Duel Match Stats/Reports - Sampras vs Agassi & Agassi vs Ivanisevic, Miami finals, 1994 & 1996


Hall of Fame
Pete Sampras beat Andre Agassi 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 in the Miami final, 1994 on hard court

Sampras had recently won the Australian Open and Indian Wells and was became the first player to defend Miami title. Agassi would win the event the next two years, beating Sampras in the final in '95

Sampras won 106 points, Agassi 97

Sampras serve-volleyed off most first serves

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (49/94) 52%
- 1st serve points won (41/49) 84%
- 2nd serve points won (18/45) 40%
- Aces 14, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 7
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (33/94) 35%

- 1st serve percentage (68/109) 62%
- 1st serve points won (38/68) 56%
- 2nd serve points won (25/41) 61%
- Aces 9 (1 second serve)
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (28/109) 26%

Serve Patterns
Sampras served...
- to FH 41%
- to BH 49%
- to Body 9%

Agassi served...
- to FH 33%
- to BH 61%
- to Body 6%

Return Stats
Sampras made...
- 78 (25 FH, 53 BH), including 3 runaround FHs
- 2 Winners (2 FH)
- 19 Errors, comprising...
- 10 Unforced (7 FH, 3 BH)
- 9 Forced (4 FH, 5 BH)
- Return Rate (78/106) 74%

Agassi made...
- 54 (25 FH, 29 BH)
- 2 Winners (2 FH)
- 18 Errors, comprising...
- 2 Unforced (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 16 Forced (8 FH, 8 BH)
- Return Rate (54/87) 62%

Break Points
Sampras 5/17 (9 games)
Agassi 3/5 (3 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Sampras 33 (20 FH, 3 BH, 3 FHV, 3 BHV, 4 OH)
Agassi 17 (5 FH, 8 BH, 2 FHV, 2 BHV)

Sampras' FHs - 5 cc (1 return, 1 pass), 3 dtl (1 return, 1 pass), 2 inside-out, 2 inside-out/dtl, 6 inside-in (1 pass), 1 longline at net and 1 lob
- BHs - 2 cc (1 pass - that Agassi left) and 1 lob

- 5 from serve-volley points -
- 3 first volleys (1 FHV, 2 BHV)
- 2 second volleys (1 FHV, 1 OH)

- 1 other OH was on the bounce

Agassi's FHs - 1 inside-out, 3 inside-in (1 return, 1 at net, 1 not clean) and 1 longline return pass
- BHs - 2 cc passes, 4 dtl {2 regular (1 at net) and 2 passes (1 at net)}, 1 dtl/inside-out and 1 lob

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Sampras 45
- 34 Unforced (20 FH, 13 BH, 1 FHV)… with 2 BHs at net
- 11 Forced (5 FH, 4 BH, 1 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.5

Agassi 37
- 20 Unforced (6 FH, 10 BH, 1 FHV, 3 BHV)
- 17 Forced (8 FH, 8 BH, 1 BHV)… with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.5

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

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

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Sampras was...
- 28/39 (72%) at net, including...
- 17/25 (68%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 17/24 (71%) off 1st serve and..
- 0/1 off 2nd serve

Agassi was...
- 11/24 (46%) at net, including...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve
- 0/1 forced back

Match Report
A very courageous and smartly played match by Pete Sampras, who isn't physically well at the start. Agassi's performance is grey though on a tilted towards slow hard court. Keys to the match are Agassi's weak serve and Sampras' FH

I'll bet there was headline after this match about 'gutsy' showing. Sampras has a stomach problem and was apparently in no condition to play. Match started an hour late - with Agassi's consent - and Sampras looks and plays like a man with a hangover for near half the match, though it does get better as match wears on. At the start -

- he's not serving too hard
- his movements are very poor

... in particular, amidst all aspects of his game being obviously well down from norm. By the end, he's normal. Finishes the match with 7 aces from his last 8 first serves across 2 games

Agassi himself was less than fiddle like fit. He'd played through a wrist problem for most of the previous year and undergone surgery at the end ant this was his third tournament back

Sampras though is in far worse condition - moving gingerly and hitting plenty of puny shots - be it return or groundstrokes - while wearing an expression that makes you think he's about to vomit or black out. how on earth does he manage to beat a healthy Andre Agassi?

Sampras Strategy
In the circumstances, I'd think Sampras best bet would be to go all-out attacking - big serves, serve-volleys, point ending baseline shots - a low percentage game but one that can potentially overwhelm Agassi

Instead, he strikes a just about perfect, disarming mix in play. Its very doubtful that this was some master plan... it just works out that way as Pete's doing what he can

The serve - is a mix. Big first serves naturally (but smaller than his norm for all but end of match), with odd not big ones thrown in. Probably just not strong enough to serve full throttle. Second serve, same thing... some strong ones to the body, a good second serve for sure, but not overly aggressive with the shot

The return - is a mix. There are feeble returns. There's slow movement to slightly wide serves, making them look better then they are. There's standing inside the court returns (usually doesn't swing hard). There are firm returns and there are killingly powerful returns. Again, probably insufficient strength accounts for the feebler returns (which are many), rather than some mix-it up master plan

The FH - he's on killer mode but not crazy, and ends with match high 20 winners and 20 UEs (which is more than all of Agassi's winners, forced errors and equal to Agassi's total UEs), but its not wild stuff. He hits neutral balls, constructs points and is ambitious in his shot-making, usually coming off... very different from being wild

The BH - is ever so patient with it, looping balls back with no punch almost always

The movement - is slow, but makes an extra effort for odd points. There's the usual lot of BH-BH rallies, daring Agassi to finish dtl… and Pete's running FH winner attempt to it. Gets to those well enough

The serve-volleying - does not do it always. Follows 24/34 first serves to net or 71% and just once off second serve. For that matter, he does a lot better staying back - winning 9/10 as opposed to 17/24 serve-volleying.
He is aggressive on these stay-back points - looking for point ending FH early or an approach. And of course, some of the serves don't come back

In a nutshell, Pete's aggressive but selectively and disarmingly so


Hall of Fame
Agassi Counter-Strategy
Agassi just doesn't have a strong enough serve to do damage, independent of Pete's condition

He clocks 26% unreturned serves, with Pete making 10 return UEs. That might be normal if Pete were returning aggressively, but he isn't. 26% is moderate by a normal standard and only as high as it is due to Pete being off on returning consistency. Even Agassi's high 9 aces are somewhat due to Pete not moving for returns (due to his condition, not the usual Sampras letting serves go -though he does tank the last 2 return games of the match where Agassi has 6/8 unreturned serves and 2 aces)

Doesn't return particularly well. Its no easy job to do so, even against a flagging Pete, but he at any rate is capable of it. Can't deliver - I would still primarily credit Sampras serving, more than discredit Agassi's returning though

In play, ... he starts by hitting, heavy neutral groundstrokes... the most basic of strategies - who-blinks first rallies. Pete -
a) holds up reasonable well
b) is able to hit point ending FHs now and then

Not working as well as Agassi likes, so he switches to move-Pete-around play. With Pete camping in BH court, that means hitting to half-open FH side. Its the standard baseline rally for an Agassi-Sampras match. Pete... is surprisingly up to making running FHs to throw a spanner in that plan, given his movements overall

Unable to end points from the back, Agassi takes to coming in to net to do so. He's not good on the volley, and chipped passes catch him out. Just 46% net points won by Agassi

In a nutshell, there's not much working for Agassi
- the serve isnt' strong enough - that is what it is

- can't return with authority - mostly credit Pete

- can't outhit or beat down Pete from the back... discredit Agassi. If Sampras can hit 23 groundstroke winners - most of them baseline-to-baseline, how is it Agassi only hits 22 groundstroke winners + force Pete groundstroke errors?

He doesn't really try to dominate from the back, but a blackmark for Agassi's offensive ground game. I've also been lenient with marking errors forced for Sampras, in light of his sub-par movements... some of those small 9 Sampras groundstroke FEs are decidedly mild of nature (in other words, more about Sampras' inconsistency than Agassi's offense)

- bad in forecourt. Not his forte, but if your a heavy baseliner that can't end points from the back against a hobbling opponent, you'd better be able to volley. Sampras goes for 1-2 passing combos and neither the '1' or the '2' are particularly good... Agassi's just not very good at net

Match Progression
First set might be the ugliest the two have ever played

Sampras makes 19/43 first serves and many of them are slower than usual. His first two service games last 8 and 10 points respectively - but he doesn't face break point. Meanwhile, he breaks twice - the first a bad game from Agassi, the second, Sampras' FH doing damage

That's play for the set; Sampras going for big FHs - when they land in, he wins

Then they start landing out, and Agassi reels of 5 games (with 3 breaks) to take the set. He finishes with a framed, stop BHV winner

From start of second set, Agassi faces break points in his next 7 service games but can't conjure any of his own. In fact, the streak ends when Sampras up a break in the third tanks his last 2 return games

Sampras play, movement improves in second set. He stays back of a large number of first serves but is very aggressive on third ball. Agassi's more error prone in play also. And Sampras' FH remains deadly, and he's more apt to set up his kill shots with it

Sampras is near back to normal in the third. He breaks in a brilliant game. Strong FH cc opens the court, and he puts Agassi's attacking FH of it cc for his first BH winner. He forces an error with a drop shot - a shot he very rarely played. And finishes with two sublime lob winners - the first a FH cc on the run, the second a BH on the stretch

With Pete 2 breaks up, both players tank the remaining return games, especially Sampras

Summing up, gutsy showing from Sampras, who's in no state to play a tennis match at the start. He hangs in as he can and fires ambitiously with FH to stay in touching distance before recovering to something like normal condition, after which he's much the better play. Not a good showing from Agassi though... doesn't seem to know how to go about taking a hobbled opponent out

Stats for pair's Osaka final shortly after - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-sampras-vs-agassi-osaka-semi-final-1994.661429/
Stats for pair's Year End Championship semi at the end of the year - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/duel-match-stats-report-sampras-vs-agassi-year-end-championship-semi-final-1994-round-robin-1996.655018/


Hall of Fame
Agassi beat Goran Ivanisevic 3-0 retired in the Miami final, 1996 on hard court

Agassi was the defending champion and this was the third of his eventual record 6 titles at the event ( a record shared with Novak Djokovic). This was Ivanisevic's only hard court Masters level final

Agassi won 17 points, Ivanisevic 5

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (7/8) 88%
- 1st serve points won (7/7) 100%
- 2nd serve points won (0/1) 0%
- Aces 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (3/8) 38%

- 1st serve percentage (8/14) 57%
- 1st serve points won (3/8) 38%
- 2nd serve points won (1/6) 17%
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (2/14) 14%

Serve Patterns
Agassi served...
- to FH 38%
- to BH 63%

Ivanisevic served...
- to FH 17%
- to BH 83%

Return Stats
Agassi made...
- 10 (2 FH, 8 BH)
- 2 Errors, both forced...
- 2 Forced (2 BH)
- Return Rate (10/12) 83%

Ivanisevic made...
- 5 (2 FH, 3 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 0 Errors
- Return Rate (5/8) 63%

Break Points
Agassi 2/6 (2 games)
Ivanisevic 0

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Agassi 5 (2 FH, 3 BH)
Ivanisevic 0

Agassi's FHs - 1 dtl and 1 inside-out
- BHs - 2 cc (1 pass) and 1 inside-out/dtl

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Agassi 3
- 2 Unforced (2 FH)
- 1 Forced (1 FH)… a net shot
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 55

Ivanisevic 7
- 7 Unforced (2 FH, 5 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 37.1

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

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

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Agassi was 0/1 at net

Ivanisevic was 0/1 at net

Match Report
Another Miami final, another injured opponent for Agassi. Goran's in worse shape than Pete was a couple years ago though. He should be in hospital, not a tennis court

Goran serves gently, barely moves, hits feebly, misses routine groundstrokes. And double faults 3 times

On up side, he is able to force a couple of return errors

Couple of good BH winners from Agassi - 1 a cc pass, the second a nicely placed inside-out/dtl

First game lasts 10 points. Then Agassi holds to 15. Then Goran's broken to love. Agassi's up 40-0 when Goran calls it quits

Goran had beaten Sampras in the semis, to deny a third straight Agassi-Sampras final

In '94, Agassi had graciously agreed to delay start of match to allow Pete to get treatment. Not sure if this match started on time or if Agassi was asked if he'd be ok delaying the start - or if Agassi would agree to it, given what happened in '94

There's a storm in the air, which would also have given Goran hope for a lengthy rain delay and a chance to recover from whatever it was that was ailing him. It doesn't come soon enough though

No match to speak of - a completely out of it Goran trading a few shots for 15 minutes and then calling it quits

Stats for pair's '94 Vienna semi - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-agassi-vs-ivanisevic-vienna-semi-final-1994.662069/


Hall of Fame
This is not a full match but nevertheless on paper Agassi out-aced Goran. Pretty sure this is the only time this happened.


"Agassi himself was less than fiddle like fit. He'd played through a wrist problem for most of the previous year and undergone surgery at the end ant this was his third tournament back "

I must gently disagree with this. He did indeed undergo that surgery but was showing no ill-effects from it, and his overall physical fitness was very high. He had even been touting that in the off-season having probably dropped 20lbs. You can see in those matches how lean and lithe he was - particularly after a notoriously heavy ("he should have kept his shirt on!") 1993.