Match Stats/Report - Coric vs Federer, Halle final, 2018

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Borna Coric beat Roger Federer 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-2 in the Halle final, 2018 on grass

To date, this is Coric’s only title on grass. Federer was the defending champion and going for a 10th title at the event, which he would get the following year

Coric won 89 points, Federer 97

Federer serve-volleyed often, less than half the time off first serves

Serve Stats
Coric...
- 1st serve percentage (73/98) 74%
- 1st serve points won (54/73) 74%
- 2nd serve points won (12/25) 48%
- Aces 11, Service Winners 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (28/98) 29%

Federer...
- 1st serve percentage (63/88) 72%
- 1st serve points won (55/63) 87%
- 2nd serve points won (10/25) 40%
- Aces 12 (1 second serve), Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (40/88) 45%

Serve Pattern
Coric served...
- to FH 28%
- to BH 66%
- to Body 6%

Federer served...
- to FH 49%
- to BH 48%
- to Body 2%

Return Stats
Coric made...
- 47 (24 FH, 23 BH)
- 6 Winners (4 FH, 2 BH)
- 27 Errors, comprising...
- 9 Unforced (4 FH, 5 BH)
- 18 Forced (11 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (47/87) 54%

Federer made...
- 70 (14 FH, 56 BH)
- 2 Winners (2 BH)
- 16 Errors, comprising...
- 3 Unforced (1 FH, 2 BH)
- 13 Forced (5 FH, 8 BH)
- Return Rate (70/98) 71%

Break Points
Coric 2/3 (2 games)
Federer 1/4 (4 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Coric 21 (10 FH, 4 BH, 2 FHV, 5 BHV)
Federer 30 (9 FH, 5 BH, 4 FHV, 6 BHV, 5 OH, 1 BHOH)

Coric had 6 passes - 5 returns (3 FH, 2 BH) & 1 regular
- FHs - 1 cc return, 1 dtl return, 1 inside-out return
- BHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl
- regular FH - 1 running-down-drop-shot cc at net

- regular (non-pass) FHs - 2 cc, 1 inside-in, 1 drop shot at net, 1 drop shot/cc (accidental), 1 net chord dribbler return
- regular BHs - 1 cc, 1 inside-out

- 3 from serve-volley points (1 FHV, 2 BHV), all first volleys

Federer had 9 from serve-volley points
- 4 first volleys (2 FHV, 2 BHV)
- 5 second volleys (1 BHV, 3 OH, 1 BHOH)

- 1 other FHV was a swinging inside-in from the baseline

- FHs - 4 cc (2 passes), 1 cc/inside-in, 1 inside-out, 2 inside-in (1 pass), 1 drop shot
- BHs - 3 cc (2 passes), 1 dtl return, 1 inside-out return

- from serve-volley points

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Coric 27
- 20 Unforced (13 FH, 5 BH, 2 FHV)
- 7 Forced (1 FH, 5 BH, 1 FH1/2V)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45

Federer 39
- 24 Unforced (12 FH, 10 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)... the BHV was a swinging, non-net shot
- 15 Forced (5 FH, 7 BH, 1 BHV, 2 BH1/2V)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.3

(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 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
Coric was...
- 20/29 (69%) at net, including...
- 4/5 (80%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves
---
- 2/3 (67%) forced back

Federer was...
- 28/37 (76%) at net, including...
- 20/27 (74%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 17/21 (81%) off 1st serve and...
- 3/6 (50%) off 2nd serve

Match Report
A cool-headed showing from Coric, who gets better and better as the match goes and is playing top quality tennis by the end. Still, Federer has better of match as whole, mostly due to how effective his serve is. Too effective perhaps. All the 1 minutes holds has left his court game dusty for when he needs it, and Coric raising his game at just the right times puts it above the defending champion’s at most crucial times

Match long, Fed wins 52.2% of the points while serving 47.3% of them
Break points - Fed 1/4 (4 games), Coric 2/3 (2 games)

The first figure is due to a spate of love holds by Fed. Not too important. The crucial thing is to hold and while love holds achieves that with promise of more to follow, Coric doesn’t struggle unduly to hold either (though not to love, and not in a minute as Fed does regularly)

As for the second figure, Coric’s 2 games with break points are the last 2 he plays in the match. In a set where he makes 19/20 first serves, and with his serve getting better and better as match goes on (better in terms of quality of serves, independent of percentage). Pretty good timing. Fed’s break chances are spread out over first 2 sets - just 1 chance per game

By set, Fed doesn’t just holds like clockwork for 2 sets, but Swiss clockwork. Average game lasts maybe a minute and a half. Almost anything he does as returner would make him “overall better player” for the period in that light as he indeed is. He doesn’t do a lot, but with serve so secure, is strong favourite when first set goes to tiebreak

Before that, Fed has only break point of the first set, late in it. Has a good look at a on-the move FH pass, with good space cc open to play to. Hits top of net - and Coric goes onto hold. No pass is easy, but that one’s is a better than 50% one

Going into breaker, Fed’s lost 3 service points for 6 holds, Coric 15. Fed leads the ‘breaker and leads 6-4, with a service point to come. Here’s where the percentages turn against him

He’d been serving a lot to Coric’s FH, particularly out wide and drawing errors. Good move, Coric’s FH return misses a lot and light of force when it doesn’t… against first serves, which Fed lands 28/34 for the set. This though is a second serve, and second serves out wide (in swing zone) to anybody’s FH is risky

Strong return dtl, forcing an error and there goes set point. Coric takes the set on his first serve point, outlasting Fed in a BH rally in which he hits strongly

More of the same in second set. More of more even. Fed skating through service games in a minute (he is taken to 10 points once), while getting into every return game. Coric escapes with holds twice, but finally flounders, missing an easy putaway FHV to give up break. Fed serves out to love in a minute, with 4 unreturned serves (3 first serves) - and its onto decider

Top drawer final set for Coric. 19/20 first serves in and by this stage, he’s serving damagingly wide. Clean returning and hitting from the back, excellent depth. Grabs 1 break with excellent play and Fed plays a bit rashly to be broken a second time to end the match

Gist - Fed having better of first 2 sets considerably, Coric pinching the first and hanging tough for most of the second, while his serve gets better. And Coric superb in the final set to take it

Serve & Return
High in-counts - Coric 74%, Fed 72%

Fed serves within himself, rarely going all out wide. Fair lot of regulation, in swing zone serves, which are good enough to draw FH errors in particular. Coric is more interesting. In first set, his placement is conservative and rarely is Fed stretched out to return. Odd extra powerful serve that’s potentially troubling on pace grounds alone, but placement is ordinary. Fed returns comfortably

His serve gets better and better. In second set, needs to to keep the threatening Fed at bay. In third set, top class - a good serve (powerful and placed wide), at just shy of perfect in-count of 19/20

The two end with identical 11 aces, 1 service winner from first serves (Fed also has 1 second serve ace), Coric from 73 serves, Fed 63. Concentration is different. Fed sends them down at about the same rate all match, Coric mostly at the end. He has 5 in the last set

For that matter, just the 1 double fault in the match. Its by Fed, and its in the last game of the match

Early on, Cor has all kinds of trouble on the FH return. Misses many and returns softly. Fed also serve-volleys regularly - in all, 21/51 or 41% off the time behind first serves. Usually draws return errors, and when he doesn’t, gets a comfy volley

Like his serve, his FH return gets better and better. Fed’s not slow to pick up on it either. By end, he’s served 43 times to FH, 42 to BH. In first set, its 22 to FH, 12 to BH

Coric finishes with healthy 6 return winners (5 passes, 1 net chord dribbler). In context of Fed with 45% unreturned serves, 5 return-pass winners are in dangerous territory of threatening a break amidst generally being ineffective in return games. After his initial FH return woes, he returns firmly at least, and sometimes more than that - regardless of Fed serve-volleying or not

Fed returns comfortably in first set, and how well he returns varies directly in line with how well Coric serves. Even returning regularly, there’s little to fear in his second shot. Just put the ball in play stuff, usually a blocked BH. Does have a perfectly timed block BH inside-out return winner. He hit one just like it in his previous final against Milos Raonic in Stuttgart

Good movement on return by both players. Coric takes steps to reach Fed very wide, but slower, sliced serves - the best way to handle them, but not obvious in heat of play when he’s usually dealing with powerful serves. Fed gets into position against slightly wide serves flawlessly, even if they’re powerful

Coric with just 29% freebies means he’s got some work to do in rallies to hold. Fed with 45% has a lot of room to mess up without getting broken
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Play - Baseline & Net
Freebies from the serve, helped by serve-volleying makes up bulk of Fed's offence. He’s not particularly aggressive off the ground, which is smart as he doesn’t have to be to hold

Attacks weak returns with FH. Comes to net some - he’s 8/10 rallying to net. Once dynamic hits neutral, Fed stays there without much effort to attack. Early on, tests Coric with low slices, which Coric’s BH handles it with impressive comfort (he does get caught out by a couple of balls low to FH). Afterwards, Fed looks to hit stronger, drive BHs and isn’t very good at it - gives up errors and doesn’t trouble Coric with those

Coric plays a smart match all through. When his serve is coming back regularly but not strongly, he often hits his way to net. Rallies there a very large 24 times, winning healthy 16, which is excellent. Otherwise, hits firmly enough to at least stay in lead position. He’s an excellent mover

Throws in some serve-volleying too, winning 4/5 so doing, including 3 winners. Not much, but its not hard to imagine a young player from this period doing so 0 times. Particularly 1 who’s game doesn’t seem to be about getting to net as his does

BH is impressive all through - good, clean hitting and safe shot and least bothered by Fed’s excellent slices. FH gets better as match wears on. Early on, it lacks force and is also more error prone than BH. By the end, its on par with it

Slightly odd move of Coric’s is he moves over to play a lot of FHs in ad court, a move usually used by players who strongly prefer FHs to BHs and have stronger FHs than BHs (such as Fed himself). Coric comes across as being the opposite - excellent BH, ok FH… why give court position to hit FHs that have at most, equal force as routine cc BHs? His move-around FHs are quite ordinary, not worth the effort

FH gets better and better as match goes on. By third set, he’s strong off both wings, consistent with excellent depth. Like a high quality Novak Djokovic showing. At that stage, Fed’s BH gives up errors against the pressuring, consistent game and even FH is strained. Pressuring nature of shots aside, almost no openings to attack presented by Coric during this phase

How does it look in numbers?

Winners - Coric 21, Fed 30
Errors Forced - Coric 15, Fed 7
UEs - Coric 20, Fed 24

For starters, those are excellent numbers, both players with more winners than UEs, and high lot of errors forced by Coric, who has slimmer lead in winners/UE differential

16/30 of Fed’s winner are volleys/OHs, couple groundies are from close to service line and 7 are passes or returns, affirming net play being spearhead of his offence. Just the 1 FH inside-out winner is another indicator of it

He’s not challenged much at net, but handles himself beautifully up there. His only volley at net UE though comes down match point. Like Coric’s winning FH dtl return in the tiebreak, timing couldn’t be more extreme

Coric is strongly solid, not aggressive from the baseline. 6/14 ground winners are passes - 5 returns and 1 running-down-drop-shot at net, so 0 bona fida ground-to-ground passing winners from rallies. Not that he passes badly, but Fed’s volleying leaves him with almost no good looks on the pass. Just 6 ground FEs, not all of which are passes - Fed volley vs Cor pass is Fed finishing with a shot and Cor getting a few returns through for winners. There is no volley vs pass rallies

Ground-to-ground -
Winners - both 7 (FHs Coric 4, Fed 6)
UEs - Coric 18, Fed 23 (counting a swinging volley UE for Fed)

Little advantage for Cor, and its all to do with his BH consistency. FH figures are almost identical

Overall, Cor +1 winner, Fed +1 UE (as in, Fed has fewer) off the FH
For that matter, Fed’s +1 BH winners too, but the UE count is significant 5-10 in Cor’s favour

5 points isn’t much, but half the number is a big success for Cor, particularly as his BH is invariably well hit and deep. The rock of the match. One reason why its strange that he opts to play FHs quite often instead, with FH having neither the consistency nor depth of the start shot

Neutral UEs - Cor 12, Fed 15

That’s Fed floundering a little under the situation (if not pressure) of having nothing easy to attack. He tends to try to just hit harder -if its an ‘attack’ its not a good one and unlikely to win points - if rally goes on for a bit. In contrast to Cor, who seems very much at ease persisting with sound, firm, deep shots. Abandoning the slice also raises his Fed’s UEs. It doesn’t bother Cor, but Fed doesn’t miss ‘em and Cor can’t attack them either. Driving BHs, Fed’s well behind Cor; Cor hits with matter-of-fact comfort that promises (and delivers) high consistency of by far match low 5 UEs. Fed’s drive BH is as graceful as ever and as error prone as it often can be, and he strains to hit with more power to try to up things. Extra hard hit shots aren’t troubling, but errors go up

The odd, wildly aggressive had-enough-of-this-dumb-neutral rally from Fed too - that’s the ultimate success of a game like Coric’s

Cor BH with 5 UEs. Other 3 shots with 13, 12 and 10 respectively. He’d have done well to initiate and do what he can to maintain BH cc rallies more often

Quite a lot going on there. Net play is chief spear for both players - Fed via serve-volleying, Coric hitting his way to net from strong starting position given to him by serve. Both very good and safe up there, missing little and finishing decisively, especially Fed. Cor able to get some winning returns off

From the baseline, Cor solid and strong in his hitting. The BH particularly impressive and when FH joins it in third set, he plays a top class game. Otherwise, FH isn’t as strong or solid, but he seems to favour it at times (if not regularly). Fed not overly aggressive. There’s room for him to try to do more, particularly early on with adventurous FH play, but little reason for it as he’s comfortably doing better at the time. When his slices don’t bother Cor, he turns to drive BHs, on which front he comes away second best against Cor’s strong game. Does use the FH to exploit good starting positions, but once things go neutral, doesn’t try to up things (and when he does small amount of time, fails)
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Match Progression
Breezy first set for Federer on serve. Serves at 82%, serve-volleys good amount, loses 3 points for 6 holds and usually holds in a minute or a minute 30. Draws a lot of return errors, particularly going to Coric’s shakey FH, without needing to serve all out of power or placement

Meanwhile, he returns regularly though without heat and slices plenty in return games. Cor’s handles the low ball without trouble and hits his way to net when return isn’t strong, with a bit of serve-volleying of his own thrown in. Sound stuff, but far behind Fed’s uber dominant display on serve

Few good shots in there both players - angled volley winners from both, a powerful BH cc winner from Cor from near routine position, a high BH on full finish each (Fed’s a BHOH, Cor low enough to be marked BHV instead), a disguised, deep sliced FH putaway by Fed from well up the court - all a decorating regularly holding

The only challenge of the set comes in game 11, where Cor is stretched to 16 points to hold. Fed has only break point of the set, on which he has open space to hit his on-the-move FH cc pass to, but misses, and Cor comes through eventually to hold with some good serves and serve-volleying of his own to tip the game his way

Tiebreak. Somewhat lucky second BHV, reflex winner that looks like a double touch from Fed early on. He takes his shot at BH dtl winner but misses on a return point soon after, but successive unreturned serves gets him to 4-3 on serve. Good FH inside-in from Fed forces error to move ahead 5-3 and it takes a bad bounce to end the next rally in Cor’s favour, with Fed up 5-4 and 2 serves to come

Ace to get to set point. Then the most crucial point of the set described earlier - Fed going to the FH return well 1 time too many, and this time with a second serve that’s bigged back deep and wide to put things back on serve. Cor keeps it there by forcing a BH1/2V error from Fed at net and its back to Fed down 6-7. A rally develops with Cor gaining lead position and his deep ball draws BH error from Fed to end the set

Not every day Roger Federer loses a set on grass serving at 82% and winning 93% first serve points - and it’s a gutsy, clutch showing from Cor that gets him the result, despite getting short end of things overall for the set

More chances for returner in second set, though Fed continues to have better of things. He needs 10 points to hold for 2-1, but was up 40-0 in the game and not in much trouble. Meanwhile, Cor survives a break point in back-to-back return games as he holds upto 3-3. Fed lashes BH cc passing winners (1 in particular enabled by a poorly placed volley) to get to break point first time, where he misses a not well set up FH dtl attempted finisher. Consecutive winners (BHV, after making a half-volley and BH dtl return) again involved in his reaching break point next time, but that’s dealt with more decisively by Cor

Fed finally breaks. Forces Cor back from net on first 2 points, finishing the second one with a nice, low FHV winner of his all. Cor’s FH has 3 UEs to get him down 15-40. He overpowers and outmanuvers Fed on break point, but misses a putaway FHV trying to be too delicate. And Fed serves out to love with 4 unreturned serves

So far, its been Cor hanging in against considerably superior opponent, somehow pinching a set so doing and the first crack having finally appeared. Along with Cor’s inexperience - according to commentary, prior to this tournament, he’d won 2 matches on grass in his career - and Fed’s status, most likely would be a roll over third set

So it proves - with Cor the roller, Fed the roll-ee. Serving wide and with force, Cor lands 19/20 first serves, is rock solid from the back with particularly good depth. Returns at least firmly too. Novak Djokovic would be proud of his showing

Fed cruises his first 2 holds and while not getting far in 2 return games, does block a perfectly timed BH inside-out return winner. 4 unreturned serves (split by a push-guided FH return pass winner), the last of them a beautifully placed, very wide slow second serve makes things 2-2 for Fed

He doesn’t win another game. The only really great return game of the match by Cor garners the first break. He ekes out first point from reactive position and then wins 2 great points to get to 30-40. Series of deep shots have Fed on back foot before Cor finishes him off with FH cc winner and then a whakced FH return to baseline sets up a whacked BH inside-out winner

Fed pushes a BH slice long against deep hitting to give up the break. He has just 1/6 first serves for the game - the only game match where its less than 50%

And Cor breaks again to finish with a flourish, with Fed a bit hasty in a net rushing game. He successfully approaches off a third ball baseline shot early on to win point, but later misses a swinging BHV third ball from no-man’s land. Both low percentage shots, neither necessary

Couple volley winners by Fed, a return one from Cor, a double fault, a net-to-net duel that Cor wins, and Cor bossily commanding a rally to finish at net… all kinds of things happen in the game to bring up Cor’s second break/match point. On it, Fed misses a routine/easy FHV serve-volleying - his only volley at net UE for the match

Summing up, a smart, well paced and very good showing from Coric. He hangs in when his returning isn’t upto the challenge its presented with, remains steady from the baseline at very least and uses net intelligently to give his game the teeth it needs. And when he comes good, he’s superb in strong, dual winged, deep hitting and excellent serving, with punishing returns to anything just a bit off, and occasionally, when it isn’t too

Federer serves smartly well - he doesn’t go for too much as he doesn’t need to to win points - and cruises behind that and serve-volleying. Not as strong or steady from the baseline as his opponent, particularly since his very good slicing is handled comfortably, but with serve doing so much, doesn’t need to be be to remain in prime position to win

Federer better player overall, particularly in first two sets. Coric holding on and clutching through to pinch one of those sets, and playing first class tennis in the decider to come away with the result

Well as Coric plays, its his maturity and cool head that stands out most. No panicing, no doing anything stupid, just rolls with the tide of Federer’s serving, without letting it carry him too far away. His BH and crunch time serving are particularly impressive
 
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