Match Stats/Report - Djokovic vs Federer, US Open semi-final, 2011

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer 6-7(7), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 in the US Open semi-final, 2011 on hard court

Djokovic would go onto beat Rafael Nadal in the final to claim his first US Open title and 3rd Slam of the year

Djokovic won 161 points, Federer 143

Serve Stats
Djokovic...
- 1st serve percentage (82/140) 59%
- 1st serve points won (68/82) 83%
- 2nd serve points won (32/58) 55%
- Aces 9 (1 second serve & 1 not clean), Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 6
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (41/140) 29%

Federer...
- 1st serve percentage (101/164) 62%
- 1st serve points won (68/101) 67%
- 2nd serve points won (35/63) 56%
- Aces 11, Service Winners 2
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (48/164) 29%

Serve Pattern
Djokovic served...
- to FH 43%
- to BH 54%
- to Body 2%

Federer served...
- to FH 44%
- to BH 49%
- to Body 8%

Return Stats
Djokovic made...
- 112 (50 FH, 62 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 2 Winners (2 FH)
- 35 Errors, comprising...
- 6 Unforced (2 FH, 4 BH)
- 29 Forced (20 FH, 9 BH)
- Return Rate (112/160) 70%

Federer made...
- 93 (38 FH, 55 BH), including 3 runaround FHs & 1 return-approach
- 2 Winners (2 FH), including 1 runaround FH
- 31 Errors, comprising...
- 8 Unforced (6 FH, 2 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 23 Forced (13 FH, 10 BH)
- Return Rate (93/134) 69%

Break Points
Djokovic 6/12 (7 games)
Federer 3/5 (3 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Djokovic 34 (19 FH, 11 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH)
Federer 35 (25 FH, 4 BH, 1 FHV, 5 OH)

Djokovic's FHs - 6 cc (2 returns), 1 dtl, 7 inside-out (1 at net), 2 inside-in, 1 longline/inside-out, 1 longline/cc and 1 inside-out/longline pass
- BHs - 3 cc (1 pass), 2 dtl, 3 inside-out, 2 inside-out/dtl and 1 inside-out drop shot

Federer's FHs - 6 cc, 1 dtl, 11 inside-out (2 passes, 1 return), 3 inside-in (1 return), 2 longline and 2 inside-out/dtl
- BHs - 1 cc and 3 dtl

- the FHV was a swinging shot and 1 OH was hit between service line and baseline and not a net point

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Djokovic 54
- 30 Unforced (17 FH, 13 BH)
- 24 Forced (10 FH, 14 BH)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46

Federer 82
- 58 Unforced (32 FH, 26 BH)
- 24 Forced (13 FH, 8 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 44.3

(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
Djokovic was...
- 11/14 (79%) at net

Federer was...
- 14/21 (67%) at net, including...
- 2/2 serve-volleying, comprising...
- 1/1 off 1st serve and..
- 1/1 off 2nd serve
--
- 0/1 return-approaching
- 1/1 forced back

Match Report
The best match I've seen between the two. Going down to the wire and with Federer having two match points on his serve, the match could have gone either way, but the end result is probably most appropriate. Djokovic is clearly the better player overall (naturally, given the scorelines on the sets each player won) and probably edges it broken down by set

If the match is best remembered for Federer throwing away a win by failing to serve out the match and having 2 match points at 40-15 (just like Wimbledon 2019), its even more the case that that is a gross simplification. Djokovic had given away the break to love the game previously with a double fault and 2 unforced errors. He hadn't faced break point in his last 13 service games (having lost all of 14 points in those games), and the only time he'd been behind in any of the those games was 0-15 - once.

And then he's broken to 0 the way that he was. A far worse 'choke' than what Federer (who had been broken twice in the match despite making 6/6 first serves) did. Furthermore, Federer reached 40-15 on the back of Djokovic missing 2 second serve returns (he was more apt to put a first serve return at Federer's feet than miss a second throughout the match)... ignore dramatic soundbite summaries of Federer choking to lose the match. If he'd won, you could have said Djokovic choked - as is, Djokovic choked a lot worse than Federer did to get into a hole in the first place, choke cancels out choke... and the better player wins

The playing dynamics are such that its surprising that the match is as close as it is. Djokovic has a significant advantage on the serve-return complex (Fed slight edge on serve, Djoko bigger one on return) and a sizable one in play

Serve & Return
The improvements in Djokovic's serve from a year ago are easy to see. the unreturned serve counts are effectively equal (Djoko 29.29%, Federer 29.27%), which isn't unusual. It isn't even unusual for Djokovic to lead in this area - he did at both hard court matches between the pair earlier in the year (in Dubai on a fast court and Indian Wells on a slow one)… but usually, this is largely due to his returning better (to the point of Federer returning not well)

There are elements of that at play here too, but its more about the quality of Djokovic's serve itself. I'd say its in the same league as Federer's in this match, though not as good. And Federer serves well

Djokovic does take risk in his serving pattern. Note his serving 43% to FH and 54% to BH. Typically, that ratio is about 40/60... and its also the obvious way to go (you don't need number analysis to tell Federer has a far stronger FH return to BH)… why the change?

a) It has its up side. Note Federer with 13 FH return FEs to 10 BH (also 5 FH UEs to 2 BH, not counting 1 runaround FH miss)… Roger Federer, like Djokovic himself, is showing himself to be more consistent in getting the BH return in play. In other words, Djokovic gets himself more cheap points serving to Federer's FH than BH. The price of that is...

b) the FH returns Federer makes are stronger than the BHs - both in general and in this match. So the trade off for Djokovic is getting more cheap points for starting rallies on serve in a less strong position. (Should be added that Fed returns better off the BH than usual too... slices less, comes over more)

This choice by Djokovic probably shapes Federer having more chances returning than usual. By chances, I don't mean break points (Fed only has them in just 3 games - all of which he wins), but in play. Less smothery, beat-down dynamic, more open court with shot making opportunities stuff than usual which suits Federer

A risky move from Djokovic, probably indicating his confidence of beating Federer anyway in any dynamic. There's a thin line between 'confidence' and 'foolhardiness' (1 point - twice in this match) to be exact. I didn't think it was a good move. He seems to know he's playing with fire (or at least, not splashing around in water) with the ploy because in the tiebreak, he reverses the pattern (had served 17/10 in the set, but does so 1/6 in the tiebreak)… not that it ends up making a difference in that instance. But the smart play is almost always serving to Federer's BH - as it is with most players - Djoko does so more and more as the match wears on... good change to a not great starting plan

The Federer serve vs Djokovic return is more interesting stuff... a great serve vs an even greater return on a fast-ish court. For the first set, Fed's serve is too much for Djok, round about the second set, the Serb starts returning more surely and by the third, seems to be reading the serve as well as I've seen him (he usually doesn't seem to be reading it much)… and both first and second serves come back to Federer deep down the middle. Both in set 2 and set 4, Federer is broken to 30 in games he made all 6 first serves.... this is the type of thing that just doesn't happen to Roger Federer against anyone else

The usual patterns for this battle is Federer serving predominantly to the FH. Uncommon, but previous matches have shown it to be the best play (Djok less consistent with FH returns and about equally damaging). He tones that down in this match (44% to FH, 49% to BH). And look at the return errors he forces - 20 FH to 9 BH... he should have gone to the FH more. Like Djokovic, despite deviating form his norm, Federer does tend to go to the FH at important junctures. There's at least one exception

The sole break in set 3 sees Federer direct just 3 serves to the FH out of 15 (and 1 double fault), repeatedly throwing out kickers out wide in the ad court (once, even with a first serve). Even with imperfect serving directions, the serves aren't easy to cope with... credit to Djokovic for doing so, but I thought Fed erred in his serving patterns also

Which brings us to the return everyone remembers. Match point down at 40-15, Djokovic swats a regulation first serve out wide to his FH crosscourt for a blinding winner. In real time, I remember thinking it was a wild, desperate, nothing-to-lose shot. Re-watching it, only the nothing-to-lose part still seems to stand. Like Djoko himself, Fed had adjusted his serving patterns as the match wore on and in the second half, was directing every important serve to the FH... I think Djoko knew the serve was coming and premediated this is how he'd go after it. He'd nailed a virtually identical shot earlier in the match. And Federer had served an identical serve at the identical score on set point in the 2nd set (it went unreturned). Serve wasn't great... but Djoko was ready for it and pulled off the low percentage strike, all credit to him for it
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Play - Baseline, (No Net)
To start off with, there's next to no net play in this match. 35 approaches total in 304 points and about a quarter to a third of those are born of drop shot plays. Federer foregoes it as an attacking option and Djoko is never likely to see it as one against Federer

So its all baseline stuff, basically. Federer's showing is a step up from the previous years matches and also the pairs match in Australia earlier in the year, but still a good ways behind

Action is mainly orthodox (as opposed to close court or open court) - meaning crosscourt shots are the staple, and are normally angled. In matches between these two, action is often more close court (ball bashing up and down the middle), a dynamic usually implemented by Djokovic, whose greater power and consistency and power it suits

One sense that its by Djokovic's consent, if not implementation, that things are orthodox. When it suits him, he closes the court up and gets down to ball bashing. There's some open court stuff too

Its pretty easy to sum up Djoko's baseline games. Almost flawless. Few errors, a heavy regular ball, attacking shots that are hit with scarcely any more risk than a regular ball - all of this of both wings. Strong defence and exceptionally strong hitting from defensive positions. He's a machine

Usually, groundstroke winners are easily slotted into 4 categories - cc, dtl, inside-out and inside-in. Look at Djoko's. FHs include 2 longline/inside-out and a longline/cc. BHs include 2 inside-out/dtl. This is a good indicator of how he plays (usually, I'll mark mildly cc balls as cc and be done with), but he's quite capable of hitting winners, let alone forcing errors by deviating just a tad from hitting straight. Its a very safe way to attack. Contrast with Federer, who attacks by going for lines - and inevitably, makes a few errors missing those lines on the wrong side

3 BH inside-out winners from Djok, + a inside-out/dtl…. don't think I've seen anyone hit that many in a match. Many players probably don't hit that many in a season

Federer has a good day making the most of advantageous starting positions. In the early part of the match, his serve gets the better of Djokovic and Fed executes commanding third ball plays from there efficiently and smoothly. And not just off the FH. A good BH day for Fed offensively too, though almost exclusively down the line. He hits a number of point ending third ball BH dtl's

Good movement and defence from the Swiss to. One of the best running FH matches I've seen of his. Its not a strength of his game at the best of times, but in this match, he reaches balls and smacks them attackingly. Not necessarily well enough to go through Djokovic's exceptional defence but a lot better than plopping the ball back in the middle of the court (or giving up the error)

Some typically amazing stuff off the FH too. He's all over the short balls and commands most 1/2 short ones too. His play in general - of both wings - is more up and down than Djoko's - and he also has runs of missing FHs.

Of court position, Federer is mostly orthodox (i.e. not running around BHs too much)

In closed court situations, Federer doesn't have a way through though. He can't open the court, won't come to net.... just trades groundies back and forth, Djoko the more consistent and powerful. Its fast court equivalent of who-blinks-first tennis, and its an area where Federer is out of his league. He hits a few winners from out of nowhere in these situations - spectacular looking shots - but its not worth the candle. For every winner, he's making 3 errors trying

Look at the UEs. Federer with almost double (58 to 30) and interestingly, the errors by wing are also in the same proportion (on FH, Djok 17, Fed 32. On BH, Djok 13, Fed 26). The numbers are a fair reflection of Djok's superiority but a bit unflattering to Fed. Its not necessarily that he he's making bad shots but rather, getting beat down from the back of the court. Djoko is near flawless - his regulation ball something pretty close to an attacking shot but very consistent, deep and powerful. Fed might rally along for a few shots, but is always likely to end up making the error first. Not bad from Federer, just much better from Djokovic

The last notable point concerns Federer's BH cross court shot and its not limited to this match, but the pairs rivalry in general. Set 5, game 2, point 3, Federer hits a sharply angled BH cc, possibly slightly mishit

This is the only sharply angled BH cc he hits all match, or even trys - and possibly the only one in the last 3 years at the US Open against Djokovic. I remember this being one of his BH strong points - the ability to hit error forcing sharp angles, dragging opponents off the court with it, opening the court with it, using it as a point finisher or the first part of 1-2 attacking combination. Its not a staple shot, but a good shot to have in one's locker

He never uses it against Djokovic. It would be difficult to do so since Djokovic's balls are so heavy and his movement so good... but whats the alternative? Ball bashing isn't going well for Federer. Not sure why Fed eschews the shot altogether. In all the pairs matches, there are precious few BH cc winners from Federer and probably even errors forced with the shot. This is one of pillars to the match up and gives Djoko a safe place to go to anytime he wants. Fed can't do anything to him BH cc... risky, leaving the court open FH inside-outs is his only attacking option off that diagonal
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
First set is dead even and serve dominated. Not a break point, not a deuce going into the tiebreak and good level of play from both players in nursing the advantage the serve gives to finishing points. Federer plays a strong tiebreak. He needs 5 set points to seal the deal, but Djokovic has none. The Swiss wrong foots his opponent with FH dtl to bring up his 5th set point and finishes it by forcing another error with an excellent BH dtl hit from outside the court

Second set is decided by serve percentage. Federer makes 23/29, Djoko 16/28. Federer breaks in game 3, which has a coupe of superb points. In one, Federer stoutly defends against a series of Djokovic BH cc's and FH inside-outs... and takes his chance to finish the point with a BH dtl winner. On break point, a strong FH inside-out leaves Djokovic off balance and Fed finishes with a perfect FH dtl winner. Next game is a high quality one from both players, with Federer holding.

Djokovic gets the break back to 30 with some good returning. Fed loses the last two points via 3rd ball FH UEs... they're UEs in the sense they're more makeable than not and its primarily Federer's discredit that he misses them, but good deep returns on both points from Djoko too. Federer breaks back at once, to love no less. A double and 3rd ball FH inside-in winner attempt to start the game (bad play by Djok) and 2 good ones from Federer to finish. On the first, a strong BH dtl drags Djoko to his right and Fed sweeps a FH inside-out winner into the opposite corner and on break point, Fed wins a ball-bashing rally when Djoko yields the UE

Just the 1 break in set 3, with Fed choosing to serve almost always to the BH, including a slow, kick first serve out wide. Still, good on Djoko to return effectively (its in this game he strikes a FH return winner very similar to the one he would hit down match point) and on the penultimate point, he hits a powerful BH cc from a defensive position to force an error.

The playing edge slips to Djokovic's favour starting in this set. No more breaks, but its Djoko that's dominating play now and Fed has next to no chance returning. There's a noteworthy Djokovic inside-out BH drop shot winner.... noteworthy because he almost always goes up the court for the shot (and rarely does it end well for him, against Federer at least). Federer hits a couple of great shots too - a FH inside-out winner coming out of nowhere amidst a ball bashing down-the-middle-rally and a very powerful FH longline that forces an error out of the same playing dynamic

4th set is Djokovic at his best. He's returning like a beast and just blasting balls off both wings hard and deep, seemingly without ever missing. Fed is forced into errors or gives up inevitable unforced errors when the flood of deep-ish groundies just keep coming.

Having seen how play was going, I wouldn't have thought well of Fed's chances in the 5th, but he pulls up his socks to restore parity. There's a flurry of winners from both players - a Federer FH inside-in and a Djokovic BH cc being the pick of them. And then against the run of playing quality, Djokovic is broken to love in a poorly played game (1 double fault, 2 UEs) to leave Federer serving for the match.

He advances to 40-15, with Djoko making 2 return UEs. Then swats away the previously described and famous FH return winner. Most of the rest is Federer choking. He misses 2 FH inside-outs on the next two points - both unforced - 1 an attacking shot, the other a winner attempt. Both balls were there for the shot - especially the second - without being gimmes. Another not easy FH UE (moves to the ball, but is there in time but nets it) followed by a double fault hands back the break. Djoko breaks again - the last two points ending with winners after overpowering Federer in ball bashing rallies - and that's the match

Note the similarities with Wimbledon 2019. All most people remember of that match was Federer failing to serve it out, not Djokovic being broken to create that situation in the first place playing every bit as bad. Almost exactly the same thing here - only at least 1 point is down to a breath-taking, risky winner from Djok. And in this match, its obvious that Federer's game is more prone to such lapses (he has 58 unforced errors, Djokovic 30) than Djok's.

Summing up, if Federer had won the match, we'd say Djokovic was the better player but lost. Djokovic returns much better and a is a lot stronger off the ground, despite Federer's outdoing himself in defence and having a good shot making day in spurts. Djokovic's consistency and power hitting just seems more sustainable then Federer's shot making. Great match, close as it can get to having a different winner but the better player won

Stats for the final between Djokovic and Nadal - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-djokovic-vs-nadal-us-open-final-2011.633444/
 

ReeceSachs

Hall of Fame
Watched this match not long ago. Some great rallies they had that brutal rally in the 3rd set tie break at 4-6 which was 26 shots. Federer still had a powerful ground game and could stay in long rallies with Novak unlike the 2015 match. Federer backhand and return let him down in this match he shanked so much. Not actually as close as the score line suggests as well Novak was more dominating in the sets he won. Novak served amazing as well in this match.
It might be Novak best performance at the USO or one of them and he still nearly lost the match.
 

Zardoz7/12

Professional
I was pulling for Federer to cause a repeat of the 2011 French Open and he was so near then Djokovic pulled off that return and the match turned on it's head.
 

ForehandRF

Professional
I was pulling for Federer to cause a repeat of the 2011 French Open and he was so near then Djokovic pulled off that return and the match turned on it's head.
The 2011 French Open SF was one of the few times when Fed was truly clutch against Djokovic in GS.Fed would be leading their GS h2h had he been so clutch more often.
 

swordtennis

Legend
Or fed would have more losses if djokovic didnt choke or not show up. These what ifs are really reaching at this point.
 

swordtennis

Legend
Other than the 2007 USO, surely Djokovic wasn't the one who choked in their rivalry.Credit to him though.
Did you read the ops summary of uso 2011?
I stopped countering when fans would say fed choked the match with Djokovic let it get to that 40-15 by "choking" even worse. Fed has always had troubles when these matches get tight. It sucks but it is the reality.
 
So what's the detailed take on the 3rd and 4th sets and Federer's total uselessness in return in those sets? Are we going to pretend both were at their best and Novack achieved a cosmic level of ombillible that overrated could never match let alone topple, eh? Answer this.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
Or fed would have more losses if djokovic didnt choke or not show up. These what ifs are really reaching at this point.
And Djokovic would be lucky to have more than 2 wins against him if he was 6 years older than Federer instead of the other way round. The fact that Djokovic is 3-1 against Federer at Wimbledon is a joke. Lost the only time when Federer was still primeish and 2 of the 3 wins could've easily been losses (against a 34/38 year old Fed).

I mean Djokovic has 1 single win in a Slam against Fed before his 29th birthday and that against a sick Fed, nuff said.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
So what's the detailed take on the 3rd and 4th sets and Federer's total uselessness in return in those sets? Are we going to pretend both were at their best and Novack achieved a cosmic level of ombillible that overrated could never match let alone topple, eh? Answer this.
First time watching the match I thought Fed was tanking the 4th set to recuperate energy for the fifth.
 

Raphael Nadal

Professional
I think this was the match where Federer later said in a interview that he was thinking about Rafa during the semi-final, and that's what led to him conserving energy :)
 

swordtennis

Legend
And Djokovic would be lucky to have more than 2 wins against him if he was 6 years older than Federer instead of the other way round. The fact that Djokovic is 3-1 against Federer at Wimbledon is a joke. Lost the only time when Federer was still primeish and 2 of the 3 wins could've easily been losses (against a 34/38 year old Fed).

I mean Djokovic has 1 single win in a Slam against Fed before his 29th birthday and that against a sick Fed, nuff said.
If you think pre 2011 djokovic is the same player as today you might need to extract the head until you hear a pop. Just saying.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
If you think pre 2011 djokovic is the same player as today you might need to extract the head until you hear a pop. Just saying.
And the same applies to Federer.

The thing is, they have played 99,8% of their matches in 2011-2019 instead of 2006-2010.
 

swordtennis

Legend
And the same applies to Federer.

The thing is, they have played 99,8% of their matches in 2011-2019 instead of 2006-2010.
Good god these excuses are tiring. I watched fed all through his career. I truly do not need fed fans telling me he sucks all of sudden after 2007.
 

swordtennis

Legend
If you think fed was just going to roll through djokovic in straights every time they meet and be undefeated one might need to check in with reality once and awhile.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
If you think fed was just going to roll through djokovic in straights every time they meet and be undefeated one might need to check in with reality once and awhile.
Ok now i am finished. This crap is what drives off anyone who is not a fed fanatic.
I never said that. But I can easily imagine what a 28-year old Fed would do against a 34-year old Djokovic.

Or a 24-year old Fed against a 30-year old Djokovic. Get real.
 

SaintPetros

Professional
Fed was the better player who was robbed of his victory by a hostile crowd, unfavorable conditions, a more experienced player, mono, time and God Himself. A true wonder that he took it to five.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
Fed was the better player who was robbed of his victory by a hostile crowd, unfavorable conditions, a more experienced player, mono, time and God Himself. A true wonder that he took it to five.
The crowd is a neutralizer for the 6 year difference.
 
And the same applies to Federer.

The thing is, they have played 99,8% of their matches in 2011-2019 instead of 2006-2010.
:-D

They played 6/15 slam matches (40%) and 19/48 overall matches (39.6%) in 2006-2010.

2006-2010 is 5 years compared to 2011-2019 being 9 years so in fact you would expect them to have played 5/14 (35.7%) of their matches in the 06-10 window, so they actually played proportionally a higher amount of matches in the 06-10 window.

LMFAO at 99.8%
 
And Djokovic would be lucky to have more than 2 wins against him if he was 6 years older than Federer instead of the other way round. The fact that Djokovic is 3-1 against Federer at Wimbledon is a joke. Lost the only time when Federer was still primeish and 2 of the 3 wins could've easily been losses (against a 34/38 year old Fed).

I mean Djokovic has 1 single win in a Slam against Fed before his 29th birthday and that against a sick Fed, nuff said.
What would their H2H be if that rivalry lasted for a very long time? Perhaps... 40-15? :whistle:
 

ReeceSachs

Hall of Fame
Did you read the ops summary of uso 2011?
I stopped countering when fans would say fed choked the match with Djokovic let it get to that 40-15 by "choking" even worse. Fed has always had troubles when these matches get tight. It sucks but it is the reality.
This. Even in his prime he went 1/13 BP against Rafa in the 2008 final.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
Wait.... Federer was already old in 2011? That excuse is not surprising considering he turned old in wimbledon 2008 and was close to retirement.
How often do I have to repeat myself? 30 is old against a 24-year old.

Djokovic's 32 is totally different than Fed's 32 because Djokovic has Nadal who's 33 and Fed who's 38. Federer at 32 had Djokovic age 26 and Nadal at 27. See the difference now, Bobby?

Nobody would talk about age if Nadal/Djokovic had an actual ATG to compete with who was 5/6 years younger than them. Instead they got Dimitrov and Jack Sock.
 
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Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Thank you for this wonderful summary of the match, Waspsting. A great read!
Thanks for this analysis. Very interesting
My pleasure, guys

I watch old matches with an eye for what the loser in particular could have done differently

Having just got done with a bunch of Federer-Djokovic hard court matches, the biggest problem I see for Federer is in how badly his BH stacks up against Djokovic's. It gives Djoko a go-to play... beat down the BH and squeeze out errors

What are Federer options here? 1 he uses is running round to hit FHs - but this is low percentage. As with this match, its not uncommon to end up with more FH UEs than BH... but he also does a lot more damage with the FH and even if he ends up coming up on top, its not 'safe' for Djokovic

Still, I don't like this play. Percentages are against it

One thing I haven't seen Fed try over any substantial duration is just keep slicing. Obviously its not attacking, but he has one of the best slices ever... and you rarely see him making unforced errors of neutral slices

Since that's his main problem (giving up unforced errors of the BH)... why not slice a lot, lot more? Make it his stock neutral BH

You can see the evolution in Djoko's handling of the slice with the years at the US Open. In the 2007 and 2008 match even, he's a bit uncomfortable with it. By 09, he's got a grip on it and he handles it fine in '10 and in this match

"Handling it fine" means he's not uncomfortable dealing with. He can't manhandle it - and Fed doesn't hit enough in a row for us to see if he can dismantle it. It stays low enough that Djok has to ease back on how hard he's hitting his own BH cc (he'd net the ball if he tried to hit it as hard as he does Fed's stock BH drive/topspin shot)... that's a win for Fed, relativly speaking

But he won't go this route. He got the upper hand playing slices briefly in the Australian Open earlier in the year (and that was on a slower, higher bouncing surface), but then went back to driving. And more of the same... coming of second best in the BH-BH exchanges

I suspect Fed just doesn't like the idea of feeling he has to play 'junk' slices as a stock play. He likes to feel like he's attacking and in control... and slicing a lot doesn't jive with that. Bit inflexible and stubborn from him
 
My pleasure, guys

I watch old matches with an eye for what the loser in particular could have done differently

Having just got done with a bunch of Federer-Djokovic hard court matches, the biggest problem I see for Federer is in how badly his BH stacks up against Djokovic's. It gives Djoko a go-to play... beat down the BH and squeeze out errors

What are Federer options here? 1 he uses is running round to hit FHs - but this is low percentage. As with this match, its not uncommon to end up with more FH UEs than BH... but he also does a lot more damage with the FH and even if he ends up coming up on top, its not 'safe' for Djokovic

Still, I don't like this play. Percentages are against it

One thing I haven't seen Fed try over any substantial duration is just keep slicing. Obviously its not attacking, but he has one of the best slices ever... and you rarely see him making unforced errors of neutral slices

Since that's his main problem (giving up unforced errors of the BH)... why not slice a lot, lot more? Make it his stock neutral BH

You can see the evolution in Djoko's handling of the slice with the years at the US Open. In the 2007 and 2008 match even, he's a bit uncomfortable with it. By 09, he's got a grip on it and he handles it fine in '10 and in this match

"Handling it fine" means he's not uncomfortable dealing with. He can't manhandle it - and Fed doesn't hit enough in a row for us to see if he can dismantle it. It stays low enough that Djok has to ease back on how hard he's hitting his own BH cc (he'd net the ball if he tried to hit it as hard as he does Fed's stock BH drive/topspin shot)... that's a win for Fed, relativly speaking

But he won't go this route. He got the upper hand playing slices briefly in the Australian Open earlier in the year (and that was on a slower, higher bouncing surface), but then went back to driving. And more of the same... coming of second best in the BH-BH exchanges

I suspect Fed just doesn't like the idea of feeling he has to play 'junk' slices as a stock play. He likes to feel like he's attacking and in control... and slicing a lot doesn't jive with that. Bit inflexible and stubborn from him
Accepting that he has to slice a lot and only hitting the topspin backhand when he is in a more comfortable position is exactly what kept Federer so competitive with Djokovic in their last 2 matches Imo. It does make you wonder how this strategy would have worked with the old racket and less declined movement/forehand.
Huge fan of these threads btw!
 

Nadal_Django

Hall of Fame
So what's the detailed take on the 3rd and 4th sets and Federer's total uselessness in return in those sets? Are we going to pretend both were at their best and Novack achieved a cosmic level of ombillible that overrated could never match let alone topple, eh? Answer this.
Mythical Peak 2004-07 Fed smokes Peak Djoko in easy 3 sets. No. :oops:
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
And the same applies to Federer.

The thing is, they have played 99,8% of their matches in 2011-2019 instead of 2006-2010.
They played 40% of their matches in 2006-2010 and 60% since 2011. Not really surprising when you're comparing a period 5 years with a period of 9 years, and they are both still playing.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
They played 40% of their matches in 2006-2010 and 60% since 2011. Not really surprising when you're comparing a period 5 years with a period of 9 years, and they are both still playing.
I'm not saying that the proportions are wrong only that the longer period is against Fed, that's all. The longer they play the more it favors Djokovic.

If both play for a couple more years (I can easily imagine Fed playing at 40+, look how good he is at 38) then the 2006-2010 period will look like crumbs compared to the other period like 2011-2023 or something.
 
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