aggressive the average UE was. The numbers presented are keyed on 4 categories - 20 defensive, 40 neutral, 50 attacking and 60 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Djokovic was...
- 14/20 (70%) at net, including...
- 2/3 (67%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 1/2 off 1st serve and...
- 1/1 off second serve

Nadal was 4/7 (57%) at net, with...
- 0/1 forced back

Match Report
Almost perfect from Novak Djokovic, save some drop-shotting tomfoolery

Nadal doesn’t play badly. Or even flat. Hits with reasonable force and depth - nothing special but nothing weak either

But he’s… what’s the word? Dismantled, picked apart

This match doesn’t have any connection to the Doha one played 7 years after. I’ve chosen to lump them together because the stats are remarkably similar. Just look at them

Description wouldn’t be too different either. If you watch this Paris match and then read the description of the Doha one, you’d be surprised to find out its for a different match. There are some differences, but on whole, the two matches are uncannily similar. As are the stats

For starters, points won - in Doha, Djoko 57, Nadal 30. Here, Djoko 55, Nadal 33

Comparing across the 2 matches, for Djoko -
- Winners - both 25
- Errors Forced - Doha 12, here 10
- UEs - Doha 11, here 10

Differences in the showings? Doha was a FH masterpiece. Here, its more dual winged, with FH starring and more all-court with net approaches having more role

Doha winners - 18 FH , 3 BH 3, 4 ‘volleys’
Paris winners - 13 FH, 5 BH, 7 ‘volley’s

In Doha, forced errors off both sides (6 FH, 6 BH). Here, mostly to FH and primarily with FH (in about same proportion as FH and BH winners), with 7/10 errors forced being Nadal FHs

In Doha, UEs 6 FH, 4 BH and 1 volley. Here, 4 FH, 6 BH

Note the 4 inside-out/dtl or dtl/inside-out FH winners (as opposed to 5 inside-out). Generally and here, when directions with slashes in reflect very precise shot-making, with the winner going into something less than an open court. 2 dtl and 1 longline (close enough to dtl, its on match point) to go with it. Djoko moves Nadal over a bit with precise FH cc (a bit, its not a opening-court-wide set-up or the serve and nails the follow up in opposite direction, without excess space to work with

BH has hand in all this. Perfectly balanced of power and width cc shots pressure Nadal’s FH just wide enough at just enough force to draw weaker ball, and its back FH cc to other side to send Nadal running. Or the cc shots force a FH error. With strong dtl shots thrown in, including 2 winners

Finally, net play. 20 approaches here (including 3 serve-volleys - 1 a second serve) to 11 in Doha. Beautifully - perfectly even - judged aggression of when to come in and when to stick to the attacking combos and shot-making from the back. He ‘only’ wins 70% because Nadal pulls off some smacking good passes (and because of Djoko’s one flaw)

That flaw is drop shots. Near end, Djoko fools around with drop shots. Misses a few (that’s behind his BH having match high 6 UEs - the other shots on show have 2,3 and 4) and hits a few bad ones that Nadal putsaway at net or leads to net-to-net contests in Nadal’s favour that he goes on to win

Other than that? Djoko tries his best to miss an OH. Its even called out, but challenge reveals its got the line for a winner

He even has 1 FH1/2V winner in both matches


Hall of Fame
And what of Nadal?
8 winners, 5 UEs. This might be the biggest thrashing anyone with positive winner/UE differential has ever got. In such short match, the proportion is more telling than the differential - that’s a great proportion

He’s passive, falling back on his wall-game. 0 FH winners - is that a first for him? All 5 of his BH winners are passes (good job there), leaving 3 volley winners (1 a net-to-net situation brought on by a Djoko drop-shot play). And forces just 1 error

4/5 of his UEs are neutral shots, with the other being attacking. So 0 winner attempts to go with 0 baseline-to-baseline winners. No ready opening to be aggressive, but he certainly doesn’t look to create them either, the way Djoko can and does seemingly with ease

Weak balls he gives up are forced by Djoko’s width, wrong-footing dtl shots. And Djoko exemplary in punishing weak, or even ‘not-strong’ balls with earlier mentioned, precise finishers

Of scoreline, Nadal winning a game more in each set than in Doha. That’s about the freebies - both have 26% here - 12% more than the later match for Nadal, and good to get him a couple extra holds

Average serving from Nadal, good from Djoko. Good lot of 4 aces and a service winner from Nadal, but all 5 return errors he’s drawn have been marked UEs. Easy to cover stuff, slightly wide at most. Its not a quick court. If anything, on slow side of normal

Not particularly heavy returning from Djoko, more neutralizing or good enough that Nadal would have to be proactive to attack the third ball (which he isn’t) than initiative snatching. Nadal playing the percentage shot to start rally - not weak, but not aggressive either - and from there, Djoko doing all the marvellous things he does. Some good, slightly wide returning against second serves that gets Nadal moving right at the start

Djoko by contrast, does serve well. Same lot of aces/service winners but 5/8 return errors he’s drawn are forced and good deal more with potential to be, that Nadal puts in play (by contrast, most of Nadal’s serves would qualify as unforceful). Usual returning from Nadal to get rally started without unduly pressuring server. And Djoko doing all the marvellous things he does after that

Match Progression
Match starts on a bright note, with Djoko drop-shotting Nadal in on very first point, meeting him at net where the two trade a few shots, ending with Djoko lobbing him back to baseline. Nadal’s up to putting tweener in play, but Djoko’s there to putaway the FHV. Next point, perfect, improbable, stretched out, low BH cc passing winner from Nadal. And Djoko goes on to hold with a service winner and a FH inside-out/dtl winner to end the game

Action is neat and fluent from both players, with Djoko more aggressive as score advances to 3-2 on serve

Djoko wins next 12 points to end the set. His run of consecutive points won is 13. And he extends his return points streak to 14 straight into the second set - 3 straight love breaks and reaching 0-30

Cleverly played, extra top-spun and wider approach shot to start the rot, and he completes the break with precise BH dtl winner. Follows up with love hold - including a second serve-volley, first FHV winner that Nadal doesn’t seem coming (he loops his runaround FH return in). For good measure, Djoko finishes the game with a pick-up FH1/2V winner - comfortable shot, as 1/2volleys go

Another love hold to end - BH cc - BH dtl 1-2 ending with winner, another winning BH dtl, a winning wide FH cc with a token approach to accompany it and on break/set point, a BH cc return winner that Nadal doesn’t move for

Nadal reaches deuce for only time in a return to start second set, helped by a double fault and poor drop shot that he dispatches from mid-court, but Djoko ends the game with 2 winners ( FH inside-out/dtl and BHV), both set up nicely

And again breaks to love - 2 more FH winners, a good winning drop shot and a decent return that draws a BH UE. And 2 third ball FH winners in consolidating to 15 for 3-0 lead

Another FH inside-out winner from Djoko to start the next game. Nadal responds with one of his better serves, crampingly close to Djoko. Djoko responds with an even better return, squeezing it out back to baseline and going on to nail another FH dtl winner to make it 0-30. “Getting a bit ridiculous” doesn’t do justice to situation at this stage

Rest of match, Nadal wins 17 points, Djoko 14 (Nadal losing 2 points in 3 service games, counting the ongoing one as a game, Djoko 5 in the same number). Normacly. Helped by Djoko missing and playing bad drop shots and double faulting a couple times

Djoko missing a couple of routine returns to make things 30-30 and a BH dtl winner attempt miss puts Nadal on the board

No more competitive thrills for rest of match. Still plenty of excellent shots and attackingly constructed points from Djoko, with failed drop shots and a couple of double faults thrown in

He serves out to 15 - starting the game with a well constructed net point, finishing with a stretch FHV winner and ending it with a third ball, FH longline winner. The greeting from Nadal as they meet at net is friendlier than it would come to be in a couple years when the two would be more closely matched rivals. Generally speaking, Nadal tends not to look a happy bunny after a loss

Summing up, a masterpiece from Djokovic - more smooth, if less ferocious than the Doha match. He forces weak balls from Nadal with perfectly judged shots of power and placement off both wings, and finishes points with remarkable precision, particularly off the FH, but BH and net play are well represented to

Nadal plays decently. He’s steady off shot and quick about the court. As he tends to, in face of aggression, he falls back on being more steady still instead of proactively looking to attack. Not necessarily a bad ploy and he does remain very consistent and even passes well, but with opponent playing like something out of a dream, it gets him brushed aside

Stats for the final between Djokovic and Gael Monfils - Match Stats/Report - Djokovic vs Monfils, Paris final, 2009 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)


Talk Tennis Guru
OP is a clear Djokovic fan, and you always see this in the "analysis". Good luck with convincing anyone Nadal didn't play bad in Paris 2009. Him even reaching the semifinal was a miracle, he should have lost to Almagro in straight sets, and then to Robredo. Also didn't win a set in 3 matches in WTF after that.



Third Serve

Talk Tennis Guru
True. Actually come to think of it Shanghai 14 better
Shanghai 2014 is probably the best Old-erer match against Djokovic start to finish. Pretty much brought back the prime Federer baseline game for a moment. And Djokovic was actually legit, unlike Cincy 2012.

Cincy 2015 is another good one but that was more serve-dependant.


'09 Paris? or '16 Doha? :)

He's on about 6.0 or 7.0 now, none of them too shabby

I had no recollection of this Paris match so was happy to see how good it was. '16 Doha's been well glorified by contrast
True but Paris is indoors and Nadal has been smoked by fed there as well. This one is extra special being outdoors.