Match Stats/Report - Djokovic vs Nadal, Australian Open final 2019


Hall of Fame
Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 in the Australian Open final, 2019 on hard court

The win gave Djokovic a record 7 Australian Open titles and his third in Slam title in a row - putting him in position to repeat the non-calendar year Grand Slam he had won in 2015/16. Nadal meanwhile had come into the match gunning for a double career Grand Slam. The two had previously clashed in an epic final encounter at the same venue 7 years ago (

Djokovic won 89 points, Nadal 53

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (50/69) 72%
- 1st serve points won (40/50) 80%
- 2nd serve points won (16/19) 84%
- Aces 8, Service Winners 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (17/69) 25%

- 1st serve percentage (47/73) 64%
- 1st serve points won (24/47) 51%
- 2nd serve points won (16/26) 62%
- Aces 3, Service Winners 2
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (20/73) 27%

Serve Patterns
Djokovic served...
- to FH 59%
- to BH 41%

Nadal served....
- to FH 37%
- to BH 59%
- to Body 4%

Return Stats
Djokovic made...
- 51 (21 FH, 30 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 15 Errors, comprising...
- 1 Unforced (1 FH)
- 14 Forced (6 FH, 8 BH)
- Return Rate (51/71) 72%

Nadal made...
- 52 (16 FH, 36 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 8 Errors, comprising...
- 3 Unforced (3 FH)
- 5 Forced (3 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (52/69) 75%

Break Points
Djokovic 5/8 (6 games)
Nadal 0/1 (1 game)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Djokovic 25 (12 FH, 11 BH, 1 BHV, 1 OH)
Nadal 16 (11 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)

Djokovic's FHs - 2 cc, 4 dtl, 4 inside-out (1 return) and 2 inside-in

- BHs - 7 cc, 2 dtl (including a pass at net), 1 inside-out and 1 running down a drop shot

Nadal's FHs - 2 cc, 4 dtl, 3 inside-out, 1 drop shot and 1 at net

- BHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl and 1 running down a drop shot

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Djokovic 17
- 9 Unforced (4 FH, 5 BH)
- 8 Forced (5 FH, 2 BH, 1 FHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 52.2

Nadal 45
- 24 Unforced (13 FH, 11 BH)
- 21 Forced (9 FH, 8 BH, 1 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 1 BHV, 1 BHOH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.3

(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 13/15 (87%) at net, with no serve-volleying
He was 1/1 when forced back

Nadal was 5/13 (38%) at net, with no serve-volleying
He was 1/1 when forced back

Match Report
As comprehensive a thrashing as you'll ever see. The first time in 25 Slam finals that Nadal was beaten in straight sets.

Contextualizing the encounter, Djokovic had been near invincible over the last 6 months while Nadal had been plagued by injuries during the same period. In this tournament however, the Spaniard had commandingly swept his way to the final without loss of set - using a bigger serve and more first strike tennis than was normal for him. Novak meanwhile, had blown hot and cold in reaching the final

All that was moot in the encounter itself: Djokovic came out in clinical, flawless form. He won his first 16 service points and 20/21 in the first set and broke Nadal first chance. He continued in the same vein in the second set. By the third, he's virtually toying with Nadal... he hits three drop shots in a row and later, runs around a BH return though it couldn't be clearer he has no need to do so as his BH returns were doing more than enough damage as it was.

Its difficult to tell whether Djokovic playing exceptionally well or Nadal playing exceptionally badly was the main deciding factor in the match

Novak is precise with his groundies, especially the BH and particularly the cc version of that shot. And he moves well - running down balls and thwarting his opponents best offensive hits.

Nadal is slack. He makes many uncharacteristic errors. It seems if the point goes on long enough, he'll be the one to yield the error (usually what he does to his opponents, in other words). Not content with that however, Djokovic generally out plays him and puts away winners and forces errors seemingly at will. And to watch Nadal, who has made a career of making impossible gets, stand stone still and watch as well placed balls fly by him, is a novel sight

Nadal has his moments with big serves that force errors and occasionally unloading with big FHs from commanding 3rd ball positions. Djokovic did appear a bit slow in reading Nadal's serve... and unlike other encounters between the two where his footwork on return is exemplary, he seems caught off guard by some of the Spaniard's big serves. Still, when he can reach the ball, he returns it deep and puts Nadal on the back foot at once

Summing up, clinical from Novak - the serve, his mastery from the baseline (especially off the BH) and his court coverage standing out. Poor from Nadal - prone to error off the ground and sluggish of movement. The whole thing looked like an utter mismatch

Statistical Points of Interest
Note both players with higher second serve points won than first serve, which must be unusual. In Novak's case, it doesn't matter much since he's highly successful off both serves

- Nadal shading the unreturned serve percentage. Not unusual between the two players

- the very high UEFI of both players. Novak's 52.2 is the highest I've tracked. This is mostly a result of his hardly missing any neutral balls (4/9 off his UEs in play are winner attempts). Nadal's is also on the high side due to his going for winners in short rallies more often than usual, but exactly half of his unforced errors are to neutral shots
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