Duel Match Stats/Reports - Federer vs Nadal, Year End Championship semi-finals, 2006 & 2007


Hall of Fame
Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal 6-4, 7-5 in the Year End Championship (Tennis Masters Cup) semi-final, 2006 on indoor hard court in Shanghai, China

Federer would go onto beat James Blake in the final to win the title. Federer had topped his group unbeaten, Nadal had finished second in his with win-loss record 2-1, the loss having come against Blake. This was Federer's first straight set win over Nadal

Federer won 75 points, Nadal 65

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (37/60) 62%
- 1st serve points won (32/37) 86%
- 2nd serve points won (10/23) 43%
- Aces 7
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (17/60) 28%

- 1st serve percentage (55/80) 69%
- 1st serve points won (33/55) 60%
- 2nd serve points won (14/25) 56%
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (12/80) 15%

Serve Pattern
Federer served...
- to FH 39%
- to BH 59%
- to Body 2%

Nadal served...
- to FH 9%
- to BH 86%
- to Body 5%

Return Stats
Federer made...
- 66 (10 FH, 56 BH), including 2 runaround FHs
- 12 Errors, comprising...
- 7 Unforced (1 FH, 6 BH)
- 5 Forced (1 FH, 4 BH)
- Return Rate (66/78) 85%

Nadal made...
- 39 (18 FH, 21 BH), including 4 runaround FHs
- 10 Errors, comprising...
- 3 Unforced (3 BH)
- 7 Forced (4 FH, 3 BH)
- Return Rate (39/56) 70%

Break Points
Federer 3/11 (6 games)
Nadal 1/2 (2 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Federer 19 (9 FH, 1 BH, 4 FHV, 4 BHV, 1 OH)
Nadal 13 (8 FH, 5 BH)

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

- 4 from serve-volley points (1 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH), all first volleys

- 2 non-net swinging FHVs

Nadal's FHs - 3 cc, 2 dtl, 2 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- BHs - 1 cc pass, 3 dtl (1 pass) and 1 drop shot

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Federer 36
- 30 Unforced (16 FH, 12 BH, 1 BHV, 1 OH)
- 6 Forced (3 FH, 3 BH)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.3

Nadal 37
- 25 Unforced (10 FH, 15 BH)
- 12 Forced (6 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.2

(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...
- 18/22 (82%) at net, including...
- 6/7 (86%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves

Nadal was...
- 3/5 (60%) at net, including...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve

Match Report
Hard hitting match on a quick-ish court with Federer forcing the pace from the back and Nadal slow to step up from defensive position behind baseline in response. That, and Federer's serve sees him over comfortably

Its not a very good match. Fed with 19 winners to 30 UEs (he does move +1 if errors forced are added to his winners), Nadal 13 winners, 25 UEs (he's -6 even with errors forced added). Best part of action is the lightning movement shown by both. The hitting itself is mostly of the ball-bashing kind

Federer starts match with intent, holding to 15 with 3 aces and then breaking to 30 with 3 FH winners. He continues to press Nadal with net approaches and hard hit, deep groundstrokes. In response, Nadal plays from significantly behind baseline and looks to break down the Fed BH with FH cc's. With reasonable success... but it doesn't do him much good in return games, where Fed gains control of points with first serves and nurses it through with hard hit groundies and trips to net to finish points

Serving for set, Fed plays a terrible game to be broke to 0 - a double fault, 2 FH UEs and a very easy, missed OH

He breaks next game to take set though, starting the game with swinging FHV from no-man's land after pushing Nadal about from back, finishing with a strong error forcing FH and with a couple Nadal BH UEs in between

Second set is a bit better from Nadal. He steps up (a bit), leading to Federer falling back (a bit) and the two move one around (mildly). Nadal continues to go after Fed's BH more often than not but short of systematically and also makes errors going wide with FH cc's. Fed lets go shots at FH inside-out point enders and goes for pressuring, hard hit inside-ins instead

Its not attractive tennis... basically, slightly refined ball bashing. Movement though is outstanding from both - especially Federer. His footspeed is probably a shade better than Nadal's while footwork from both is top rate from both

In latter part of second set, Nadal takes to genuinely stepping up and often hits from inside the court, flattening out shots more. He's not bad at it and if you weren't familiar with his game (or what he'd shown earlier in match), there'd be no reason to think he's out of his element. The BH does tend to miss attacking shots, but so does Federer's FH

Federer's serve and net play still leaves him with advantage, with rest of play about equal. Nadal survives 2 break and match points to hold a 14 point game to take score to 5-5, but is broken in 10 point game just shy of tiebreak. Federer ends match on an unbroken 24 returns made run - 21 of them BHs

Serve & Return

The standout stat is Federer winning a huge 86% first serve points. And that's with a moderate 28% unreturned serves, though the 7 aces are above norm for him

While Fed does serve with typical strength, this as considerably due to his play, not just his serve. Nadal returns regularly and Fed doesn't kill off points at once with third ball baseline shots. In other words, he has to nurse his advantage on third ball to winning points - which he does 19/23 points (sans aces and serve-volley points, but including other unreturned first serves)

The other notable point is Fed's 85% return rate. This is as much about ordinariness of Nadal's serve as surety of Fed's return.... he has 0 aces, and 7/10 return errors he draws have been marked unforced. The usual stream to Fed's BH (86%) makes it typically predictable too. Fed doesn't do much with returns other than put them in play, usually neutralizingly or with a small third ball initiative for Nadal. Can't keep the third ball off Nadal's FH either

Play - Baseline & Net
While Fed's high first serve points won involves court skills starting with initiative, Nadal probably remains the slightly better player and certainly from the baseline - which is another way of crediting Fed for coming to net and being good up there

Virtually all of Nadal's service points start 50-50. But he wins 60% off first serve and 56% of second (also 60% sans double faults... Fed edges just past 50% non-double fault second serve points also, but is down to 43% overall)

Fed's baseline game is based on hitting hard and deep FHs, while going for the winner when the chance arises (he tends not to go for them out of the blue) or coming to net to finish. Off the BH, he looks to hold up against Nadal's FHs

In the final against James Blake by contrast, he smacked BH winners regularly all match. Here, he has just 1 in the last game of the match, a terrific dtl from outside doubles alley

Fed's FH with match high 9 winners (just 1 more than Nadal's) and 16 UEs (1 more than Nadal's BH). The errors go up in last part of match when Nadal steps up and looks to ball-bashingly 'attack'. That Fed is able to keep action his FH vs Nadal BH to large extent in this, most lively part of match would be a strategic win for him

Fed's net play flows organically from baseline play. He comes in after collaring points from back, usually off strong approaches. Good move - its the best, high percentage way to finish against Nadal. Just a couple of errors up front - a not easy reaction BHV and a completely easy OH putaway - plus a couple blazing Nadal passes are the only points he loses up there. Also knocks away a couple of swinging FHV winners from no-man's land

Initially, Nadal's court positioning is off. He's playing from too far back behind baseline, as he he might on clay. Even with his court coverage, its a losing position. Fed exploits well, with even not sharp angles proving effective or coming to net. Still, he's largely successful in breaking down Fed's BH

For lions share of second set, Nadal moves up to baseline or even inside court and looks to hit hard and flat. Power, not placement is base of his 'attack' (its more like going for beatdown UEs than forcing errors) and he yields errors of both sides, though slightly less so than Fed. Fed's court coverage and defence is also first rate... lots of hard hit balls put back with authority

This hard-hitting, beat down dynamic seems to suit Fed more than persistent high rising top spin Nadal FHs to his BH

Summing up, smart and solid showing from Federer who serves strongly and is able to exploit Nadal's overly defensive court position to start and later, guides him to a ball-bashing battle that suits him more than Nadal. Nadal can do little with the serve and though typically tough from the back to the tune of just about edging action, can't find a way to boss Fed from there as he often does

Stats for the final between Federer and James Blake - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-federer-vs-blake-year-end-championship-final-2006.670649/
Stats for '06 French Open final - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-nadal-vs-federer-french-open-final-2006.632972/
Stats for '06 Wimbledon final - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-federer-vs-nadal-wimbledon-final-2006.659778/


Hall of Fame
In 2007, Federer beat Nadal 6-4, 6-1 in the semi-final

Federer would go onto beat David Ferrer in the final to win the title. Federer had topped his group with win-loss record 2-1, having lost to Fernando Gonzalez who finished 4th. Nadal had been second in his with the same win-loss record, having lost to the unbeaten Ferrer

Federer won 53 points, Nadal 34

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (40/48) 83%
- 1st serve points won (32/40) 80%
- 2nd serve points won (5/8) 63%
- Aces 11 (1 not clean), Service Winners 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (22/48) 46%

- 1st serve percentage (27/39) 69%
- 1st serve points won (17/27) 63%
- 2nd serve points won (6/12) 50%
- Aces 1
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (10/39) 26%

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

Nadal served...
- to FH 13%
- to BH 87%

Return Stats
Federer made...
- 28 (6 FH, 22 BH), including 3 runaround FHs
- 1 Winner (1 FH), a runaround FH
- 9 Errors, comprising...
- 8 Unforced (3 FH, 5 BH), including 2 runaround FHs
- 1 Forced (1 BH)
- Return Rate (28/38) 74%

Nadal made...
- 26 (12 FH, 14 BH)
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 10 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (2 FH, 2 BH)
- 6 Forced (4 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (26/48) 54%

Break Points
Federer 3/4 (3 games)
Nadal 0/1

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Federer 13 (7 FH, 2 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)
Nadal 9 (4 FH, 3 BH, 2 FHV)

Federer's FHs - 1 cc, 3 dtl (1 runaround return), 1 inside-out, 1 inside-in and 1 longline
- BHs (both passes) - 2 cc

- 2 from serve-volley points - (1 FHV, 1 BHV), both second volleys... the BHV was played net-to-net

Nadal's FHs - 1 cc pass, 2 dtl (1 pass) and 1 inside-out return
- BH - 2 cc (1 pass) and 1 dtl pass

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

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Federer 15
- 12 Unforced (8 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV)
- 3 Forced (3 BH)... with 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 50

Nadal 17
- 8 Unforced (5 FH, 3 BH)
- 9 Forced (4 FH, 5 BH)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.5

(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...
- 11/18 (61%) at net, including...
- 7/10 (70%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 5/8 (63%) off 1st serve and...
- 2/2 off 2nd serve
- 0/1 retreating

Nadal was...
- 5/8 (63%) at net, including...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve
- 1/1 forced back/retreated

Match Report
Strange match. For 9 games, match is even with both players holding serve comfortably - Federer on back of strong serving, Nadal being a rock. Next 8 games, Nadal falls apart, which is very, very unusual for him

Nadal falling apart accounts for him losing, but that isn't to say he'd win if he hadn't. The outstanding stat here is Federer serving at 83% ... has he ever served higher? It would be a very, very tall task to beat him with that tune playing in the background

Other slightly surprising stat is Federer with just 3 BH UEs - same as Nadal, and 5 less than he has on FH (which isn't too uncommon). His BH isn't particularly steady, he just doesn't play many. 46% unreturned serves gives him license to go for broke in play and he moves to take FHs and lashes them - either making errors (8 UEs) or ending the point (7 winners and some of Nadal's 9 FEs)... his BH doesn't come into it

Upto 5-4 in the first set...
Federer -
- runs on his serve. 13/29 serves are unreturned or 45%, including 7 aces and a service winner
- lives and dies off his FH quickly - more dies than lives (4 winners, 6 UEs), but with cushion of unreturned serves to fall back on, its good enough to hold
- starts returning poorly. Whereas he'd ended previous years match on run of 24 returns made, he starts this one missing his first 6 - ones an ace, the other are just regulation returns

Nadal -
- has 1 UE, and that was against a hard hit ball and quite tough for a UE. Federer has 8, plus a number on the return
- rallies end quickly with Fed doing the ending one way or another. So not as rock solid as he can be, limited as he is by Fed's play, but solid as possible which comes to the same thing
- plays from standard positions, unlike previous year. He doesn't fall unduly and isn't slow to aggresively finish points himself

After 5-4 in the first set...
First 3 points of are all Nadal UEs - a rare FH blink going cc to Fed's BH, a regulation BH and a FH dtl winner attempt miss to open court. Fed goes on to be break with a very good FH dtl winner

Starting with last point of the set, Fed wins 14 points in a row. Starting from the start of the game, he wins 17 out of 18 points

Highlights from Federer include a running, blocked BH cc passing winner from completely defensive position and a top notch, running, low, wide drop BHV winner. Nadal helps with random and uncharacteristic errors. Fed's serving quality drops a bit (though not his percentage) and he sends down a few unforceful first serves but Nadal misses those too. He seems a bit rattled and gives up a bit after losing 14 points in a row. He's up 30-15 in game 4 before missing 2 groundies and then double faulting to go down 2 breaks

To his credit, Fed doesn't let up, tightens up his game to shave errors, hits hard and wide from regulation positions and comes to net regularly including with serve-volleys. Somewhat the mirror image of first set, he's limited from shining more by Nadal's play

Serve & Return
Usually, someone like Federer who has a strong first serve, serving at 83% suggests he's holding back on it. That's somewhat true in second set, not in the first

down 0-30 in game 5 first set, he sends down 4 aces in a row (Nadal gets a tiny nick on the last), and starts the next game with a service winner

Second set, Fed does send down the odd unforceful first serve, which is rare for him, especially against Nadal. 3 of them still draw return errors

Nadal's serve seems just a bit stronger than previous year. Still well in the less-than-strong category though. 1 ace and 8/9 errors he's drawn have been marked unforced. And still the usual near 90% directed to BH

On top of his usual passive BH returning, Fed looks to runaround to smack FHs fairly regularly. Facing 11 second serves, he goes that route 5 times - missing 2 and hitting a winner. All aggresive shots

Not a whole lot Nadal can do on return. Return rate of 54% if obviously poor, but with Fed serving as he does and serve-volleying regularly (10 times), he'd have to be superb to do significantly better than even that

Play - Baseline & Net
On top of his quick-ending with FH strategy from the back, Fed regularly comes to net. He ends up serve-volleying almost 1/2 the time off possible first serves (8/20 or 40%)... in fact, he'd have done well to have done so more: many of the first serves he doesn't come in behind drag Nadal wide out back

From rallies, he comes in behind hard hit and deep shots more than wide. Wins just 4/8 doing so

Nadal is solid and strong in his neutral hitting for first half of match. To the extent he has the chance, he doesn't target Fed's BH. In an unusual run of play, he approaches early off FH cc's to Fed's BH on 1 of his service games... and follows up with a serve-volley point... very uncharacteristic

He has the first break point of the match, which turns out to be his only one on back of a terrific BH cc winner and a FH inside-out return winner. Fed comes out of it with strong play

Couple of bad service games - the last game of the first set and the second of the second set where he has 5 UEs - seems to break his spirit (in conjunction with 2 Fed love holds on either side)

Does hit a couple of fantastic dtl passing winners - 1 of each side - as Fed serves out the match, but match is more than done by then

Summing up, extraordinary serving from Federer along with quick points he decides one way or the other with the FH and regular serve-volleying leaves Nadal helpless on return. Nadal maintains enough off the ground to command his own service games for half the match, before crumbling in the second half

Stats for pair's '07 French Open final - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-nadal-vs-federer-french-open-final-2007.658317/
Stats for pair's '07 Wimbledon final - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-federer-vs-nadal-wimbledon-final-2007.633831/
Stats for the pair's '10 YEC final - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-federer-vs-nadal-year-end-championship-final-2010.658033/


I always felt like the stat sheet didn't do the 06 match justice. The level of play off the ground was very intense and some errors were made going for some low margin shots. Fed wanted to send a message there and apart from the ridiculously bad game in the first(which he immediately made up for), he did. Nadal did very well to hang in the 2nd set for as long as he did, Fed was overall clearly the better player.

The 07 match was a much more cookie cutter match, way fewer theatrics. The first was a solid set, but neither guy was moving or hitting quite like 2006, and Nadal kind of lost the plot in the 2nd.