Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Stich, Vienna final, 1994


Hall of Fame
Andre Agassi beat Michael Stich 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the Vienna final, 1994 on carpet

The two had recently contested the US Open final, with Agassi winning

Agassi won 150 points, Stich 136

Stich serve-volleyed off all first serves and most seconds

(Note: I've guessed or deduced serve type for a small number of points and serve direction for one point is missing
Partial missing point - Set 1, Game 10, Point 1)

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (100/145) 69%
- 1st serve points won (64/100) 64%
- 2nd serve points won (28/45) 62%
- Aces 3, Service Winners 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (35/24) 24%

- 1st serve percentage (84/141) 60%
- 1st serve points won (62/84) 74%
- 2nd serve points won (26/57) 46%
- Aces 18 (1 not clean), Service Winners 2
- Double Faults 7
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (47/141) 33%

Serve Patterns
Agassi served...
- to FH 36%
- to BH 53%
- to Body 10%

Stich served...
- to FH 43%
- to BH 51%
- to Body 7%

Return Stats
Agassi made...
- 87 (38 FH, 49 BH)
- 11 Winners (5 FH, 6 BH)
- 27 Errors, comprising...
- 2 (2 BH)
- 25 Forced (12 FH, 13 BH)
- Return Rate (87/134) 65%

Stich made...
- 110 (39 FH, 70 BH, 1 ??), including 1 return-approach
- 8 Winners (5 FH, 3 BH)
- 30 Errors, comprising...
- 11 Unforced (4 FH, 7 BH)
- 19 Forced (11 FH, 8 BH)
- Return Rate (110/145) 76%

Break Points
Agassi 5/17 (7 games)
Stich 3/12 (8 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Agassi 36 (14 FH, 18 BH, 3 FHV, 1 BHV)
Stich 49 (10 FH, 11 BH, 8 FHV, 14 BHV, 6 OH)

Agassi had 22 passes (10 FH, 12 BH)
- FHs - 4 cc (1 return), 2 dtl returns, 1 inside-out return, 1 longline and 2 lobs
- BHs - 7 cc (3 returns), 2 dtl, 1 inside-out return and 2 lobs

- regular FHs - 1 dtl return, 1 outside-in (dtl, hit from well out of court, close to being around net post), 1 longline and 1 net chord dribbler
- regular BHs - 6 dtl (2 returns)… 1 non-return was outside-in

- 1 FHV was a swinging shot

Stich had 25 from serve-volley points
- 17 first volleys (8 FHV, 8 BHV, 1 OH)
- 6 second volleys (2 BHV, 4 OH)
- 2 third volleys (1 BHV, 1 OH)

- FHs - 6 cc {(4 returns - 1 pass)… on 1 non-pass return, Agassi stopped playing thinking his serve had been a fault}, 1 dtl, 2 inside-in (1 return) and 1 longline
- BHs - 5 cc (2 returns, 1 pass) and 6 dtl (1 return)

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Agassi 40
- 17 Unforced (8 FH, 9 BH)
- 23 Forced (8 FH, 12 BH, 1 FH1/2V, 1 BHV, 1 OH)… the BHV was a swinging, non-net pass attempt & the OH was a flagrantly forced baseline shot against an at net Stich smash
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 50.6

Stich 72
- 40 Unforced (10 FH, 22 BH, 7 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 32 Forced (8 FH, 8 BH, 8 FHV, 3 FH1/2V, 3 BHV, 1 BH1/2V, 1 OH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.8

(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...
- 1/3 (33%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves

Stich was...
- 68/111 (61%) at net, including...
- 60/98 (61%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 42/64 (66%) off 1st serve and...
- 18/34 (53%) off 2nd serve
- 0/1 return-approaching
- 0/1 forced back

Match Report
Excellent match and a beautiful one. Both the net vs baseliner and baseliner vs baseliner battles are high quality and elegant. Court doesn't look particularly fast for carpet

Stich's serve-volleying vs Agassi's return & passing is a treat and so are the baseline rallies, which feature an all round strong game by Agassi and an elegant, attacking one from Stich, including high quality, artistically attacking returning

Note Stich having break points in 8 games to Agassi's 7, but Agassi having 17 to Stich's 12. This is a tad unusual... its more typical of the big server to save lots of break points, as the big serve can gain cheap points. Agassi's return though is a great leveller... effectively, he's a 'big returner', pounding Stich's second serves in particular and keeping the serve-volleyer under plenty of pressure to deliver not just first serves, but strong ones to stay safe

Agassi has 36 winners, 17 unforced errors (and just 40 total errors) - great numbers. And note the very, very high UEFI of 50.6 for a yield made up entirely of groundstrokes. He misses 7 winners attempts, 5 attacking shots and just 6 neutral ones (Stich has 17 neutral and 1 defensive error by contrast)

Stich himself has a fine 49 winners, 40 unforced errors. 22 of those UEs are BHs but I thought he used the shot well in that he was very attacking with it. Lots of dtl winner attempts gone wrong (also high 11 winners - 1 more than he has of the FH - including 5 dtl), but facing a stronger baseliner, it was a good move

The key stat are the 32 errors Agassi's forced out of Stich - split evenly between baseline and forecourt shots. Doing counter-damage to Stich at net is a must for Agassi, but the baseline errors he forces are particularly impressive

Fitness might be an issue. Stich seems to be a bit tired by the end and his serve isn't as effective as early in the match. Its also a petulant match, with both players having run-ins with the chair umpire. Neither player is reasonable in their dealing the chair - especially Stich, who seems to just be looking for someone to blame for whatever's happening on court. He'd done the same at the US Open final shortly before. Neither player shakes the umpires hand at the end

Stich's Service Games
Stich serve-volleys almost all the time, making his service games a contest between his volleying and Agassi's passing and return. Serve is strong of course, but noticeably not a patch on Goran Ivanisevic's showing in the semi-final against Agassi

In the semi, Agassi had simply guessed which way first serves would go. He does some of that here, but is also able to return normally most of the time. A small number of Stich's 18 aces are a product Agassi letting balls go when down in games or up in sets, balls he would have had shot at returning (and certainly getting a racquet on) if returning normally

Agassi takes returns early. Almost everything he makes is made at least firmly, usually strongly and not infrequently, decisively. 11 return winners (including 2 non-passes - and he only faced 16 such serves) and the bulk of Stich's 15 volleying forced errors are third balls. So are most of the 8 volleying UEs for that matter... at least a couple of those aren't easy - low-ish balls with no great power reaching Stich about the service line, balls that are more makeable than not, but short of being there to be putaway

Stich has a problem on the FHV and misses a number of easy ones. 7/8 of his volleying UEs are FHVs. He also doesn't put the easier ones away as decisively off that side. The BHV is not only more consistent against regulation balls, but highly resistant to missing difficult ones. Some very tough BHV winners from Stich... powerful, low-ish balls that would have been marked forced had he missed

Also lots of lobs thrown up by Agassi. Note Stich with 6 OH winners. Agassi also has 4 winners and forces a OH error

Against Agassi's thundering returns, Stich has the problem that many big servers do serve-volleying. He's barely at service line when balls reaches him. At least one winner goes through when he's well behind it... sans Stich's obvious intent to serve-volley off all first serves, it'd scarcely qualify as a pass because Stich isn't close enough to net

Well placed volleying from Stich away from Agassi, who has to make passes on the run. But most rallies are done with Stich's first volley one way or the other. Some lovely stop volleys by Stich too, mostly to low balls

Very sure passing from Agassi on 1-2 plays where the return draws a weak volley that he can line up. He steps in and hits with enough power that pinpoint placement isn't necessary. Stich doesn't have time to react, just watches ball go by. BH cc is Agassi's best passing shot

Great battle. At no point does Stich leave Agassi helpless. By fourth set, Stich isn't serving as strongly - and Agassi dominates with the return
Still, I would primarily credit Agassi for wearing down and getting a better handle on Stich's second serve as match wore on, rather than discredit Stich's stamina. First two sets, Stich wins a respectable 16/34 second serve points. Last 2 sets, its 5/23

Double faults are a factor in the result. Stich wins 18/34 point second serve-volleying and is a respectable 8/16 when staying back off second serves... but there's 7 double faults that push him down to 46% second serve points won (Agassi wins 62% of his with no doubles). 1 proves to be the decisive point in first set tiebreak and another is on break & set point in the third set

In a nutshell, strong serving and good volleying from Stich, but better returning and passing from Agassi
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Hall of Fame
Agassi's Service Games
Agassi's service games are filled with baseline battles, with neither player looking to particularly come in

A good high 69% first serves in, but the delivery is fairly ordinary. Not enough power to rush Stich, but typically placed at least a bit wide. Stich's returning is the aesthetic highlight of the match, though not necessarily off quality (it'd be hard to top Agassi in that area)

Look at the 8 return winners, and only 1 is a pass. Placement rather than power is the hallmark. When Agassi serves out wide, Stich tends to hit back sharply cc. On top of the winners, there's a large number of wide, near half-volley third balls for Agassi to make. To clear, these are forced and defensive near half-volleys, not Agassi taking the ball on the up by choice as he tends to do. Some third ball errors forced in this way, but Agassi mostly does well fending back such balls

And its not just wide cc's, though that is the most impressive of Stich's returns. BH inside-outs have the same effect, and inside-in off both sides are placed away from the server, giving him a running third ball to make.
Less effective with dtl's off both sides and hardly - possibly zero - FH inside-outs

Its wonderful to watch - an graceful blend of placement based attacking returning. Also good strategy. Agassi is clearly the better baseliner so Stich needs to do something with the return to give himself a head start in baseline rallies, simple neutralizing returns wouldn't hack it. He succeeds with style

There's also the matter of 11 return UEs, and may of the 19 forced are reasonably makeable. Still, I'd say 76% return rate returning with the kind of attacking purpose Stich manage is worth it for Stich

Agassi commands the baseline rallies. His neutral shots are heavier and significantly more consistent than Stich's. And he moves his man from side to side reasonably safely. Stich's movements are good enough to cope and a good chunk of his UEs are on the move... relatively hard for UEs, but he's there in good time to hit a stable shot. Nor does he give up such errors easily, he makes far more than he misses on the move

Stich also steps up and plays aggressively from the back when he can. With Agassi primarily hitting BH cc's in stationary rallies, Stich looks to end point BH dtl. He has 5 winners on the shot, but more errors trying. Not a bad choice... unlikely to do better trading BH cc's with Agassi

There's a reasonable amount of full on open court rallies too with every shot being hit into open court, forcing a running shot. Given Stich's returning, there's scope for more such

Not much effort to take net by either player. Stich return-approaches once and is forced into a half-volleying error. And he's strong enough from the back that it wouldn't feel need to be up at net to gain counter-play (and the quality of Agassi's passing was not inviting)

While Agassi is clearly superior from the back, Stich gains more than enough counter-play to have a great shot at winning. Completely the opposite of their US Open match, where his BH was broken down completely

The Ugly
Both players have troubles with the chair umpire

Stich is just whiney. Excessively so. Anything and everything... marginal line calls on the opposite side of the chair, marginal calls near the umpire that Stich was nowhere near... he approaches chair and complains. Did the same at US Open final, with several comments suggesting umpires bias was based on his being American. He doesn't do that here, though the umpire is again Agassi's countryman

Agassi's troubles are less unreasonable. According to commentary, there was a "new ATP guideline" to encourage crowd participation. Meaning I suppose, making a lot of noise. Crowd doesn't make too much noise, but they make a little even when Agassi is about to serve

Agassi doesn't like it and asks the umpire to tell the crowd to be quiet. First time he does, umpire seems to explain to him why he's not doing so. Doesn't stop Agassi from complaining about it repeatedly and apparently blaming the umpire for it. Stich also complains about the matter - but he's also complaining about the colour of the umpires socks and hairstyle

Agassi swears audibly a couple of times without incurring a warning. When Stich hits a return winner off what both players thought was a fault, Agassi loses it. Swears more directly while addressing umpire and gets a warning then goes up to confront him. His complaint seems to be the umpire isn't overruling obviously wrong calls and Agassi sits down in the middle of the game, looking near ready to stop playing altogether

At the end of that game, Stich's complaints are even stronger. He seems to be demanding the chair be replaced

The umpire does overrule a call soon afterwards, calling a Stich ball long. It clearly was and Stich wasn't in a position to have a good view of it. Doesn't stop him from holding up play to complain some more

Agassi also had similar problems soon after at the Year End Championship, when an overrule set him off in his semi loss to Pete Sampras

Match Progression
Great stuff with both players near their best. Agassi hits a FH inside-out return 'pass' winner while Stich is slightly more to than half-way to service line in game 3. Some very tough games - there are 106 points in the set, including an 18 point Stich game

Tiebreak is good stuff too, with Stich more the playmaker. Couple of difficult first BHV winners and an excellent FH dtl return to the corner that forces an error are balanced by two return UEs. The game tips Agassi's way when Stich loses both service points while up 4-3 - the first to a missed slice in a long rally, the second a double fault - and Agassi serves it out

Agassi leads by a break and 3-0 in the second set, which is a bad tempered affair. Agassi starts commenting on points, which somewhat stops Stich complaining to the umpire regularly. Agassi himself is a bit distracted in parts, annoyed with umpire and crowd. He hits the shot of the match despite losing the set.... a FH winner from 10-15 feet out of court. Is that called dtl or outside-in? It has to be hit like a cc to get the ball in play

Agassi tanks the final game of the set, with Stich serving

Agassi takes charge from middle of third set onward. His returning of Stich's serve seems stronger than before - especially the second serve - with Stich looking weary especially in the fourth. Agassi had been running him around quite a bit all match - and does so even more in this second half of the match. Stich goes for a few more low percentage winners and isn't able to make them as well, particularly BH dtl. He'd played much the same way earlier, with greater success. Agassi's returning in the fourth set is extremely good - Stich does well to volley tough balls and keep it to just 1 break

Summing up, highly entertaining and lively match with very good and varied attacking baseline play, a tremendous contest between Stich's serve-volleying and Agassi's return-passing - and sublime, graceful returning from Stich. Agassi's considerably better return-passing than Stich is return and baselining, and gets a reasonably comfortable win

Stats for the pair's US Open final shortly before -
Stats for Agassi's semi with Goran Ivanisevic -