Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Rios, Miami semi-final, 2002

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Andre Agassi beat Marcelo Rios 6-7(7), 6-4 retired in the Miami semi-final, 2002 on hard court

Agassi was the defending champion and would go onto retain his title by beating Roger Federer in the final. The two had previously played the final in 1998 with Rios winning

Agassi won 92 points, Rios 83

Serve Stats
Agassi...
- 1st serve percentage (36/70) 51%
- 1st serve points won (27/36) 75%
- 2nd serve points won (21/34) 62%
- Aces 5 (1 second serve which was not clean)
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (23/70) 33%

Rios...
- 1st serve percentage (52/105) 50%
- 1st serve points won (35/52) 62%
- 2nd serve points won (26/53) 49%
- Aces 6 (1 second serve), Service Winners 1 (a second serve)
- Double Faults 5
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (24/105) 23%

Serve Patterns
Agassi served...
- to FH 32%
- to BH 68%

Rios served...
- to FH 45%
- to BH 52%
- to Body 3%

Return Stats
Agassi made...
- 76 (33 FH, 43 BH), including 3 runaround FHs
- 2 Winners (2 BH)
- 17 Errors, comprising...
- 8 Unforced (5 FH, 3 BH)
- 9 Forced (6 FH, 3 BH)
- Return Rate (76/100) 76%

Rios made...
- 43 (12 FH, 31 BH)
- 2 Winners (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 18 Errors, comprising...
- 11 Unforced (2 FH, 9 BH)
- 7 Forced (3 FH, 4 BH)
- Return Rate (43/66) 65%

Break Points
Agassi 2/17 (7 games)
Rios 1/2 (2 games)

Winners (excluding serves, including returns)
Agassi 13 (4 FH, 4 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV, 2 OH)
Rios 27 (11 FH, 10 BH, 1 FHV, 3 BHV, 2 OH)

Agassi's FHs - 1 dtl, 2 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- BHs - 2 cc and 2 inside-in returns

- the BHV was a drive pass from the baseline and not a net point
- both OHs were on the bounce - 1 at net, 1 from baseline

Rios' FHs - 3 cc, 4 dtl (1 return), 1 inside-out, 1 longline (technically a pass) and 1 lob
- BHs - 5 cc (1 return, 1 pass), 3 dtl, 1 inside-out return and 1 lob

- 1 from a serve-volley point, a first 'volley' FH at net

- 1 BHV was a lob from near baseline and not a net shot
- 1 OH on the bounce

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Agassi 28
- 17 Unforced (4 FH, 13 BH)
- 11 Forced (7 FH, 4 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.9

Rios 51
- 42 Unforced (15 FH, 25 BH, 1 FHV, 1 OH)... with 1 BH at net and the OH was from no-man's land and not a net shot
- 9 Forced (2 FH, 6 BH, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 49.3

(Note 1: all half-volleys refer to such shots played at net. Half -volleys played from other parts of the court are included within relevant groundstroke counts)

(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...
- 5/10 (50%) at net, with...
- 1/1 retreated

Rios was...
- 9/13 (69%) at net, including...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve

Match Report
A fun, if not particularly high quality match on a quick-ish hard court. Rios is the playmaker - flashy, creative but loose. Agassi provides the heavy hitting, solid element. Agassi has much, much better of play - its a small miracle the scoreline is so close. The match is cut short at 1 set apiece when Rios retires

Rios starts the match with wrappings under one knee and has it treated 2 or 3 times. According to commentary, he'd been suffering from tendinitis all week. He occasionally grimaces in pain. His movement though is decent - about as good as Agassi's - and there's plenty of running around to be done by both players. Only towards the end does Rios decline to chase a few balls. Having somehow managed to pinch the first set in a tiebreak and stay on serve in second set, he's broken at the end to lose the set. And then calls it quits

Its a good decision. Probably the injury was getting worse and he'd have struggled more in deciding set. And had he manged to eke out a win, its unlikely he'd be able to play the best of 5 set final. Its more accurate to say he pulls of a wonder to keep match close than to wonder match-was-so-close-why-retire?

Points won - Agassi 92, Rios 83
Points served - Agassi 70, Rios 105
Breaks points - Agassi 2/17 in 7 games (Rios served 11 games in match), Rios 1/2 in 2 games

... you'd be hard pressed to find more one sided figures for match of comparable scoreline. Agassi is constantly threatening to break, while holding easily

Still, overwhelming part of reason Rios is able to hold regularly is his good play, not Agassi's. Rios plays hits some astonishing shots and directs some astonishing points down break point, including with great serves

On whole, Rios plays a creative and flashy attacking game. He hits very sharp cc angles off both wings. BH dtl point finishers are a treat, and perfectly disguised. Some wonderful drop shots (including a BHV from no man's land)- though some of the ones he misses are stupidly ambitious shots. A beautiful, touch drop FHV and a carved, drop BHV to end the first set. The hard, slapped shots that land near the baseline that theoritically should push Agassi back (they often don't, with Agassi just whacking them on the up firmly). The extra hard hit, jumping BHs. A lovely lob BHV from close to baseline after bringing Agassi in with a sublime drop shot. Great lobs in general. And he seems to anticipate and be ready for Agassi's attacking shots to short balls like a mind-reader

Interspersed with all that aren't just attacking errors, but seemingly careless misses off regulation balls

Agassi is heavier hitter of both sides, hits deep and occasionally moderately wide. On a quick-ish court, his regulation shots skirt the line for being forceful or not. In general, Agassi's favourite ploy is to break down opponents BH with firm BH cc's. Against the lefty Rios, he does so with FH cc's

Excellent match low 4 FH UEs for Agassi, while Rios' BH has match high 25. That's not a good indicator of the cc rally because Rios rarely continues to play along cc long enough. He hits extra deep or longline or at sharp angle to open court to turn the mundane rally into something much more lively. His BH is prone to loosely missing regulation balls, on top of the attacking errors. Agassi breaking it down plays the smallest hand in Rios' BH error rate

On the BH, Rios' is probably too aggressive. BHs rarely win more points forcefully than they lose via UEs... Rios seems to be willing to try and defy that. 10 winners to 25 UEs is his final outcome. For all the beauty and flash, its not even close to being worth it

Agassi hits wide occasionally and with Rios opening court with sharp angles regularly, there's plenty of running for both players to do. Despite the injury, Rios is able to run down most balls. He moves about as well as Agassi. Neither are particularly quick but are very good at retrieving on the run

Basic playing figures paint accurate picture of play -
- Winners - Rios 27, Agassi 13
- UEs - Rios 42 at UEFI of 49.3, Agassi 17 at UEFI of 45.9
- FEs - Rios 9, Agassi 11

Rios attacking as his more than double lead in winners and large UEFI indicate
Agassi far more solid, as his less than half UEs indicate
 
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Waspsting

Hall of Fame
The figures can't capture the creativity and art of Rios' play though. He seems to just be making it up as he goes along. It'd be a stretch to call his play good - far too many errors for that - but no denying the beauty of his shots - both standalone and in combinations

Agassi's play is probably a bit more attacking than his numbers would indicate, if for no other reason, he's forced to be when court opens up. He's not able to implement the dynamics he likes - repeated firm BH cc's and wider hit FH cc's - to encourage errors because Rios is apt to turn dynamics into something else with longline or even inside-out change-ups or very deep shots to baseline or sharp angled shots to open court

There's some good stuff going on on serve and return too. From both players

Rios is hits some superb, wide serves, usually when he needs it most. These go for aces (he has 6 in total) or drag Agassi completely out of court. He's apt to do it occasionally with the second serve too. It goes well with his open court game and with placement rather than power being the key to its effectiveness, is elegant

In first set, he saves 8 break point. 4 are with unreturned serves (2 aces) and the serve otherwise gives him control of the point. In second set, his first-in count drops to 18/46 or just 39%. He still saves 7 break points, but needs to do so in play

Agassi's second serve is particularly good, with some forceful wide ones thrown in. At least difficult to attack and sometimes, attacking. The first serve isn't exceptional but conditions are quick. Rios' returns leave Agassi scope to take charge - and he does, with hard hit but not overly attacking groundstrokes

Healthy 33% unreturned rate for Agassi

Both players look to take return early and both serve well enough to make that a difficult task. Agassi biffs his returns firmly and usually down the middle. Rios slaps his and is more likely to go wide. He misses a good number so doing - 11/18 errors have been marked unforced and below par return rate of 65% - but gives Agassi a good number of third balls on the move to either side. Both players have 2 return winners

Match Progression
Agassi holds comfortably while threatening regularly on return. He finally breaks on his 9th break point to go up 5-4 and ready to serve set out. Only Rios chooses now of all times to strike, and breaks on his first chance

Agassi has first set point in tiebreak as returner but misses an aggressive BH cc winner attempt. Rios hits 3 winners in next 4 points - a FH lob, a sharp BH cc and on his second set point, a carved BHV - to pinch the set. He serves 59 points in it to Agassi's 37 and wins 4 fewer points

Second set is similar story, but with Rios' first serve in count falling drastically. He's again under the gun all the time on serve, but still manages to find a way out. Middle of set, Agassi starts hitting harder and wider - moving into attacking territory from the heavy pressuring game he'd played earlier. Shortly after near end, Rios finally eases up on some points and lets a few balls go through unchased

Agassi breaks to end the match, with Rios missing aggressive shots and double faulting. The misses look tired and harried - though for him, that's not abnormal. And he calls it a day before third set starts

Summing up, lively and exciting match due to the streaky, artistically aggressive Rios. Its beautiful when it comes off, but there's more ebbs than flows to it. Throw in solid, hard hitting and counter-attacking play from Agassi and matters run heavily in Agassi's overall favour

Stats for the final between Agassi and Roger Federer - (13) Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Federer, Miami final, 2002 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
 
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