Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Larsson, Miami semi-final, 1995


Hall of Fame
Andre Agassi beat Magnus Larsson 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(1) in the Miami semi-final, 1995 on hard court

Agassi would go onto win the title, beating Pete Sampras in the final. Larsson was seeded 12th

Agassi won 115 points, Larsson 105

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (78/121) 64%
- 1st serve points won (50/78) 64%
- 2nd serve points won (29/43) 67%
- Aces 8 (1 second serve)
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (34/121) 28%

- 1st serve percentage (60/99) 61%
- 1st serve points won (43/60) 72%
- 2nd serve points won (20/39) 51%
- Aces 13
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (33/99) 33%

Serve Patterns
Agassi served...
- to FH 42%
- to BH 57%
- to Body 1%

Larsson served....
- to FH 39%
- to BH 56%
- to Body 5%

Return Stats
Agassi made...
- 62 (30 FH, 32 BH), including 6 runaround FHs & 1 return-approach
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 20 Errors, comprising...
- 11 Unforced (5 FH, 6 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 9 Forced (4 FH, 5 BH)
- Return Rate (62/95) 65%

Larsson made...
- 83 (36 FH, 47 BH), including 4 runaround FHs, 2 return-approaches & 2 drop-returns (1 unintentional)
- 1 Winner (1 FH), a runaround FH
- 26 Errors, comprising...
- 18 Unforced (7 FH, 11 BH), including 1 runaround FH & 1 return-approach
- 8 Forced (6 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (83/117) 71%

Break Points
Agassi 3/5 (4 games)
Larsson 3/6 (5 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Agassi 21 (11 FH, 3 BH, 3 FHV, 1 BHV, 2 OH, 1 BHOH)
Larsson 27 (21 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV)

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

- 2 OHs on the bounce (1 from the baseline

Larsson's FHs - 1 cc (3 passes), 2 dtl, 3 inside-out (1 runaround return) and 5 inside-in
- BHs - 2 cc passes and 3 dtl

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Agassi 41
- 28 Unforced (17 FH, 7 BH, 3 FHV, 1 OH)... with 1 FH at net
- 13 Forced (8 FH, 4 BH, 1 FHV)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net & 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.1

Larsson 56
- 40 Unforced (13 FH, 27 BH)
- 16 Forced (5 FH, 10 BH, 1 FHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.3

(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...
- 15/28 (54%) at net, with...
- 0/1 return-approaching

Larsson was...
- 9/13 (69%) at net, including...
- 0/1 serve-volleying
- 2/2 return-approaching
- 1/2 forced back/retreated

Match Report
Excellent match, very tough of action, with healthy doses of the unusual and unexpected thrown in. Larsson has the huge serve, is amazing off the FH but his BH is out-muscled. Agassi's serve is average and he plays a bossily solid game from the back, augmented by net support. Match goes down to the wire of deciding set tiebreak. The court is about as slow as a hard court can be

Match is too complicated for there to be some neat decisive factor. Odds would favour Agassi at the end as Lars is the more fatigued as the gruelling action rolls past 2 hours in typical Miami humidity and heat, but its not something Agassi would want to bank on. Lars has the sort of power game where he's liable to blast his way to a few points at any time to break - and nearly does just short of the 'breaker. And having better of play hadn't done either play much good in first two sets

Particularly interesting stats include -
- Larsson's FH with 21 winners, 13 UEs
- The BH UEs - Agassi 7, Lars 27
- Net points - Agassi 15/28, Lars 9/13
- Unreturned rates - Agassi 28%, Lars 33%

... and they're not interesting for obvious or the same reasons - and we'll get into them a bit later

More basically -
Points won - Agassi 115, Lars 105
Points served - Agassi 121, Lars 99

...or Agassi winning 54% of points while needing to serve 55% of them

Break points read Agassi 3/5 (4 games), Lars 3/6 (5 games)
Nothing clear cut about any of that

Basic stats read -
- 1st serve in - Agassi 64%, Lars 61%
- 1st serve won - Agassi 64%, Lars 72%
- 2nd serve won - Agassi 67%, Lars 51%

This is in line with Lars with bigger serve, Agassi stronger court player.

Both players winning majority of 2nd serve points speaks to a well played match - and Agassi superior court game is reflected in his winning considerably more. Agassi's winning more 2nd serve points than 1sts is strange, particularly in light of his having 7 first serve aces (he also has 1 second serve one) to 4 double faults

Match progression isn't even either and 5/6 breaks and 7/9 games with break points in them are in the first set. So a competitive first set between serve & return and server-dominated play after that. And if anything, sets go against run of play, though 'run of play' is close between the two players most of the time too

Lars has slightly better of first set and has break points in 4/6 return games. Agassi's able to save a couple and break in 3/3 games he has chances to take the set

Lars saves a break point in opening game of the second, and then starts the serve dominated part of match. Both players hold easily, but Agassi more so. Nothing unusual in Agassi going up 30-0 as he serves for 5-5, but from there, a strange combination of luck and against run-of-play points leads to Lars breaking unexpectedly to take the set. Its a 14 point game and Agassi has 4 game points before Lars converts his only break point

Third set is also server-dominated but with a difference. Lars is tiring and playing some throw-away tennis on return games. No deuces and just 3 games go to 30 in first 11 holds (and only once in those is the server behind at any stage)

So game 12, with Agassi serving to send match into cauldron of a tiebreak stands out. Agassi's down 0-15 and then 15-30. Lars is 2 points away from victory on 4 different occasions in the game, though he can't get closer than that with Agassi finally holding after 10 points. Particularly in light of how the second set ended, its a scare for Agassi

Lars blasts a typical FH winner to start the 'breaker. And that's the last point he wins. Agassi reels off 7 points in a row, ending with smacked FH return winner against a first serve

In short, the match has a lot of moving parts, and they move at different tempos at different times in the match, but it all comes out near even. Agassi might have run of play - and lose set. Larsson might have run of play - and lose set. Play might be perfectly even - with luck, or something randomly against trend of play throwing it one way or the other. Shorter, its complicated

Simplified and boiled down - Larsson with big serve and damaging baseline game, Agassi with ordinary serve and solid game... but that's very simplified and very, very boiled down. Looking into most important parts a bit closer...
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Hall of Fame
Serve & Return
Larsson has a huge first serve, much bigger than Agassi's but the court is so slow that even that isn't too troubling. In the final, Agassi would return Pete Sampras about as comfortably as possible too

Agassi's serve is decent or above average at most. Shouldn't pose a threat on this court - and doesn't

Lars' sends down an ace 22% of first serves to Agassi's 9% is good indicator of difference in calibre of the serves. The breakdown of return errors is a nod to the courts nature

Return UEs - Agassi 11, Lars 18
Return FEs - Agassi 9, Lars 8

Some pretty good spot serving from Agassi and otherwise, it works out to smart - the serve just wide enough to draw an error, but plenty of room for improvement in Lars' returning. He returns heftily and thumps balls similarly to Agassi himself. Few errors are bound to come, but from Lars' point of view, its a good move, given he's liable to lose points starting on back foot

By his standard, Agassi returns safely. As in, doesn't look to thump everything in sight powerfully. Still takes them early and still thumps them, but selectively. He's up against an excellent serve that most players would be content to block back by default

Gist of it all is that unreturned rates come out Agassi 28%, Lars 33%. That's a good outcome from Agassi's point of view

Some hints to good play that follows serve-return contest is both players winning majoriyt of their 2nd serve points (Agassi 67%, Lars 51%), despite heavy returning from both players and leaving not-easy to command third ball.

Play - Baseline & Net
Overall -
- Winners - Agassi 21, Lars 27
- Errors Forced - Agassi 16, Lars 13
- UEs - Agassi 28, Lars 40

Key areas are Lars' FH and Agassi's BH advantage

Lars has 21 FH winners to 13 UEs... an astounding ratio on this court and against this opposition.
Hitting through the court is difficult, but Lars gets ball through with a powerhouse display. And large lot of those winners are most basic cc, where he has 9 (+3 passes) and a further 5 inside-in. Good lot of them are wrong-footing shots... he doesn't just blaze away with the FH, he sets up the shot powerful attacking shots that have Agassi off balance first. He hits them from on the baseline

He even outdoes Agassi on FH UEs 13 to 17. Lars' showing of the FH would be impressive on grass or carpet let alone the slowest of hard courts. And against a hard hitting opponent. Top class

BH UEs read Agassi 7, Lars 27

Several possible explanations for a one sided ration like that. Agassi being supremely consistent. Lars being very poor. Or some combo of the two.

Here, its some combo of the 2. Agassi hitting firmly BH cc and Lars apt to give up the error sooner or later. Rallies aren't necessarily long and Lars hits with hefty force too. More credit to Agassi for the typical clean striking, a room for improvement fro Lars. More simply, Agassi's just better at this type thing

Baseline play is hard hitting and dual winged. Lars is the one to attack more. He does it smartly. From normal, neutral rally, he'll hit wide to open up the court and liven up play and he does it off both sides. Good court coverage from Agassi to cope. The difference in his movements from a year ago are marked - he's quick here

Agassi remains strongly firm-to-hard hitting, without going attackingly wide. If he gets short ball - usually drawn by the serve, he dispatches it. Most of his winners are hit from well inside court, unlike Lars'. Otherwise, sticks to moving Lars around a bit and testing his mettle against the meat-&-potatoes firm hit stuff. Doesn't unduly look to keep things BH-BH, which in light of results, looks a bad move. He is in sufficient control to direct rallies to tune of his choice more than Lars is. Lars has to hit the powerful, wide attacking shot to throw a wrench in that state of affairs. By default though, Agassi has more control of play

An indicator of Agassi being in control is his 27 approaches to net from rallies (Lars has 10). Lars isn't in postion to come in as often, though its doubtful he has any particular desire to. He creates potential approach chances from his attacking shots, but prefers to bang away from the back and look for point ending groundstroke

Agassi doesn't manufacture these approaches, they flow organically from being in better position from the baseline. Combo of not being very good on the volley (5 forecourt UEs, including a FH at net) and Lars striking some stunning passes (5 winners - all cc, 3 of them FHs) keeps Agassi to just 54% net points won

Clipping Agassi at net is a major factor in Lars winning his lot of rallies. While his FH is amazing, he is the one that's bossed around and moved about (if not bullied) from the back and he's the one that's apt to give up the error if rallies get prolonged. Agassi doesn't have (or isn't willing to risk using) the power to surely end points from the back, so coming to net is good option for him. Lars' passing keeps it from being one that he can use with confidence

Match Progression

Great first set with Larsson having slightly better of things. Agassi particularly struggles against the big serve early on while his own service games are constantly under threat. Lars has great power off the ground - including off the BH and is able to take charge against Agassi's first line of firm hitting. Lars misses a good number of regulation returns though - occasionally through trying to be aggressive, but slightly more than that, just missing routine return

Pretty quickly, Agassi finds his return coordination and starts spanking back serves strong enough that it'd be natural to fend and push against. He's much more consistent off the ground and scrambles defensively well

Two trade aggressive breaks to stay level at 2-2. Some good returns from Agassi some sloppy misses from Lars puts Agassi 4-3 ahead, and he consolidates the break to 15 - the first service game of 4 where he doesn't face break points

Some strong shot making from Lars sees him break to level at 5-5. Agassi breaks right back in a game of superb, power returning, despite Lars making 6/6 first serves. And Agassi serves it out to 15, also making all his first serves for the game

Agassi has break point in first game of second set, but misses 3 returns - the one on break point, a UE against a 2nd serve. He's taken to 10 points to hold the next game, though not facing break point

Thereafter, play changes from constant battle between server and returner to server dominated. 8/13 games from start have break points in them. Thereafter, its 1/21

So there's nothing unusual about Agassi advancing to 30-0, serving at 4-5, but things go zig-zaggy for him from there. A double fault. A strong deep, error forcing return. A runaround FH inside-out return winner. Interspersed with errors, Agassi keeps his nose in front in the game

He comes to net to bring up another game point. And comes in next point too, but misses an easy FHV. Next, a fended, skyed return accidentally acts as a great drop shot that draws error from Agassi to bring up break/set point for Lars. Agassi misses BH on it. 1 set all

Third set continues in server-dominated fashion and there are no break points. Lars in particular appears tired and takes to poking, angling and touch returning to replace his power hits from earlier in match, missing a lot of returns. Still serves heftily though and Agassi can't make headway on return either

1 game short of tiebreak, Agassi for first time in set is on trouble on his serve falling 0-15 and 15-30 down. Shades of the second set ending. Again he misses an easy FHV. Lars goes for return winner against first serve and misses. Lars drop shots Agassi in and passes him with authority. Agassi responds with an ace to bring up his 4th game point. Lars actively takes net and Agassi pulls of a perfect, under-presssure running FH cc pass winner to hold

Lars opens 'breaker with his 21st FH winner. And that's the last point he wins. Agassi responds with a FHV winner, before a pair of BH errors and a double fault set Lars firmly back 4-1 and 2 mini-breaks. Agassi wraps up with his first return winner, spanking a 1st serve FH inside-in to end the match

Summing, high quality match, a tough tussle with fluctuating runs of play with there never being much between the two players. Agassi is solid and strong from the back and dominates BH rallies. Larsson uses his big serve to good effect and is fabulous in the brute power of his FH. Agassi's able to conjure some counter-play with strong counter-attacking returns, while Larsson's attempts to do the same (against much weaker opposition) usually fails

Little in the result and match could go either way. Weak final set tiebreak by a tiring Larsson gives it easily to Agassi in the end

Stats for the final between Agassi and Pete Sampras - Duel Match Stats/Reports - Sampras vs Agassi, Indian Wells & Miami finals, 1995 | Talk Tennis (