Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Rafter, Miami semi-final, 2001


Hall of Fame
Andre Agassi beat Pat Rafter 6-0, 6-7(2), 6-2 in the Miami semi-final, 2001 on hard court

Agassi, recent winner at Australian Open and Indian Wells, would go onto win the title, beating Jan-Michael Gambill in the final. The two had recently played 5 set semi at Australian Open and would play another 5 set semi at Wimbledon later in the year (Rafter would win)

Agassi won 89 points, Rafter 62

Rafter serve-volleyed off all serves but 5 seconds

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (51/72) 71%
- 1st serve points won (40/51) 78%
- 2nd serve points won (13/21) 62%
- Aces 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (18/72) 25%

- 1st serve percentage (48/79) 61%
- 1st serve points won (34/48) 71%
- 2nd serve points won (9/31) 29%
- Aces 9 (2 second serves), Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (25/79) 32%

Serve Patterns
Agassi served...
- to FH 42%
- to BH 54%
- to Body 4%

Rafter served...
- to FH 27%
- to BH 59%
- to Body 15%

Return Stats
Agassi made...
- 50 (14 FH, 36 BH), including 1 return-approach
- 8 Winners (3 FH, 5 BH)
- 15 Errors, all forced...
- 15 Forced (4 FH, 11 BH)
- Return Rate (50/75) 67%

Rafter made...
- 54 (25 FH, 29 BH), including 2 runaround FHs & 8 return-approaches
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 16 Errors, comprising...
- 10 Unforced (4 FH, 6 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 6 Forced (3 FH, 3 BH)
- Return Rate (54/72) 75%

Break Points
Agassi 6/9 (6 games)
Rafter 1/3 (1 game)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Agassi 21 (9 FH, 11 BH, 1 BHV)
Rafter 19 (3 FH, 1 BH, 6 FHV, 5 BHV, 4 OH)

Agassi's FH passes - 3 cc (2 returns) and 2 dtl
- BH passes - 3 cc returns, 5 dtl, 1 inside-out and 1 inside-in return
- regular FHs - 1 cc, 2 dtl (1 return) and 1 inside-out
- regular BH return - 1 dtl

Rafter had 13 from serve-volley points
- 9 first 'volleys' (3 FHV, 4 BHV, 1 OH, 1 FH at net)
- 1 second volley (1 OH)
- 2 third volleys (1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 1 fifth volley (1 FHV)... a net-to-net shot

- 1 from a return-approach point, an OH

- FHs - 1 dtl at net and 1 inside-in return
- BH - 1 cc

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Agassi 18
- 9 Unforced (6 FH, 3 BH)
- 9 Forced (1 FH, 7 BH, 1 BHV)... the BHV was a baseline shot and pass attempt
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.7

Rafter 46
- 21 Unforced (3 FH, 13 BH, 1 FHV, 3 BHV, 1 OH)
- 25 Forced (5 FH, 4 BH, 9 FHV, 3 BHV, 4 BH1/2V)... with 1 BH at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.2

(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...
- 9/10 (90%) at net, with...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve
- 1/1 return-approaching
- 1/1 retreated

Rafter was...
- 40/77 (52%) at net, including...
- 31/60 (52%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 26/40 (65%) off 1st serve and..
- 5/10 (25%) off 2nd serve
- 5/8 (63%) return-approaching

Match Report
Agassi dismantles the serve-volley game of Rafter clinically and outhits with seeming ease in baseline rallies on a normal paced hard court

21 winners to 18 total errors for Agassi is outstanding numbers, particularly as his return rate is reasonably high 67% (given he's up against virtual 100% serve-volleying). Usually, having more winners in play than total errors occurs when return rate is low, so most points are played on the given players serve. Here, there's plenty of action off Rafter's serve. Adding Rafter's FEs to Agassi's winners, Agassi ends 46 points forcefully while making total 18 errors - astounding numbers

Rafter himself has good numbers. 19 winners, forcing 9 errors to 21 UEs. Only 5 of those UEs are net shots (by contrast, 17 FEs are). In other words, most of the UEs are his being outlasted and outhit in baseline rallies as you'd expect. The strength of his game - net play and serve-volleying - though not at its best, is still good. But it gets stomped

The unusually impressive number here is Rafter being forced into 17 forecourt FEs, while he only has 16 winners there. Throw in Agassi's passing winners and the odd volley UE, Rafter struggles at net to the tune of winning just 52% net there. Overwhelming credit to Agassi on the return and pass, also noting Rafter is less than great in his volleying (and it would have to be great to have coped with what he's faced with)

Agassi's Serve Game
Agassi's service games feature baseline rallies. And its no match

His serve is ordinary. High in count at 71%, but even the better firsts are just a bit wide and average paced. Not good returning from Rafter. 10/16 return errors have been marked unforced, and good lot of the 6 FEs are more returnable than not. He returns passively too, often chipping the FH back (including when he misses)

From Rafter's point of view, 75% return rate would be good (though there's scope for improvement given quality of serve) were he returning aggressively (which he isn't) or able to hang in in the ensuing baseline rallies (which he isn't). Highlight are the chip-charges, with which he wins 5/8 and has no errors trying. Given how badly he comes off from baseline, well worth it a few errors to try to get to net at once more often. Its understandable that he doesn't try seeing how Agassi passes in the match (more on that later)

Once the rally starts, Agassi plays his usual firm BH cc's 'til Rafter cracks. In general, this is Agassi favourite play and he almost always wins the lion share of BH cc rallies against all opponents. Here, Rafter's BH is particularly feeble of power as well as inconsistent. Lot of slices in there too, but they land out sooner rather than later too. BH UEs read Agassi 3, Rafter 13. Sizably number of Rafter's are approach attempts

Off FH, Agassi is more aggressive and misses a small number of attacking shots. He also uses it to finish points (he has 3 baseline-to-baseline winners), usually allied to coming to net. Agassi's 9/10 net points won has little to do with volleying... the approach shots are overwhelming and he comes in for insurance and rarely has to hit a volley

Rafter is too often in reactive or defensive position to look for approach chances regularly. When he can make it to net, he's met with irresistible passing shots

In nutshell, Agassi squeezing Rafter out from the back, keeping him back and passing him when he can find a way forward


Hall of Fame
Rafter's Serve Game
Agassi breaks 6 times while Rafter holds 7. Top class from Agassi, while Rafter is good, if not at his best

Rafter serve-volleys virtually always (staying back off 5 second serves. 2 of those are hit for return winners) but can win just 29% second serve points, which falls to 25% serve-volleying (he also has a couple of aces)

Serving at 61% is good. As 9 aces and a service winner indicate, he serves well enough too (Agassi has 2 aces). 9/13 off his serve-volley winners are first volleys, which along with small 5 volleying UEs indicate he volleyed well too

The other side of the story is Agassi forcing 17 'volley' FEs (includes 4 half-volleys and a BH at net), hitting 6 return-pass winners and 9 passing winners in play. Stupendous figures.

The extent of which Rafter can be faulted is he's a touch (and just a touch) slow to move to wide volleys, and his serve isn't wholly out of reach often enough. The firm returns around net high he volleys where Agassi can reach them to a greater extent than his norm. And he barely makes a difficult volley. He is not serving weakly, or missing easy volleys or routinely plonking regulation volleys in middle of court... the things that could account for barely breaking even on serve

Rather, Agassi is hammering any return he can reach powerfully and wide and clobbering passes the same way. Off both sides. Rafter volleys (and serves) more to BH along standard Big Game practice, so Agassi has more chance to showcase his BH passing and returning, but he's irresistibly strong off both sides

In nutshell, decent showing from Rafter on the serve and on they volley and an extraordinary one from Agassi on the return and pass

Match Progression
Incredible first set from Agassi, who loses just 5 points in taking it. 0 UEs from Rafter in service games (he has 1 double fault), but he barely gets a routine, let alone easy volley to make. When he can get the difficult volley in play, Agassi whacks a pass winner. Or the return goes for a winner before that situation comes up. Or the return leaves him a near impossible volley

Agassi's last break of the set is to love with 4 BH winners. Rafter stays back when down 0-40, but Agassi bops a BH dtl return winner anyway

In second set, Rafter's serve proves more effective and he gains a number of unreturned serves. And gains the break in a 10 point game with Agassi missing attacking FHs, coupled with 3 Rafter net points

Agassi breaks back awhile later as impressively as anything in the first set - from 15-0 down, he forces BH1/2V error and whacks 3 winners. Again, on the last of these, Rafter stays back and again, Agassi hits the return winner dtl anyway

Good tiebreak from Rafter as he wins a pair of return points by hanging in from the baseline for long time, finishing 1 with a trip to net where he has to make 3 good volleys to get the winner off

Third set is more like the first. 3 consecutive pass winners - including a rare BH inside-out - from Agassi puts Rafter in a 15-40 hole. He's able to get back to deuce but mistimes his jump to miss an OH and then double faults to give up the break. He remains under the gun on serve for the set, even when holding

Memorable point where the 2 trade several shots net-to-net - Rafter in close, Agassi around the service line - with Rafter needing a fifth volley to make the winner

Match ends when Rafter's broken from 40-15 up, all points from there ending due to powerful or/and wide returns and passes from Agassi. Match point is another Agassi BH cc return pass winner, his third of the match

Summing up, top class return-passing from Agassi gives Rafter a torrid time of it on serve. He's a tad slow in forecourt, but otherwise plays to his normal standard. From baseline, Agassi commands play and breaks down Rafter's suspect BH systematically. Top notch from Agassi, not bad from Rafter

Stats for final between Agassi and Jan-Michael Gambill - (6) Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Gambill, Miami final, 2001 | Talk Tennis (
Stats for pair's Australian Open semi - (6) Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Rafter, Australian Open semi-final, 2001 | Talk Tennis (
Stats for pair's upcoming Wimbledon semi - (6) Duel Match Stats/Report - Rafter vs Agassi, Wimbledon semi-finals, 2000 & 2001 | Talk Tennis (