Match Stats/Report - Davydenko vs Nadal, Miami final, 2008

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Nikolay Davydenko beat Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-2 in the Miami final, 2008 on hard court

It was Davydenko's second Masters title and Nadal's 2nd runner-up showing at the event. To date, Nadal has been runner-up 5 times and never won the event. This was the third meeting between the two players and Davydenko's first win. Including this match, he'd win 6/9 of the pair's remaining matches and finish with a 6-5 lead in the head-to-head

Davydenko won 57 points, Nadal 40

Serve Stats
Davydenko...
- 1st serve percentage (30/47) 64%
- 1st serve points won (24/30) 80%
- 2nd serve points won (10/17) 59%
- Aces 3
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (14/47) 30%

Nadal...
- 1st serve percentage (35/50) 70%
- 1st serve points won (21/35) 60%
- 2nd serve points won (6/15) 40%
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (11/50) 22%

Serve Pattern
Davydenko served...
- to FH 36%
- to BH 62%
- to Body 2%

Nadal served...
- to FH 31%
- to BH 63%
- to Body 6%

Return Stats
Davydenko made...
- 38 (13 FH, 25 BH)
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 11 Errors, comprising...
- 6 Unforced (2 FH, 4 BH)
- 5 Forced (2 FH, 3 BH)
- Return Rate (38/49) 78%

Nadal made...
- 31 (14 FH, 17 BH), including 5 runaround FHs
- 11 Errors, comprising...
- 9 Unforced (4 FH, 5 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 2 Forced (2 FH)
- Return Rate (31/45) 69%

Break Points
Davydenko 4/6 (4 games)
Nadal 1/3 (2 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Davydenko 16 (8 FH, 4 BH, 4 FHV)
Nadal 12 (10 FH, 2 BH)

Davydenko's FHs - 2 cc, 1 dtl and 5 inside-out
- BHs - 4 cc (1 return, 1 pass at net)

Nadal's FHs - 2 cc, 1 dtl, 3 inside-out, 2 inside-in, 1 longline at net and 1 drop shot at net
- BHs (both passes) - 1 dtl and 1 inside-out/longline at net

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Davydenko 15
- 11 Unforced (6 FH, 3 BH, 2 OH)
- 4 Forced (3 FH, 1 FHV)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.2

Nadal 26
- 14 Unforced (8 FH, 6 BH)
- 12 Forced (7 FH, 5 BH)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 43.6

(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
Davydenko was 8/13 (62%) at net

Nadal was 3/4 (75%) at net

Match Report
A weird match in weird conditions where Davydenko takes play by the scruff of the neck and Nadal struggles to keep ball in court to a highly uncharacteristic extent

The court is slow and high of bounce. The weirdness comes in combination of sun and wind. At start of match and probably most of the way through it, the sun is directly in the eyes of player on one side of court, and both players serve gently from that end. But the wind, which is significantly strong, is also behind the back of the player on that side too

Davy serves 2 'second' serves from that end, just rolling in first serves. While blasting down big first serves from the other end. Nadal is in 2 'second' serves mode more or less from both sides, but even his delivery is noticably stronger from the non-sunny side. Probably just doesn't have a powerful serve at this stage in his career and court is slow enough that sans any sun and wind issue, he'd likely not try cranking serve up

Then there's the wind. Whoever has the wind at their back is able to hit hard and forcefully. Whoever is against it, plops balls softly in play, landing short around service line before long

There seems to be some ball-holding-up due to wind too, and both players check their strokes at last instant. The errors, including on the return, are particularly poor - regulation shots hit miles out or half way up the net - especially by Nadal

Otherwise, looks like a regular Miami court. Slow of pace and high of bounce. Shoulder high balls are common

Statistically, match has come out deceptively very well, with just Nadal's returning suffering some. Neutral rallying is soft but very weak/short balls get coughed up and many of the errors are particularly sloppy, missing by very long way

22% unreturned rate for Nadal would be normal figure for normal conditions. Davy's 30% would be on high side for slow conditions. Nadal has 9 return UEs while making just 31 returns... just regulation returns - 1st and 2nd serves - that he just misses. And by large margins
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
In play, Davy has 16 winners, 11 UEs and just forces 12 errors out of Nadal... which are first class numbers. Numerically, stats like this would conjure pictures of a performance for the ages, especially on slow court
And Nadal's aren't bad either. 12 winners, 14 UEs and forcing 4 errors from Davy are good numbers and remarkable ones for one losing 4 and 2

Particularly for Nadal, the high winner count is due to being on right end of court. Among slow paced, neutral rallies, Davy hitting into wind coughs up a very short ball around service line that Nadal runs up and dispatches. More than half of Nadal's winners are hit from near service line. Putaway short balls, drawn by mild neutral shots. A function of the wind. Either that, or really terrible play from Davy to give up such weak shots to routine balls - allowing the near-net putaways

Davy gets a bit of this too, but his hitting is a powerful handful regardless. He steps up, takes ball very early and slams it off both sides. Highest quality action of match is Davy hitting beat-down powerful shots and Nadal scrambling to defend from well behind baseline. Decent retrieving from Nadal who gets a fair few forcefully powerful balls back, but Davy keeps his foot on accelerator to hit the next one just as hard until he gets the error (he forces high 12 FEs from Nadal) or strikes the winners (12 winners off the ground). Some smart volleying by Davy too and he looks a natural at net with his 4 FHV winners. He also makes 2 unseemly OH errors that would make even Novak Djokovic blush - sun in eyes? wind swirling the ball around?

In nutshell, winners and errors numbers are slightly flattering to match quality.
- Nadal returns poorly, missing a host of simple returns - calling it so little as 'routine' is slight overstatement
- the neutral rallying is apparently influenced by wind blowing completely favouring one side. Amidst softish neutral exchanges, player on wrong side coughs up very weak short balls that opponent can run up and dispatch from around service line
- Nadal in particular is loose of the ground, missing regulation balls by long way

The highlight battle is Davy striking ferociously vs Nadal falling back and fending back. Court is slow enough that that's what Nadal during this period tended to do on hard courts - fall back and try his clay game of retrieving like the dickens 'til opponent makes the errors. It got him into a trouble against strong hitters, and this match is no exception but a good battle. Powerful, not far off overwhelming hitting from Davy, excellent retrieving by Nadal - and Davy coming out ahead

The highlight of play is select attacking play from Davy. He steps in to thrash 2nd serve returns and doesn't let up from there. And has a few very strong service games where the serve is very big and with Nadal off even on the regulation return, its comfortably too much for him to handle

This is the earliest instance I've come across of a player effectively exploiting Nadal's leaning on BH side due to desire to runaround BH to hit FHs position. Davy hammers FH inside-outs (he has 5 winners) and complements it with near as powerful BH cc's occasionally (2 winners in play) and Nadal has match high 7 FH FEs. He's not much less ferocious in his FH cc's either, but Nadal copes better, in no small part to being better positioned to do so. Utilizes FH dtl after pinning Nadal to BH side with FH cc's also, though Nadal is largely able to cope with that

Match Progression
Early action is quite poor, with both players getting used to uneasy conditions. Good break by Davy, capitilizing on a dying FH inside-out to take net and putaway FHV winner and a couple of powerful deep shots to force errors. Nadal breaks right back to love with Davy having a horror OH miss, Nadal dispatching a BH dtl pass from about service-line and forcing a volleying error

After a troublesome hold (10 points, 2 break points), Davy turns out a blinder of a return game to break to love featuring a perfect, corner to corner thrashed BH cc winner and 2 strong, error forcing FHs in different directions. He comes to net 4 times to hold to 30 to end the set

Play improves in second set. Perhaps sun has moved or/and winds have died down. Probably not entirely - same dynamics of players serving more gently from one side and being freer in their hitting from the same side holds, though not to same extent

Davy is genuinely good in the second set, regardless of conditions. Nadal continues to be loose

Davy holds his first 3 service games to love, while breaking twice. First is a poor game from Nadal, but second is the best of the match, with Davy hitting 3 winners and forcing an error. On serve too (to be more accurate, especially), his groundgame is aggressively powerful as he overwhelms Nadal. He serves out to 30 with bunch of powerful, error forcing shots and a FH inside-out winner on match point

Summing up, difficult conditions of sun and wind are the background and both players struggle to cope. Davydenko sizes up the measure of it eventually by hitting through with brute force. He's smart in utilizing powerhouse, taken early FH inside-outs to Nadal's half-open FH corner and complementing it with some sharply angled, powerful BH cc's and similar strength FH longline shots. Nadal never does master the conditions, hits softly to give up easy short balls and makes routine errors regularly. He's particularly off on return consistency. Some good defending against Davydenko's not-wide power hitting is his best contribution and he's able to putaway easy balls from around service line that come up probably due to wind

Difficult conditions aside, a ferocious showing from Davydenko and a weak one from Nadal
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
This match still makes me mad. Nadal messed Miami up so many times. I was so sure he would win this final, plus he had an epic kit. Remember it like yesterday.

 

Tennisfan339

Professional
This match still makes me mad. Nadal messed Miami up so many times. I was so sure he would win this final, plus he had an epic kit. Remember it like yesterday.

The 2011 and 2005 finals must stringe even more, I guess. 2011 is one of the best BO3 matches I've seen as far as I'm concerned. 2005 was his first Masters1000 final, I remember this match like it was yesterday. Davydenko from 2007-2009 was easily a top-5 player on hard courts. No shame in losing to him.

Nadal not winning this event will always be an anomaly to me. Not winning Bercy and WTF is a hole but logical given his average level in Indoors hard courts, but Miami is an anomaly he SHOULD have corrected. Djokovic was struggling in Cincinnati for a long time (lost 5 finals) until he finally won, it always reminded me of Nadal in Miami. Seeing his trackrecord in other US HC outdoor tournaments (4 USO, 3 IW, 5 Canada) I can't explain why he's been so unsuccessful in Miami.
2006 vs Moya was such a strange match. Was he injured?
2007 a big missed opportunity, as he'd beaten Djokovic in straight sets in the IW final 2 weeks earlier. Would have easily won the title had he won his QF.
2009 close match against Delpotro, but he'd have probably lost to Murray or Djokovic later...
2010, also a huge failure. Lost to an aging Roddick in SF (was 1 and would've faced one of his favorite pigeons in final.
2012 injured, but just like in 2009, I doubt he'd have beaten Murray and Djokovic
2013 DNP
2014 just like 2008 and 2017, no regrets, defeated in straight
2015 his worst year, was losing to everyone so not surprised...
2016 injured
2018-2021 DNP

2005 and 2011 were obviously heartbreaking losses but logical results at the end of the day, he wasn't favorite of these finals.
2007 and 2010 are unforgivable on the other hand.
Regretful he didn't participate in 2013. He won every HC tournaments that year. Federer/Djokovic taken out early and the Murray/Ferrer final was pretty awful in terms of quality. Had he skipped IW and played Miami instead, he would've had a decent chance.
 
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MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
The 2011 and 2005 finals must stringe even more, I guess. 2011 is one of the best BO3 matches I've seen as far as I'm concerned. 2005 was his first Masters1000 final, I remember this match like it was yesterday. Davydenko from 2007-2009 was easily a top-5 player on hard courts. No shame in losing to him.

Nadal not winning this event will always be an anomaly to me. Not winning Bercy and WTF is a hole but logical given his average level in Indoors hard courts, but Miami is an anomaly he SHOULD have corrected. Djokovic was struggling in Cincinnati for a long time (lost 5 finals) until he finally won, it always reminded me of Nadal in Miami. Seeing his trackrecord in other US HC outdoor tournaments (4 USO, 3 IW, 5 Canada) I can't explain why he's been so unsuccessful in Miami.
2006 vs Moya was such a strange match. Was he injured?
2007 a big missed opportunity, as he'd beaten Djokovic in straight sets in the IW final 2 weeks earlier. Would have easily won the title had he won his QF.
2009 close match against Delpotro, but he'd have probably lost to Murray or Djokovic later...
2010, also a huge failure. Lost to an aging Roddick in SF (was 1 and would've faced one of his favorite pigeons in final.
2012 injured, but just like in 2009, I doubt he'd have beaten Murray and Djokovic
2013 DNP
2014 just like 2008 and 2017, no regrets, defeated in straight
2015 his worst year, was losing to everyone so not surprised...
2016 injured
2018-2021 DNP

2005 and 2011 were obviously heartbreaking losses but logical results at the end of the day, he wasn't favorite of these finals.
2007 and 2010 are unforgivable on the other hand.
He really, really should have a Miami title. Should have had it right from the start in 05. And had it been a BO3 he would have!
6–2, 7–6(7–4), 6–7(5–7), 3–6, 1–6

 

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
This match still makes me mad. Nadal messed Miami up so many times. I was so sure he would win this final, plus he had an epic kit. Remember it like yesterday.

Out of all the Miami losses, this is the one you shouldn't feel bad about. This was just an @$$ kicking from start to finish by Davydenko. Nadal completely outplayed.

2005, 2011 were ones where he messed up.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Out of all the Miami losses, this is the one you shouldn't feel bad about. This was just an @$$ kicking from start to finish by Davydenko. Nadal completely outplayed.

2005, 2011 were ones where he messed up.
It's more of the fact that the 08 one, I was super confident, and was so expecting Nadal to win, that I went to a festival that day and didn't even watch lol. It's the only one I took for granted.
 

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
It's more of the fact that the 08 one, I was super confident, and was so expecting Nadal to win, that I went to a festival that day and didn't even watch lol. It's the only one I took for granted.
Sounds like how some Federer fans were before Dubai 06 final.


Just shows match ups do exist.
 
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