Match Stats/Report - Cilic vs Murray, Cincinnati final, 2016


Hall of Fame
Marin Cilic beat Andy Murray 6-4, 7-5 in the Cincinnati final, 2016 on hard court

To date, this is Cilic’s only Masters final. Murray had won his last 3 tournaments at Queen’s Club, Wimbledon and Olympic Games and would go onto finish the year ranked #1

Cilic won 65 points, Murray 57

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (34/58) 59%
- 1st serve points won (28/34) 82%
- 2nd serve points won (15/24) 63%
- Aces 7
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (19/58) 33%

- 1st serve percentage (43/64) 67%
- 1st serve points won (21/43) 72%
- 2nd serve points won (11/21) 52%
- Aces 1
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (21/64) 33%

Serve Pattern
Cilic served...
- to FH 47%
- to BH 37%
- to Body 16%

Murray served...
- to FH 44%
- to BH 54%
- to Body 2%

Return Stats
Cilic made...
- 40 (20 FH, 20 BH), including 1 return-approach
- 2 Winners (2 FH)
- 20 Errors, comprising...
- 11 Unforced (5 FH, 6 BH)
- 9 Forced (2 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (40/61) 66%

Murray made...
- 38 (22 FH, 16 BH)
- 12 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (2 FH, 3 BH)
- 7 Forced (6 FH, 1 BH)
- Return Rate (38/57) 67%

Break Points
Cilic 3/8 (3 games)
Murray 1/2 (2 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Cilic 16 (12 FH, 2 BH, 1 BHV, 1 OH)
Murray 7 (4 FH, 2 BH, 1 OH)

Cilic's FHs -3 cc (1 pass), 1 cc/inside-in, 3 inside-out (1 at net), 3 inside-in (2 returns), 1 inside-in/cc
- BHs - 2 dtl

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

Murray's FHs - 2 cc, 1 dtl/inside-out, 1 inside-in
- BHs - 1 lob, 1 running-down-drop-shot cc pass at net

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Cilic 28
- 20 Unforced (14 FH, 5 BH, 1 BHV)... with 1 FH pass attempt
- 8 Forced (5 FH, 2 BH, 1 FHV)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47

Murray 27
- 16 Unforced (5 FH, 10 BH, 1 FHV)... with 1 non-net FHV
- 11 Forced (5 FH, 6 BH)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45

(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 a measure of how aggressive of intent the average UE made was. 60 is maximum, 20 is minimum. This match has been scored using a four point scale - 2 defensive, 4 neutral, 5 attacking, 6 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Cilic was...
- 10/15 (67%) at net, including...
- 4/4 (100%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves
- 0/1 return-approaching

Murray was...
- 8/10 (80%) at net, with...
- 1/2 forced back

Match Report
Good, hard hitting, attacking showing from Cilic, while Murray serves tepidly on a fast, but healthy bouncing court

Its in line with both players games for Cilic to power hit and go for his shots and Murray to counter-punch and be more moderate in attack. Its particularly in line for Cilic to score with big serving, though Murray’s no slouch in that area himself and this court encourages it

Cilic delivers - the power of groundstroke and of serve
Murray’s counter-punching is on point too, but he serves… strangely

Generally, Murray has a big first serve, just shy of Cilic, Raonic calibre of pace. He places them well too, hence the low in counts that are sometimes a problem for him

Here, he barely gets a first serve outside Cilic’s swing zone and not because Cilic’s wing span is so large. These would be regulation in-swing zone against an average height opponent also. Pace is a little checked too, but much more pertinently, the placement

The result? Cilic can and does just swing through them with easy power. Excluding double faults, when return is made -
- Murray wins just 21/40 or 53% service points
- Cilic wins 24/38 or 63%

(Murray also double faults 3 times to Cilic’s 1)

Unreturned rates are equal at 33%. And with rally points what they are, Cilic is coming out well ahead. Main reason being starting position of strongly favour him - with both his serves giving him initiative (it is a fast court) but both his returns (i.e. against both first and second serves) also

And the reason his first return is giving him such an initiative is because they’re simple, just swing through the ball deals

Return errors -
- UEs - Cilic 11, Murray 5
- FEs - Cilic 9, Murray 7
- Aced - Cilic 1, Murray 7

Court is quick enough that even in-swing zone serves will draw a few errors on pace, with Cilic being a hit-&-miss kind of player in general too. But court being quick also allows returner to generate easy power. No big swings or flaying at the ball here, just swing through the ball and the balls flies back

In rallies, firmly hit, slightly wide balls trouble both players. Cilic is more willing to go wide and Murray defends well in that he can usually retrieve the first wide shots. Usually goes onto lose the point soon after anyway though

Rallies are on Cilic’s racquet and he’s proactive to make it so. He has power both easy (that’s the court at play, Murray has it too) and hard hit (that’s all him). He’s both sloppy in just missing routine shots, particularly FHs where he has match high 14 UEs, and powerful in pushing Murray into at least reactive role. He’s both of these things both on the return and off the ground in rallies

Murray isn’t unduly passive, Cilic takes lead position proactively

And very secure showing off the BH from Cilic, where he wins UE contest 5-10 against an also solid Murray. Attacks dtl with it too (so does Murray, less powerfully) and has a couple of winners

UEs - Cilic 20, Murray 16, broken down as…
- Neutral - both 11
- Attacking - Cilic 4, Murray 2
- Winner Attempts - Cilic 5, Murray 3

FHs - Cilic 14 (including a pass), Murray 5
BHs - Cilic 5, Murray 10

If the neutrals are a surprise, the court is such that ‘neutral’ is on the pressuring side. Anything hard hit rushes receiver, even if he doesn’t have to move and anything firmly hit slightly wide does the same. Cilic is somewhat hit and miss but staying even with Murray on the neutral is a big win for him

The extra, aggressive errors from Cilic are along expected lines he gets more out of it than he loses. He leads winners 16-7 and errors forced 11-8

Cilic FH with by far match high winners with 12 (next highest is 4) and UEs with 14 (next highest 10). A real hit & miss shot. Its hits at the right moments

BH UEs is obviously a big win for Cilic - and all credit to him for it. Though it hasn’t come out in stats, his BH has big hand in his commanding play. Just 2 winners, but it does its bit offensively - both with wide cc shots, and dtl or even just pure power. Murray not doing too much with the BH offensively, but still giving up double the errors. His BH isn’t bad, Cilic’s is very good

Match Progression
After holding to love to open, Murray has break point right away with Cilic being a bit loose off the ground. Saves the break point in style - a series of good FH inside-outs fix Murray to corner, and Cilic smacks a FH cc/inside-in winner to the other corner before going on to hold

Superb game from Cilic to break for 3-2, with powerful returns - including 2 that win points outright (FH inside-in winner and very powerful FH return to the baseline), both against ordinary first serves. Finishes aggressively too by coming to net and smacking another FH inside-in winner, again set up by a take-charge FH return

He breaks again for 5-2, despite a bad umpiring call going against him. His error forcing returning had been called out, but overturned on a challenge. Umpire calls a let, though call had come well after Murray’s shot had gone out. Murray can’t do anything with the let off, and gets broken via poor errors. Earlier in the game, he’d patted a putaway volley back in court to allow Cilic to make a still unlikely running FH cc pass winner

So much for the smooth, enter the rough. Horrendous game by Cilic to get broken as serves for the set, but he gets the job done second time of asking. Probably a bad call against Cilic in that game too where Murray’s run-down-drop-shot at net shot most likely been a double bounce, but no matter as Cilic wins the set point he’d serve-volleyed on

Second set is mostly comfy holds. Cilic is loose with the return errors, but he’s the one to return his way to the only deuce game as things stay on serve to 5-5

3 ground UEs from Murray (1 aided by a deep return) sees Cilic reach 0-40 game after. He lets Murray off the hook by missing a sitting duck pass, but Murray’s error spree doesn’t end until he’s broken

Cilic serves out to love, finishing with a fine third ball BH dtl winner

Summing up, bold and strong showing from Cilic who serves big off both serves and keeps action on his racquet with powerful groundstrokes. He’s a bit hit-&-miss on the latter, particularly with the FH, but the hits stay hit so to speak

Murray plays steadier, safer game that’s nonetheless upto holding even with the more dashing, but also more erratic Cilic

What turns tide Cilic’s way is Murray constantly serving right in Cilic’s slot. Cilic is able to return with easy power and take initiative of return rallies regularly, even against first serves and his power-based attacks are more than good enough to make best use of it