Duel Match Stats/Reports - Murray vs Raonic, Wimbledon & Queen’s Club finals, 2016

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Andy Murray beat Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(2) in the Wimbledon final, 2016 on grass

It was Murray's second title at the event and third Slam final in a row. He'd won the title at Queen's Club (beating Raonic in the final) leading into it and for rest of year, would lose just 3 matches while winning 6 tournaments - including the Olympics and the Year End Championship - to finish year end #1. To date, it remains Raonic's only Slam final.

Murray won 115 points, Raonic 102

Raonic serve-volleyd about half the time off first serves

Serve Stats
Murray...
- 1st serve percentage (69/103) 67%
- 1st serve points won (60/69) 87%
- 2nd serve points won (19/34) 56%
- Aces 8 (1 not clean), Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (34/103) 33%

Raonic...
- 1st serve percentage (73/114) 64%
- 1st serve points won (49/73) 67%
- 2nd serve points won (29/41) 71%
- Aces 8 (1 second serve)
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (29/114) 25%

Serve Patterns
Murray served...
- to FH 49%
- to BH 45%
- to Body 7%

Raonic served...
- to FH 35%
- to BH 51%
- to Body 14%

Return Stats
Murray made...
- 84 (33 FH, 51 BH)
- 2 Winners (2 BH)
- 21 Errors, comprising...
- 2 Unforced (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 19 Forced (7 FH, 12 BH)
- Return Rate (84/113) 74%

Raonic made...
- 67 (37 FH, 30 BH), including 4 runaround FHs & 3 return-approaches
- 2 Winners (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 25 Errors, comprising...
- 9 Unforced (7 FH, 2 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 16 Forced (9 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (67/101) 66%

Break Points
Murray 1/7 (5 games)
Raonic 0/2 (1 game)

Winners (excluding serves, including returns)
Murray 28 (7 FH, 15 BH, 3 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)
Raonic 30 (7 FH, 3 BH, 9 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 5 BHV, 5 OH)

Murray had 13 passes (1 FH, 12 BH)
- FH - 1 cc
- BHs - 7 cc (1 return, 1 possibly not clean), 3 dtl, 1 inside-out/dtl and 1 inside-in return

- non-pass FHs - 2 cc, 3 inside-out and 1 net chord dribbler
- non-pass BHs - 1 dtl, 1 longline and 1 drop shot

- 1 BHV was a swinging shot

Raonic had 9 from serve-volley points
- 6 first 'volleys' (2 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH, 1 FH at net)
- 3 second volleys (1 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH)

- FHs - 1 cc/inside-in, 2 inside-out (1 return), 1 inside-out/longline, 1 inside-in and 1 inside-in/cc
- BHs - 1 dtl return, 1 longline (bad bounce related) and 1 net chord dribbler at net

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Murray 41
- 16 Unforced (5 FH, 11 BH)
- 25 Forced (9 FH, 16 BH)... with 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 43.1

Raonic 52
- 39 Unforced (19 FH, 12 BH, 5 FHV, 3 BHV)... with 1 BH at net
- 13 Forced (3 FH, 6 BH, 2 FHV, 2 BHV)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net & 1 BH at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.7

(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
Murray was...
- 13/17 (76%) at net, with...
- 1/2 forced back

Raonic was...
- 50/81 (62%) at net, including...
- 21/32 (66%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves
---
- 1/3 (33%) return-approaching
- 0/1 forced back

Match Report
Excellent showing from Murray as he commands one of the more interesting modern Wimbledon finals. Raonic serve-volleys and otherwise looks to take net for offence. Murray stays on baseline. Both serve well. Murray has much the better of play and his returning in particular is top drawer and the passing very good

Its not enough to guarentee a win, as is often the case on grass especially against a huge server. Just 1 break in the match. With Murray returning so well, his odds in tiebreaks would be good. And so it turns out

Points won - Murray 115, Raonic 102
Points served - Murray 103, Raonic 114
.... or Murray winning 53% of points while serving 47% of them

Break points - Murray 1/7 (5 games), Raonic 0/2 (1 game)

Fairly comfortable advantage for Murray

Raonic has the bigger serve (naturally enough), but Murray returns so well that basic stats have come out amusingly deceptive in that regard

1st serve in - Murray 67%, Raonic 64%
1st serve points won - Murray 87%, Raonic 67%
2nd serve points won - Murray 56%, Raonic 71%

Those numbers looks like Murray is the more serve-shot dependent and Raonic the better court player, don't they?

Serve, Return & Serve-Volley
Both with 8 aces apiece - Murray serving them at slightly greater rate [12% of 1st serve, 13% including a service winner to Rao's 11% (excluding a 2nd serve ace)] and Murray leading unreturneds by significant 33% to 25% see to support the Murray bigger server, Rao better court player look of basic stats

Its only getting into break down of return errors that hint at the actual situation of Rao being the bigger server

- Return UEs - Murray 2, Rao 9
- Return FEs - Murray 19, Rao 16

Gist of serve-return complex is Rao the more powerful server (though Murray serves well too) but Murray the much better returner (Rao's returning is... complicated). Rao doesn't go all in power serving. Murray's returning is as good as it gets

On whole, Rao plays a sensible game (as opposed to an overaggressive or foolishly aggressive one). Including on the serve and the return. The serve is smart enough, the return, possibly less so on unadventurous side

By his standard, Rao holds back a touch on the serve fairly often. Only by his standard, to be clear - he's still serving huge. Its a good move to keep in-count so high while still being very powerful. He's usually in the 130s, very rarely goes into 140 range and occasionally drops to mid 120s

For him, that's toned down - he's quite capable of being in 130s all the time and regularly pushing past 140s. Also a good move in light of serve-volleying 48% of the time off first serves. He's not fast or great on the volley (more on that later) and full blasted serves are liable to leave him in no-man's land when he's serve-volleying

Excellent second serving though. Most of his second serves would qualify as forceful. Winning more 2nd serve points than 1sts is odd, but understandable against returner like Murray. The harder he serves, the harder it comes back - and Rao serves harder first serves, though he serves everything hard by any reasonable standard

Rao winning just 67% first serve points reflects a huge win for Murray. That figure could easily be up around 80%. 71% 2nd serve points won by contrast is a huge win for Rao
 
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Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Murray's returning is first class in all ways. Not caught out by direction and apparently reading the serve. Moving over to cover wide serves matter of factly. Firmly hitting the returns so as to neutralize, not just get back in play. Missing precious little. All boxes checked

Against the serve-volleying, he returns superbly. Typical return reaches Rao firmly and just under the net. Not forceful, but testing Rao on the 'regulation +' volley

Rao wins 21/32 or 66% serve-volleying and 21/34 or 62% staying back off first serves (excluding aces)

Despite huge 87% first serves won, Murray too holds back on the first serves, mixing them up, not going for too much or aiming too wide majority of the time. And by his standard, Rao returns well in that he gets most back in play. Not with authority as Murray does, but nto weakly either. Murray retains small initiative off third ball

The huge win rate is largely due to Murray's superiority in court action. On the serve and return itself, smart and good from Murray on the first serve, and pretty good by Rao on the return

Murray's 2nd serve is a different story and good lot of what he sends down is asking to be attacked. Rao tries - with moderate success. There's scope to do more. He's got 2 return winners, 4 runaround FHs (all of them blasted hard) and 3 return-approaches. And 9 return UEs

57% 2nd serve points won is good enough for Murray, particularly in light of high 1st serve in count but far short of Rao's 71%. On second serving and returning, ordinary to weak from Murray on the serve, smart attempt to be aggressive by Rao with some success. Destroying this 2nd serve is do-able but would be beyond Rao's general capabalities on the 2nd shot

Play - Baseline & Net
From baseline, Murray engages in hard hitting, beat-down play off both sides. For him, its a step up from norm of close to neutral hitting. He remains consistent and Rao is pushed back to reactive (and sometimes defensive) position from where he gives up errors

Not too attacking from Murray. He's not blasting balls into corners looking for kill shots. But is measured in his hard hitting play. Baseline to baseline, Rao is outmatched

Bulk of such points end in UEs, with Rao's being on hard side, beaten out of him (as opposed to missing routine balls or attacking). Groundstroke UEs read -

- Murray FH 5
- Murray BH 11
- Rao BH 12
- Rao FH 19

BH UEs being about equal is very good from Rao's point of view. Murray's is substantially better - its the hardest hit and most commanding shot on show. Match high 15 winners is mostly about passes (just 3 baseline-to-baseline BH winners for Murray, to Rao's effective 0), but Murray's BH controls plays

Very secure display off the FH from Murray. Not as authoritive of the FH, but more than making up for it in consistency. Rao meanwhile, as with rest of his play, is not aggressive off the FH. Power inside-outs or inside-ins are rare and he looks to counter-punch. Just not very consistent of that side

Rao looks to attack by coming to net. Rallying to net figures read -
- Rao 28/46 or 61%
- Murray 13/17 or 76%

Again, its a sound approach to play by Rao. In general, he tends to favour attacking FH play, but isn't particularly efficient when engaging in it. Trailing in hitting, its unlikely that wouldn't be the case were he to have gone in for it here. Utilizing advantage accrued from his serve and occasionally manufacturing a slice approach from neutral postion though works out quite well

Murray doesn't come in because he doesn't have to. As UE counts indicate, he's very capable to finishing points by bashing away from the back. There's plenty of scope for him to and Rao's groundgame doesn't promise tough passing. He does it in final tiebreak and ends points easily

The Rao at net vs Murray on baseline battles are measured from Murray. He goes for 2-shot passing combos - the first pass a little wide or as low as he can get them (chances of drawing an error, but more than that, designed to draw a non-finishing volleying) and the second pass going for the winner against a forced, non-finishing volley

Its either tailored to, or ends up fitting Rao's volleying ability neatly. Good lot of slightly below net, firmly struck passes that Rao can't volley with authority. Only the best of best volleyers do better against this sort of passing and he misses a few which is also common against this calibre of counter-attack

8 UEs on the volley by Rao has room for improvement but like his groundies, relatively difficult for being UEs. On the second pass, Murray's excellent at whistling the ball through for winners

In all -
- Murray has 13 passsing winners to Rao's 21 'volleying' ones (including a half-volley and a groundstroke at net)
- Bulk of Murray's 25 FEs would be passes. Rao has 9 UEs (including a BH at net) and 6 FEs (including a BH, excluding a running-down-drop-shot shto at net)

In short, Rao getting better of things when at net but Murray doing more than well enough to gain counter-play. In practical terms, Murray's doing well enough that he's liable to gain breaking chances (so good for him) and Rao's probably doing better than he would attacking from the back and certainly more so than rallying neutrally from there (so good for him also)

A good contest, in other words

Match Progression
Murray has better of first set. He's able to return with impressive comfort, given the overwhelming nature of Raonic's serve

Still, its not to decisive extent. Rao saves an early break point with an error forcing third ball FH cc off a 2nd serve. Murray gets the break in game 7, with Rao missing 2 not-easy volleys (1st is regulation under net, 2nd is regulation, slighlty more powerful) and a third ball attacking, back-away FH inside-out. Murray's taken to deuce the game after, without being in particular trouble. He's up 40-15 in the game and after a coule of missed BHs takes it deuce, Murray sends down a coupel of big serves to seal the game

Murray serves 28 points in the set to Rao's 29

By contrast, Murray has much better of second set, but can't get the break. He serves 37 points to Rao's 50 and is 0/4 on break points across 3 seperate games to Rao's 0

More serve-volleying and net play by Rao in the set, but with Murray getting better grip agains it, Rao loses substantial lof of net points

Minor 'chokes' from Murray on break points - 3 of them end with UEs - all neutral, regulation shots. Most of time, he's extremely consistent on these types of shots

Tiebreak starts in worst possible way for Rao as he misses a simple BH at net to give up mini-break. A beautifully placed BH forces a BH at net error from teh approaching Rao next point and Murray takes net point after to make it 3-0. Murray scampers to lob Rao back to baseline a couple of points after and then passes him FH cc when he re-approaches to gain 2nd mini-break and follows up by smacking a rare BH dtl winner. From 6-1 up, Murray finishes the set 7-3, with Rao missing a 2nd seve return

Third set is near enough even, with Rao if anything having better of it. He has his only break points of the match - 2 of them - which he can't convert, while Murray has none. Murray serves 38 points, Rao 35 in it

Great tiebreak from Murray though as he wins 3/3 net points and smacks 2 baseline-to-baseline winners (1 set up by strong serve, the other a return) and passes Rao for the 6th time BH cc. Rao is down 0-5 and 1-6 and never in before Murray wraps up by coming to net to draw a H passing error

Summing up, very good match. Murray's returning is the best of it as he largely neutralizes, let alone fails to struggle, against the huge Raonic serve. From the baseline, he's hard hitting and beats down an outmatched Raonic. When Raonic is at net, he passes smartly and well - the first pass designed to draw a weak volley and the second, to end the point. All supported by rabbit enthusiastic and quick movement

A smart match from Raonic too, who takes something off the huge serve, but powers down big second serves and confines his attacks to serve-volleying and net play. Returns challenging first serves well enough but isn't able to attack very attackable second serves regularly

Murray considerably the better player and his return and passing (in that order) would put odds of him coming out on top, as he does

Stats for 2013 final between Murray and Novak Djokovic - Duel Match Stats/Reports - Murray vs Djokovic, Wimbledon final & Olympic Games semi-final, 2013 & 2012 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Murray beat Raonic 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-3 in the Queen’s Club final, 2016 on grass

It was defending champion Murray’s record breaking 5th title at the event and Raonic’s first (and to date, last) final. The match took place just before Wimbledon

Murray won 91 points, Raonic 86

Raonic serve-volleyed a little less than half the time off first serve

Serve Stats
Murray...
- 1st serve percentage (62/84) 74%
- 1st serve points won (52/62) 84%
- 2nd serve points won (10/22) 45%
- Aces 6, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (28/84) 33%

Raonic...
- 1st serve percentage (68/93) 73%
- 1st serve points won (53/68) 78%
- 2nd serve points won (11/25) 44%
- Aces 15 (1 second serve, 1 not clean), Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (33/93) 35%

Serve Patterns
Murray served...
- to FH 33%
- to BH 64%
- to Body 4%

Raonic served...
- to FH 32%
- to BH 59%
- to Body 9%

Return Stats
Murray made...
- 57 (14 FH, 43 BH)
- 2 Winners (2 BH)
- 17 Errors, comprising...
- 2 Unforced (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 15 Forced (7 FH, 8 BH)
- Return Rate (57/90) 63%

Raonic made...
- 55 (18 FH, 37 BH)
- 21 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (1 FH, 3 BH)
- 17 Forced (5 FH, 12 BH)
- Return Rate (55/83) 66%

Break Points
Murray 4/7 (4 games)
Raonic 1/1

Winners (excluding serves, including returns)
Murray 25 (9 FH, 10 BH, 4 FHV, 2 BHV)
Raonic 27 (11 FH, 1 BH, 4 FHV, 4 BHV, 7 OH)

Murray had 10 passes (2 FH, 8 BH)
- FHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl
- BHs - 2 cc, 6 dtl (2 returns)

- non-pass FHs - 3 cc, 1 cc/inside-in, 1 dtl/inside-out, 1 inside-in/cc, 1 drop shot
- non-pass BHs - 1 inside-out, 1 drop shot

- 1 FHV was a swinging inside-out/longline, non-net shot

Raonic had 8 from serve-volley points
- 6 first 'volleys' (1 FHV, 2 BHV, 2 OH, 1 FH at net)... 1 OH was from no-man's land, well behind service line
- 2 second volleys (2 OH)

- FHs - 2 dt, 1 dtl/inside-out, 5 inside-out, 2 inside-in (1 pass)
- BH - 1 dtl

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Murray 25
- 11 Unforced (3 FH, 7 BH, 1 FHV)... the FHV was a swinging shot from slightly behind service line
- 14 Forced (6 FH, 8 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.3

Raonic 35
- 20 Unforced (11 FH, 4 BH, 1 FHV, 4 BHV)
- 15 Forced (3 FH, 8 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 50

(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 are keyed on 4 categories - 20 defensive, 40 neutral, 50 attacking and 60 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Murray was 9/11 (82%) at net

Raonic was...
- 27/47 (57%) at net, including...
- 15/23 (65%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves

Match Report
Great match which answers a hitherto theoretical question. What might a ‘redlining’ Andy Murray look like? He’s beyond his ceiling in a stunning display, against an in form and very strong Raonic

25 winners, 25 errors (11 UEs, 14 FEs) from Murray. Rao ain’t too shabby either with 27 winners, 20 UEs while forcing 24 errors from the very resilient to error Murray

So what does a redlining Murray look like? One would think some combo of -
- good serving (high in count, with meaty first serves)
- very strong returning (making lots of returns with neutralizing authority and if server is strong, making him look ordinary in process
- very steady from the baseline (low UEs)
- tough from the baseline (low FEs, and dealing with potential FEs well)
- successful moderate attacking (moving opponent around, maybe a few BH dtl winners)

All but the last mentioned are abundantly present. The last piece is replaced with something more decisive

- bold, attacking play, including shot-making, touch and net play. He’s dismissing third ball FH winners, and not off very weak returns. Or hammering the ball wide and taking net for easy finish. Or taking weaker balls out of the air an dispatching swinging volleys from no-man’s land. Or quick-dash approaching. And doing it quickly, no hanging around for 12 shot neutral rally before seizing the moment. There’s a couple of lovely drop shot winners thrown in for good measure (1 of each side)

- passes fantastically. Raonic comes in off powerful, wide groundstrokes that have potential to end the point even without an approach. Murray runs everything down and on the run (sometimes full run) nails needle threading passing winners, off both wings and in both directions. When that’s not possible, he manages to get softer shot off low and wide for Raonic to deal with (which he usually manages)

Oddly, one of the things he’s better known for is absent. Not many lobs from Murray and what there are well-dispatched by Raonic, but who needs to lob when you can pass so well on the run? There isn’t an area where Murray isn’t stellar, but the passing stands out even from that

And Raonic? He plays very well. If big serving is a given for him, big second serving isn’t, but that’s here. Second serve would make a decent first serve and first serves are his usual bombs. Attacks both from back and front of court. From back, with big FHs but sensibly. Sometimes, a big FH for the kill, sometimes, a toned down attacking shot to approach behind. From the front, both serve-volleying and coming in off commanding position. Even his BH is steady, as much as Murray’s in fact

His not having Murray’s defence or movement is a given, but he returns with decent force. Doesn’t cough up putaway balls with the second shot (though they get putaway anyway), against a strong serve

He finally ends up faltering a little (stress on little), with his kill shots - missing volleys and small number of would-be FH winners. For the ground errors, I would somewhat credit Murray’s retrieving for pushing Raonic to go for lines and thus missing a few. Crediting a guys defence for another guy missing easy shots is one of the most overused and ridiculous common assessments in tennis, but here, there’s some truth to it. Powerful attacking shots aren’t finishing points against Murray and even coming in behind them don’t do because of the improbable passing winners he keeps making. And Raonic isn’t letting the grass grow under his feet either (which you wouldn’t expect from him, if not Murray) and the balls he attacks with his FH aren’t overly weak ones to begin with

Its not a stretch to call Raonic’s showing a great one too. And its not unrewarded. He’s in prime position to win the match, up a set and 3-0 (1 break) before Murray gets hot

Match is high quality all the way, but better broken down into two parts; The normal high quality one with Raonic having slight advantage and the Murray zoning one, where he leaves a still strong Raonic in the dust

Part 1 - Normal High Quality
First part is server dominated. High quality first set along those lines - no breaks, no break points, 1 deuce game - and Rao takes the tiebreak. Then grabs early break in second set and consolidates it for 3-0

Just high quality, server dominated stuff. Common enough on grass

Upto that stage -
Points won - Raonic 50, Murray 37, Raonic with sole break

Raonic has 14 winners, forces 9 errors, 8 UEs, to go with unreturned rate of 48%
+6 winners/UE differential, +15 with errors forced thrown in

Murray has 8 winners, forces 7 errors, 4 UEs and has 30% unreturned rate
+4 winners/UE differential, + 11 with errors forced added

Good going from both players, Rao’s stronger serve giving him prospective and more importantly, real edge, with playing dynamic along expected lines of Raonic more aggressive, Murray steadier

While not as steady as his opponent, Raonic is steady enough for the most exacting critic. Same can’t be said for Murray’s aggression. He’s not passive by any means and its Rao’s proactivity (and serve) that results in Raonic attacking more often than not, but there is room for more from Murray. Though given his general game, one wouldn’t expect him to do more than he’s done

Which brings us to...
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Part 2 - Murray Zoning
Second parts start with Murray trailing 0-3 in second set, and he can do no wrong during it. Can’t miss a ball, takes 2-3 good strong wide shots to force an error out of, returns more regularly despite Raonic’s serve remaining just as strong as it had been earlier, starts dominating and successfully attacking from the back and front… all the things mentioned earlier

During this phase -
Points won - Murray 54, Raonic 36, Murray breaking 4 times

Murray has 17 winners, forces 8 errors, 7 UEs and has 37% unreturned rate
+10 winners/UE differential, + 18 with errors forced added

Raonic has 13 winners, forces 6 errors, 12 UEs, to go with unreturned rate of 24%
+1 winners/UE differential, +7 with errors forced thrown in

And Raonic remains on the ball. Still serves well - his in-count in this phase is 34/49 or 69%. Returns much as he had earlier. Serve-volleys, comes to net, goes for his FHs, stays steady

Its just that Murray’s raised his game in all ways to dominate proceedings. Breaking a 69% serving Raonic 4/8 times, while losing 9 points in holding 8 times

Stats of Interest
Murray with very high 74% first serves in. He tends to have lower percentages in the mid-50s. He’s hit a good balance. Not going all in with the serve, but still strong. And a decent second serve

Raonic with 15 aces and a service winner comes to 22% of first serves. Excellent figure, particularly against Murray

Murray well in postives winners/UEs off both wings. On FH 9 winners, 3 UEs, on the BH 10 and 7
Both wings are important. FH as numbers indicate is the most dominant shot in the match - and Raonic’s FH is formidable opposition. BH handles the passing and has 6 such winners

Raonic playing aggressive FH, steady BH game. His norm, but BH staying steady isn’t something he can count on. Just 4 UEs - better than Murray’s 7, so he’s done well there (and for him, doubly so). FH firing with match high 11 winners but also match high 11 UEs

Neutral UEs - Murray 6, Raonic 8
…. is a surprise and would be a win for Raonic, if things proceeded normally. They don’t as Murray’s not relying on grinding errors out of Raonic, but bullying and thrashing him

The 5 UEs on volley by Raonic is the only thing in the match from either player that’s less than good. Still, he’s got 18 volleying winners, more than enough to stay ahead of the curve. Its Murray’s 10 passing winners - most of them improbable ones or set up by drawing weak low volleys from very defensive positions - that’s clipped Raonic’s wings at net

Rallying to net, Raonic wins just 12/24 - that’s coming in behind strong stuff and being decisive in his finishing
Murray’s 9/11 at net, all rallying forward. Also behind strong shots, and Raonic doesn’t have it in him to make full running strong passes at odd angles the way Murray does

Raonic with 2 winners, Murray forcing 1 extra errors means aggressively ended points are all but equal - Murray 40, Raonic 41
As are neutral UEs

Its Murray’s attacking efficiency that’s particularly good compared to opponent. Just 5 attacking and winner attempt UEs for those 40 aggressively ended points. Raonic has 12 - which is good, but Murray’s ratio is as good as it gets

Match Progression
Excellent first set, with the two almost perfectly matched in result. Rao has big in-count, serves big second serves, serve-volleys a bit and moves over to plays FHs regularly. Not many BHs from him. Murray hits some amazing counter-attacking winners on the run - both passes and otherwise

From 40-0 up, Murray’s taken to deuce with Rao knocking away a FH cc winner and hammering a FH cc to force an error. After Murray holds, no more deuce games for the set as both servers cruice

Many great shots . Murray knocks off a couple BH cc pass winners in first part of the set - 1 on the run, the other while stretched out. Also counter-attackingly puts a tough ball back in play very deep, that Rao’s up to easing over the net to open court on half-volley from baseline. Other memorable winners include another counter-attacking FH cc from Murray, a low FHV deftly handled by Rao and a perfect move aside FH inside-out from him

More great shots first set alone than the entire Wimby final. And its on to tiebreak

Rao works his way to net beautifully to BHV a winner and start with a mini-break. Murray himself comes to net to good effect himself, including making a half-volley there before going on to win the point, but remains a mini behind, with Rao to serve at 5-4. Murray levels by holding steady against a few strong FHs, before catching Rao out with a deep ball to the BH

After Rao dispatches a smash from no-man’s land behind his serve, its Murray to serve down set point. He comes to net but has to deal with a very difficult power ball wide and at feet level. He manages to get that back, but Rao’s up the court to dispatch the rejoined for a FH pass winner to take the set. No UEs in the ‘breaker

Statistically as well in the flesh, two player have been in lock-step with one another for the set

- 1st serve in - Rao 26/36, Mur 28/38
- 1st serve won - Rao 23/26, Mur 24/28
- 2nd serve won - Rao 6/10, Mur 5/10

Rao follows up in best to follow up in the second set. Sandwiched between 2, all first serve love hold, he gains the first break. FHV and FH inside-out winners bring up break point and wide FH cc return seals it for 3-0

He pressures Murray game after 2 with a couple approaches, but Murray nails passing winners both times and holds to love. Breaks back to follow in a very good, 8 point game

Rao missing big FH and a serve-volleying BHV has hand in getting broken, as does Murray with a daring, quick dash approach to putaway a BHV winner. On break point, a stretched out Murray manages to block return BH dtl for a winning pass

Murray breaks next chance too, while forcing 3 a pair of errors from the baseline. Rao helps with a double fault and missing a routine second volley after making a difficult first one

No more competitive thrills in the set, but tennis remains high end. A third ball BH inside-out winner from Murray on the serve-out stands out

Murray breaks to open the second set, winning points with low pass and on break point, a perfectly chosen FH drop shot winner. It comes as surprise when he misses 2 BH dtl winner attempts in consolidating via 4 strong, unreturned serves. Proceeds from there to start dispatching third ball FH winners and from there, going for swinging volley winners from no-man’s land (makes 1, misses another). If he’s drunk on confidence, he has good reason to be

Rao for his part continues holding with strong serves and serve-volleys, but can’t get into return games

Match ends with another break. Powerful stuff from Murray to get to to 15-40 and 2 break/match points. Rao saves both with OH winners. After another Murray BH dtl pass winner thwarts game point, Rao misses a FH on the move to bring up third break/match point, on which he misses a routine BHV serve-volleying

Summing up, great match and a particularly great performance from Murray. If the Wimbledon final is him at his best in normal mode - solidly strong, giving nothing away and blunting his opponents attacking chances, calmly returning a very strong serve with quiet authority - this is a category or 2 beyond. All the good stuff from the later final is still there - and on top of that are couple layers of aggression that’s very unusual for him

Dispatching FH winners early, hitting wide and coming in, sneak-approaches, drop shots, swing volleying from mid-court… these are unusual sights in a Murray match, but they’re all here, and done superbly. Running and defending like the dickens is less rare, but the quality of it and the counter-attacking winning shots that come out of it, particularly passing shots are top drawer

It takes 2 to make a great match and Raonic plays his role. Excellent serving, even by his standard, particularly the big second serves. Well judged and all-court attacking - FHs from the back allied to approaching net behind powerful shots - the latter thwarted largely by his opponents extraordinary passing. And he remains as steady from the back as Murray does, while looking to and taking charge proactively

There’s little that isn’t top class on show, but even there, Murray’s passes on the run stand out as exceptional
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
@Waspsting thanks once again for these detailed match reports.

Can I ask you, do you watch the re-runs of these matches in order to comment on them in such detail and do you get your stats info from the ATP website? Thanks.
 

dapchai

Legend
@Waspsting thanks once again for these detailed match reports.

Can I ask you, do you watch the re-runs of these matches in order to comment on them in such detail and do you get your stats info from the ATP website? Thanks.
Did this match certify the GOAThood of Sir Andrew Barron Murray?

GOAT = Glaswegian Of All Time
 
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