Match Stats/Report - Djokovic vs Federer, Indian Wells semi-final, 2011


Hall of Fame
Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 in the Indian Wells semi-final, 2011 on hard court

Djokovic would go on to beat Rafael Nadal in the final for the title

Djokovic won 88 points, Federer 82

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (57/85) 67%
- 1st serve points won (36/57) 63%
- 2nd serve points won (15/28) 54%
- Aces 3, Service Winners 5
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (23/85) 27%

- 1st serve percentage (49/85) 58%
- 1st serve points won (33/49) 67%
- 2nd serve points won (15/36) 42%
- Aces 1, Service Winners 2
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (14/85) 16%

Serve Pattern
Djokovic served...
- to FH 27%
- to BH 64%
- to Body 9%

Federer served...
- to FH 41%
- to BH 55%
- to Body 4%

Return Stats
Djokovic made...
- 69 (22 FH, 47 BH)
- 11 Errors, comprising...
- 2 Unforced (1 FH, 1 BH), including 1 runaround FH attempt
- 9 Forced (7 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (69/83) 83%

Federer made...
- 58 (14 FH, 44 BH)
- 15 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (3 FH, 2 BH)
- 10 Forced (3 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (58/81) 72%

Break Points
Djokovic 5/10 (5 games)
Federer 3/9 (6 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Djokovic 12 (7 FH, 2 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
Federer 20 (11 FH, 2 BH, 4 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 BH1/2V, 1 OH)

Djokovic's FHs - 3 cc, 1 inside-out, 1 inside-out/longline, 1 inside-in and 1 longline/cc
- BHs - 2 cc passes
- the FHV was a drop and the BHV was played net-to-net

Federer's FHs - 3 cc (1 pass), 2 dtl, 3 inside-out, 1 longline, 1 at net and 1 lob
- BHs - 1 dtl and 1 drop shot
- 1 FHV was a swinging shot from behind the service line but has been counted a net point and 1 other was played net-to-net
- the OH was played net-to-net
- the BH1/2V was a stop

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Djokovic 45
- 29 Unforced (14 FH, 13 BH, 1 FHV, 1 Challenge)
- 16 Forced (10 FH, 5 BH, 1 BHOH)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 43.9

Federer 49
- 35 Unforced (20 FH, 13 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 14 Forced (11 FH, 3 BH)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.7

(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...
- 6/12 (50%) at net, with...
- 1/1 retreating

Federer was...
- 13/20 (65%) at net, including...
- 0/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve

Match Report
A good quality match. Djokovic is excellent in the first set and decent in the second, Federer is decent in the first and excellent in the second while the third is tough for half a set before Federer crumbles

In the first set, Djokovic serves a high percentage (20/28), but even the first serve is mostly returnable. In this light, Federer doesn't return particularly well (though not badly either). On the other side of things, Federer serves decently - and his serve is bigger and better than Djoko's - but Djoko returns particularly well. He seems to read the serve well and gets almost everything back

The two settle into baseline exchanges afterwards. Djokovic is solid, hits powerfully and deep and is strong in running down balls and otherwise on the defensive. All that is typical. What isn't is his running Federer around.... I'd estimate Fed covers more ground in the match as a whole (and the first set in particular) than Djoko does, which is atypical. Federer shows good defensive movement in dealing defensively, but his groundies are a bit loose, especially the FH

With Djoko thwarting Fed's attacks, but Fed's inconsistency of shot leading to errors, its the Serb who has the advantage

Already up a break, Djoko breaks again to take the set. There are a pair of excellent points here. In the first, Fed's drop volley forces Djoko to net, where he close range lobs the Swiss. Fed just about manages to make a BHOH to the lob, but Djoko is there to volley that, force a weak groundstroke at net that he volleys away for the winner. The next point, Djoko forces Fed to net with a drop shot that Fed barely reaches and puts over not strongly. Djoko slaps a strong pass that forces a defensive volley and then makes an authoritive passing winner

In second set, Fed cuts back on the errors and is a bit less attacking. What happens then? Rallies go on until someone makes an unforced error and it ends up being Djokovic as often as not (UEs for set - Djoko 13, Fed 10). But Federer is still able to hit more winners/force errors, enough so as to have a decisive advantage

Third set starts like a contest. Djoko breaks at once and holds off 2 break points in his first service game, but is broken to love in the second. At 2-2, Federer is comfortably placed at 40-15... when things go sideways for him. 3 unforced errors in play and a double fault later, he's broken. And he's down 0-40 in his next service game with 3 FH errors too - and goes onto be broken, with Djoko striking a fine FH cc winner a couple points later. Meanwhile, Djoko holds on the moving Federer around and forcing errors

There is a definite let down from Fed in this final chapter of the match, but Djoko also does the needful with gusto

Strategy & Stats
On this slowish hard court, Djokovic's even winged and minded game is better than Federer's FH heavy and impatient one. The court is too slow for Federer to forcefully end points with his runaround FHs, but he keeps running round anyway

Why? The ploy would be understandable if his BH was failing him.... but it wasn't (20 FH errors to 13 BHs). Mostly, he just sacrifices court position by running round BHs without equal compensation.... its not a good trade. Much of the running around he's forced into stems from being too far over to the BH side to begin with

Djoko by contrast, is equally comfortable of both wings. Like Federer, he's better offensively with the FH (7 FH winners to 2 on the BH, both of them passes)…. but not overeager to hit them.

Penultimate point of the match illustrates the folly of Federer's strategy. He has to run to his BH side to get the ball and does so in time to play a fairly comfortable BH, but chooses to run past the ball and try to hit an awkward FH (which he misses)…. its a stupid shot. While this is an extreme example, a number of times he makes what look like forced errors by trying to runaround or back away from routine BHs to hit FHs

In second set, he shows he's capable of hanging tough from the baseline with Djoko (though that's unlikely to hold for very long... Djoko is the more consistent of player of the ground, and has a dip in level at the time), but he seems to be in a rush to attack rather than pick the right moment to do so. In stark contrast to Djoko, who strikes a better balance of being solid and going on the attack.

Have a look at the UEFI - Djoko with a low 43.9, Fed a high 47.7.... a good indicator of how aggressive each player was. And on a slow court, assuming equal levels of play, Djoko's way is better

And playing level is about equal overall. Fed has 8 more winners, forces 2 more errors and makes 6 more unforced errors to lead by 4 points. (That is a bit misleading because its an overall figure... more important is at what times the players are getting the better of the other... Djoko does for a set and a half, Fed for a set and 1/2 a set about equal, so

Even so, Djoko comes up ahead overall due to of all things the serve. Djoko has 27% serves unreturned, Federer 16%(!) Primarily, I would credit Djokovic's superiority on return for these figures. Federer doesn't serve badly, but Djoko seems to get every ball back. Djoko has 4 fewer return errors and holds Fed to just 1 ace and 2 service winners (he himself has 3 and 5 respectively). Surprising. Fed himself returns decently, but against a not overwhelming serve - most of Djoko's first serves are highly makeable - there was room for doing better

Summing up, solid, smart and timely stuff from Djokovic, who returns excellently, is solid off the ground, and smoothly switches from neutral to attacking or defending. Federer plays well too, but inconsistently with spurts of errors mushrooming up now and then
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