Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Perez-Roldan, French Open quarter-final, 1988


Hall of Fame
Andre Agassi beat Guillermo Perez-Roldan 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 in the French Open quarter-final, 1988 on clay

Agassi would go onto lose to eventual champion Mats Wilander in the next round. This was Roldan's best showing at a Slam and he would shortly go onto reach a career high ranking of 13. Both players were 18 years old. Agassi was seeded 9th, Roldan 15

Agassi won 101 points, Perez-Roldan 77 (Points accounted for)
Agassi won 105 points, Perez-Roldan 80 (Lowest possible actuality)

(Note: I'm missing all but the ending of the last point of one game, with Perez-Roldan serving and score 40-A and do not have full visual for 1 further point
Missing - Set 3, Game 1 - everything but end of last point. A minimum of 7 full points and serve and return information for 1 further
- Set 3, Game 4, Point 8 - is a return error against a first serve. Direction of serve, return type and error type are unknown. Most likely, FH UE but this has not been recorded in stats)

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (63/87) 72%
- 1st serve points won (47/63) 75%
- 2nd serve points won (12/24) 50%
- Aces 2
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (22/87) 25%

- 1st serve percentage (66/90) 73%
- 1st serve points won (37/66) 56%
- 2nd serve points won (12/24) 50%
- Unknown serve point (0/1)
- Aces 1
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (10/91) 11%

Serve Patterns
Agassi served...
- to FH 19%
- to BH 80%
- to Body 1%

Perez-Roldan served....
- to FH 23%
- to BH 76%
- to Body 1%

Return Stats
Agassi made...
- 79 (24 FH, 54 BH, 1 ??), including 8 runaround FHs
- 9 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (2 FH, 3 BH), including 2 runaround FH
- 4 Forced (4 FH)
- Return Rate (79/89) 89%

Perez-Roldan made...
- 63 (26 FH, 37 BH), including 12 runaround FHs
- 3 Winners (1 FH, 2 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 20 Errors, comprising...
- 8 Unforced (2 FH, 6 BH), including 2 runaround FHs
- 11 Forced (3 FH, 8 BH)
- 1 Unknown
- Return Rate (63/85) 74%

Break Points
Agassi 6/12 (6 games)
Perez-Roldan 1/8 (3 games)

(Note: the games and points won for Agassi are correct but he may have had more break points)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Agassi 38 (26 FH, 9 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV)
Perez-Roldan 16 (6 FH, 7 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH)

Agassi's FHs - 9 cc (1 pass, 1 at net), 2 dtl, 3 inside-out (1 at net), 7 inside-in (1 at net), 1 longline, 3 drop shots and 1 running-down-drop-shot dtl at net
- BHs - 4 cc (1 pass, 1 played one-handed), 4 dtl and 1 drop shot

- 1 FHV was not a net point

Perez-Roldan's FHs - 3 cc and 3 inside-out (1 runaround return)
- BHs - 4 dtl (2 returns - 1 pass), 2 drop shots and 1 lob

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Agassi 49
- 38 Unforced (15 FH, 20 BH, 2 BHV, 1 BHOH)
- 11 Forced (4 FH, 7 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.8

Perez-Roldan 39
- 27 Unforced (12 FH, 14 BH, 1 FHV)
- 12 Forced (4 FH, 6 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.0

(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...
- 11/16 (69%) at net, including...
- 0/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve

Perez-Roldan was 7/13 (54%) at net

Match Report
Good baseline match with action on the racquet of the more powerful but also more error prone Agassi. Perez-Roldan is fairly consistent and moves very well but is handily overpowered

Serve & Return
For most clay matches, serve-return complex isn't a big factor - and the serve ordinary serves of both players lends this match to not being an exception. There is one however

From ad court, Agassi serves from an exaggerated wide position near the sideline. And throws out serves as wide as possible, dragging Roldan outside doubles alley to return. Agassi hits his spots with surprising accuracy but serves aren't powerful. Roldan though struggles excessively with the play and almost always returns crosscourt. And Agassi hammers FH inside-in or crosscourt of BH dtl into wide open court - usually for a winner

Its a consistent play and consistently comes off. Dynamics are similar to serve-volleying where if the return is made too softly, it leaves the server with a putaway ball

Why does Roldan keep returning crosscourt? He tries a couple of dtl returns - misses at least 1, also hits a winner - but almost always goes cc. Its not smart. Serves are weak enough of power that going over high part of net wouldn't be unduly difficult, which would leave Agassi scampering to reach the ball. Instead, he puts the ball down the middle of the court, and Agassi has his way with the third ball into open court

Roldan has 14 BH return errors - 6 UE, 8 FEs. Most of the UEs would be against first serves thrown out wide in this way... that's how gentle some of the serves were, that even from that position, its not challenging to put in play. If that's so, shouldn't be a problem returning it dtl either

Creative serving from Agassi, but more a blackmark against Roldan's returning here

It'd be an exaggeration to say the play determines the result, but it has a good hand. Note first serves in (Agassi 72%, Roldan 73%) and second serve points won (both 50%) are virtually identical. The key difference is first serve points won (Agassi 75%, Roldan 56%). There's no difference in the power of serve... its just this tactic of Agassi that makes his serve so much more effective (he's +14% on unreturned serves). Or rather, Roldan's inability to handle it

Agassi also returns comfortably - more so than Roldan even against normal serves - but the effectiveness of Agassi's extra wide position, extra wide serve direction from ad court is the standout, positive feature of the serve-return complex. Without it, almost all points start neutrally

Play - Baseline
Agassi hammers home third ball winners from his wide serving tactics. Note the very high 7 FH inside-in winners (he has just 3 inside-out)… most are third balls from the court opening serve play

Agassi commands baseline starting from neutral positions, leading with FH cc's. Generally, he prefers controlling play with BH cc's, so this is a bit unusual and an attacking step. For 2 sets, he hits powerful, heavy groundies off both sides, looking to open court, comes forward proactively, moves Roldan around... the attacking works, in short

Errors go with the territory, but most are of the neutral variety. 21/38 Agassi UEs are neutral shots or 55%. Roldan by contrast has 13 (including 1 defensive error) out of 39 or 33%. There's scope for Agassi to improve in basic, groundstroke consistency

Still, overall, well into the net positives for Agassi. The high proportion of neutral errors also reflects highly successful attacking play. He misses just 5 winner attempts while having the huge 38 winners. Roldan by contrast misses 7 and has just 16 winners

Roldan initially looks to play a standard, put the ball in court, outlasting brand of tennis. Which would work since he is the more consistent from the back, but for Agassi aggressively outplaying him. He adjusts though and looks to take net. It doesn't work - Agassi keeps passing him. He switches to trying to move Agassi around

That's a good ploy to because Roldan has the movement advantage, though Agassi is good too. Roldan moves with the comfort of one who learnt his craft on clay and is quick. Agassi moves less comfortably, but also quickly. He's quick enough to reach balls when moderately moved around and can still hit hard to keep Roldan under pressure

In second set, Roldan ups the moving around play to downright open court tennis. Agassi prospers in the environment and the opportunities it gives him to exercise shot making. Some wonderful combination of shots from him to finish aggressively

As scoreline indicates, third set is most competitive and also the most conventional. The two play something close to who-blinks-first-tennis and its Agassi more often than Roldan. Agassi experiments with a few moonballs during this period that Roldan doesn't look to punish. Its Agassi's third ball winners that keep him ahead... neutral rallying baselining tends to go Roldan's way in the last set. Agassi doesn't make much effort to liven up action. If anything, its Roldan who constructs points to attack - 7/16 of his winners are in the set and he's 5/5 at net (meaning he'd been only 2/8 prior to that)

Summing up, strong, hefty groundstroke display from Agassi - leading with FHs and looking to punish Roldan - with a good bit of it set up by wide serving from wide position. His return is very steady and movements sound, but a bit more error prone then optimal. Roldan is forced into defensive from his starting ploy of efficient neutral rallying and makes some good adjustments to change playing dynamics. In the end though, Agassi's just plain better from the back