Match Stats/Report - Djokovic vs Federer, Canadian Open final 2007


Hall of Fame
Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer 7-6(2), 2-6, 7-6(2) in the Canadian Open final, 2007 on hard court in Montreal

It was Djokovic's first win over Federer (4 previous losses) and his 2nd Masters title. He defeated 3rd ranked Roddick, 2nd ranked Nadal and 1st ranked Federer in succession to claim the title. Federer would reverse the result at the US Open final (

Djokovic won 98 points, Federer 100

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (62/96) 65%
- 1st serve points won (44/62) 71%
- 2nd serve points won (19/34) 56%
- Aces 6, Service Winners 2
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (31/96) 32%

- 1st serve percentage (69/102) 68%
- 1st serve points won (53/69) 77%
- 2nd serve points won (14/33) 42%
- Aces 16 (1 second serve)
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (35/102) 34%

Serve Pattern
Djokovic served...
- to FH 34%
- to BH 59%
- to Body 6%

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

Return Stats
Djokovic made...
- 67 (27 FH, 40 BH), including 1 return-approach
- 19 Errors, all forced...
- 19 Forced (11 FH, 8 BH)
- Return Rate (67/101) 66%

Federer made...
- 62 (24 FH, 38 BH), including 2 runaround FHs and 1 return-approach
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 23 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (2 FH, 3 BH),
- 18 Forced (8 FH, 10 BH)
- Return Rate (62/93) 67%

Break Points
Djokovic 3/6 (3 games)
Federer 4/8 (5 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Djokovic 16 (11 FH, 3 BH, 1 BHV, 1 OH)
Federer 30 (14 FH, 2 BH, 8 FHV, 2 BHV, 4 OH)

Djokovic's FHs - 1 cc pass, 2 dtl, 4 inside-out and 4 inside-in
- BHs - 2 dtl and 1 drop shot

- the BHV was a lob at net and the OH hit Federer

Federer's FHs - 5 cc (2 passes), 3 dtl, 4 inside-out and 2 inside-in (1 return, 1 pass)
- BHs - 1 dtl pass and 1 longline

- 3 from serve-volley points - 2 first FHVs and 1 second BHV

- 1 other FHV was a swinging shot

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Djokovic 33
- 20 Unforced (9 FH, 9 BH, 1 FHV, 1 Incorrect Challenge)
- 13 Forced (6 FH, 7 BH)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 42.1

Federer 50
- 32 Unforced (12 FH, 19 BH, 1 OH)
- 18 Forced (11 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV, 1 Tweener)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 43.4

(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...
- 10/18 (56%) at net, with...
- 0/1 return-approaching

Federer was...
- 16/22 (73%) at net, including...
- 3/4 serve-volleying, all first serves...
- 1/1 return-approaching
- 0/3 forced back
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Hall of Fame
Match Report
A good, though patchy match and Novak Djokovic's breakthrough into the top league on a fast hard court

Federer has a horror FH start. He's broken to 30 with 4 FH errors, after having made 2 FH return errors in the first game of match. The FH holds up well, if not fires, for the rest of the set, but then its the BHs turn. Spraying random errors from the wing (11 in the set... Djokovic has 9 the whole match), it stands out as weakness

The end of the first set is peculiarly uncharacteristic. Serving at 5-5, 40-0.... Djokovic manages to get broken. Much of this is Federer's clutch play - he wins 3 points by forcing 2 errors and striking a FHV winner - but Djoko also commits 2 errors - a slow footed volley and a routine BH - to give up the break and leave Federer serving for the set.

Which he seems to be doing routinely as he reaches 40-0 with a swinging volley winner and 2 unreturned serves... but then he chokes. 3 UEs take the game to deuce. The game goes on and on for 20 points and Federer blows a total of 6 set points before Djokovic wraps up with a FH inside-in to take the opener into a tiebreak. Which he thoroughly commands with deep groundstrokes

In the second, Federer cuts back on the errors and raises the bar on serve with a bundle of unreturned first shots. Winning the last 4 games, he pushes the match into a decider with the momentum firmly on his side.

But the decider doesn't follow that script. Djokovic breaks in the first game - aided by Federer's first double fault and a pair of BH errors. He then proceeds to hold commandingly - winning 13 straight service points - before Federer breaks to 15 against the run of play to restore parity. Match continues without undue incident to deciding tiebreak. Fed is poor in this - 3 UEs in play and 1 on return - as Djokovic takes it comfortably to record a stunning win. He beat the top 3 players in the world (Roddick, Nadal and Federer) to win the title

Match point is a near replica of the famous penultimate point of the pair's 2009 US Open semi-final. Djokovic lob volleys, Federer runs back and tries a tweener but nets it. Earlier in the match, there was another near identical point, but that ended with Djoko's lob volley going for a clean winner

Serving & Returning
The faster the court, the more the importance of these two shots - and this was a fast hard court. Federer has the better serve, Djokovic the return... though not for obvious reasons on the latter

They serve about the same percentage (Djoko 65%, Fed 68%) and have the same unreturned percentage (32%), but Fed has a big lead in aces/service winners (16 to 8) and fewer double faults (1 to 3)

In a nutshell, Fed serves better and Djokovic returns better. Fed's serve has better disguise and the second serve is also powerful. Note Djokovic with only return FEs.... a couple of those are off second serves. By contrast, Djoko's second serve is a fairly mild shot

The errors Fed forces with the first serve are obvious ones. They are out of reach as well as powerful, and Djoko is jumping around to reach them. Djoko's first serves mostly are not; they are powerful enough, but not particularly well placed.... it gets marked 'forced error', but the balls were returnable and Fed could have done a better job getting more of these balls in play. Given the distance in the two men's serves, the unreturned serves should not be equal.... and its Fed's relatively bad returning that is the cause of this

The Swiss is also a bit tame on the return. Djokovic's second serve is genuinely soft.... a slow shot, often directed at the body. Its slow enough that Fed can move out the way early enough to play the return of his choice and his choice is interesting. Usually, he moves over to play a BH. Probably for two reasons - a) he was expecting to make a BH return and b) he didn't feel overly attacking returns were necessary. Just 2 runaround FH returns from Federer.

Fed almost always slices the BH return and Djok is upto taking charge of these points; Don't think Federer was used to that.... the chip returns were good enough against the field, given Federer's groundgame and movement and he probably didn't realize they weren't going to be good enough against this unfamiliar Djokovic. On basic stats, that's the difference in the match - second serve points, Djoko wins 56%, Fed 42%

This makes up the bulk of the action. Given the fast surface, its not necessary to hit huge shots to finish points - a bit wide of the opponent or/and a bit deeper than normal is often good enough. Djokovic is more solid in - especially against these types of plays and on defence

You can see Djokovic has 13 FEs to Federer's 16 groundstroke FEs.... these range from flagrantly forced errors (near winners) to mildly forced (a ball the player would expect to get back in play a high percentage of time). While Djokovic does get back the latter type of balls, Federer is found wanting and concedes several mildly forced errors. On defence, Fed is below par in this match and of movement, Djokovic is clearly faster. Look at the UEFIs (Djoko 42.1, Fed 43.4). This is probably the lowest overall result I've tracked on this metric and tells you that neither player was playing overly aggressively (wise, since it wasn't necessary to win points). Defence and consistency of shot become more important with such dynamics... and Djoko is clearly superior here

After his initial woes on the FH, Federer plays a clean match off his favoured wing. But the BH is highly suspect and coughs up many errors, including a number of shanks (19 UEs, to Djokovic's 9). Djoko is more consistent on the BH, but not particularly damaging (3 winners, Federer 2)

On offence, Federer has the edge. He places the ball well and hits court opening angles better than the Serb to my eye.... but the stats aren't supporting this. The winner count is virtually the same (non-pass groundies - Djoko 13, Fed 12), Djoko forces more errors (16 groundies, Fed forced 13). Some of the forced errors would have been passing attempts - about even for both players. So if Fed was the slightly better offensive player, Djoko's superiority on defence outdid it

Which isn't to say Djoko just plays solidly, though that's what takes the eye. For one thing, he's more powerful in neutral situations, particularly with Federer slicing defensively a lot and he is quick to attack an open court (though not usually proactive to open it in the first place). His FH inside-in is very effective (4 winners. 4 inside-out too, but that's more common), not a shot he ever used too much

Federer hits some excellent third ball shots. He holds serves so easily for much of the match that one might call it serve-botting. Not quite. The point ending shots he makes, even of the third ball, usually aren't putaways and require skill to execute. Djokovic too, to a lesser degree - he doesn't hit as many third ball point ending shots - but does win almost all his service points at different parts of the match

Djoko dictates play from the baseline more often than not. His great weapon is depth.... a lot of his balls land in Federer's half of the between service line and baseline, and draws errors and forces weak replies. Djoko can't capitilize on it when the ball comes back quite the way Federer does... I think its fair to say Fed's attacking abilities were better (despite the stats), but Djoko was better on defence and in neutral situations

Net Play
Not a big factor - just 40 approaches between the two players. Djoko looks uncomfortable at net and doesn't punch his volleys through. Fed looks and is excellent. Djo wins 56% at net, Fed 73%.... the Swiss looks to come in when he's outplayed the Serb from the back. And passes well, even though some of Djoko's approaches aren't great

Djoko unintentionally hits Federer with an OH. Federer on the baseline guesses/anticipates which way the at net Djokovic will go with the shot and is right, but the ball is hit too hard for him to get a racquet on and he takes it on the backside

Temperament - 'Clutch' & 'Choke'
Some strange passages of play. According to commentary, both players had lost serve just once coming into the final (and Djoko went through Nadal, Roddick, Nalbandian and Kiefer to reach the final... one of the toughest draws ever). But Fed's broken in his first game where he makes 1/6 first serves and commits 4 FH UEs. I'd say its just a loose start

Djoko is broken at 5-5, 40-0. This is mostly good play from Federer, who saves three game points with a volley winner and forcing 2 groundstroke errors

Fed is broken as he's serving for the first set and 40-0 up. This is out-and-out choking. He loses the first three set points to UEs - and 3 more later on (1 UE, 1 mild FE and 1 Djoko winner). Ironically, Djokovic would do almost the same in the first set of the US Open final.

Up a break and cruising on serve (13 consecutive points), Djoko is broken to 15 in game 8 of the third set with the end in sight. Couple of errors from him, but mostly Fed clutching. Outside this game, Djokovic won 24/25 service points in the set, so it is odd

Bad tiebreak from Fed with 4 UEs, including 1 on return. Can't win a point on return (in line with the run of play) but 2 of those errors are on his serve. Small choke, but I'd primarily credit Djoko's clutch for this. He takes the net to force a (makeable) pass and finishes off with an excellent lob volley that Federer can only tweener into the net

Summing up, an up and down match. Djokovic slightly stronger from the baseline, especially defensively while they're about equal offensively. Fed with the better serve but returns less than well so the serve-return battle is about equal. And Djoko playing the important points better being the deciding factor. A strong statement from the then 20 year old that he was here for keeps
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