Duel Match Stats/Reports - Tsonga vs Federer & Federer vs Ferrer, Canadian Open & Cincinnati finals, 2014

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6(3) in the Canadian Open final, 2014 on hard court in Toronto

It was Tsonga's only title at the event and he defeated 4 top 10 players (Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov on top of Federer) in winning it. Federer would go onto win Cincinnati shortly afterwards

Tsonga won 92 points, Federer 78

Serve Stats
Tsonga...
- 1st serve percentage (35/70) 50%
- 1st serve points won (33/35) 94%
- 2nd serve points won (22/35) 63%
- Aces 11 (1 second serve)
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (32/70) 46%

Federer...
- 1st serve percentage (64/100) 64%
- 1st serve points won (45/64) 70%
- 2nd serve points won (18/36) 50%
- Aces 7 (1 possibly not clean)
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (29/100) 29%

Serve Patterns
Tsonga served...
- to FH 26%
- to BH 63%
- to Body 10%

Federer served...
- to FH 33%
- to BH 55%
- to Body 11%

Return Stats
Tsonga made...
- 67 (24 FH, 43 BH)
- 2 Winners (2 FH)
- 21 Errors, comprising...
- 7 Unforced (1 FH, 6 BH)
- 14 Forced (7 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (67/96) 70%

Federer made...
- 36 (14 FH, 22 BH), including 5 runaround FHs, 4 return-approaches & 1 drop-return
- 21 Errors, comprising...
- 9 Unforced (5 FH, 4 BH), including 2 runaround FHs
- 12 Forced (4 FH, 8 BH)
- Return Rate (36/68) 53%

Break Points
Tsonga 1/7 (4 games)
Federer 0

Winners (excluding serves, including returns)
Tsonga 11 (8 FH, 2 BH, 1 BHV)
Federer 16 (9 FH, 4 FHV, 3 BHV)

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

Federer's FHs - 2 cc (1 not clean, 1 at net), 2 dtl (1 at net), 1 inside-out/dtl and 3 inside-in

- 6 from serve-volley points -
- 4 first 'volleys' (2 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 FH at net)
- 2 second volleys (1 FHV, 1 BHV)

- 1 from a return-approach point, 1 BHV

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Tsonga 31
- 14 Unforced (8 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV)
- 17 Forced (9 FH, 8 BH)... with 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45

Federer 45
- 37 Unforced (19 FH, 15 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 8 Forced (5 FH, 3 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.2

(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 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
Tsonga was...
- 9/12 (75%) at net, including...
- 3/3 (100%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves
---
- 0/1 forced back

Federer was...
- 31/37 (84%) at net, including...
- 19/22 (86%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 14/15 (93%) off 1st serve and..
- 5/7 (71%) off 2nd serve
---
- 3/4 (75%) return-approaching

Match Report
A lot more one sided than the 5 and 6 scoreline suggests, with Tsonga thoroughly in control, almost dominantly so in the second set and Federer somehow holding on by his finger nails to keep the score close on a fast side of normal hard court.

Stand out features are Federer being poor of the ground, at least inadequate on the return and excellent at net. Match would be a blow out if not for the last mentioned. Some typical vigorous serving from Tsonga (though his success is flattering) and good, flat returning at times

Surprising stats include -

- Federer 0 break points. How often does that happen? Tsonga's 1/7 from 4 games
- Tsonga with 94% first serve points. He drops just 1 first serve point per set. Finishes match on unbroken run of 17 straight won and 27 of last 28
- related, Tsonga with 46% unreturned serves (Fed has 29%)
- UEs - Tsonga 14, Fed 37. Limited to groundstrokes, Tsonga 13, Fed 34... Fed has more UEs off each other wing (19 FH, 15 BH) than Tsonga has total
- Fed's net numbers - 31/37 at 84% (Tsonga's comes in a third that amount), including 19/22 serve-volleying (14/15 off first serve)... top notch numbers, and they have to be to compensate/mitigate from the error rates off the ground

Tsonga winning 54% points while serving 41% of them is clear cut enough. His average service game lasts 5.42 points, Fed's 7.9. In other words, On average, Fed's service game goes to deuce.

First set is near enough even, with 1 bad game at the end settling it. Both players serve 35 points in it. Tsonga's low in count (46% to Fed's 66%) would put prospects in Fed's favour, but he's able to command his 2nd serve points (winning 68% to Fed's 50%) on top of being near perfect on 1st serve (winning 15/16)

No break points 'til the end. Tsonga serves 2 deuce games to Fed's 1. The baseline battles favour Tsonga but slimly. Groundstroke UEs going into last game read Tsonga 6, Fed 8 and Fed is more net hungry to compensate

Tsonga breaks to end the set, with Fed making 4 UEs and not being at net at all. Strange BH dtl/inside-out winner attempt from neutral position stands out as particularly poor choice - nothing in his play suggests he'd be able to make such a shot (he ends with 0 BH winners) - and it brings up the matches first break point. On which Fed misses a regulation third ball FH

Second is a different story. Tsonga serves 35 points, Fed 65. Sans tiebreak, Fed serving exactly double the number of points to win same number of games. Fed endures two 16 point and a 12 point holds. In that context, he's not too uncomfortable, facing 'just' 6 points (4 of them in 1 game). Only in that very unusual context though, and several streets short of Tsonga's secure showing. Fed's a bit lucky to get the set into a tiebreak

Fed's game off the ground grows weaker and weaker and his inability to return also increases. He starts coming to net more and more to somewhat compensate, but short of boldly so. His serve picks up and all 7 of his aces are in the set. He finds many of them when in particular trouble, which is particularly good timing as he doesn't come to net particularly at such times (and is getting butchered from the back in general - or to be more accurate, butchering himself with puny errors)

Tiebreak is on serve to 3-3, Fed winning his points with 2 aces and a service winner. Tsonga reels off last 4 points. The 2 return points are 2nd serve points, with Fed missing regulation BHs on both
 
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Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Play
Tsonga with 46% unreturned rate while serving at 50% first serves in reflects a poor job on return by Fed. Tsonga's serving is typically robust... but not 94% first serves won and 46% unreturned serves worth

9/21 of Fed's return errors have been marked unforced - about the same ratio as Tsonga's 7/21. One difference is obviously the rate at which they're making errors (Tsonga leads return rate 70% to 53%). The other is in the kinds of puny returns Fed makes to first serves

He misses most. And what he doesn't is pushed or fended softly back to about service line usually. The better returns are similarly hit but at least a little further up. Tsonga hits FHs in smart, measured fashion. Not going for winners unduly - though when he does, he usually makes them, particularly FH inside-in. Not even particularly attacking. Hard hit, slightly wide shots to take leading position in still near enough neutral rally. Its good enough with Fed being so loose off the ground (and the huge cushion of unreturned serves)

Good play from Tsonga - doing enough to win, not going for too much and risking his errors going up

Relatively tame serving from Fed too, particularly in first set. Pace of serves are checked. He fires down the big ones when in trouble (and he's in plenty of trouble in 2nd set). 7 aces and 1 service winner from 64 first serves comes to 1 every 8 serves. Tsonga's ratio is 1 every 3.5

Some good, deep-ish returns from Tsonga, which would be tricky to attack against. Fed doesn't particularly try, but and sticks to neutral shots. Its on these that he's a bust with the errors

Other baseline-to-baseline starting points (both players 2nd serve points and bulk of Fed's firsts) usually end in errors. And its a particularly poor showing from Fed off the ground. Groudstroke UEs read Tsonga 13, Fed 34

Ordered from most to least secure -
- Tsonga BH 5 (how often is Tsonga's BH the most secure shot in a match?)
- Tsonga's FH 8 (also, the most commanding shot. And damaging, but more commanding than outright damaging)
- Fed's BH - 15
- Fed's FH - 19

Its not just the high lot of errors that stands out as poor by Fed. Its not even just the high lot of errors in fairly short rallies, which is even worse. Its the degree of the errors and the types of routine balls that errors are made from. Routine shots hit half way up the net or 2 feet long are common

To top off even all of that, his shots are puny. The odd back-away FH inside-out is at most pressuring and closer to neutral than attacking. The BH is innocuous, but he slices very little. Fed has match high 9 FH winners - 3 are shots at net and 1 other is not clean, leaving 4 bona fida baseline to baseline winners. Along with 8 total winner attempt UEs (including volleys)

Neutral UEs - the heart of baseline action - read Tsonga 10, Fed 22.

None of this is due to Tsonga being unduly solid let alone wall like. Just a very poor showing from Fed off the ground - can't keep the ball in court, hitting punily and coughing up errors quickly and doing so by a long way

In general, Fed has the odd trainwreck of errors day. This showing stands out for being puny of shot on top of that. Usually, he can fall back on his serve to at least hold regularly on such a day. That's only partially true for this match. Serving power is down and on its own, would likely see him broken not infrequently. Serve-volleying is his would-be equalizer or at least, gap-minimizer

The serve-return battle when Fed serve-volleys is good. Good lot of firm returns around net high, with fair few just under and even a few low. These kinds of returns generally draw a few errors and when the volley is made, leaves the returner reasonable to good passing chances

Fed volleys with beautiful precision against it. He barely misses - just 3 UEs and no FEs - and places them wide of Tsonga to about best extent possible, allowing Fed time to cover the net for the upcoming pass. Tsonga usually misses the follow up pass - overwhelming bulk of his 18 FEs are passing attempts and he has just 1 winner - but it'd have to be exceptionally good to get ball by Fed

Fed serve-volleys 27% off the time off first serves and 22% of the time off 2nds
Off first serves, serve-volleying he wins 14/15 or 93%. Staying back, its 23/41 or 56% (sans aces and service winners)
Off second serves, serve-volleying he wins 5/7 or 71%. Staying back, 13/25 or 52% (sans double faults)

Shouldn't he be serve-volleying much more? Doesn't seem to have the confidence to go all out with it. On important points, he usually stays back but serves bigger

Baseline contest is so one sided that Fed's not able to find ways to net. Just 11 trips forwards (winning 9), but not many obvious openings to. Mostly because he makes errors before they might come up

Everything about play - numbers and otherwise - are suggesting Fed would be best off serve-volleying and otherwise coming to net much more. Even low percentage approaches are preferable to rallying from back. He doesn't go for that

Summing up, not a good match but a very interesting one in terms of examining Federer's options in balancing baseline and net play. Solid display from Tsonga - robust of serve, but with low in-count and firm and fairly consistent on the return. He backs it up with sound, bossy FH play while the BH is stable. More than that, a particularly poor showing from Federer - below personal par on strength of serve, weak and inconsistent returning and punily ineffective, error ridden showing from the back. His potential saving grace is serve-volleying where he's excellent in controlling the volley and covering the net, but would do well to indulge much more off
 
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Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Federer beat David Ferrer 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 in the Cincinnati final, 2014 on hard court

It was Federer's 6th title at the event and he would go onto defend the title the following year. This would turn out to be Ferrer's only final at the event

Federer won 85 points, Ferrer 77

Serve Stats
Federer...
- 1st serve percentage (46/74) 62%
- 1st serve points won (35/46) 76%
- 2nd serve points won (14/28) 50%
- Aces 7 (1 not clean), Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (27/74) 36%

Ferrer...
- 1st serve percentage (54/88) 61%
- 1st serve points won (37/54) 69%
- 2nd serve points won (15/34) 44%
- Aces 3 (1 whiff)
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (13/88) 15%

Serve Patterns
Federer served...
- to FH 40%
- to BH 51%
- to Body 8%

Ferrer served...
- to FH 16%
- to BH 65%
- to Body 19%

Return Stats
Federer made...
- 72 (20 FH, 52 BH), including 6 runaround FHs & 2 return-approaches
- 1 Winner (1 FH), a runaround FH
- 10 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (5 BH)
- 5 Forced (1 FH, 4 BH)
- Return Rate (72/85) 85%

Ferrer made...
- 45 (21 FH, 24 BH)
- 2 Winners (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 19 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (3 FH, 2 BH)
- 14 Forced (8 FH, 6 BH)
- Return Rate (45/72) 63%

Break Points
Federer 3/14 (6 games)
Ferrer 2/11 (4 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Federer 24 (10 FH, 4 BH, 4 FHV, 4 BHV, 2 OH)
Ferrer 25 (11 FH, 7 BH, 2 FHV, 3 BHV, 3 OH)

Federer's FHs - 2 cc, 4 inside-out, 1 runaround inside-in return, 1 longline and 2 drop shots
- BHs - 3 dtl and 1 longline

- 2 from serve-volley points (2 BHV), both first volleys

- 1 OH was on the bounce

Ferrer's FHs - 3 cc (1 pass at net), 2 dtl (1 return, 1 pass), 3 inside-out, 2 inside-in and 1 lob
- BHs - 3 cc passes (1 return) and 4 dtl (2 passes)

- 1 OH was on the bounce

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Federer 37
- 29 Unforced (13 FH, 14 BH, 2 BHV)... with 1 BH at net & 1 BH pass attempt
- 8 Forced (2 FH, 4 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.9

Ferrer 31
- 20 Unforced (10 FH, 9 BH, 1 BHV)... with 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- 11 Forced (4 FH, 6 BH, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.5

(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
Federer was...
- 22/36 (61%) at net, including...
- 7/14 (50%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 4/10 (40%) off 1st serve and...
- 3/4 (75%) off 2nd serve
---
- 1/2 return-approaching

Ferrer was / (%) at net

Match Report
Good match overall, with quality of play varying across the encounter and being all court of nature on a high bouncing, normal paced court. Federer's large advantage on the serve is the critical difference between the two players

Fed leads unreturned rate by large 36% to 15% margin. In play, Ferrer is +1 on winners, +9 on UEs (as in, he has fewer) and -3 on FEs to finish +7 on points where return is made. Nowhere near enough to make up for the difference in unreturneds, which in raw numbers is +14 in Fed's favour

Accounting for obvious and very large difference between Ferrer's serve and Tsonga's, there's plenty of similarity between this match and the one in Canada.

There, Federer wasn't able to return with any consistency or conviction
Here, against Ferrer's average delivery, he can. Fed's 85% return rate means Ferrer has a lot of work to do to hold. His is a harmless serve. Even the odd wide one is not particularly challenging to put back in play

Baseline rallies are not dissimilar to Canada match either, with Fed's shots lacking both punch and consistency. Ferrer keeps ball in play off both sides normally (i.e. not particularly powerfully or deeply) particularly looking for Fed's BH and Fed usually ends up giving up the error sooner or later

UEs from baseline read
- Ferrer BH 8
- Ferrer FH 10
- Fed FH & BH 13 (including a BH pass attempt)

Low UEFI's (Fed 45.9, Fer 46.5) are fair indicator of passive action, and Ferrer has significant advantage on those, to go along with negligible one on more aggressive shots

- Neutral UEs - Fed 17, Fer 11
- Attacking UEs - Fed 7, Fer 5
- Winner attempt UEs - Fed 5, Fer 4

Neither player looking to open court and attack. Short balls are coughed up by Fed that Ferrer moderately attacks. Fed's defence is not good and it doesn't take much to end a point against him. Hitting slightly harder and just a bit wide is enough. Fed's baseline attacks are limited to drawing weak returns with the serve and whipping FHs. From neutral positions, he's usually outplayed from the back

Just more solid from Ferrer and a bit harder hitting. But given how little he gets out of his serve, not to extent of making his service games secure. In short, Ferrer being the better player form the back in almost all ways - being damaging, being consistent and of movement, with Fed's showing being grey and nondescript. Still, good shot choices from Fed. Better keep ball in play than miss wild attacking shots - a problem he occasionally has in general, but not here

Fed compensates by coming to net. He's 22/36 or 61% in forecourt, which rises to 14/20 or 70% rallying forward (i.e. sans serve-volleys and return-approaches). Ferrer's 11/14 or 79% at net, all of it from rallying. As stronger baseliner, Ferrer has more chances to come in, but doesn't look to.

Fed by constrast, actively lookg to get forward. And needs to seeing as he's outhit from the back. Serve-volleying doesn't help much - he's just 7/14 on the play, including lower still 4/10 off first serve. Firm returning by Ferrer reaches the serve-volleying Fed around net high, a good starting point to test the volleyer. Fed isn't convincing in placing his volleys wide, and Ferrer is quick to run down everything possible to hit another firm pass. More credit to Ferrer for solid passing than discredit Fed on the volley, but some of both. This is probably why he doesn't serve-volley overly in the Tsonga match... dealing with firm returns first up - the kind volleyer can put in play without much troube but isn't easy to putaway - isn't something he can count on brushing aside. Excellent scrambling by Ferrer to get 2nd passes off, but neither his returns or passses are overwhelming. Its a 'B' grade contest between serve-volleyer and return-passer with the returner getting better of it
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
That's match in 3 nutshells -
- Fed with much better serve and able to return surely
- Ferrer stronger off the ground (with Fed below par of hitting and consistency)
- Fed coming to net to be aggressive with overall effectiveness, but not to convincing on the volley either against Ferrer's hustling, scrambling and firm passing

Some typical good serving from Fed. Not too powerful, but placed damagingly wide and getting Ferrer lunging to reach the returns. Bounce is also high and some serves reach Fer around shoulder or even head height. Fer returns anything he can reach firmly off both sides, but struggles against the wide stuff and can't pack the same punch against the high ones. 14/19 of his return errors have been marked forced

By contrast, just 5/10 of Fed's have been. Fer's serve is average of pace and placement. Fed returns very high 85% of it, without much heat also. Aggressively, runaround FH return is only threatening return and otherwise, his returns leave Fer with initiative. Realistically, its quite possible to neutralize Fer's serve with good returning, so there's still room for improvment in Fed's returning. It would require exceptionally good returning to do the same to Fed's serve

19% serves to body is high from Fer, but its not powerful enough to jam Fed, whose able to get those back with reasonable comfort too

From the baseline, Ferrer is more consistent and shades the hitting even on the FH. Neutrally, he's able to take leading position and Fed's left to counter-punch without heat and looking uncomfortable. Fed's movement is also sub-par and it doesn't take too much to draw errors out of him hitting slightly wide

Ferrer tests the Fed BH in cc rallies or mildly attacks it with backaway FH inside-outs. He has both hitting and consistency advantage doing both. Fed's 'counter' is limited to throwing out the odd shorter slice that disrupts Ferrer's rhythm and/or moves him forward a bit. It works to an extent. More discredit Ferrer for that then credit Fed, whose BH is on whole, puny. Looking to break it down is sound strategy from Fer. Fed's 14 BH UEs is a match high figure, but given his handicap on serve-return, Fer (who has 9 BH UEs) would need that figure to be a bit higher

Some good, point endingly strong FH inside-outs and inside-ins from Ferrer are spearhead of his offence. He's got 5 winners from rallies between the two shots

Fed lashes the odd short ball with his FH. Inside-out he's adventurous enough to go for the winner but uses it as approach shot more often. Wisely. He doesn't have the power to count on finishing points from the back. Short balls are usually drawn by the serve. Starting form neutral position, its rare for Fed to outhit Ferfer to tune of drawing short balls

Particularly in that light, very good net instincts from Fed, who utilizes whatever advantage he can occasionally glean from the back to come forward to finish. As described earlier, his volleying isn't particularly good and is met with stubborn resistance from the dogged moving and solid passing Ferrer, but nothing wrong with the way he looks to and does come in. Whereas Fed attacks with FH inside-out, he uses the less powerful FH inside-in to come in behind

Match Progression
Close first set. Routine holds to 4-3 before Ferrer throws out a terrible game (2 double faults, 2 neutral FH errors) to get broken and leave Fed serving for the set

Fed's finds himself down 0-40 so doing, starting with consecutive passing winners from Ferrer (FH lob and BH dtl), but manages to come through with the hold, saving a 4th break point later in the game where Fer misses a 2nd serve return

Fed seems to have got his teeth into the match and Fer skates on thin ice to hold opening game of 2nd set, saving 4 break points in an 18 point game. Tables then turn completely. A series of strong shots sees Fer break once and some poor volleying behind the serve (met by decent returns) sees Fed lose serve again to go down 4-0. A love hold later, Federer is looking at being bagelled. He saves 2 break/set points to avoid that. According to commentary, Federer has only been bagelled 4 times in his career

Ferrer serves out to send match into decider. Baseline play is the most even its been in the match in it, with Fed not just holding up but getting better of them. Along with strong serving and still comfortable returning, it puts him handily over. Ferrer serves 31 points in the set to Fed's 19 as Fed takes it 6-2

Summing up, the serve is the big difference in a competitive match - Federer's is damaging, Ferrer's is not. Otherwise, Ferrer gets better of action from the back as both the more consistent and stronger hitter, with Federer's BH being weak. Federer compensates and counters by taking net as often as feasible to good effect, where he doesn't have it easy against the sprightly moving and firm passing of Ferrer, but gets what he needs

Taking the two matches together, this is a very different Roger Federer from the past and he seems to have retooled his game considerably if not completely after an injury shaped 2013 and under new coaching of Stefan Edberg. The return isn't reliable, the groundgame is based on keeping ball in play and see what happens - without being particularly good at keeping ball in play. BH is quite feeble, with some shorter slices and pace changers for vaiety while FH shotmaking has been well toned down. The movement is about average, a far cry from the explosive thing it had been. On the positive side, serve is still great and he's serve-volleing and otherwise looking for net more. Shot choices are sound - no throwing away points through over-aggression - and he's efficient when turning to attacking
 
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