Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Martin, US Open final 1999

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Andre Agassi beat Todd Martin 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-2 in the US Open final, 1999 on hard court

It was Agassi's second US Open title, the first having come 5 years earlier (https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-agassi-vs-stich-us-open-final-1994.610510/) and second Slam of the year following the French (https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-agassi-vs-medvedev-french-open-final-1999.611261/)

Agassi won 165 points, Martin 147

Martin serve-volleyed off all first serves

Serve Stats
Agassi...
- 1st serve percentage (101/160) 60%
- 1st serve points won (76/101) 75%
- 2nd serve points won (38/59) 64%
- Aces 7, Service Winners 5
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (62/160) 39%

Martin....
- 1st serve percentage (91/152) 60%
- 1st serve points won (65/91) 71%
- 2nd serve points won (36/61) 59%
- Aces 23 (4 second serves), Service Winners 2 (1 second serve)
- Double Faults 8
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (54/152) 36%

Serve Patterns
Agassi served...
- to FH 44%
- to BH 56%

Martin served....
- to FH 52%
- to BH 46%
- to Body 2%

Return Stats
Agassi made...
- 90 (49 FH, 41 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 4 Winners (1 FH, 3 BH)
- 29 Errors, comprising...
- 2 Unforced (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 27 Forced (12 FH, 15 BH)
- Return Rate (90/144) 63%

Martin made...
- 94 (39 FH, 55 BH), including 7 return-approaches
- 7 Winners (1 FH, 6 BH)
- 50 Errors, comprising...
- 11 Unforced (2 FH, 9 BH)
- 39 Forced (23 FH, 16 BH)
- Return Rate (94/156) 60%

Break Points
Agassi 5/10 (7 games)
Martin 0/8 (4 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Agassi 32 (15 FH, 13 BH, 1 FHV, 3 OH)
Martin 49 (9 FH, 19 BH, 9 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 9 BHV, 2 OH)

Agassi's FHs -
- 9 regular - 3 cc, 3 inside-out, 1 inside in and 2 at net (1 running-down-a-drop-volley)
- 4 passes - 1 cc, 2 dtl (1 return), 1 inside-out

- BHs -
- 5 regular - 1 cc, 2 dtl, 1 inside-out/dtl and 1 net chord dribbler
- 8 passes - 1 cc, 4 dtl (1 return), 2 inside-out returns and 1 lob

OHs - all were hit on the bounce. 1 was hit from the baseline and 1 was a pass hit from mid-court

Martin had 16 from serve-volley points
- 15 first 'volleys' (7 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 6 BHV, 1 BH @ net)
- 1 second volley (1 OH)

- 9 FHs are 1 cc, 5 dtl (1 return), 2 inside-out and 1 inside-in

- 17 BHs are 3 cc, 6 dtl (3 returns), 5 inside-out (2 returns), 1 inside-in return and 2 net chord dribblers
- 1 pass - 1 dtl

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Agassi 41
- 14 Unforced (9 FH, 5 BH)
- 27 Forced (13 FH, 14 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.9

Martin 61
- 21 Unforced (7 FH, 8 BH, 2 FHV, 4 BHV)
- 40 Forced (16 FH, 12 BH, 4 FHV, 2 FH1/2V, 6 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 49.5

(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
Agassi was...
- 11/14 (79%) at net, including...
- 2/2 serve-volleying, both first serves

Martin was...
- 61/96 (64%) at net, including...
- 53/79 (67%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 46/72 (67%) off 1st serve and...
- 7/7 off second serve
---
- 4/7 (57%) return-approaching
- 0/3 forced back/retreated from net
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Match Report
A terrific match played on a lightening fast hard court. Physical fitness probably turns out to be the decisive factor

Match couldn't have started with a bigger bang. In the opening game, Martin is up 30-0 and delivers 4 further first serves which he comes in behind (he would serve-volley off all his first serves throughout the match). Only to be cleanly passed 4 times and be broken.

The next break doesn't come for another 36 games. It really is a ridiculously fast court - look at the second serve points won (64% Agassi, 59% Martin) and the unreturned serves (39% Agassi, 36% Martin) - these are the kinds of figures you see on grass, not hard courts or even carpet. Martin serves 4 second serve aces, let alone drawing forced errors with second serves and even Agassi forces errors with his second serve

So the match goes on, dominated by serve. Break chances are few and far between. Agassi gets out of being 0-40 down in the 4th game of the opening set. The second set is the most serve dominated... Martin saves two with a superb FH cc winner and a FHV. Agassi saves two with a service winner and another unreturned serve (unforced, with Martin going for a bit too much with the return, but that was his strategy in the match and it was a good one)

Agassi has the better of it in set 3 and two break chances off second serves. The first he makes a mild forced error following a long rally (the type which he generally got the better off) and on the second, a strongly forced error in a short rally. In 1 memorable point, he deals with a huge forced weak volley from Martin by stepping in and dispatching a full blooded OH on the bounce from about the service line straight at Martin who had remained tight in at net. Martin wisely ducks at the last minute

Martin plays two excellent tiebreaks, especially the first. There, he bangs down a service winner and knocks off consecutive first volley winners on serve. On return, he return-approaches to pinch another FHV winner and dishes out 2 outstanding inside-out winners - 1 of each wing. In the second set tiebreak, Agassi's double faults on the first point and Martin forces errors with strong returns on two points to give himself a strong lead

And then, fitness kicks in. Start of the 4th, Martin looks haggard and tired, like a man down 2 sets rather than leading and 1 away from his maiden Slam. By contrast, Agassi is as energetic as he was at the start of the match. He breaks early from 40-15 down.... the key points of which are Martin's inability put away an OH ultimately leading to Agassi striking a winner with the same shot from the baseline and Martin caught off guard by a good return and making a BH error at net while serve-volleying. Martin still has chances - the best one being a break point that goes into a long rally and where Agassi declines to be overly aggressive, which ends with a Martin error

Martin's tiredness is more pronounced in the decider. And Agassi goes out of his way to show it by jaunting around, sprinting to and from his chair at changeovers while Martin looks like a man walking to the gallows. Agassi takes it comfortably to seal the match

Serving & Returning
Note Agassi leading the unreturned serves (39% to 36%), despite trailing in aces (7 to 23), Martin having a much bigger serve and serve-volleying off it. This is testament to Agassi's ability to get difficult balls in play. Not that it bothers Martin much (15/16 of his serve-volley winners are first volleys) and also the returning strategy of the two

With little to be done against first serves, both players look for ways to attack the second (which on this court, is difficult). Agassi often returns Martin from inside the baseline... he yields errors and even aces doing so, but on odd occasion, can get a meaty return in that causes trouble.

Martin looks to take big cuts at the second serve or return approach of drive returns. He makes errors doing it (especially the former), but again, creates the odd uncomfortable moment for Andre when he gets it just so. His BH return is deadly and he strikes some fantastic winners with it

Baseline dynamics
The court is so fast that one doesn't have to hit aggressive shots or even open the court to forcefully win points. Just hitting regulation groundstrokes slightly out of reach is sufficient. Agassi best capitilizes on this... he's playing quite low risk from the back while still forcing plenty of errors (most of Martin's 28 groundstroke UEs would have been of this type). Martin hits more aggressively and looks to hit winners from closed court positions. His shot making is on.... and he usually manages. Some stunning winners from him from the back (especially the BH)... far more so than Agassi. And he keeps his errors just as low as Andre (groundstroke UEs - Agassi 14, Martin 15... and at least one of those Martin ones was a net point)

Its about 50-50 off the ground, contrary to what you might expect, with Martin being the more dynamic shot maker and Agassi the more consistent. Agassi does have an edge in movement, but it doesn't matter too much. On this court, anything out of reach is likely to end the point

Martin volley vs Agassi pass
Final piece of the playing puzzle. The balls coming back so fast that Martin makes most of his first volleys from behind the service line - some well behind (credit Agassi's returning for this... Martin served powerfully and accurately and few could have returned him with such authority). Its a difficult task to volley in this case, but Martin pulls it off. His volleying and his serve are co-partners in his healthy 64% success at net and his success return approaching (57%), also speaks to the quality of his volley

Agassi does well with the pass (including returns) - forcing 12 volley/half-volley errors. Most of Martin's low 6 volley UEs aren't easy either - I wouldn't call a single 1 a putaway. So good stuff from both players in this match up

Summing up, a tough and super fast paced match.... with dynamic match ups both from the baseline and volley vs pass. Ultimately, its Agassi being fit enough to maintain his standard throughout, while a tired Martin's drops a bit in the last two sets that decides it
 
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