Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Schuettler, Australian Open final, 2003

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Andre Agassi beat Rainer Schuettler 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in the Australian Open final, 2003 on hard court

This was Agassi's 8th and last Slam title and set a then Open Era record of 4 Australian Open titles

Agassi won 80 points, Schuettler 43

Serve Stats
Agassi...
- 1st serve percentage (40/58) 69%
- 1st serve points won (30/40) 75%
- 2nd serve points won (13/18) 72%
- Aces 7 - including 1 second serve, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (17/58) 29%

Schuettler....
- 1st serve percentage (33/65) 51%
- 1st serve points won (19/33) 58%
- 2nd serve points won (9/32) 28%
- Aces 4
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (11/65) 17%

Serve Patterns
Agassi served...
- to FH 42%
- to BH 56%
- to Body 2%

Schuettler served....
- to FH 38%
- to BH 57%
- to Body 5%

Return Stats
Agassi made...
- 50 (28 FH, 22 BH), including 5 runaround FHs
- 3 Winners (3 FH), including 1 runaround FH
- 7 Errors, comprising...
- 3 Unforced (1 FH, 2 BH), including 1 runaround FH attempt
- 4 Forced (2 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (50/61) 82%

Schuettler made...
- 39 (17 FH, 22 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 10 Errors, comprising...
- 6 Unforced (3 FH, 3 BH), including 1 runaround FH attempt
- 4 Forced (1 FH, 3 BH)
- Return Rate (39/57) 68%

Break Points
Agassi 8/13 (8 games)
Schuettler 1/1 (1 game)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Agassi 22 (9 FH, 8 BH, 1 FHV, 3 BHV, 1 OH)
Schuettler 12 (5 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)

Agassi's FH returns - 2 inside-in (1 a runaround) and 1 dtl
- non- returns - 2 dtl (1 running down a drop shot), 2 cc and 2 at net (1 further running down a drop shot)

- regular BHs - 1 cc, 2 dtl, 1 inside-out and 1 drop shot
- BH passes - 2 cc and 1 longline down the middle of the court

- the FHV was a drop volley and 1 BHV was a stop volley

Schuettler's FHs - 2 dtl, 1 inside-in, 1 inside-out/dtl and 1 running-down-a-drop-volley at net which was also a pass

- BHs - 1 dtl and 2 cc (1 pass, which clipped the top of the net to throw off an at net Agassi)

- 1 BHV was a drop volley and the OH was the second volley of a 'delayed' serve-volley point

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Agassi 19
- 12 Unforced (4 FH, 8 BH)
- 7 Forced (3 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 43.3

Schuettler 36
- 28 Unforced (11 FH, 16 BH, 1 FHV)
- 8 Forced (4 FH, 4 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45

(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 10/14 (71%) at net, with no serve-volleying
He was 1/1 when forced back from net

Schuettler was 9/13 (69%) at net, including 1/1 'delayed' serve-volleying - a first serve point
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Match Report
A mismatch, like a heavyweight taking on a welter weight. In a nutshell, Agassi crushes Schuettler.

Agassi is all over Rainer's first service game like a shark sensing blood. He breaks to love to open the match playing aggressively (3 approaches in the first six points), consolidates with a love hold and then breaks again. The German however breaks back somewhat fortunately. He passes Agassi with the help of the net chord and secures the break after a poor volley goes unpunished by Agassi.

Rainer follows up with a love hold, studded by 2 aces and a fine FH inside-in winner. and then reaches 15-30 returning, winning both points artistically (1 FH dtl winner, 1 forcing an at net Agassi back). Could the match be competitive? It turns out no, as Agassi breaks. And this break characterizes the match: Rainer's greater proneness to error

Rainer starts the second set strongly and hits a number of fine winners to reach 2-2. He doesn't win another game in the set. Agassi takes charge with bossy baseline play.

Its a similar story in the third. Rainer holds comfortably to begin open proceedings.... but can only win 6 more points in the entire set.

Impressions & Play
Rainer Schuettler reminds me somewhat of Lleyton Hewitt. To start with, he has the backwards turned baseball cap attire and his excellent speed and court coverage (significantly superior to Agassi's) are also reminiscent of the Aussie. The German also has attractive, free flowing strokes - his BH in particular is pretty - but is prone to error

Agassi looks to be in good physical form - lean and trim. His movement is good - better than it was and would be for most of his career. His serve looks good, especially the second serve. A vulnerable second serve often proved the difference between winning and losing in tight matches for Agassi, but the second delivery here doesn't look particularly attackable. He even draws a couple of forced return errors with it

From the back of the court, Agassi is frequently in 'punisher' mode. One senses that he's just running his opponent around for strategic purposes though he could finish the point earlier if he wanted to with just slightly greater risk. Mostly, he uses BH cc to command play, but is apt to switch to a runaround FH cc to keep his opponent on the move.

Schuettler temporarily halts Agassi's baseline domination by slicing more and more. He has a good looking and effective slice, but dealing with underspin is one of Agassi's greatest strengths. Once he gets a grip on the shot, he proceeds to command it as he was the topspin BH rallies.

Worth noting is Agassi's court position. In baseline rallies, he's usually on the baseline, while his opponent is a couple of feet behind. Occasionally, Schuettler delivers a deep ball, but Agassi just plays through it routinely, virtually on the half-volley

There are a couple of shots worth mentioning. Agassi executes a perfect BH inside-out winner - a rare shot choice which always looks good. On another point, as Schuettler tries to approach up the middle, Agassi launches a would be pass straight at him. The German simply ducks and the ball goes through for a winner. The net rusher had enough time to try for reflex volley at least

Statistical Points of Interest
- Note Schuettler's poor 28% second serve points won (Agassi's is 72%). Usually a good indicator of how players stack up from neutral beginings

- Schuettler's 28 UEs in play (compared to Agassi's 12), coupled with Agassi's low 43.3 UEFI. A sign that Schuettler played poorly but also that Agassi struck a good balance between being commanding while playing safe

Summing up, a commanding performance from Andre Agassi against a stylish but overmatched opponent
 
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