Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Moya, French Open fourth round, 1999

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Andre Agassi beat Carlos Moya 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-1 in the French Open fourth round, 1999 on clay

Agassi would go onto win his only title at the French and complete the career Grand Slam, beating Andrei Medvedev in the final. Moya was the defending champion

Agassi won 141 points, Moya 121

Serve Stats
Agassi...
- 1st serve percentage (77/129) 60%
- 1st serve points won (56/77) 73%
- 2nd serve points won (29/52) 56%
- Aces 6
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (29/129) 22%

Moya...
- 1st serve percentage (72/133) 54%
- 1st serve points won (54/72) 75%
- 2nd serve points won (23/61) 38%
- Aces 6, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 5
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (28/133) 21%

Serve Patterns
Agassi served...
- to FH 37%
- to BH 60%
- to Body 3%

Moya served...
- to FH 23%
- to BH 70%
- to Body 6%

Return Stats
Agassi made...
- 100 (41 FH, 59 BH), including 10 runaround FHs
- 3 Winners (2 FH, 1 BH)
- 21 Errors, comprising...
- 8 Unforced (4 FH, 4 BH), including 3 runaround FH & 1 return-approaching attempt
- 13 Forced (1 FH, 12 BH)
- Return Rate (100/128) 78%

Moya made...
- 97 (50 FH, 47 BH), including 15 runaround FHs
- 3 Winners (3 FH), including 1 runaround FH
- 23 Errors, comprising...
- 7 Unforced (6 FH, 1 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 16 Forced (7 FH, 9 BH)
- Return Rate (97/126) 77%

Break Points
Agassi 6/18 (10 games)
Moya 3/10 (5 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Agassi 41 (14 FH, 10 BH, 7 FHV, 5 BHV, 3 OH, 2 BHOH)
Moya 37 (22 FH, 5 BH, 7 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)

Agassi's FHs - 5 cc, 1 dtl return, 5 inside-out, 1 inside-in, 1 longline return and 1 lob
- BHs - 5 cc (1 return, 1 pass and 1 running-down-drop-shot at net), 4 dtl (2 passes) and 1 net chord dribbler

- 1 FHV was the first volley of a serve-volley point, 1 was a swinging shot and not a net point and 1 was a sharply angled drop
- 1 BHV was hit very low from just inside the baseline and not a net point and 1 was a stop

Moya's FHs - 5 cc (1 pass, 1 runaround return), 2 dtl (1 return), 1 dtl/inside-out, 8 inside-out, 4 inside-in (1 return), 1 longline and 1 drop shot
- BHs - 2 dtl, 1 longline/inside-out, 1 lob and 1 around net post

- 1 FHV was a swinging shot and not a net point, 1 was a stop and 1 was a lob
- 1 BHV was a drop and the other was a stop

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Agassi 53
- 35 Unforced (18 FH, 15 BH, 1 FHV, 1 OH)… the OH was from the baseline
- 18 Forced (8 FH, 8 BH, 2 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.7

Moya 66
- 39 Unforced (18 FH, 19 BH, 1 FHV, 1 OH)
- 27 Forced (12 FH, 13 BH, 1 BHV, 1 Tweener)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.4

(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...
- 29/40 (73%) at net, including...
- 3/3 serve-volleying, all 1st serves
--
- 0/1 forced back

Moya was...
- 13/23 (57%) at net, with...
- 0/2 forced back

Match Report
A very good clay court match, mostly fighting/struggling stuff baseline-to-baseline. Key factors in the final result are Agassi's excellent net play (particularly instincts) and his superior fitness

The first set is the most competitive and its an evenly matched baseline battles. Not overly high in terms of level of play - both players make plenty of UEs and the rallies aren't particularly long (though the longest of any set of the match) - but a great contest nonetheless. Not much in it from the baseline but Moya has an edge: his serve

4 aces, a service winner and otherwise strong enough to give him control of the point, Moya utilizes his first serve to good effect. In fact, he wins all 14 first serve points in the set, almost always in short rallies. With everything else roughly equal, its enough to put him over.

Moya gains the sole break of the set in game 5, mostly on the back of Agassi errors (5 of them - 4 groundstrokes and a volley). Agassi also throws out 2 aces and there are a couple of good points. First one of the game, Agassi drop shots Moya in, lobs him back and hits a FH cc winner as Moya is back tracking

Strong play from Agassi gives him his first break points as Moya serves for the set, but the defending champion sees them off and wraps up the opener with a pair of winners - the first FH cc, the next BH dtl

A drubbing looks on the card as Moya breaks twice to open up a 4-1 lead. Again, poor play from Agassi sees him broken - including missing a mid-court FH winner attempt and an OH from the baseline after being forced back by a precise defensive lob. Moya wraps up with a powerful, runaround FH cc return winner. Couple of beautiful shots from Moya in the next game as he consolidates the break. The first is a beautiful, low stop BHV winner as good as you'll see. Later towards end of the game, Moya drop shots Agassi in as he approaches himself and lob FHVs a winner

Down 1-4, Agassi ups his game and breaks to love with a FH lob, an error forcing return to the baseline, a forced passing error and a FH return winner. And breaks the next chance too.

Agassi begins to step in more and finds greater depth to his shots. He'd already started coming to net more from the start of the set - and continues doing so at choice moments. Cuts back on his errors of the ground, starts to push Moya back and he seems to got the measure of Moya's serve by this point. Moya himself holds up reasonably well, but is forced on the backfoot and the errors start trickling out from him now, even as Agassi commandingly finishes points. Moya's broken to end the set, a pretty poor game from him, but he's under the gun now

Agassi continues to dominate play in the third set. He wins a service game to love with 4 volley winners - how often did he do that (1 of the said volleys was hit from just inside the baseline, a daring shot choice to a deep ball)? Moya's not out of it by any means though, and he's doing a healthy amount of damage with his varied FH

As the set nears it conclusion, Moya appears to be tiring. His movement isn't quite as fleet and his play, particularly in return games, is more loose than earlier. he survives 4 sets points in a 14 point game with some strong serving and excellent shot making - including winners with an around-the-net-post BH, a swinging FHV and a drop FHV, but is broken next game when he makes 3 simple FH UEs in a row. He looks tired

And so it is in the 4th. Moya plays poorly, making routine errors and attacking ones. He tries coming to net more, with reasonable success, but Agassi hasn't changed his high quality commanding, consistent and net seeking game either. Final set is a mismatch. Agassi goes down 0-40 in serving it out but comes through, helped by Moya missing a not easy OH (but still UE) and one of his best volleys, a reflex, touch stop BHV winner. On match point, Agassi's defensive lob forces Moya back, Agassi himself comes in and the defending champion can only tweener his retrieval attempt into the net

Serve & Return
Moya certainly has the stronger serve. In the first set in particular, its a deadly weapon. His serving standard doesn't fall off (at least, not until near the end, when everything about his game does), but Agassi seems to get a better read on it as the match goes on. Shot for shot, though, its a good deal better than Agassi's serve

Agassi serves decently. Not an overly powerful serve, but mostly strong enough to give him a small initiative to start the point. And he is clutch in delivering his best serves when in a bit (or lot) of trouble, frequently gaining cheap points at such times

Statistically, the big difference is in Agassi winning 56% of his second serve points to Moya's low 38%. Aside from the uniform drop in Moya's play for the last set and a half, that's primarily down to Agassi's superior return

With the return, both players look to attack at times. Moya occasionally stands in the box to return even first serves. Both players runaround BHs frequently to hit big FH returns off second serves. Agassi is apt to occasionally advance as he returns, rarely hitting the ball about half way to the service line. One return he misses looks it was intended to be something like a 'Sneak Attack' return, only there's not much sneakiness about the way he was advancing

Return figures looks very even - just two point difference in the return rates, both with 3 winners, Agassi with the extra UE, but Moya with 3 more FEs. Agassi though was facing a stronger serve and returned more commandingly (particularly the second serves). Fair few returns to the baseline from Andre (very few from Moya). Moya's best returns generally neutralized Agassi's possible opening advantage while Agassi's gave him one

Call it a wash on the serve-return complex, but not for the common reason we see so often on clay that neither shot from either player is sufficient to upset a 50-50 balance
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Play - Baseline & Net
Most of the action is baseline battles and both play well. Rallies are typically of the tough and hard fought variety, with fluctuations.

Its never error free. Both players make a number of routine errors and/or in short rallies - the hallmark of poor play, but look at the overall numbers

Agassi 41 winners, 35 UEs. Moya 37 winners, 39 UEs... these are excellent numbers for clay. Better than the action looked to me, actually

Agassi is typically commanding from the back of the court. He has spells of being error prone, but on the whole, is solid and bossy
Moya has his down periods too, but hangs tough with Agassi. Naturally, he capitilizes on Agassi's UEs - one of the biggest factors in his winning the first set, the other being his serve - but even when Agassi's playing well, Moya's right in the thick of battle. He moves a bit better than Agassi and is more comfortable defending - though that's not his aim

No letting-Agassi-dictate type stuff from Moya. He throws in to challenge for supremacy from the back. He's not quite strong enough to win that battle, but its close. Note the 22 FH winners - the most damaging shot on show - and there's a lot of variety to them

Note the very balanced breakdown of errors for both players -

- UEs - Agassi 18 FH, 15 BH... Moya 18 FH, 19 BH
- FEs - Agassi 8 FH, 8 BH... Moya 12 FH, 13 BH

... this is very balanced play, in terms of weaknesses. In Agassi's case, that extends even to his offense with FH and BH working together. Moya's offense is more FH based, though his BH isn't a sitting duck by any means.... the low 5 BH winners is a bit misleading

Slight edge to Agassi from the baseline for being more commanding and bossy.... his lead in that area greater than Moya's in defence

What puts Agassi on top overall is his net game. Agassi shows excellent net instincts and comes in regularly when he's outplayed Moya from the back. He wins 29/40 net points or 73%. Virtually all these approaches were after having gained ascendancy from the back... he wasn't manufacturing approaches out of nothing. The instinct of when to come in the best part of his net play. He's not tested unduly on the volley, but manages well against what's on offer. Not many challenging volleys to make, but beyond reproach in putting away not-difficult balls. The net game Agassi shows here would probably have served him well if he'd applied it more on other surfaces

Moya comes in about 1/2 as much and with a lot less success. Agassi's significantly superior passing is part of the reason (most successful passes are made from defensive positions - credit Agassi, not discredit Moya's instincts or volleying). In fact, on the volley itself, Moya is very good... in look as well as quality. Lovely touch. Moya's approaches most towards the end of the match, when he's being thoroughly outplayed, probably due to being tired (more on that later)

In a nutshell, strong baseline exchanges with Agassi having a slight edge overall and the balance of it varying significantly across the whole match. Throw in net play and passing and Agassi's advantage is more obvious

Fitness
Agassi maintains a consistent and high level of physical vigour throughout the match (regardless of fluctuations in quality of play). Moya doesn't

There are signs of him slowing down from middle of the third set. By the end of it, he's trailing significantly in play and in the last set, plays outright badly - spraying errors in short rallies and not moving well

The match isn't too long - about 2 and 1/2 hours - baseline rallies are intense, if not brutal. No easy job, but probably a fitness issue their for Moya. One would expect a top player to be not wilt to the degree he ends up doing. he starts showing signs of frustration in the 4th set too, which wouldn't have helped, but I doubt mental issues is what triggered his drop

Moya the Stylist
I don't remember much of Carlos Moya and I haven't heard him spoken of as a stylist. But he plays beautifully

The movements are reminiscent of Mecir - seemingly gliding soundlessly around the court. There's a similar easy touch to his groundstrokes too. Nonetheless, there's no lack of power either as is often seen in those celebrated for elegance. Not as powerful as Agassi, but in the same ball park - and there weren't too many players who could boast that

There's something of Federer in him too. He uses the FH inside-out in particular like Fed... running round or backing away to make the shot, and going for it with point ending precision or/and power (more precision than power, but both). It was his strongest shot in the match with 8 winners

His swings aren't all out, as clay-based players tend to have, but full enough to be pleasing to the eye. He's no grinder, though he's solid... and resort to slicing BHs almost always only when its defensively necessary. Good drop shots too, though he misses a few

And to complete the picture, he shows beautiful feel and touch at the net. Never seems rushed (and Agassi's passes would make most people look rushed), some excellent drop/stop volleys
---

Summing up, very good match with intense, challenging baseline battles. Agassi slightly better in these, which he augments by coming to net regularly and well to finish points. Moya's level dropping like a stone at the end detracts a bit from it all, but much credit to Agassi for his physical fitness as well as game

Stats for the final between Agassi and Medvedev - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-agassi-vs-medvedev-french-open-final-1999.611261/
 
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