Match Stats/Report - Djokovic vs Ferrer, Paris final, 2013


Hall of Fame
Novak Djokovic beat David Ferrer 7-5, 7-5 in the Paris final, 2013 on indoor hard court

It was Djokovic's 2nd title at the event and he would go onto win the next 2 years also. Ferrer was the defending champion

Djokovic won 81 points, Ferrer 68

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (36/64) 56%
- 1st serve points won (28/36) 78%
- 2nd serve points won (16/28) 57%
- Aces 4
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (13/64) 20%

- 1st serve percentage (53/85) 62%
- 1st serve points won (32/53) 60%
- 2nd serve points won (16/32) 50%
- Aces 1, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (19/85) 22%

Serve Patterns
Djokovic served...
- to FH 55%
- to BH 45%

Ferrer served...
- to FH 40%
- to BH 43%
- to Body 17%

Return Stats
Djokovic made...
- 65 (34 FH, 31 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 17 Errors, comprising...
- 12 Unforced (3 FH, 12 BH)
- 5 Forced (4 FH, 1 BH)
- Return Rate (65/84) 77%

Ferrer made...
- 49 (27 FH, 22 BH)
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 9 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (1 FH, 3 BH)
- 5 Forced (3 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (49/62) 79%

Break Points
Djokovic 4/8 (7 games)
Ferrer 2/6 (3 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Djokovic 29 (13 FH, 8 BH, 3 FHV, 4 BHV, 1 OH)
Ferrer 13 (5 FH, 4 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH)

Djokovic's FHs - 6 cc (3 passes, 1 at net), 3 dtl, 3 inside-out and 1 longline
- BHs - 3 cc, 3 dtl (1 return), 1 inside-out and 1 drop shot

- 1 FHV was a swinging, non-net shot

Ferrer's FHs - 2 cc (1 at net), 2 dtl (1 return, 1 pass) and 1 inside-out at net
- BHs - 3 dtl and 1 drop shot

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Djokovic 34
- 27 Unforced (9 FH, 18 BH)
- 7 Forced (5 FH, 2 FHV)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot (not at net)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.3

Ferrer 38
- 25 Unforced (12 FH, 13 BH)
- 13 Forced (5 FH, 6 BH, 2 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46

(Note 1: All 1/2 volleys refer to such shots played at net. 1/2 volleys played from other parts of the court are included within relevant groundstroke numbers)

(Note 2: the Unforced Error Forcefulness Index is an indicator of how aggressive the average UE was. The numbers presented for these two matches are keyed on 4 categories - 20 defensive, 40 neutral, 50 attacking and 60 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Djokovic was...
- 13/16 (81%) at net, including...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve

Ferrer was...
- 8/15 (53%) at net, with...
- 0/1 forced back

Match Report
Good match of varied baseline action with Djokovic being a bit better at virtually everything on a on slow-side-of-normal court

He's not better by much and he's not better uniformly. In both sets, Ferrer is up a break at 5-3 and serves for the sets at 5-4. Both times, Djoko reels off last 4 games to take the sets

1st set is lively of action, with moving-opponent around the staple of play. Not quite extreme, corner to corner stuff, but close. Stationary rallies are the exception

Its Fer who starts the dance, but once its started, there is no leading or reacting position. Wide shot cc is met by running dtl change ups from both players off both sides. Fer gets his cc shots off wider, Djoko is more regular with his dtl change ups but both players use the full repetoire of wide cc and dtl shots and both move superbly

2nd set is more gritty, less lively with orthodox, dual winged cc rallies with odd longline change ups making up action

Both sets follow same progression. Fer getting better of things at start, Djoko at the end

Overall, Djoko's greater power (including on the serve) and ability to defend/counter-attack on the run puts him over. Fer is able to run him wide, but without enough power to hit winners. And Djoko's quick and good enough to resist being forced into errors .

On flip side, Djoko's able to hit with enough force to end points when he's got Ferrer on the run. Negligible difference in movement. Djoko's attacking shots are just that much more penetratrating. Not that Ferrer's attack is lacking. It takes first class defence to thwart it as Djoko does - and he has to thwart combinations of shots, not just 1 per rally. Sound attacking play by Fer, a bit better in defence by Djoko. On flip side, better and more powerful attacking play by Djoko, Fer's defence is about equal to Djoko's but not quite enough to thwart the attacks

Djoko has the bigger, more challenging serve, with Ferrer's being average. Few more weak errors drawn by Djoko that he can slap a third ball winner off. The effect is slightly mitigated by Ferrer leading unreturned rates by slim 22% to 20%

12/17 Djoko's return errors have been marked unforced, compared to 4/9 of Ferrer's. Djoko doesn't face as many forceful serves and is regularly looking for depth. Few misses going long go with the territory of that style. A few too many misses though and there's room for improvement. The returns he makes though are excellent of depth, either neutralizing Ferrer's potential advantage or even snatching it regularly. 77% return rate at that quality is good number - there's room for improvement, for him - but still a good showing

Ferrer's faced with pacier and wider serves. Has little choice but to just poke the ball back on full stretch in a way Djoko doesn't. And what he can reach is pacier than what he dishes out. Considering all this, just as good job by Ferrer to return at high 79%, with fair few, deep down the middle returns thrown in just like his opponent. He's also more apt to go for the attacking wide return, to start the moving-opponent-around dynamic than Djoko, who sticks to down the middle stuff

Djoko serving an ace/service winner every 9th first serve, compared to Ferrer's 1 every 26.5 is fair indicator of difference in quality of serve (with Djoko's longer reach on the return also having a hand). Ferrer isn't overly good at moving to cover the wide-ish first serve. That critique is set against a very high standard of expectation, but its what he'd need to minimize handicap on serve-return complex

And then they rally. And Djoko is just a bit better at almost everything

Winners - Djoko 29, Ferrer 13
UEs - Djoko 27, Ferrer 25
FEs - Djoko 7, Ferrer 13

Djoko leading points ended forefully 42-20, with UEs virtually same, at near identical UEFI. That's quite comfortable from Djoko's point of view.

Reasonable lot of Djoko's UEs are on the move and on hard side for being so marked. Relatively low 7 FEs for Djoko reflects on his defence (he doesn't miss much on the run) and movement (he reaches wide balls comfortably enough that when he misses, it doesn't qualify as an FE)

Sans a big serve and devastating attacks, Ferrer's service games are vulnerable. To keep holding, he doesn't have luxary of missing a couple of routine balls. Oft quoted generic tennis wisdom of 'you have to take your chances when you get them', doesn't really hold for Ferrer. As his opponent, particularly one who returns as commandingly as Djoko, you can always make more chances next game

Djoko by contrast can cruise a bit more on serve - both for his serve being stronger (more freebies, though he trails in that area in this match and more easy third balls) and for the power of his groundies. When Djoko has lead position, let alone attacking one, he can finish points aggressively with regularity. Ferrer, not nearly so much

Djoko has break points in 7/12 games. Ferrer 3/12

Djoko's BH is loosest shot on show with 18 UEs. Both Fer's groundies are in same ball park (FH 13, BH 12) with Djoko's FH the safest with just 9. Match high 13 winners from Djoko on that wing too

This is also very common for Djokovic, contrary to commentators regularly going on about his BH being stronger side, a rock, steel like, questioning why an opponent plays to his BH instead of the FH etc.

In general, Djoko's a very balanced player across wings. FHs virtually always more damaging (hitting winners and forcing errors), which is true for virtually all players by simple bio-mechanics. BH is strong in its steadiness, its ability to pressure and ease of longline or dtl change ups. But accounts of BH being stronger than the FH are grossly exaggerated - the BH is as likely as not to be looser or even break down

That happens in this match, particularly early in 2nd set where Fer races into lead based on outlasting Djoko BH-BH in firm hitting cc rallies

Match Progression
Beautiful 1st set, particularly the early part, with Fer initiating moving-opponent-around play and Djoko reciprocating. Plenty of long rallies to go with the lively action

Fer breaks to move ahead 3-2, finishing a long, lively rally with an impeccable drop shot winner on break point. He fights of a break point in each of his next 2 service games and steps up to serve for set at 5-4. 2 strong FHs get Djoko the break back, he holds to love quickly (2 unreturned serves, 2 thrid ball winners) before breaking again in another strong game to wrap up set

Fer breaks to open the 2nd set, with a couple of aggressive misses from Djoko and consolidates after saving break point in a 12 point game. Action switches to neutral, sound, dual winged play with Fer proving the more consistent

Again Ferrer steps up to serve for set at 5-4. And again Djoko wins rest of games to end the set (and match), this time more by outlasting Ferrer from the back

Summing up, good match from both players with action varying from moving-opponet-around to outlasting play, with both players utilizing both wings across both types of play. Djokovic has the stronger serve, thus is able to make meatier returns more often and has a power gear from the back that Ferrer lacks. He's able to thwart Ferrer's attacks with excellent defence/counter-punching in a way Ferrer isn't when roles are reveresed