Match Stats/Report - Djokovic vs Federer, Australian Open semi-final, 2020

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer 7-6(1), 6-4, 6-3 in the Australian Open semi-final, 2020 on hard court

Djokovic would go onto win the title, beating Dominic Thiem in the final. This was the last meeting between the pair. Djokovic finished the head-to-head with 27-23 lead. This was the last Slam semi for Federer

Djokovic won 113 points, Federer 93

Serve Stats
Djokovic...
- 1st serve percentage (73/102) 72%
- 1st serve points won (53/73) 73%
- 2nd serve points won (16/29) 55%
- Aces 12
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (30/102) 29%

Federer...
- 1st serve percentage (68/104) 65%
- 1st serve points won (45/68) 66%
- 2nd serve points won (15/36) 42%
- Aces 15 (1 second serve), Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (30/104) 29%

Serve Pattern
Djokovic served...
- to FH 45%
- to BH 54%
- to Body 1%

Federer served...
- to FH 55%
- to BH 40%
- to Body 5%

Return Stats
Djokovic made...
- 71 (41 FH, 30 BH)
- 2 Winners (2 BH)
- 14 Errors, comprising...
- 6 Unforced (3 FH, 3 BH)
- 8 Forced (4 FH, 4 BH)
- Return Rate (71/101) 70%

Federer made...
- 71 (38 FH, 33 BH), including 2 return-approaches
- 2 Winners (2 FH)
- 18 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (2 FH, 3 BH)
- 13 Forced (3 FH, 10 BH)
- Return Rate (71/101) 70%

Break Points
Djokovic 4/11 (8 games)
Federer 2/7 (3 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Djokovic 17 (8 FH, 8 BH, 1 BHV)
Federer 30 (16 FH, 5 BH, 3 FHV, 4 BHV, 1 OH, 1 BHOH)

Djokovic's FHs - 3 cc (1 pass), 3 inside-out (1 at net), 2 running-down-drop-shot at net passes (1 cc, 1 longline)
- BHs - 2 cc (1 pass), 6 dtl (2 returns, 1 pass, 1 at net) and 1 running-down-drop-shot drop-shot at net

- the BHV was a swinging longline, non-net shot

Federer's FHs - 5 cc (1 return), 3 dtl (1 return), 5 inside-out, 1 inside-in and 1 longline
- BHs - 2 cc and 3 dtl (1 pass)

- 4 from serve-volley points - 3 first 'volleys' (2 FHV, 1 FH at net) & 1 second volley (1 OH)

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Djokovic 32
- 18 Unforced (8 FH, 10 BH)
- 14 Forced (8 FH, 6 BH)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.2

Federer 63
- 46 Unforced (21 FH, 23 BH, 2 BHV)... with 1 BH at net & 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- 17 Forced (10 FH, 5 BH, 1 BH1/2V, 1 Tweener)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.7

(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
Djokovic was 10/11 (91%) at net

Federer was...
- 19/30 (63%) at net, including...
- 7/7 (100%) serve-volleying, all first serves
---
- 0/2 return-approaching
- 0/1 forced back

Match Report
In retrospect, a poignant match, the last of 50 between 2 great players. Federer is at his most resourceful with pinpoint serves and sober shot-making to start,but weakens thereafter as Djoko clinically takes him apart on a quick side of normal, low bouncing court

Some background. Fed had had some injury trouble in the earlier rounds and it wasn’t certain if he would take the court for this encounter. Not only does he take it, but plays beautifully and wisely for a set and puts himself in prime position to take it

He’s up 5-2, 0-30 (returning) before it turns around. He’s lucky to even get into a tiebreak from there. Tiebreak itself is flawless from Djokovic to take the set

Thereafter, Fed’s game is weak to point of making it a mismatch. Djoko plays with clinical, unstrained coolness to unravel it. Earlier, he’d had to go to a higher gear than ‘clinical’, and even that a guarantee of coming up on top

Upto 5-2, 0-30, Fed has 11 winners, 11 UEs and has forced 3 errors from opponent. In addition to 8 aces and a service winner in just 4 service games

Thereafter, 19 winners, 35 UEs and forces 11 errors. And 7 aces

First Part
Djoko comes out looking for a FH cc shooting match. Its what he tends to do when he’s confident

Fed comes out doing many positive things

- Serves beautifully in hitting his spots. All those aces aren’t overly powerful. Serves to Djoko’s FH, which tends to lead to livlier action (which isn’t necessarily a good thing for Djoko’s opponents, but its where Fed would have a better chance of doing well here). Djoko gets his share of very deep returns in amidst the aces, and Fed’s not good at coping with near half-volleys to the baseline


- Plays along the FH cc shoot-out, getting the shorter end of it. But takes half-chances in going for winners (off both wings). Its not ‘crazy, trying to hit winners from everywhere all the time’ deal. The balls he picks are there for the shots, if somewhat ambitious. Makes some, misses some - making a few more than he misses

- Returns early, taking first serves from around the baseline. Not overly aggressive with the shot, but again, picks his balls. He has 2 return winners - 1 wonderful FH dtl, the other FH cc utilizing the angle of a good, wide serve by Djoko

Downside is his struggling to reach wide returns, but on whole, it’s a good ploy. Stepping back and getting more returns in play safely while leaving Djoko with initiative isn’t likely to go well for him. Works particularly well with his serve firing, and thus giving him luxary of giving away a few freebies (and Djoko serves well too, wouldn’t be easy to return him from any position)

Some beautiful winners from Fed in this part of the match. There are FH inside-outs set up by the serve. Couple of lovely BH cc from middle of court, a drop shot Djoko in and then BH dtl pass him 1-2 that’s perfect, some damaging wide FH cc’s

Breaks Djoko twice and has him down 0-40 the other time

Djoko’s not slouching either. Breaks once and had Fed down 15-40 one other time, but all those aces are hard to get over

Not rattled, but needing a change, Djoko switches to beat-down BH play. This is what he likes to do to Fed as default. His BH cc’s are particularly strong here, and he’s willing to go borderline attackingly wide with it beyond his norm

A weakness throughout match is Fed’s shot tolerance and to lesser extent, sustained movement and he duly gets beaten down, but opportunistically goes for his shots with the angles opened up by Djoko’s BH play (misses more than he makes), and Djoko falters some too with his attacking BH dtl’s set up by wide BH cc’s.

All this gets us to 2-5, 0-30, Djoko two points away from losing the set

Second Part
Djoko holds from there with errors and a couple of unreturned serves. Breaks Fed to love, holds again and has Fed down 2 break points after that. Fed saves ‘em, which isn’t expected. Both are second serve points. Other than those 2, Fed wins 3/15 second serve points for the set

Plays a flawlessly tiebreak. He’d made 0 UEs in 3 of them at the last Wimbledon final. Doesn’t make one here either, but does bop 3 winners and an ace

Not much competition for rest of match. Djoko returns to clinical mode, which he’d only just gone above earlier. Good, solid serving. Good, easy firm returning, much of it deep. Polished easy groundies off both sides. Still targets Fed’s BH more than the other side

Fed continues to serve well, without hitting the line as often. Returns in same style, not badly. Can’t keep the ball in court from the back, and his UEs pile up. Slices a lot of BHs that don’t bother Djoko at all

Made to run a fair bit. His running speed is fine. Better than someone like Cilic’s ever is, but he’s a bit slow to move defensively to balls slightly wide and firmly struck (often deep too). It doesn’t take much to get an error out of him

Not even a deuce game on Djoko’s serve. Fed has 4, all of which he faces break points on

Ground UEs for last 2 sets -
Djoko 7 (4 FH, 3 BH)
Fed 20 (9 FH, 11 BH)

Clean and efficient from Djoko, the opposite from Fed. Essentially, a mismatch
 
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Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Serve & Return
Fed serves better, Djoko returns better, overall advantage Djoko, bar First part where Fed’s serve is top notch

Fed hits his spots all match, even throws out damagingly wide second serves. Has a second serve ace too. Good serving from Djoko too, who gets serves wide too - which is good often good enough to draw the error from the up-close Fed

On the return, another way of saying the above is it doesn’t take the best of serves to get error out of Fed. Djoko deals with wider serves (which get wider still when they’re on him, as he’s standing further back) and gets them back

Typically, Djoko gets these tough serves back with authority. Good lot of them land near the baseline, some right at Fed’s feet

Stats have come out nicely even. Both players with 29% unreturneds

The return rates are identical - both making 71/101 at 70%

Both with 2 winners (Djoko BHs, Fed FHs)

Equal return rates, with Djoko facing better serve and returning with more authority = Djoko winning serve-return contest

Play - Baseline & Net
Djoko sticking to the baseline, usually in cool, polished hititng mode. Fed coming in fair bit (a lot more than Djoko), reacting to Djoko’s shots from the baseline

Very clean and safe from Djoko, who makes few UEs. Fed gives ‘em up much, much more readily. No contest on that front. Its not even a quesiton of crediting or discrediting one player or another - they’re in different leagues on this front

Fed’s not unduly aggressive, but on the look out for attacking options, including counter-attacking ones. He does well in picking his attacking shots. They aren’t easy to come by

Fed’s a perfect 7/7 serve-volleying. Too small to be of importance, but does beg the question why not do it more, particularly if he’s physically struggling. He’s not tested - draws return errors or gets routine volleys

Rallying to net is a different matter. Fed’s 12/21 and he approaches smartly and volleys well. Some very good passing from Djoko

Winners - Djoko 17, Fed 30
Errors Forced - Djoko 17, Fed 14
UEs - Djoko 18, Fed 46

And breakdown of UEs -
- Defensive - Fed 1
- Neutral - Djoko 8, Fed 22
- Attacking - Djoko 7, Fed 11
- Winner Attempts - Djoko 3, Fed 12

A few things stand out. Most prominently, the neutral UEs. Just straight out mismatch - great from Djoko, poor from Fed, ‘nuff said

Not a bad winners to winner attempt UE ration from Fed, bringing home that he did played smartly aggressive, not wild. Djoko’s ratio is fantastic

Finally, note Djoko with same number of winners as errors forced. He usually has almost as many errors forced as winners - and it’s mark of very precise play, doing just enough to win the point without taking risks

As many errors forced as winners though is rare, and Fed being quite easy to ‘force’ an error out of has something to do with it

Conversely, Fed generally (and in this match) has much more winners than errors forced. Makes a lovely highlights reel. Not the best of ways though. Goes hand in hand with the occasional falling-completely-flat showing

High winners to errors forced sometimes can be a function of opponent being very difficult to force errors out of, so hitting a winner is only sure way of ending point. While Djoko is apt to fit this description of said opponent, with Fed, that’s rarely the reason

He tends to go straight for knock-out blows, at most 1-2 combos, not less intensely working opponent over - and his finishing is very final with no chance of a response. Which goes hand in hand with him missing his finishing a lot more than someone like Djoko, who does like to work opponents over methodically, and is more conservative in his finishing

Match Progression
Nature of action is as outlined earlier

Fed’s in trouble out of the gate and down 15-40. First point of the match is a return to his feet that he can’t handle, and a couple of FH errors later, he’s down break point. Gets a break when Djoko missed 2nd serve return on the first, and wipes out the next with a third ball FH inside-out winner. Game goes on for 14 points before Fed holds with another third ball FH inside-out winner. He has 3 aces and a service winner

And then Fed breaks. Couple third ball ground errors from Djoko, but 2 perfect plays from Fed are involved. He finishes a fluid rally with a BH cc winner. On break point, he drop shots Djoko to net and then needle threadingly passes him BH dtl for a winner (as it turns out, that’s the only net point Djoko loses all match)

Next 2 games are breaks too. Djoko hits back with Fed making errors, and Fed restores his lead in a similar break game to his first - some great Fed shots - a sharply angled FH cc return, a BH dtl and another FH inside-out - and some Djoko ground errors (mostly at end of game)

Serving down 1-4, Djoko falls to 0-40. Djoko serves his way to 30-40, but Fed takes a shot at a FH inside-in winner on third break point. Just misses. Djoko’s still not out of the woods, and its Fed missing a routine BHV at deuce awhile later that gives Djoko the edge to hold

Fed responds with a love hold in about a minute. And then Djoko’s under the gun again at 0-30, with Fed striking a perfect FH dtl return winner

Its been Federer’s match so far. And its Djoko’s match from thereon end

After holding, Djoko gets up to face Fed serving for the set. 4 points later - a double fault, missing a BH at net against a poor drop shot and a FH dtl winner attempt miss among them - Fed’s broken and sets back on serve

From dominating, it looks doubtful Fed can even make tiebreak, as he’s down break points in his next service game again. Wonderful BHOH winner saves one, and Djoko misses a not easy 2nd serve return on the next, before Fed holds with more winners

Tiebreak is almost perfect from Djoko. Brilliant BH cc winner that lands on the line. On last two points, he drop shots a running-down-drop-shot at net and strikes a BH dtl return for winners to wrap up 7-1

Fed takes a medical time out off court at the end of the set

In second set, Fed’s a little slower, still going for his shots in a non-crazy way though with less success than earlier. He goes closer to lines on regulation shots than is his habit and misses good lot of those. Good serving keeps him in the set, but he’s no threat to break at all. Djoko holds to 15 4 times and love once. Fed’s taken to deuce 3 times by contrast, giving up the break in the last of them to end the set

Fed takes returns from two paces inside court for a game. Can’t hurt to try something new given how things are going, but it doesn’t help either. Djoko holds to 15, passing chip-charging Fed BH dtl

More of the same in third set. Djoko holding with ease, though now 30 is his new mode for service games. Fed’s not regularly in trouble on serve, but does give up the break middle of set to go down 2-4, mostly a good game by Djoko who forces a tweener error after forcing Fed back from net and ends with a FH inside-out winner of his own.

Some ‘delay’ serve-volleying from Fed in the set, when he steps into court and waits to see Djoko’s return before coming in for third ball or not

Summing up, thorough showing from Djokovic, who handles his opponents excellent, balanced attacking and counter-attacking play early on, and is smoothly solid for the rest. Good serving, the usual lot of firm returns to the baseline and easy command of his groundstrokes

A smartly played match from Federer, who attacks as he must, but with judgement. Some great shots and beautiful volleys to come out of it, along with very good serving. On the down side, he’s a bit slow, and poor of both basic consistency and shot tolerance. On whole, not a good showing, if not outright poor

Stats for the final between Djokovic and Dominic Thiem - Match Stats/Report - Djokovic vs Thiem, Australian Open final, 2020 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
 

beltsman

G.O.A.T.
Good stuff. I recall being amazed that Federer even pushed Djokovic given the injury, age, and what happened in Fed's previous match. Strong effort from Older-er but he ran out of steam before he could nab a set.
 

Third Serve

Talk Tennis Guru
I did think this was a pretty smart match from Federer. It was a complete mismatch but he was resourceful enough to make it competitive for as long as he could… which tbf wasn’t that long but by then he had nothing left in the tank.
 

jl809

Hall of Fame
Let’s be honest the first 20 minutes of this match were glorious. Something thrilling about watching an ATG just swinging for the fences with 0 inhibition because there is no other option
 

Holmes

Hall of Fame
Kind of a waste of energy for Novak to try to win a match in straight sets that didn't matter.
 
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