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


Hall of Fame
Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal 7-5, 6-3 in the Canadian Open semi-final, 2007 on hard court in Montreal

Djokovic would go onto win the title, beating Roger Federer in the final. His title run saw him beat the top 3 ranked players in the world (Andy Roddick 3, Nadal 2 and Federer 1) in succession. Nadal would go onto win the title the following year

Djokovic won 76 points, Nadal 56

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (46/71) 65%
- 1st serve points won (37/46) 80%
- 2nd serve points won (15/25) 60%
- Aces 11, Service Winners 2 (1 second serve)
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (30/71) 42%

- 1st serve percentage (42/61) 69%
- 1st serve points won (26/42) 62%
- 2nd serve points won (11/19) 58%
- Aces 2
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (14/61) 23%

Serve Patterns
Djokovic served...
- to FH 32%
- to BH 65%
- to Body 3%

Nadal served...
- to FH 25%
- to BH 71%
- to Body 3%

Return Stats
Djokovic made...
- 45 (14 FH, 31 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 2 Winners (2 FH)
- 12 Errors, comprising...
- 7 Unforced (1 FH, 6 BH)
- 5 Forced (2 FH, 3 BH)
- Return Rate (45/59) 76%

Nadal made...
- 39 (9 FH, 30 BH)
- 17 Errors, comprising...
- 6 Unforced (1 FH, 5 BH)
- 11 Forced (4 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (39/69) 57%

Break Points
Djokovic 2/4 (3 games)
Nadal 0/8 (3 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Djokovic 14 (7 FH, 3 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH)
Nadal 12 (6 FH, 4 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)

Djokovic's FHs - 2 cc, 2 dtl returns, 1 inside-out at net, 1 longline and 1 lob
- BHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl and 1 inside-out at net

- 2 FHVs were drops

Nadal's FHs - 1 dtl, 3 inside-out, 1 inside-out/dtl and 1 drop shot at net
- BHs - 1 cc, 1 inside-out at net, 1 longline (which Djokovic whiffed. it seems to have skidded off the baseline) and 1 cc running-down-drop-shot at net

- the BHV was the first volley of a serve-volley point

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Djokovic 28
- 18 Unforced (11 FH, 7 BH)… with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net
- 10 Forced (3 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV, 1 FH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 51.1

Nadal 30
- 14 Unforced (4 FH, 9 BH, 1 BHV)
- 16 Forced (11 FH, 4 BH, 1 OH)… with 1 FH and 1 BH running-down-drop-shots at net and 1 OH was a baseline shot against an at net smash from Djokovic
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.4

(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...
- 14/19 (74%) at net, including...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve
- 1/1 forced back/retreated

Nadal was...
- 7/11 (64%) at net, including...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve

Match Report
This match could easily have been a thrashing and to an extent, it is with Djokovic winning 76 points to 56. Its Nadal's match savviness that keeps it competitive. Note break point stats -

- Djoko 2/4 (3 games), Nadal 0/8 (3 games)

Fast court. Djokovic with much stronger serve (equally due to his being strong and Nadal's being not so). Djokovic with stronger, firmer return. Should be decisive, even if Nadal was better in play (which he isn't)

In first set, Djoko coasts on serve. After first 5 service games, he's got 14 unreturned serves in 24 points, including 7 aces and a service winner. He sends down 3 aces in a row in one game. In short, Nadal doesn't get a sniff on return. Meanwhile, Djoko can and does get Nadal's average serve back and they have tough rallies. Though on serve, outlook looks bad for Nadal

But that's fast court tennis. And in game 11, Nadal extends Djoko in a 16 point game and has 3 break points. Djoko makes first serves on 12 of those points, too. Djoko holds him off - clutch big serving down break point, then breaks in an attackingly well played game to take the set

In this first set, Djoko had been the more aggressive player. Serve set up strong attacking shots (when it came back that is, which it usually didn't). On return too, he was the one looking to step up and press the attack, with Nadal remaining steady. Rallies are duel winged and fluid, but when looking to attack, Djoko goes to Nadal's FH. FH inside-out is his most successful way of doing so, but he's not shy pounding BH cc's and even a few FH dtl's to that end

Note 11 FH FEs for Nadal... Djoko has 10 total. Under pressure in second set, Djoko approaches to Nadal FH too

Nadal's attacking play is limited to pouncing FH inside-out to short balls (of which there aren't many). Otherwise he hits heavy but mostly neutrally. courts quick enough that heavy neutral shots are a handful. Its probably pace of court that keeps Nadal from running around to hit FHs. which reveals a minor weakness in Nadal's game. When he has an opening for BH dtl to finish points, he usually misses. Generally, its not a shot he has to play often as he can achieve the same end with FH cc or inside-in, which he's better. On a faster surface like this though, it would be extremely risky to try. He wisely doesn't, but the BH, steady and powerful as it is, isn't precise in the change-up attacking dtl shot. Good contests between Nadal BH and Djoko FH... about equal of power and consistency, though Djoko has an extra layer in ability to hit good angles

Second set is much different. Djoko comes out looking a bit drunk on success. Whereas he'd played with measured attacking spirit in the first, his play becomes a bit wild in its aggressiveness. And poor - he misses most attacking shots. Note UEFI of 51.1, which is very high for all groundstroke yield of errors. Djoko's UEs are -

- 5 neutral
- 6 attacking
- 7 winner attempts

The wildness sees him to trouble and he faces 5 break points in opening 2 service games - including going down 0-40 in the second. Power serving gets him out of those situations. The one time it doesn't, he dashes to net to force a passing error

End comes a bit out of nowhere. Serving 3-4 down, Nadal plays a poor game. Misses an attacking FH and then a regulation, third ball BH longline before Djoko hits a perfect BH cc winner to bring up 3 break points. Nadal saves the first with a FH winner and on the second, they get into a typical, tough rally. Peculiarly, Nadal tries bailing on it with an ill advised drop shot that he nets. He'd done something similar a few games ago... it looks very much like he doesn't have the stomach for these tough rallies

Statistical Points of Interest
- Note unreturned rates - Djoko 42%, Nadal 23%
Mostly due to power of Djoko's serve, but unusually, both players miss a bundle of second serve returns. Djoko misses 5, Nadal 6. Djoko's misses are somewhat due to his concentration wavering (which he can afford with serve doing so much of the work). Nadal though, doesn't return very well. On top of Djoko's great serving, it leaves Rafa with a huge handicap

- Second serve points won - Djoko 60%, Nadal 58%. Signs of a fast court, though its not so fast as to justify the missed second serve returns, for which I'd discredit both players

Summing up, good match from Djokovic, centered on serving big and regularly (65% first serves in), but also tough in neutral rallies and ready to attack. Nadal hangs in to exploit Djoko's bouts of overexuberance, but the few chances that come out of it are blasted away. Some surprising signs of lack of fight from him too

Stats for the final between Djokovic and Roger Federer -
Stats for hard court matches earlier in the year between the pair -