Duel Match Stats/Reports - Federer vs Agassi, Miami & Dubai semi-finals, 2005


Hall of Fame
Roger Federer beat Andre Agassi 6-4, 6-3 in the Miami semi-final, 2005 on hard court

Federer would go onto win the event, beating Rafael Nadal in the final. The two had previously contested the final in 2002 with Agassi having won

Federer won 70 points, Agassi 56

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (42/66) 64%
- 1st serve points won (31/42) 74%
- 2nd serve points won (16/24) 67%
- Aces 8, Service Winners 2 (1 second serve)
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (24/66) 36%

- 1st serve percentage (30/60) 50%
- 1st serve points won (22/30) 73%
- 2nd serve points won (15/30) 50%
- Service Winners 1 (a second serve)
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (15/60) 25%

Serve Pattern
Federer served...
- to FH 39%
- to BH 56%
- to Body 5%

Agassi served...
- to FH 24%
- to BH 73%
- to Body 3%

Return Stats
Federer made...
- 44 (11 FH, 33 BH), including 1 runaround FH & 3 return-approaches
- 2 Winners (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 14 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (1 FH, 4 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 9 Forced (3 FH, 6 BH)
- Return Rate (44/59) 75%

Agassi made...
- 40 (21 FH, 19 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 2 Winners (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 14 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (2 FH, 3 BH)
- 9 Forced (3 FH, 6 BH)
- Return Rate (40/64) 63%

Break Points
Federer 2/8 (3 games)
Agassi 0/5 (1 game)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Federer 21 (10 FH, 5 BH, 2 FHV, 4 BHV)
Agassi 13 (4 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV, 2 OH)

Federer's FHs - 5 cc, 1 dtl pass at net, 1 inside-out and 3 inside-in (1 return)
- BHs - 2 cc (1 return) and 3 dtl

- 1 from a return-approach point, a BHV
- 1 other BHV was net-to-net

Agassi's FHs - 2 cc (1 return), 1 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- BHs - 3 cc (2 passes - 1 a return), 1 dtl pass (a one handed slice) and 1 dtl/inside-out pass

- 1 OH was on the bounce from the baseline

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Federer 26
- 17 Unforced (9 FH, 6 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net & 1 non-net FHV
- 9 Forced (6 FH, 1 BH, 1 BH1/2V, 1 Back-to-Net)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.3

Agassi 24
- 13 Unforced (4 FH, 9 BH)
- 11 Forced (5 FH, 6 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 43.8

(Note 1: all half-volleys refer to such shots played at net. Half -volleys played from other parts of the court are included within relevant groundstroke counts)

(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
Federer was...
- 12/20 (60%) at net, including...
- 0/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve
- 2/3 (67%) return-approaching
- 0/1 forced back

Agassi was...
- 5/8 (63%) at net, with...
- 1/1 retreated

Match Report
Good match from both players and comfortable win for Federer who's a bit better in virtually all areas on a slow-ish court

Fed finishes +4 winners over UEs, having forced 11 errors out of Agassi too. Agassi is even on winners/UEs difference while forcing 9 errors. Excellent numbers on such a court. About a year ago, the two had played in similar conditions at Indian Wells and combined for about double the UEs to winners

General pattern on play in the match up is Agassi hitting BH cc's whenever he can to breakdown Fed's weaker side. Usually, he gets better of these exchanges, to varying degrees. Standout feature of this match is Fed, if anything, slightly better on BH-BH rallies, while retaining his usual advantages (the serve, movement and damaging ability of the FH), leaving Agassi at a loss to how to proceed. Agassi remains solid but doesn't have any answers with his go-to play stumped

Serve & Return
There seems to be tailored-for-the-opponent game in the way both players serve

Agassi serves aggressively wide, far beyond his norm. Generally, he's apt to serve regularly in swing zone. The downside is low first serve in count of 50%. The upside is forcing return errors or defensive returns he can take charge off. Fed returns well. For starters he gives up just one ace (a second serve), due to ability to reach wide balls. Gets a good number of the wide ones back too. And some good, firm deep returns to serves (1st and 2nds) that he can reach readily

Same deal returning second serves, with more of them being easy to reach, with occasional attacking returns thrown in. There are 3 return-approaches and 2 winners - neither being things Fed's generally apt to do. Agassi serves bulk 73% to BH and Fed swings at the returns rather than chips or blocks them back. In the final against a more-or-less unknown Rafael Nadal, he'd chip BHs back by contrast. I imagine both Agassi's serving and Fed's returning being more attacking than their norms is a nod of respect to the others game

Something similar with Fed serving and Agassi returning. Fed engages in regular (for him) first serving, which has bulk out wide. When in a hole, he goes for more and bangs down aces. Its the second serves that are exceptionally beyond his norm. With Agassi typically looking to step in and smack them early, Fed goes attackingly wide with second serves while taking pace off it. It largely works. Agassi gets his fair share of meaty deep returns off but its difficult and low percentage. 36% unreturned rate for Fed on this court is a good figure - a healthy 11% higher than what Agassi can muster

With first serve points won virtually the same (Fed 74%, Agassi 73%), the major difference comes out in second serve points won (Fed with excellent 67%, Agassi a respectable 50%). Fed's high second serve points won is largely due to the quality of his second serve that allows him to start rally from advantageous position. Against Agassi, it wouldn't be unusual for server to start from defensive position most of the time, let a lone neutral one. Agassi matching Fed on first serve points won is also a bit surprising and due to his serving particularly aggressively

Note coincidence of virtually identical return error numbers - both with 5 UEs (Fed with 4 BHs and a runaround FH, Agassi 2 FHs and 3 BHs), both with 9 FEs (both with 3 FHs and 6 BHs)

In nutshell, both wary enough of the other to look to do more than their usual with the first two shots. Fed naturally with stronger serve comfortably coming up ahead on the whole


Hall of Fame
Play - Baseline (& Net)
Play is very good, mostly baseline stuff and with Federer having the better of it

Agassi typically looks to play BH cc's. Its usually his first line of 'attack' to break down opponents BH in this way. Against Federer, whose apt to dispatch regulation balls for winners off FH or at least take charge of point, its the obvious plan

The usual, solid BH cc'ng from Agassi, hitting firmly and fairly consistently. Fed though, gets the better off it. He hits back cc just as firmly and is more apt to go for wider angled, moderately attacking shots as well as dtl point finishers. 6 BH UEs for Fed to Agassi's 9. He also has 3 baseline-to-baseline winners (all dtl). Agassi has just 1 - and that was hit from well inside court. Almost no attempt by Agassi to push the envelop with his BH. cc, cc and more cc's... decent, firm neutral shots but that's about it. He'd need Fed to play badly by making UEs to win regularly playing this way (which often happens between the two, though not here)

Fed does not budge from the baseline. Agassi plays from orthodox position couple of steps behind baseline. Fed's apt to camp on the baseline and even against deep balls, doesn't fall back. Just hits balls back on the up, making it look easy

By contrast, despite numbers (Fed 10 winners, Agassi 4), Fed doesn't actually get the better off FH rallies. Good lot of Fed's winners are third ball putaways set up by strong serve. He does lash FHs, injecting it with pace that Agassi can't match or occasionally, hit with extra heavy spin to get the angle just so in a way Agassi can't. For all that, he's considerably more error prone with 9 UEs to Agassi's match low 4

Fed's dashingly quick. Agassi's movement is significantly worse. Generally, Agassi likes to hit wider FH cc's to move his opponent to side. He doesn't get to to do it much because Fed's FHs are harder hit and when he can, Fed runs balls down comfortably. Late in match, Agassi starts hitting his FHs harder and with more intent, still coming off second best in hitting side of the battle

Note low UEFIs - 45.3 for Fed, 43.8 for Agassi. Agassi's number is low even for a passive, keep hitting neutral cc shots game. Fed's is low considering he's hit 21 winners and speaks to basic shot consistency rather than attacking efficiency being cause of the UEs. 12/17 of his UEs are neutral shots. Seeing he's won 32 points forcefully, that's excellently productive attacking play

Fed not shy of attacking net. He's got 16 approaches from rallies and about half are quick-dashes forward from neutral position (as opposed to off very strong approach shots from very advantageous ones). Good little mini-battle between Fed on the volley (just the 1 UE and 6 winners, most beautifully controlled short) and Agassi on the pass (4 winners, including a return). From Fed's point of view, its a nice move to add variety to his balanced, attacking play. He doesn't necessarily need it - he's better from the baseline

Match Progression
Just the 1 game differentiating the two players in first set. Serving at 4-5, Agassi plays a soft game to get broken - missing 2 regulation groundstrokes and blinking first in a long rally account for 3 of the 4 points he loses and he makes just 1/5 first serves. Ironically, shot of the game and set is Agassi's - a running, 1 handed BH slice dtl passing winner against a very good Fed return-approach.

Agassi had largely outlasted Fed in baseline rallies to hold in first set. In second, that changes and Fed starts getting better of BH rallies. Both players survive long service holds - Agassi early in the set thwarts 4 break points in a 14 point game, Fed climbs out of 0-40 late in set and saves 5 break points in an 18 point game. Couple of aces from Fed on break points and he finishes with a flourish - a perfect, very sharply angled FH cc winner followed by a BH cc - FH inside-in 1-2 ending with a winner. Couple of strange shots from Agassi on other break points. On his first, after getting a good return off and engaging the BH cc rally, he fires a dtl winner attempt long. He'd barely hit a dtl BH all match... why now of all times? He'd done the same thing with the same result in previous years Indian Wells semi. Seems to be a thing of Agassi in this period. He barely goes for a winner, but likes to stamp one out on set points and break points. If your good enough to make that shot, you should be making it at other times, not having your first go on break point

Fed breaks in a superb game to go up 5-3, wrapping up the last 3 points with error forcing BHs and serves it out to close the match

Summing up, good match and beautiful showing form Federer - particularly good, wide placed serves, choice attacking plays amidst general firm returns and a judicious blend of solid, taking ball early and attacking play particularly from the baseline, and off both sides. Solid from Agassi too but he's slower and failing to push his opponent around or back, has nothing to hurt Federer hurt with

Stats for final between Federer and Rafael Nadal - Match Stats/Report - Federer vs Nadal, Miami final, 2005 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
Stats for pair's '02 final - Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Federer, Miami final, 2002 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
Stats for pair's '04 Indian Wells semi - Match Stats/Report - Federer vs Agassi, Indian Wells semi-final, 2004 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)


Hall of Fame
Federer beat Agassi 6-3, 6-1 in the Dubai semi-final, 2005 on hard court

The match took place shortly before the one in Miami. Federer would go onto win the event, beating Ivan Ljubicic in the final. The two had also recently met at the Australian Open with Federer winning

Federer won 57 points, Agassi 35

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (33/51) 65%
- 1st serve points won (25/33) 76%
- 2nd serve points won (11/18) 61%
- Aces 8, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (22/51) 43%

- 1st serve percentage (23/41) 56%
- 1st serve points won (10/23) 43%
- 2nd serve points won (10/18) 56%
- Aces 2 (1 second serve)
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (9/41) 22%

Serve Pattern
Federer served...
- to FH 40%
- to BH 58%
- to Body 2%

Agassi served...
- to FH 30%
- to BH 70%

Return Stats
Federer made...
- 31 (8 FH, 23 BH), including 2 runaround FHs, 2 return-approaches & 1 drop-return
- 1 Winner (1 FH), a runaround FH
- 7 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (2 FH, 2 BH)
- 3 Forced (2 FH, 1 BH)
- Return Rate (31/40) 78%

Agassi made...
- 26 (11 FH, 15 BH)
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 13 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (1 FH, 3 BH)
- 9 Forced (4 FH, 5 BH)
- Return Rate (26/48) 54%

Break Points
Federer 4/6 (4 games)
Agassi 0/3 (2 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Federer 13 (9 FH, 2 BH, 1 FHV, 1 Back-to-Net BH)
Agassi 3 (1 FH, 1 BH, 1 FHV)

Federer's FHs - 4 cc (1 pass), 2 dtl (1 pass), 2 inside-out (1 runaround return) and 1 inside-in
- BHs - 2 dtl

- the Back-to-Net BH was a lob

Agassi's FH - 1 inside-in
- BH return pass - 1 inside-in

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Federer 20
- 15 Unforced (7 FH, 7 BH, 1 BHV)
- 5 Forced (1 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46

Agassi 21
- 14 Unforced (8 FH, 6 BH)
- 7 Forced (4 FH, 2 BH, 1 Tweener)... with 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 44.3

(Note 1: all half-volleys refer to such shots played at net. Half -volleys played from other parts of the court are included within relevant groundstroke counts)

(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
Federer was...
- 6/9 (67%) at net, including...
- 1/3 (33%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 0/2 off 1st serve and...
- 1/1 off 2nd serve
- 1/2 return-approaching
- 1/1 forced back

Agassi was...
- 3/8 (38%) at net, with...
- 0/1 forced back

Match Report
Great showing from Federer as he overwhelms Agassi on a fast court, with a greatest ever shot candidate thrown in as cherry on top

Already down a break in second set, Agassi's down another break point. On it, he takes charge with a strong FH dtl approach shot that looks good to finish point or set up an easy volley. Fed quickly steps across to get a good, wide BH cc pass off, which Agassi drop volleys on the stretch. Looks good for a winner, but Fed races down the ball and pokes to wide, but Agassi's up to making another stretch volley. For the finale, Fed races back to retrieve the ball, flicks it BH with his back completely turned to net for a lob winner over a still at net Agassi

There are tweeners, and tweener lobs and over-the-shoulder and back-to-net and full running get passes against smashes... all highly, highly unlikely to make it over the net, much less go for a winner. But a racing back, with back to net, flick BH lob inches from the ground probably tops them all

Show stealer point aside, lively fast court match with hard hitting and largely, open court action and Fed's on the ball in all areas. Agassi doesn't play particularly badly but gets brushed aside. Its the kind of court where anything a bit wide isn't easy to cope with and with both players hitting hard, even balls played from stationary position are likely to draw an error sooner rather than later. Federer plays well behind the baseline and sweeps around side to side to hit hard to open the court or hit into open side of it. Agassi plays closer to baseline and also hits harder and particularly well as far as depth goes

Serve & Return
Similar calibre serving from Fed as Miami match. With conditions much faster, he gets large 43% unreturned serves, with 8 aces and a service winner. Again, he's particular to send down good, wide second serves. 3 double faults is very high for him from just 18 second serves, but it does the job of keeping Agassi from attacking them.

When he can make the return, Agassi does so with authority, hard and deep. 54% return rate looks poor but on a fast court against a strong server whose bound to hold most of the time, its not bad, given the strength of the returns made. He manages to scrape break points in a couple of games

The strong returning doesn't come to much because Fed's apt to end points against well hit, deep returns anyway

Not as good serving from Agassi as Miami. Gets more first serves in (56% to 50%) but most are in swing zone. Even that's not easy to deal with in these conditions
Great returning from Fed. Excellent 78% return rate and like Agassi, getting the return back deep. He doesn't chip or take big swings, but times the ball sweetly

In a nutshell, Agassi returning strongly when he can actually get the return back. A good starting point to finding a break eventually, which in light of conditions, is a good prospect from his point of view. Average serving from Agassi and excellent, neutralizing returns at high consistency by Fed against it

Play - Baseline
Federer gets small number of third balls he can dispatch, but after the return, both servers usually face a third ball that would be difficult to attack of due to firm, deep returns

Agassi looks to hit beat down hard shots from close to baseline. Fed falls back to well behind the baseline and is happy to run after wide hit balls. He tend to hit counter-attacking shots on the move

Just 3 winners from Agassi - 1 is a return, another is a volley. So just 1 baseline-to-baseline winner. And he can only force 4 baseline errors out of Fed (and 1 is a pass). That sounds like he's passive. That's not the case. He engages in beat-down and move-opponent around play and gets particularly good depth... a relatively safe way to attack moderately

Fed though hits back just as hard, both on the move or otherwise and from baseline or well behind it. Often at attacking angles and Agassi's movements aren't up to handling it for long. Or just dispatches a point ending shot. Some terrific shots to Agassi's deep returns. Its the opposite of the take-the-ball-early style he employed in Miami. Here, he's positioned to have a reasonable look at the ball after it bounces deep and is able to hit cleanly and attackingly doing so

Same consistency problem from Fed and he's got 15 UEs for match - 1 more than Agassi. Agassi's errors go up in second set after he seems a bit rattled after his best shots keep coming back with attacking interest

Match Progression
Good start from Agassi, holding to love with 3 unreturned serve and having first break point at 1-1. That's erased with a slower, wide kick service winner

Fed gains break end of set in a great game, featuring a lashing, running FH dtl winner and an exquisite drop-return he follows to net to bring up break point. On it, he whacks BH dtl winner. And serves out the set to 15

From 'normal' good tennis, Fed raises the bar to sublime in the second. Breaks to start with a precise FH dtl pass winner. A pair of double faults gets him into trouble in consolidating, but he saves 2 break points and finishes the hold with a third ball BH dtl winner off a good, deep return

Next game, a return to baseline forces an error and a runround FH inside-out return winner takes score to 0-30. Break point is the earlier described back-to-net flick BH lob winner

2 breaks up, match is virtually over. Agassi starts missing a few more routine balls as Fed continues returning deep, whipping groundies and even starts coming to net more. Match finishes Agassi double faulting to be broken to love

Summing up, great match from Federer - particularly good, deep returning, very quick in covering court and lashing groundstrokes on the move to not just thwart, but smack aside Agassi's firmly hit deep groundies. Decent from Agassi too in his beat-down and move-opponent-around play but Federer has an aggressive answer for everything thrown his way


Bionic Poster
What's amazing is that Fed only served and volleying one time. Miami courts had slowed down a lot by then, had it been mid-1990's Miami, he would have been at net a lot more frequently. Thanks for more quality posting, Waspsting!