Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Bruguera, Olympic Games final, 1996

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Andre Agassi (USA) beat Sergi Bruguera (Spain) 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in the Olympic Games final, 1996 on hard court in Atlanta, USA

Agassi was the top seed and ranked 6th in the world. Bruguera was unseeded and ranked 67th. Leander Paes (India), who Agassi had beaten in the semi-final, would had won the Bronze medal by beating Fernando Meligeni (Brazil)

Agassi won 90 points, Bruguera 48

Serve Stats
Agassi...
- 1st serve percentage (42/69) 61%
- 1st serve points won (36/42) 86%
- 2nd serve points won (16/27) 59%
- Aces 7, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (29/69) 42%

Bruguera...
- 1st serve percentage (39/69) 57%
- 1st serve points won (22/39) 56%
- 2nd serve points won (9/30) 30%
- Aces 7
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (18/69) 26%

Serve Patterns
Agassi served...
- to FH 53%
- to BH 43%
- to Body 4%

Bruguera served...
- to FH 33%
- to BH 64%
- to Body 3%

Return Stats
Agassi made...
- 48 (17 FH, 31 BH), including 2 runaround FHs
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 11 Errors, comprising...
- 7 Unforced (2 FH, 5 BH)
- 4 Forced (2 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (48/66) 73%

Bruguera made...
- 39 (23 FH, 16 BH), including 1 runaround FH & 1 return-approach
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 21 Errors, comprising...
- 9 Unforced (8 FH, 1 BH), including 2 runaround FHs & 1 drop-return attempt
- 12 Forced (4 FH, 8 BH)
- Return Rate (39/68) 57%

Break Points
Agassi 7/9 (7 games)
Bruguera 1/6 (2 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Agassi 13 (7 FH, 5 BH, 1 OH)
Bruguera 6 (3 FH, 1 BH, 1 FHV, 1 OH)

Agassi's FHs - 2 cc (1 at net), 1 dtl at net, 2 inside-out, 1 inside-in and 1 drop shot
- BHs - 1 cc, 3 dtl (1 return, 1 pass) and 1 net chord dribbler

Bruguera's FHs - 1 dtl return, 1 inside-out and 1 longline
- BH - 1 dtl

- 1 from a return-approach point, a FHV

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Agassi 23
- 16 Unforced (10 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV)... with 1 BH at net
- 7 Forced (1 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 44.4

Bruguera 45
- 32 Unforced (13 FH, 19 BH)... with 1 BH at net
- 13 Forced (7 FH, 6 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.6

(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 6/9 (67%) at net

Bruguera was...
- 4/6 (67%) at net, with...
- 1/1 return-approaching

Match Report
The epitome of a baseline beatdown, with Agassi's return playing an extra hand in it on a quick-ish hard court

Action is simple. Agassi hammers the ball from on the baseline, including on the return. Off FH and off BH. Hammers. Pounds. Blasts. Take your pick of words
Bruguera counter-punches the hammer-hits at very least reactively, usually defensively and sometimes just fending them back. From 3-4 paces behind baseline

Rallies don't last too long before Bruguera gives up the error

Wash, rinse, repeat for 1.5 hours. At the end -
- Agassi's won 90 points to Brug's 48
- Brug's held serve 5 times while being broken 7
- Agassi's 2nd serve points won of 59% is higher than Brug's 1st serve at 56%

... and so on. In nutshell, a thorough thrashing

Note Agassi with very large 42% unreturned serves, a very high figure for him. He serves powerfully and well and has 7 aces and a service winner. Brug helps with 9 UEs... not particularly easy, in swing zone returns to his FH, which looks feeble and which he uses often to block back such regulation serves. And when things really turn against him, Brug turns to going for aggressive, dtl winners on the return and usually misses

Brug's returning looks similar to his baseline play... a reactive, push the ball back shot against powerful incoming balls. That's a testament to how hard Agassi hits off the ground and to lesser extent, Brug not returning particularly well. More credit to Agassi on the serve than discredit Brug on the return, but some of the latter too

On flip side, Agassi hammers returns the same way as he does his groundies. One might even say 'especially hammers returns'. Anything in reach is whacked hard and deep. 1st serve or 2nd serve, though 2nds naturally cop the bigger hits. Typical third balls Brug gets are half-volleys on the baseline, very hard hit slightly wide balls or if he's in luck, 'just' very hard hit and deep-ish. Good lot of Brug third ball errors - some marked forced, some unforced

Brug with 32 UEs is standout stat in play. That's twice as many as Agassi, while the 2 players combine for 19 winners and 20 FEs. Its nowhere near as bad as it looks... his UEs are beaten out of him through consistent, hammering groundies

Brug doesn't have to move much to reach the ball, but is strained to cope with the pace. Not powerful enough to warrant being marked FE, but enough to push Brug on backfoot (he basically camps on backfoot 3-4 paces behind baseline all match, with Agassi on the baseline or stepping inside it). He could do better in keeping the rally going for a awhile, but with power like this, though no shot in a sequence is overwhelming, every single one is highly pressuring... and errors are bound to come sooner or later. Probably sooner, as they do

And Agassi is steady while hitting so commandingly, so not many errors coming out of him. Just 16. Its a very safe way to attack

Agassi doing twice as well as Brug in almost all areas
- Winners - Agassi 13, Brug 6
- UEs - Agassi 16, Brug 32 (in context of Agassi hitting very hard, Brug pushing what he can back in play)
- FEs - Agassi 7, Brug 13

The BH is Brug's slightly more vulnerable side and makes match high 19 UEs - 6 more than the FH. Breaking-down-opponents-BH with continuous BH cc'ng is generally a favourite Agassi play, though it became more pronounced years after this match. Here, he doesn't unduly or systematically target Brug's BH and is apt to go extra wide with the BH cc as to be genuinely forceful

FH or BH, the dynamic is the same... Agassi beating down Bruguera at about the same intensity off both sides. Its just that Brug's BH is a bit more vulnerable than the FH

Match Progression
Bruguera holds to 30 to open the match with 3 aces. And its all downhill for him from there. Agassi wins the next 4 games, including winning 14 points in a row. Starting from 1st set and extending into 2nd, he has a run of winning 15 straight service points

Agassi breaks to start the 2nd set and is up 2-1 when Bruguera strikes back. He scores his only break in the match, a 14 point affair, where he takes the net, including with a daring return-approach to get the job done and level the set

Agassi responds by breaking 15 at once, though this is a genuinely poor game from Brug and breaks again - wrapping with 3 winners on the trot - to end the set

Agassi has another run winning 15 straight service points starting in 2nd set and extending to the 3rd. Brug holds to keep score 1-1, before Agassi reels off last 5 games. Brug is more apt to go for attacking dtl shots and drop shots in this set without success. And Agassi is even more explosive in his returning than he'd previously been, landing power returns right on the baseline to force errors

Agassi's at 40-15 serving for the match before Brug wins 3 points to have break point. He brings it up with the same kind of power return to baseline that he's been on the receiving end of for much of match and particularly the set, which brings a grimacing smile to his face. Agassi steps up with strong serves to end the match though

Summing up, brutal, dual winged power hitting, beat down display from Agassi, including on the return and with strong serving thrown in. Bruguera is simply outmatched and unable to handle it
 
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