Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Federer, Miami final, 2002

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Andre Agassi beat Roger Federer 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in the Miami final, 2002 on hard court

Agassi was the defending champion and it was his record extending 5th title at the event. He would go onto add a 6th the following year. Novak Djokovic would go onto match the mark of 6 titles in 2016. Federer was playing his first Masters final - having beaten 4 seeds, including number 1 Lleyton Hewitt, in route to the final. He would go onto win his first Masters in Hamburg later in the year

Agassi won 114 points, Federer 113

(Note: I've guessed serve type for a couple of points)

Serve Stats
Agassi...
- 1st serve percentage (71/116) 61%
- 1st serve points won (48/71) 68%
- 2nd serve points won (25/45) 56%
- Aces 8, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (31/116) 27%

Federer...
- 1st serve percentage (69/111) 62%
- 1st serve points won (45/69) 65%
- 2nd serve points won (25/42) 60%
- Aces 9, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (38/111) 34%

Serve Patterns
Agassi served...
- to FH 44%
- to BH 54%
- to Body 2%

Federer served...
- to FH 36%
- to BH 59%
- to Body 5%

Return Stats
Agassi made...
- 70 (23 FH, 47 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 28 Errors, comprising...
- 10 Unforced (4 FH, 6 BH)
- 18 Forced (11 FH, 6 BH)
- Return Rate (70/108) 65%

Federer made...
- 84 (36 FH, 48 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 2 Winners (2 FH)
- 22 Errors, comprising...
- 7 Unforced (3 FH, 4 BH)
- 15 Forced (9 FH, 6 BH)
- Return Rate (84/115) 73%

Break Points
Agassi 6/13 (6 games)
Federer 3/7 (4 games)

Winners (excluding serves, including returns)
Agassi 12 (6 FH, 3 BH, 1 BHV, 2 OH)
Federer 30 (21 FH, 4 BH, 1 BHV, 4 OH)

Agassi's FHs - 3 cc, 1 dtl and 2 inside-in (1 return pass)
- BHs - 2 dtl passes and 1 running-down-drop-volley cc at net (played net-to-net)

Federer's FHs - 3 cc (1 pass, 1 at net), 9 dtl (2 returns, 1 at net), 1 longline/inside-out, 3 inside-out, 4 inside-in and 1 lob
- BHs - 2 cc (1 pass) and 2 dtl (1 slice)

- 3 from serve-volley points
- 2 second volley OHs
- 1 fourth volley BHV, played net-to-net

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Agassi 44
- 30 Unforced (19 FH, 10 BH, 1 FHV)
- 14 Forced (5 FH, 9 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47

Federer 68
- 44 Unforced (23 FH, 19 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 24 Forced (11 FH, 11 BH, 1 FHV, 1 FH1/2V)
- 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 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...
- 9/13 (69%) at net

Federer was...
- 9/13 (69%) at net, including...
- 12/18 (67%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 8/13 (62%) off 1st serve and...
- 4/5 (80%) off 2nd serve
---
- 1/1 retreated

Match Report
A match of short rallies on a fast Miami hard court, with surprisingly little separating the two players given the scoreline. Agassi is sounder of play, and seems to know how and when to play what better than Federer does. There were however, probably much better ways to approach the match from Agassi's point of view

Some odd numbers coming out of the match

Look at the total points won. Agassi 114, Federer 113. With no significant difference in points served (Agassi 116, Fed 111). Matters are usually this close, despite one player winning 5 more games and breaking 3 more times when the loser has a ton of chances

But even that isn't true here. Break point numbers - Agassi 6/13 in 6 games, Federer 3/7 in 4 games. What gives?

4 Agassi serve games go to deuce without having break points. Fed has just 1

Next, look at basic stats. Agassi shading first serve points won 68%-65% and Fed shading seconds 60%-56%

The second serve points won is high, a sign of conditions being quick. But the first serve points won is low for quick conditions too. That latter can somewhat be attributed to neither player having an overly strong serve (Federer's is roughly on par with Agassi's in the match, and Agassi's is say, above average, certainly not bad, but equally certainly not great)

Note near identical unreturnable serves (aces + service winners) for two players - Agassi 9, Fed 10, in about the same number of first serves. Fed's 7% lead in unreturned serves is more about Agassi's risky, stepping forward returning leading to more errors than any difference in quality of serve. Even in fast conditions, both players send down the odd, unforceful first serve. Both also have forceful second serves too, which for Agassi at any rate, was rare (not sure about Fed during this period)
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Play - Baseline & Net
Rallies are short, come whatever. Lots of quick errors, and lots of winners from Federer. Neither player seems to have a concrete plan

Agassi hits firmly, but short off attackingly, off both sides. Mostly crosscourt. No seeming preference of side. No attempt to target Fed's BH or avoid the FH... which given the game Fed played would be a very obvious strategy. Doesn't budge from the baseline - deep balls are 1/2volleyed back, rather than stepped back for. His movements are good. Looks like hard work next to Fed's silky gliding about, but covers court decently

FHs more damaging than BH, which is a given, but BH is more secure, which isn't. just 10 BH UEs - about half as much as any other groundstroke on show

Overall numbers of 12 winners, 30 UEs looks terrible, but throw in the 24 errors he forces out of Fed, and Agassi's at +6 in winning plays. This is the experience shining through. He does just what he needs to to finish points, and not more. Why do more than what's needed and risk increasing UE rate?

On the same score, Fed is dead even - 30 winners, forcing 14 errors out of Agassi while making a huge 44 UEs of his own. FHs the shining light of the match with 21 winners (that's as many as all other shots from both players together), also the most error prone with 23 UEs

There's a problem with his BH. Like FH, its error prone (19 UEs). Unlike it, its not damaging. Just 4 winners - 2 of them are into a wide open court. Doesn't take too many balls to that wing to get an error - though that's true of all shots in the match, with Agassi's BH somewhat excepted

He goes BH longline disproportionately often, which is part of the reason for the error proneness, though he isn't too consistent going cc either. If there's thinking behind the move, its that Agassi will take the BH longline ball and FH cc it to put the ball back on Fed's stronger FH side. With Agassi's not going for too much on the FH cc, Fed's usually able to cover the ball - he misses a fair few, but that's just looseness of play, a constant running thread through the match

The FH is brilliant. A big chunk of winners and other forced plays comes out of routine positions. Its also almost as loose as it is brilliant. The errors he makes off it are usually neutral shots, not attacking ones

A odd stat to illustrate this. Both players have 7 winner attempt errors. Yet Fed hit 30 winners to Agassi's 12. In other words, all these errors from Fed is a product of inconsistency of regulation shots, not of him being aggressive

Fed errs a bit in imitating Agassi at times in trying to 1/2volley balls of baseline rather than step back. He can't do near as well. Depth bothers him a lot, even relatively slow of power balls that land deep tend to draw errors

Agassi for his part, doesn't adjust his game to Fed's at all. His game of hitting firm, mostly cc groundstrokes and hit a bit wider or deeper on odd ones to be attacking - is a sound starting point for a fast court. Against Fed's game, shifting to mostly BH cc's is much better. Fed's BH is far more error prone than Agassi's and not at all damaging. Agassi could probably just bleed Fed out playing this way - or at least force Fed to take risks. Courts too quick to make running around BHs a safe play

Instead, he goes with the flow, hitting cc whichever wing Fed puts the ball. FH-FH, Agassi shades the consistency, but Fed has a large advantage in damaging ability

Fed does well at net, winning 69% points there, serve-volleying 18 times, including 5 times off second serve. Overall, he trails from the baseline, but regularly enough outplays Agassi to the tune of an approach to net being a good move. He tends not to come in, and its understandable. Though more solid than the loose Federer, Agassi is no wall in the match and Fed can count on winning points from Agassi misses as well as stunning winners of his own. Not coming in more does though speak to either a basic preference for baseline play or respect for Agassi's passing shots

Match Progression
Fed starts on fire, with a well placed BH cc pass and a fourth volley BHV winner of a serve-volley point that turns into a net-to-net encounter to hold to love. Then he break - 2 FH winners (1 inside-out, 1 inside-in) and a return to the baseline all win him points - to go up 2-0

Then begins sloppy action phase, which continues for most of two sets. Both players partake in the errors (Fed more), and only Fed's FH shines through as a balancing act, lashing winners here and there at regular intervals. Agassi breaks back at once, with Fed making 4 errors

Set continues with short rallies. Agassi holds 10 and 8 point games without facing break point. Fed's broken twice more though to yield set.

One break decides the second set. Action is more of the same

Fed picks up his game in set 3, making 17/23 first serves and losing just 3 service points in 5 games. He strongly forces 2 errors to score his first break since the start of the match and continues to hold serve easily. Agassi's returning also drops in quality in this part of the match... he misses a number of makeable returns

Fed carries on the same in the 4th, breaking early to move ahead. There's a particularly good FH cc winner from well behind the baseline in the game. 4-2 up, he doesn't win another game. Critical net points and passing from Agassi in the games he breaks in, with errors aplenty too, particularly from Fed

Summing up, not necessarily a good match with so many basic errors in short rallies, but an entertaining one. The old head of Agassi leads with doing just enough and not more, but stops short of tailoring his game to cope with Federer's FH heavy game. Fed for his part is loose off both wings, but damaging off just 1, which puts him at a disadvantage. Loose play on neutral shots is probably the key - good deal of it from both players, but Federer more
 
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