Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Kafelnikov, Australian Open final, 2000


Hall of Fame
Andre Agassi beat Yevgeny Kafelnikov 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in the Australian Open final, 2000 on hard court

The win saw Agassi take his record in Slams to 27-1 over the last four events - with titles at French Open (, US Open, Australian Open and a runner-up showing at Wimbledon

Agassi won 125 points, Kafelnikov 113

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (77/116) 66%
- 1st serve points won (52/77) 68%
- 2nd serve points won (22/39) 56%
- Aces 9, Service Winners 2
- Double Faults 5
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (30/116) 26%

- 1st serve percentage (65/122) 53%
- 1st serve points won (46/65) 71%
- 2nd serve points won (30/57) 53%
- Aces 14, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 9
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (30/122) 25%

Serve Patterns
Agassi served...
- to FH 47%
- to BH 53%

Kafelnikov served....
- to FH 38%
- to BH 62%

Return Stats
Agassi made...
- 83 (37 FH, 46 BH), including 5 runaround FH and 1 return-approach
- 1 Winners (1 FH)
- 15 Errors, comprising...
- 6 Unforced (3 FH, 3 BH)
- 9 Forced (4 FH, 5 BH)
- Return Rate (83/113) 73%

Kafelnikov made...
- 81 (33 FH, 48 BH), including 1 runaround FH and 1 return-approach
- 4 Winners (3 FH, 1 BH)
- 19 Errors, comprising...
- 8 Unforced (3 FH, 5 BH)
- 11 Forced (9 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (81/111) 73%

Break Points
Agassi 6/16 (8 games)
Kafelnikov 3/7 (5 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Agassi 27 (14 FH, 13 BH)
Kafelnikov 39 (18 FH, 13 BH, 4 FHV, 4 BHV)

Agassi's FHs - 4 cc (1 pass), 2 dtl, 2 inside-out, 1 at net, 1 drop shot and 3 outside-in (1 return)
- BHs - 3 cc (1 pass), 6 dtl (1 pass - a slice), 1 inside-out/dtl, 3 drop shots

Kafelnikov's FHs - 3 cc (1 return), 8 dtl (1 return and 1 running-down-a-drop-shot), 3 inside-out, 3 inside-in (1 return) and 1 at net
- BHs - 4 cc (1 return), 7 dtl, 1 inside-out/dtl, and 1 running-down-a-drop-shot at net

- 2 FHVs and 1 BHV were drops

- 1 BHV was the second volley off a 'delayed' serve-volley point

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Agassi 40
- 16 Unforced (6 FH, 10 BH)
- 24 Forced (15 FH, 9 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 49.3

Kafelnikov 58
- 36 Unforced (12 FH, 20 BH, 4 FHV)
- 22 Forced (9 FH, 9 BH, 1 FHV, 3 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.3

(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...
- 3/5 (60%) at net, including...
- 0 serve-volleying
- 0/1 return approaching
- 0/1 forced back

Kafelnikov was...
- 20/35 (57%) at net, including...
- 2/3 (67%) serve-volleying, all first serves - 1 a 'delayed' s/v
- 0/1 return-approaching
- 0/1 forced back

Match Report
A baseline slugfest on a very quick hard court, with Kafelnikov the more aggressive, Agassi the more consistent. Given roughly equal levels of play in the players' style and pace of the court, I would expect Kafelnikov to have the edge. It doesn't turn out that way because Agassi holds an advantage in his strong mentality and experience. For the most part, he seems to know exactly what he's trying to accomplish while Kafelnikov is prone to being rattled

The first set is features inappropriate play for a fast court. The ball is absolutely zipping off the surface, but both players mostly engage in ball-bashing up and down the middle of the court. Kafelnikov seems to have an edge in power in these and Agassi isn't trying to do too much with his serve (first serve percentage for the set is 19/25 @ 76%). There are 5 breaks of serve - Kafelnikov breaks Agassi 3/4 and has 2 break points in Agassi's sole hold. The Russian, in addition to being more aggressive from the baseline, with the serve and the return is also more willing to come into net. He serve-volleys twice (Agassi only comes to net 5 times in the whole match)

Agassi switches gears in the second. He serves bigger and looks for free points with it. The court is quick enough that both men are occasionally forcing errors with their second serves (which generally speaking, aren't particularly strong). And he looks to open the court and run his opponent around more. There's still some ball bashing going on. On one point, the two men exchange 10-15 virtually identical BH cc's - powerful blows but wholly without variety or art. Kafelnikov is more than upto matching Agassi and continues to excel with the BH dtl. He's broken late in the set in a game featuring two double faults.

Its around this time that the momentum shifts for good between. Between the end of the 2nd set and mid-way into the third, Agassi reels off 7 straight games. And Kafelnikov is clearly rattled by it all. He never really recovers and seems to not have a sense of what he's doing or trying to achieve with his play thereafter. Agassi, though the more passive, gives the opposite impression

Confident, in command and clearly the fresher of the two, Agassi opens the fourth set with a break. He survives a 14 point service game without facing a break point. A couple of games later, there is a gruelling 24 point game, in which Kafelnikov saves 4 break points. After that, the match continues without drama as Agassi nurses his early break to victory

Playing Dynamics & Stats
Kafelnikov has the stronger serve - and is more willing to use it. On the return, they're roughly equal - I suppose given Kafelnikov's superiority on the serve, one would have to say Agassi edges it here. Of movement, the Russian is better, but fitness goes to Agassi. Its obviously a very hot day.... Agassi's bald head is covered with beads of sweat throughout the match and there doesn't appear to be any wind to speak of. Kafelnikov seems to slow down as the match progresses, while Agassi does not.

The baseline battle makes up the bulk of the match. In some ways, the action makes me think of what a match up between the masterful, Gilbert-ified percentage tennis Agassi and the raw, brilliant Bollerteri Agassi might have looked like

Both players strike the ball very cleanly, but Kafelnikov is the more aggressive. In play, Kafelnikov has a total of 63 winners hit/errors forced, to 49 by Agassi (+14)

But Agassi is the more consistent. He makes 16 UEs to Kafelnikov's 36 (+20)… so overall, Agassi is coming ahead in court play, albeit, slightly.

Both players fall back on using their BH to control play. Here, I think Kafelnikov comes out ahead. He regularly hits BH dtl winners (the most difficult of all groundstrokes) throughout the match and rarely makes errors going for it. In the second half of the match, Agassi adds a few of his own

Note the very high UEFIs... 49.3 from Agassi, 48.3 from Kafelnikov. Note both players with good numbers on second serve points won - Agassi 56%, Kafelnikov 53%.... both are signs of good play

Summing up, a good match between two players of similar style. Experience, superior temperament and fitness probably determine the outcome more than any clear difference in quality of play. Still, a masterful match from Agassi against one of the few men who could match him from the back of the court
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