Duel Match Stats/Reports - Federer vs Nadal, Indian Wells fourth round & Miami final, 2017

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-3 in the Indian Wells fourth round (round of 16), 2017 on hard court

Federer would go onto win a record equalling 5th title at the event, beating Stan Wawrinka in the final. He had recently beaten Nadal in the final of Australian Open, and would go onto do so again in the Miami final shortly afterwards

Federer won 57 points, Nadal 42

Serve Stats
Federer...
- 1st serve percentage (25/45) 56%
- 1st serve points won (19/25) 76%
- 2nd serve points won (15/20) 75%
- Aces 5, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (18/45) 40%

Nadal...
- 1st serve percentage (32/54) 59%
- 1st serve points won (18/32) 56%
- 2nd serve points won (13/22) 59%
- Aces 2 (1 second serve)
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (10/54) 19%

Serve Pattern
Federer served...
- to FH 52%
- to BH 48%

Nadal served...
- to FH 39%
- to BH 54%
- to Body 7%

Return Stats
Federer made...
- 44 (20 FH, 24 BH), including 2 runaround FHs & 1 'sneak attack' return-approach
- 3 Winners (3 BH)
- 8 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (1 FH, 3 BH)
- 4 Forced (1 FH, 3 BH)
- Return Rate (44/54) 81%

Nadal made...
- 26 (15 FH, 11 BH), including 2 runaround FHs
- 12 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (1 FH, 3 BH)
- 8 Forced (5 FH, 3 BH)
- Return Rate (26/44) 59%

Break Points
Federer 4/5 (4 games)
Nadal 0/1

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Federer 20 (10 FH, 7 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV)
Nadal 8 (7 FH, 1 BH)

Federer's FHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl, 6 inside-out and 2 inside-in
- BHs - 3 cc (1 return), 3 dtl (1 return) and 1 inside-in return

- 1 FHV was the first volley of a serve-volley point

Nadal's FHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl pass, 1 inside-out, 3 inside-in and 1 longline/cc
- BH - 1 running-down-drop-shot dtl at net

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Federer 23
- 17 Unforced (6 FH, 11 BH)
- 6 Forced (2 FH, 3 BH, 1 BHV)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.2

Nadal 19
- 14 Unforced (8 FH, 6 BH)
- 5 Forced (3 FH, 2 BH)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 42.9

(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 a measure of how aggressive of intent the average UE made was. 60 is maximum, 20 is minimum. This match has been scored using a four point scale - 2 defensive, 4 neutral, 5 attacking, 6 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Federer was...
- 6/9 (67%) at net, including...
- 3/5 (60%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 3/4 (75%) off 1st serve and...
- 0/1 off 2nd serve
--
- 1/1 return-approaching

Nadal was 1/1 at net

Match Report
"Beatdown", not a word one usually associates with Roger Federer, best describes this match. In virtually every area, he comes out not just ahead, but well ahead of Nadal

Serve & Return
Federer typically serves strongly, though this probably the worst return showing I've seen from Nadal. Court seems on the slow side of normal at least - and one wouldn't expect 40% unreturned serve rate like Federer has. Nadal fails to return 8 second serves - 4 of them being marked forced error indicates quality of Federer's serving - but Nadal typically returns Federer's strong first serves even on faster courts than this. His position is off... he tries returning some second serves from way behind baseline and gets pulled out of court. Good serving by Federer to make the most of Nadal's position, but poor on the return from Rafa.

Note the very high 75% second serves points won by Federer. That's not just about the quality of his serve or Nadal's returns - but both have a hand in it

By contrast, Federer is superb on return, probably the best I've seen from him against Nadal. Nadal's serve isn't particularly powerful, but he does serve second serves harder than usual (probably because he felt he had to) and doesn't have a single double fault. But Federer is belting returns of both wings all match. I don't think he chips a single one. With Fed being so strong on the BH return, Rafa wisely chooses a more even distribution - 39/54/7 across FH/BH/Body - than his usual 85-90% at BH pattern

It doesn't matter. Federer wallops returns of both wings anyway. If anything, harder of the BH. He not only has 3 return winners, but note there all being different types: 1 cc, 1 dtl and 1 inside-out. For good measure, Fed throws in a sneak attack return that forces a passing error. Should consider using it more against Nadal - combination of Nadal's second serve not being strong and usually very predictable makes it perfect for being targeted so

Play - Baseline & Net
Taking for granted Fed's FH prowess, its his BH that stands out. Particularly early in the match, he's taking them early and driving them hard. Mostly cc, but occasionally also dtl. I don't think he slices a single ball. For all that, he keeps his errors relatively low. 11 UEs is still the highest of the 4 groundstrokes on show - but there's also 7 winners (Nadal has 1 - and that was a net point), error forcing shots and otherwise, attacking play that pressures Nadal or gives Fed control of points

No problems with height. Its a high bouncing court with balls regularly rising to chest height. Fed gets on top of such balls and slaps BHs

Usually, Federer is apt to strike a lot of third ball FH winners off first serves. In this match, he hits a number of 3rd ball winners off both wings off second serves. And when rallies develop, continues hitting early, hard and deep to keep Nadal pinned back

Nadal seems rather flat. His movements - both footwork and court coverage seems a bit down, though I'm not sure if its to an unusual extent in 2017. The slow footwork is problematic, the court coverage wouldn't have mattered... Federer's winners and forcing plays would have won the points they did even with maximum fleet Nadal

He either doesn't try to step up and dictate baseline play - or isn't able to. It would have been difficult to against the kind of hitting he was up against

Usually in matches between the two, regardless of result, Nadal is the better baseliner. Not in this match. Nadal has a thin edge in consistency (14 UEs to Fed's 17), but note Fed's high 48.2 UEFI and Nadal's very low one of 42.9. Essentially, Nadal is beaten down from the baseline and just plops balls back in court passively best he can. The UEs he makes also are on the forced side for being UEs

A further indicator of Fed's superiority from the back is his barely coming to net. Sans serve-volleying and the SABR, he just comes in 3 times. He just doesn't need to - he's putting points away from behind. In fact, its probably Nadal who might have considered coming forward more. He doesn't at all. Just 1 trip forward - and that was a forced approach

Match Progression
First couple games are competitive. Fed announces his intentions with back to back winners in opening game - a FH inside-in and a BH cc - and goes on to break in a 10 point affair with error forcing deep, strong balls. Nadal has a point to break back in the next game, which he gains on back of a pair of Fed BH UEs - but that's service winner'd away - and another pair of winners sees Fed hold

Fed goes on to break a second time with 4 winners - 3 of them BHs, 2 of those returns. And serves out the set in a 5 point game ending only with winners - 4 third balls - 3 FHs, 1 FHV - plus a Nadal FH dtl pass

In second set, Fed loses just 3 points in 4 service games. Gains first break early with power returning and strong FHs. And ends the match with second break - appropriately, match ends with a step in, BH inside-in return winner

Summing up, as close to brutal as you'll see from the usually elegant Federer. His baseline play is reminiscent of a young Andre Agassi, with a strong serve thrown in. Nadal returns not well and can muster minimal counter-play

Stats for the pair's '17 Australian Open final - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...erer-australian-open-finals-2009-2017.632715/
 
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Great work. Brilliantly detailed.


If I was doing this thread it would go like

Match report : Federer mauled Nadal
while his fangirl Koening had to watch.

Anyone remembers how koening was hell bent on giving credit to AO surface for Federer's win there? He said something like "This IW, here courts are slow .......Million reasons why Nadal should win and AO was a Fluke"

Too bad old senile Federer mistook Rafa for Roddick that day.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-3 in the Indian Wells fourth round (round of 16), 2017 on hard court

Federer would go onto win a record equalling 5th title at the event, beating Stan Wawrinka in the final. He had recently beaten Nadal in the final of Australian Open, and would go onto do so again in the Miami final shortly afterwards

Federer won 57 points, Nadal 42

Serve Stats
Federer...
- 1st serve percentage (25/45) 56%
- 1st serve points won (19/25) 76%
- 2nd serve points won (15/20) 75%
- Aces 5, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (18/45) 40%

Nadal...
- 1st serve percentage (32/54) 59%
- 1st serve points won (18/32) 56%
- 2nd serve points won (13/22) 59%
- Aces (1 second serve)
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (10/54) 19%

Serve Pattern
Federer served...
- to FH 52%
- to BH 48%

Nadal served...
- to FH 39%
- to BH 54%
- to Body 7%

Return Stats
Federer made...
- 44 (20 FH, 24 BH), including 2 runaround FHs & 1 'sneak attack' return-approach
- 3 Winners (3 BH)
- 8 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (1 FH, 3 BH)
- 4 Forced (1 FH, 3 BH)
- Return Rate (44/54) 81%

Nadal made...
- 26 (15 FH, 11 BH), including 2 runaround FH
- 12 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (1 FH, 3 BH)
- 8 Forced (5 FH, 3 BH)
- Return Rate (26/44) 59%

Break Points
Federer 4/5 (4 games)
Nadal 0/1

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Federer 20 (10 FH, 7 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV)
Nadal 8 (7 FH, 1 BH)

Federer's FHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl, 6 inside-out and 2 inside-in
- BHs - 3 cc (1 return), 3 dtl (1 return) and 1 inside-in return

- 1 FHV was the first volley of a serve-volley point

Nadal's FHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl pass, 1 inside-out, 3 inside-in and 1 longline/cc
- BH - 1 running-down-drop-shot dtl at net

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Federer 23
- 17 Unforced (6 FH, 11 BH)
- 6 Forced (2 FH, 3 BH, 1 BHV)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.2

Nadal 19
- 14 Unforced (8 FH, 6 BH)
- 5 Forced (3 FH, 2 BH)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 42.9

(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 a measure of how aggressive of intent the average UE made was. 60 is maximum, 20 is minimum. This match has been scored using a four point scale - 2 defensive, 4 neutral, 5 attacking, 6 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Federer was...
- 6/9 (67%) at net, including...
- 3/5 (60%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 3/4 (75%) off 1st serve and...
- 0/1 off 2nd serve
--
- 1/1 return-approaching

Nadal was...
- 1/1 at net

Match Report
"Beatdown", not a word one usually associates with Roger Federer, best describes this match. In virtually every area, he comes out not just ahead, but well ahead of Nadal

Serve & Return
Federer typically serves strongly, though this probably the worst return showing I've seen from Nadal. Court seems on the slow side of normal at least - and one wouldn't expect 40% unreturned serve rate like Federer has. Nadal fails to return 8 second serves - 4 of them being marked forced error indicates quality of Federer's serving - but Nadal typically returns Federer's strong first serves even on faster courts than this. His position is off... he tries returning some second serves from way behind baseline and gets pulled out of court. Good serving by Federer to make the most of Nadal's position, but poor on the return from Rafa.

Note the very high 75% second serves points won by Federer. That's not just about the quality of his serve or Nadal's returns - but both have a hand in it

By contrast, Federer is superb on return, probably the best I've seen from him against Nadal. Nadal's serve isn't particularly powerful, but he does serve second serves harder than usual (probably because he felt he had to) and doesn't have a single double fault. But Federer is belting returns of both wings all match. I don't think he chips a single one. With Fed being so strong on the BH return, Rafa wisely chooses a more even distribution - 39/54/7 across FH/BH/Body - than his usual 85-90% at BH pattern

It doesn't matter. Federer wallops returns of both wings anyway. If anything, harder of the BH. He not only has 3 return winners, but note there all being different types: 1 cc, 1 dtl and 1 inside-out. For good measure, Fed throws in a sneak attack return that forces a passing error. Should consider using it more against Nadal - combination of Nadal's second serve not being strong and usually very predictable makes it perfect for being targeted so

Play - Baseline & Net
Taking for granted Fed's FH prowess, its his BH that stands out. Particularly early in the match, he's taking them early and driving them hard. Mostly cc, but occasionally also dtl. I don't think he slices a single ball. For all that, he keeps his errors relatively low. 11 UEs is still the highest of the 4 groundstrokes on show - but there's also 7 winners (Nadal has 1 - and that was a net point), error forcing shots and otherwise, attacking play that pressures Nadal or gives Fed control of points

No problems with height. Its a high bouncing court with balls regularly rising to chest height. Fed gets on top of such balls and slaps BHs

Usually, Federer is apt to strike a lot of third ball FH winners off first serves. In this match, he hits a number of 3rd ball winners off both wings off second serves. And when rallies develop, continues hitting early, hard and deep to keep Nadal pinned back

Nadal seems rather flat. His movements - both footwork and court coverage seems a bit down, though I'm not sure if its to an unusual extent in 2017. The slow footwork is problematic, the court coverage wouldn't have mattered... Federer's winners and forcing plays would have won the points they did even with maximum fleet Nadal

He either doesn't try to step up and dictate baseline play - or isn't able to. It would have been difficult to against the kind of hitting he was up against

Usually in matches between the two, regardless of result, Nadal is the better baseliner. Not in this match. Nadal has a thin edge in consistency (14 UEs to Fed's 17), but note Fed's high 48.2 UEFI and Nadal's very low one of 42.9. Essentially, Nadal is beaten down from the baseline and just plops balls back in court passively best he can. The UEs he makes also are on the forced side for being UEs

A further indicator of Fed's superiority from the back is his barely coming to net. Sans serve-volleying and the SABR, he just comes in 3 times. He just doesn't need to - he's putting points away from behind. In fact, its probably Nadal who might have considered coming forward more. He doesn't at all. Just 1 trip forward - and that was a forced approach

Match Progression
First couple games are competitive. Fed announces his intentions with back to back winners in opening game - a FH inside-in and a BH cc - and goes on to break in a 10 point affair with error forcing deep, strong balls. Nadal has a point to break back in the next game, which he gains on back of a pair of Fed BH UEs - but that's service winner'd away - and another pair of winners sees Fed hold

Fed goes on to break a second time with 4 winners - 3 of them BHs, 2 of those returns. And serves out the set in a 5 point game ending only with winners - 4 third balls - 3 FHs, 1 FHV - plus a Nadal FH dtl pass

In second set, Fed loses just 3 points in 4 service games. Gains first break early with power returning and strong FHs. And ends the match with second break - appropriately, match ends with a step in, BH inside-in return winner

Summing up, as close to brutal as you'll see from the usually elegant Federer. His baseline play is reminiscent of a young Andre Agassi, with a strong serve thrown in. Nadal returns not well and can muster minimal counter-play

Stats for the pair's '17 Australian Open final - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...erer-australian-open-finals-2009-2017.632715/
Excellent recap; can you also detail the 2011 WTF round robin match on your next assignment?
 

Jonesy

Hall of Fame
Ah yeah, Federer strangely had a second peak of weak era coincidentally with another fact... So weird.

 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
Too bad old senile Federer mistook Rafa for Roddick that day.
This was daylight rap*
Extremelly unclassy posts, borderline hating on Nadal. These are examples of not knowing how to celebrate a victory with class. Is it not enough with Federer's victory? You need to make fun of the opponent?

Funny how you mention that Federer was old but strategically forget to mention that Nadal was old as well in that match. Anyhow, teenager non-peak Nadal beat peak Federer at Miami 2004 and Doha 2006 among others.

Does Federer have a losing H2H with Roddick? Did Roddick force Federer to skip a Slam because he was afraid he had no chance at it (RG 2017 and RG 2018)? Then Roddick cannot be compared to Nadal.

By the way, if you want a "rap*" goo see the RG 2008 final highlights or the AO 2014 semifinal highlights.
 
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Extremelly unclassy post, borderline hating on Nadal. This is an example of not knowing how to celebrate a victory with class. Is it not enough with Federer's victory? You need to make fun of the opponent?

Funny how you mention that Federer was old but strategically forget to mention that Nadal was old as well in that match. Anyhow, teenager non-peak Nadal beat peak Federer at Miami 2004 and Doha 2006 among others.

Does Federer have a losing H2H with Roddick? Did Roddick force Federer to skip a Slam because he was afraid he had no chance at it (RG 2017 and RG 2018)? Then Roddick cannot be compared to Nadal.
I am really having tough time deciding which fan base is more comprehension wise challenged.

Read my post again. It is intended to imply that the kind of defeat Rafa suffered was like those that Roddick used to and the humor bit was to underline how different Federer approached this match than his previous Rafa ones.

"Old senile Federer mistaking Rafa for Roddick" is a cheeky way of bringing to notice that Fed forgot all the beatdowns he himself suffered at Nadal's hand and played with so much confidence as if he was against Roddick rather than Rafa.

In what world did I say Roddick was comparable to Rafa ?
 

ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
Was this a better performance against Nadal than Doha 2016 ? I wonder what Rafa thinks.Maybe he changed his mind or maybe not.
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Excellent recap; can you also detail the 2011 WTF round robin match on your next assignment?
That one's here -


Better than this one, from Fed's point of view in my opinion - aesthetically and of quality

There's an element of Nadal being flat here

In the '11 match, he plays about normally - just has the racquet taken out of his hands

Of aesthetics, more elegant and artful from Fed, as opposed to brutal and powerful... which I personally prefer to look at
 

JaoSousa

Hall of Fame
That one's here -


Better than this one, from Fed's point of view in my opinion - aesthetically and of quality

There's an element of Nadal being flat here

In the '11 match, he plays about normally - just has the racquet taken out of his hands

Of aesthetics, more elegant and artful from Fed, as opposed to brutal and powerful... which I personally prefer to look at
How did Nadal only have 3 winners?
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Federer beat Nadal 6-3, 6-4 in the Miami final, 2017 on hard court

The win gave Federer his 3rd 'Sunshine Double' (back-to-back titles in Indian Wells and Miami). He had previously accomplished the feat in 2005 and 2006. It was Nadal's fifth runner-up showing in Miami, a title he has to date not won

Federer won 71 points, Nadal 56

Serve Stats
Federer...
- 1st serve percentage (39/62) 63%
- 1st serve points won (34/39) 87%
- 2nd serve points won (11/23) 48%
- Aces 5
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (15/62) 24%

Nadal...
- 1st serve percentage (41/65) 63%
- 1st serve points won (27/41) 66%
- 2nd serve points won (12/24) 50%
- Aces 4
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (18/65) 28%

Serve Pattern
Federer served...
- to FH 36%
- to BH 64%

Nadal served...
- to FH 50%
- to BH 39%
- to Body 11%

Return Stats
Federer made...
- 46 (24 FH, 22 BH)
- 2 Winners (2 FH)
- 14 Errors, comprising...
- 7 Unforced (5 FH, 2 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 7 Forced (5 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (46/64) 72%

Nadal made...
- 46 (15 FH, 31 BH)
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 10 Errors, comprising...
- 3 Unforced (2 FH, 1 BH)
- 7 Forced (1 FH, 6 BH)
- Return Rate (46/61) 75%

Break Points
Federer 2/9 (5 games)
Nadal 0/4 (3 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Federer 24 (15 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 2 BHV, 1 OH)
Nadal 10 (6 FH, 2 BH, 1 FHV, 1 OH)

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

- 3 from serve-volley points - 1 first 'volley' (1 FH1/2V) and 2 second volleys (1 BHV, 1 OH)

Nadal's FHs - 3 dtl (1 return), 1 inside-out and 1 longline at net
- BHs - 1 cc and 1 dtl

- the FHV was played net-to-net

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Federer 27
- 18 Unforced (12 FH, 6 BH)
- 9 Forced (4 FH, 2 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.9

Nadal 31
- 19 Unforced (9 FH, 10 BH)
- 12 Forced (8 FH, 3 BH, 1 Back-to-Net)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.8

(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 a measure of how aggressive of intent the average UE made was. 60 is maximum, 20 is minimum. This match has been scored using a four point scale - 2 defensive, 4 neutral, 5 attacking, 6 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Federer was...
- 15/19 (79%) at net, including...
- 8/8 (100%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves

Nadal was...
- 5/7 (71%) at net, with...
- 0/1 forced back

Match Report
A much more competitive match, particularly the first set. Federer is fluently attacking from both the back and the net and Nadal too is more offense minded than usual. Federer is considerably better within that dynamic that he's able to set and master

Serve & Return (& Serve-Volley)
The returning shapes play rather better than the serving, though both are good. Couple of points of interest

Note Nadal serving 50% to FH. How times change. He used to go 85-as high as 95% to Federer's BH. The clubbing exhibition in Indian Wells (where Nadal served 39% to FH, 54% to BH) seems to have moved him to change... and he's onto something: He's drawn a disproportionately high 9 FH errors to 5 BHs (counting a runaround FH as a BH). Some of the FH errors are to body serves too, so it isn't as simply a case of the BH being as greater of consistency as the numbers make it look, but its something

With so much directed to FH, Fed's able to return at least neutralizingly, occasionally initiative grabbingly and sometimes, damagingly (and with 2 winners). Returns are deep or wide. And when Nadal does go to BH, balls get belted back similarly to previous match. And Fed's very comfortable doing all this

It does bring home how not well he'd returned in earlier years, when he'd just poke, push and chip wholly predictable regulation serves to his BH. Nadal's serve is fairly strong - stronger than earlier years, about on par with Fed's own, though not nearly as well directed

Nadal returns from well behind the baseline. Its not an ideal move on this court and opens up potential for use of wide angles. Hitting spots is a bigger piece of the high quality of Fed's serving than overwhelming power, so this suits him

Note Fed serve-volleying 8 times, winning all 8. A good move to have as a an extra... and invited by Nadal's position

Nadal leading unreturned rates 28% to 24%, but with Fed doing a lot more damage - much of Nadal's returning leaves Fed in complete control of the point, and plays a substantial role in Fed's huge 14 point lead in winners - Fed leading in serve-return complex significantly

Play - Baseline & Net
Beautifully attacking performance from Federer, all aspects of his game being on point. The FH is deadly with 15 winners (Nadal has 10 total), the BH just 3, but the BH is he key to playing dynamics

Starting from advantageous positions, Fed lashes FHs. Usually for winners. the distribution of FH winners (5 cc , 2 dtl, 5 inside-out, 2 inside-in, 1 longline) is one of the most even you'll see from him (generally speaking, he's at his best when there's a high number of cc winners). He is not however, overly dependent on his stronger side

While obviously favouring the FH - he leans over to BH side of court and prone to backing-away and occasionally running around to hit FHs - its not to overwhelming degree. And BHs are taken early and belted cc about as thoroughly as in earlier match. The BH being so strong leaves Nadal no safe place to go to - completely different from matches in earlier years. Fed's footwork is fluent and first class. He pounces on short balls to finish points without hesitation

What of Nadal? He's wisely not 'attacking' the BH much - and when he does, regularly gets a ball back with interest of power or angle. Regularly rushed on even routine shots from a selectively-taking-ball-early Federer, Nadal is harried into playing a relatively attacking game himself

5/19 Nadal UEs are winner attempts, which is very high for him when he's relatively error prone (he also has matches where he barely misses any neutral balls, so bulk of errors are attacking shots, but that's very different to what happens here). 7/18 of Fed's are, which is also on the high side. In his case, that happens sometimes when he's playing wildly. That's not the case in this match. Rather, he's able to dictate play to the tune of making overall dynamic about shot making and point construction leading to shot making, as opposed to outlasting, outmanuvering to end points or beating down dynamic

With FH, Nadal popping the ball in around the middle of the court of line. In other words, ambiguous as far as which side he'd rather have Federer play off.... those matches in Australia and Indian Wells really seems to have done a number on his head. Fed usually goes FH

Nadal's BH is much stronger than it was in '05-'09. Hard hit and flat shots, but with it, fairly error prone (10 UEs, Fed has just 6)

I believe this is the only match between the pair I've found where Federer has fewer UEs than Nadal (18 to 19), along with forcing more errors (12 to 9) and a very large gap in winners (24 to 10) and Nadal playing decently while forced to play to Fed's attacking game... Fed's superiority in play in this match is even more impressive than the previous encounter

While footwork from Fed in particular is top quality, neither player's footspeed (court coverage) or defence is impressive. Both are rushed to reach balls slightly out of reach and can't reach balls that are a bit more than that. Nadal doesn't even try to retrieve some of Fed's less well placed attacking shots

Match Progression
There's little between the two in the first set. Despite being a game shorter, there are 17 more points in it than the second set. Both players have break points in 3 games

Fed saves the 4 he faces with some style - a step in FH cc winner, a BHV winner set up by a surprising BH inside-out approach, a FH inside-out that forces an error and another FH cc winner that was preceded by a series of strong FHs. Nadal saves 4/5 break points with unreturned serves - including an ace

Fed finally breaks with a FH inside-out that Nadal can't handle. Shot of the set is Fed half-volleying a FH dtl passing winner

By contrast, second set is uneventfully serve dominated. Fed takes about a minute for each of his first 3 holds while Nadal also has such a game, while losing 3 points in his other two holds as the score moves to 3-3

Second of the set though, Nadal's serve comes under the gun. He survives 2 break points - saving them with very bold plays, a FHV net-to-net winner after drop shotting Federer in and perfect, risky third ball BH dtl winner

Uncharacteristically aggressive BH errors puts him in trouble in his next service game and a Fed net chord pop over ball leads to both players coming to net, where Fed's lob FHV wins him the point. On break point, Nadal's slow to move to a wide return and can't put it in play. Fed serves out the match with style - a near half-volley BH dtl winner and a back-away FH inside-out winner being the picks

Summing up, a fine and entertaining match. Federer sets the tone with whipping FHs, powerful BHs that keep Nadal honest and serve-volleys while returning with attacking intent. Nadal is rushed and harried into playing the same game and is nowhere near as good at it
 
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