Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Rosset, Paris final, 1994


Hall of Fame
Andre Agassi beat Marc Rosset 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 in the Paris final, 1994 on carpet

It was Agassi's first title at the event and followed a recent title run in Vienna and took him to world number 2 in the ranking. Rosset led the head to head 2-1 going into the match

Agassi won 135 points, Rosset 114

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (90/119) 76%
- 1st serve points won (66/90) 73%
- 2nd serve points won (16/29) 55%
- Aces 5
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (36/119) 30%

- 1st serve percentage (71/130) 55%
- 1st serve points won (48/71) 68%
- 2nd serve points won (29/59) 49%
- Aces 18 (1 second serve), Service Winners 2
- Double Faults 6
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (42/130) 32%

Serve Patterns
Agassi served...
- to FH 25%
- to BH 73%
- to Body 3%

Rosset served....
- to FH 49%
- to BH 47%
- to Body 4%

Return Stats
Agassi made...
- 82 (44 FH, 38 BH)
- 3 Winners (3 FH)
- 22 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (3 FH, 1 BH)
- 18 Forced (10 FH, 8 BH)
- Return Rate (82/124) 66%

Rosset made...
- 82 (28 FH, 54 BH), including 8 runaround FHs & 1 return-approach
- 4 Winners (4 FH)
- 31 Errors, comprising...
- 23 Unforced (11 FH, 12 BH), including 5 runaround FHs
- 8 Forced (5 FH, 3 BH)
- Return Rate (82/118) 69%

Break Points
Agassi 5/11 (9 games)
Rosset 2/4 (2 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Agassi 23 (11 FH, 3 BH, 2 FHV, 4 BHV, 3 OH)
Rosset 31 (21 FH, 1 BH, 6 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)

Agassi's FHs - 4 cc (3 passes), 2 dtl, 1 dtl/inside-out pass, 3 inside-in (1 return), 1 longline return
- BHs - 1 cc pass, 1 dtl pass and 1 longline

- 1 FHV was a swinging inside-out from no-man's land and not a net point
- 1 OH was on the bounce from no-man's land and not a net point

Rosset's FHs - 3 cc (1 pass), 4 dtl (2 returns, 1 pass), 3 inside-out (1 return), 8 inside-in (1 return), 2 inside-in/cc and 1 net chord dribbler
- BH - 1 dtl pass

- 4 from serve-volley points - all first volley FHVs ( net chord dribbler)

- of other volleys, 1 FHV and 1 BHV were net-to-net

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Agassi 40
- 20 Unforced (6 FH, 13 BH, 1 BHV)... with 1 BH at net
- 20 Forced (9 FH, 9 BH, 2 BHV)... with 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.5

Rosset 70
- 46 Unforced (32 FH, 12 BH, 2 BHV)
- 24 Forced (5 FH, 11 BH, 5 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.6

(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...
- 14/24 (58%) at net, with...
- 1/1 forced back

Rosset was...
- 18/35 (51%) at net, including...
- 9/19 (47%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 8/14 (57%) off 1st serve and...
- 1/5 (20%) off 2nd serve
- 1/1 return-approaching
- 1/1 retreated

Match Report
Brutal match that can be cleanly divided into 2 parts. First 2 sets, Agassi runs Rosset around - and is by far the better player. Next 2, Rosset hammers FHs and play is about even. Rosset in particular goes through an ordeal. He's either running or swinging for the fences (or both)... its tiring to watch, much less contemplate how he might have been feeling. Agassi by comparison, has it easy, but he looks worn down after being on the receiving end of huge FHs for two sets. The court is slow for carpet, Agassi is able to return with reasonable comfort (given what he's up against) and only Rosset's no-holding-back full cut FHs go through for winners regularly

There are other contrasts. Rosset has the humongous serve. I don't think he's too bothered about placement and just hammers them down hard as can. It'd be impossible to get an unforced return error against it regardless of where its placed. Second serves are strong too - stronger than Agassi's firsts, and a number of return errors against it have been marked forced also. Agassi serve is gentle, a point starter. 23/31 Rosset return errors have been marked unforced - overwhelming bulk of them being first serves

And the two players physical size. When Agassi is in near court to the camera, it looks like a midget playing a giant

Conditions, Prospects & Strategy - Phase 1 - Moving Rosset around
In slower conditions, I'd think Agassi would have 2 choices of strategy

1) playing BH cc's to break down Rosset's BH - a favourite, standard Agassi ploy and a good bet seeing Rosset's BH. Shot doesn't pack much punch and he plays a fair few one-handed shots

2) move Rosset around - big as Rosset is, one might expect him to not be quick of court coverage

Agassi goes with options 2). he his balls side to side, off both FH and BH and Rosset is run ragged. Rosset's reasonably quick for such a big guy - according to commentary, he stands 6'7 inches

Agassi's shots are moderately hit off both sides and to both sides. While often on the run, Rosset can reach balls more or less comfortably. And he gives up errors - most have been marked unforced, but they're balls on the move or reached after having run to... and they are persistent. Very good play from Agassi - and dynamically so. He strikes a great balance in being safely consistent and reasonably attacking, or at least, encouraging Rosset to make errors

Its the Rosset BH that's more prone to error under these dynamics, contrary to what match end stats of 32 FH and 12 BH UEs would very strongly suggest. And a good number of BH errors are to particularly wide balls to BH. Rosset has 11 FEs on the BH to 5 for the FH

Finally, outplaying Rosset in this way, Agassi also comes to net to finish points. He could probably have done so more but is usually successful in forecourt. Again, more so than final net numbers of 14/24 would suggest

Phase 2 - Rosset belting FHs
Rosset has a hard work out for two sets. He seeks relief with some serve-volleying at times, which he does in chunks. Its not too successful. From near the end of second set and lasting til end of match, he changes tacks and goes for broke, swinging for the hills off his FH, including with the return. Regularly runsaround BH returns, including in ad court

Rosset's FHs are by far the most powerful and damaging shot on court. He blasts them overpoweringly, like Fernando Gonzalez or Juan Martin del Potro. It is for better or worse, the centerpiece of play

Note 21 winners. Next highest is Agassi's 11 FHs and Agassi's total is just 23
Note also 32 UEs - more than triple the next 2 groundstrokes (Agassi's BH has 13, Rosset's 12)
Most of Agassi's 20 FEs would also have been forced by the Rosset FH. The Rosset BH scarcely forces any

Near equal UEFI is deceptive. Agassi has 47.5, Rosset 47.6. Breakdown of errors though speaks to how differently the two were playing
- Neutral - Agassi 12 (60%), Rosset 21 (46%)
- Attacking - Agassi 1 (5%), Rosset 15 (33%)
- Winner attempts - Agassi 7 (35%), Rosset 10 (22%)

Agassi's moving-Rosset-around shots skirts lines between being an attacking or neutral shot... most (errors or otherwise) I would call neutral; not strong enough to force an error and balls Rosset misses are more makeable than tough (though easier than a stationary shot). Agassi also has a slightly rattled phase in the third set where he hits out unsuccessfully and misses a number of winner attempts. He also looks frustrated and maybe a bit tired at that point - Rosset was also dealing in aces in the period in question

For Rosset, 10 winner attempts is a very good, low number given he has 31 winners. His neutral errors have a good chunk of on-the-move ones - the mirror reflection of Agassi's low-risk, skirting forceful/unforceful moving around play... tough errors for being marked neutral, but not tough enough to be defensive


Hall of Fame
Backdrop - Serve & Return
All of this is of course against the back ground of serve-return complex

Rosset serves huge. Short serves in Agassi's swing range are fast enough to be tough to handle. He isn't bothered with placement - he doesn't need to be - a good lot of his serves are in Agassi's swing range. Even second serves are hard hit and tough

In this light, Agassi returns very well at 66%. As is his style, taking returns early and belting them with short swings. One implication is that it curbs Rosset's appetite for serve-volleying. With returns coming back hard, the pace of Rosset's serve and his not great speed, first volleys tend to be difficult, at least above average power. Rosset looks an unnatural volleyer and doesn't persevere with serve-volleying

Just 1/5 second serve-volley points won - and they were strong enough serves as to be normal for most players. And 47% total serve-volleying points - sans unreturned serves off the first serve, it's comfortably less. It takes away an option for winning quick points

Agassi's serve is just average, as 75% in implies. Not good returning from Rosset as he misses a whole bunch of regulation BH returns, on which he's not overly aggressive. He also takes to running around to hit FHs, which by contrast, are very aggressive, mostly winner attempts. In second half of match, anything to Rosset's FH is likely to be clubbed with point ending force and Agassi only serves there 25% of the time

Match Progression
Rosset's under the gun in first set. Agassi loses 4 points in 5 service games while Rosset is taken to deuce 3 times and faces break points in 2 games

Agassi gains the break with punishing returns, forcing 3 errors (1 volley, 1 1/2volley and 1 on the baseline) with the second shot. Rosset serve-volleys regularly next service game too and gets similar treatment, but knocks back 2 aces to hold

Second set starts the same way with a net rushing Rosset forced into errors and broken, only he breaks back immediately from 40-0 down with brutish FHs. From hereon, Rosset curbs the net rushing but Agassi continues running him around from the baseline

Down break point, Rosset pulls of his only BH winner of the match, a one-handed dtl pass. Odds of him pulling the shot off would have been very low, given how he was hitting the BH in general

On serve and 2-3 down, Agassi wins the next 4 games. Rosset double faults twice in getting broken first time and misses 2 regulation volleys and double faults once the second. Agassi's also coming to net to finish points at this stage

In third set, Rosset's had enough of being run around and takes charge of points from the back with huge FHs. He breaks early to go up 3-1. Couple of tough holds - 1 from each player - follow. Rosset gets out of his with unreturned serves and continues to hold to take the set. Agassi's play slips a touch too - he's not moving as well as he was, the big unreturned serves seem to frustrate him and he makes the odd error trying to finish points - something he wasn't called on to earlier in match

Fourth set carries on like the third, Rosset making or breaking the point with huge FHs, Agassi content to let it be so. Agassi still has better of play. He has a break point in game 6, only to be blasted by 3 big FHs to end the game as a hold. Rosset's movement also declines in the set - which is no surprise. He's done well for it not to have become so earlier

Agassi breaks to end the match just short of a tiebreak. A wide FH inside-out return forces an error and he brings up match point with a powerful FH cc that draws an error. Rosset has to move to another wide return on match point and though he's there in good time, misses his dtl FH

Summing up, terrific struggle of a match with Agassi returning surely against the huge Rosset serve and successful moving the big man around. Rosset explores coming to net and finding it not working, turns to blasting FHs, doing which he makes action on his racquet. Agassi remains slightly better player even then, but its not by much

Stats for recent Vienna final between Agassi and Michael Stich -
Stats for the '99 final between Agassi and Marat Safin -