Match Stats/Report - Djokovic vs Schwartzman, Rome final, 2020


Hall of Fame
Novak Djokovic beat Diego Schwartzman 7-5, 6-3 in the Rome final, 2020 on clay

It was Djokovic's 5th title at the event and 10th final. Schwartzman was seeded 8th playing his first Masters final and had beaten Rafael Nadal and Denis Shapovalov among others en route to the final

Djokovic won 75 points, Schwartzman 61

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (47/70) 67%
- 1st serve points won (33/47) 70%
- 2nd serve points won (9/23) 39%
- Aces 2, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (9/70) 13%

- 1st serve percentage (43/66) 65%
- 1st serve points won (25/43) 58%
- 2nd serve points won (8/23) 35%
- Aces 1
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (9/66) 14%

Serve Pattern
Djokovic served...
- to FH 46%
- to BH 52%
- to Body 1%

Schwartzman served...
- to FH 51%
- to BH 48%
- to Body 2%

Return Stats
Djokovic made...
- 54 (27 FH, 27 BH)
- 2 Winners (2 FH)
- 8 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (2 FH, 3 BH)
- 3 Forced (3 FH)
- Return Rate (54/63) 86%

Schwartzman made...
- 60 (27 FH, 33 BH)
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 6 Errors, comprising...
- 1 Unforced (1 BH)
- 5 Forced (4 FH, 1 BH)
- Return Rate (60/69) 87%

Break Points
Djokovic 5/9 (6 games)
Schwartzman 3/6 (5 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Djokovic 24 (12 FH, 6 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV, 3 OH)
Schwartzman 16 (5 FH, 6 BH, 1 FH1/2V, 1 BHV, 2 OH, 1 BHOH)

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

Schwartzman's FHs - 3 cc (1 pass), 1 dtl at net and 1 inside-out
- BHs - 1 cc return pass, 2 dtl (1 at net), 2 drop shots and 1 net chord dribbler

- 2 OHs on the bounce - 1 from baseline the other from no-man's land

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Djokovic 35
- 27 Unforced (8 FH, 19 BH)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot (not at net)
- 8 Forced (4 FH, 1 BH, 2 FHV, 1 FH1/2V)... with 3 FH running-down-drop-shot at net & 2 non-net FHV lobs
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.8

Schwartzman 39
- 21 Unforced (12 FH, 8 BH, 1 OH)
- 18 Forced (14 FH, 3 BH, 1 BH1/2V)... with 4 FH running-down-drop-shot at net
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...
- 11/19 (58%) at net, including...
- 0/2 serve-volleying, comprising...
- 0/1 off 1st serve and...
- 0/1 off 2nd serve
- 1/4 (25%) forced back/retreated

Schwartzman was...
- 11/20 (55%) at net, with
- 4/4 (100%) forced back/retreated

Match Report
A lot of tough grinding, a lot drop shots and Djokovic with a much better serve

First set is particularly tough, lasting over an hour and with 7.25 points per game. Lots of grinding, particularly BH-BH and drop shots (dumbly frequent and usually unsuccessful from Djokovic, smartly selective and virtually always successful from Diego). Djoko's usually in more advanced court position. He doesn't push Diego back or keep him pinned back, rather Diego seems to like rallying from 4 feet behind baseline

And why wouldn't he? He's a wall. Hits firmly, runs balls down and hits firmly some more. Djoko hits firmly, hits firmly, hits firmly - then tries a drop shot that lands in the net. Or Djoko's able to force the error from the back. Or rarely, Djoko's frustrated by ball repeatedly coming back and goes for ambitious attacking shot and misses. Or occasionally, Diego finishes point with perfect drop shot - whether its a winner or draws error from Djoko. Diego doesn't miss drop shots. Djoko misses them by buckets

That's rallying in nutshell and Diego probably would edge it but for the serve. His service points are virtually all 50-50 deals. Djoko gets enough of advantage from his serve - overwhelming bulk come back, credit Diego on the return - to be in attacking position often enough to come out ahead overall. Djoko's stronger serves draws returns that he can move up court and strike nearer service line than baseline

Second carries on like the first, for a game. Then Djoko cuts out the dumb drop shots, serves more strongly while getting more first serves in, and commands play from back consequently. And comes out more comfortably ahead. Average game length drops to just 5.44 points. Less grinding, more Djoko dictating from on baseline. Diego still parked 4 feet behind. Very few drop shots (which means, errors from Djoko trying). And the serve doing its job drawing weak balls

Couple of odd stats. Unreturned rates are low (Djoko 13%, Diego 14%) and with exception of Djoko's first serve, rallies springing from the serves are same of nature. In which case, one would expect similar rates of winning on them

Not what happens. Diego wins 58% first serves points to just 35% second serves - a gap of 23%

A gap should exist, but wouldn't think it would be that large. Djoko attacks the odd second serve, but he does the same to the odd firsts too. And Diego has 3 double faults in just 23 second serves weighing down the 2nd serve points won. Otherwise, rallies springing out of Diego's 2 serves are virtually identical of nature

For that matter, they're not different from Djoko's 2nd serve points, on which Diego wins 61% of points. Diego makes the return like clockwork and then they start grinding. Just like on his service points

In short, Diego wins -
- 58% 1st serve points
- 35% 2nd serve points
- 61% 2nd return points

... all with similar playing dynamic of grinding rallies


Hall of Fame
Djoko's first serve points are categorically different of nature. There's a sizable chunk of drawing short return and Djoko slapping FHs from near service line to either finish point at once or take complete charge of it. He wins 70% of those

Of prospects, Djoko has advantage. Assuming equality in rallying, his first serve points favour him. The other 3 serves are virtually 50-50 deals
In the actual event, Djoko gets his 1st serve advantage, but the 50-50 deals don't go 50-50.

Both players dominate their opponents 2nd serves. Somewhat understandable for Djoko because he does returns with some aggresion and is helped out by 3 double faults. Less so for Diego, who just neutralizes with the return and then they settle into 50-50 rallies

Hence, Diego probably comes off as the better court player. Taking his first serves and Djoko's 2nds as bona fida, 50-50 starting points, he wins 58% of the former and 61% of the latter

Its Djokovic's first serve and power returning that keeps him in stronger starting position to win points. From neutral starts, Diego has considerable advantage. Not too problematic from Djoko's point of view getting advantage from his first serve and with his return are predictable enough outcomes. Its quite possible for him to have used the return to gain advantageous starting positions even against Diego's very much average first serves... in that event, match probably wouldn't be competitive

Other selected points of interest

- Great job by Diego on the return, to shade return rates 87% to 86%. Very good serving from Djokovic so not easy to return that many. Diego can't neutralize the first serves though (it'd be unreasonable to expect him to at that return rate), so is called upon to defend after making those returns. Credit Djoko for keep foot on accelerator from strong positions

Djoko with scope for doing better on the return. He returns consistently too, but can probably do significant damage with the return on top of it. Which he doesn't

- Diego's very FE heavy yield of errors. He has 18 FEs to just 21 UEs or 46% of his errors are forced (Djoko's just 23%).

Every reason that that might be the case, is. He's wall-like and rarely misses a routine shot, so whatever errors he makes have to be forced out of him. Djoko is more error prone, so tends to make the UE before Diego has chance to. And he's well behind baseline so in reactive position. His UEFI is low 44.3 with 71% of his errors being neutral shots (Djoko's figure is 37%)

- Djoko's BH by far the loosest shot on show with 19 UEs (remaining shots are Diego FH 12 and other both Diego BH and Djoko FH with 8). At least a third, closet to half of those are attempted drop shots and a couple of approach attempts thrown in

Neutrally, Djoko's BH holds fine going cc with Diego's. But he keeps going for - and usually missing - his drop shots. Occasionally gets tired of the grinding and goes for (and often misses) an amibitious if not wild attacking shot

When he ditches the drop shots in second set, he's much, much better for it

- the drop shot. On it, Djoko has
- 3 winners (ironically, the only FH attempt goes for a winner)
- 4 errors forced (including match point)

He misses at least twice as many attempts and Diego hits a couple of winners comfortably at net against them. Note Diego also winning 4/4 forced back net points, which would be drop shot related and Djoko's 2 lob FHV errors also spring from drop shots. As does Diego's BHOH winner

A big, fat net negative on the drop shot from Djokovic - its a stupid line of attack that he persists with for way too long. Unlike other matches, he doesn't use it as an approach shot, but tends to park himself in no-man's land. Also not a good move

By contrast, Diego is all but perfect on the shot. He doesn't use it anywhere near as much (or have scope to where he plays from and rarely pushing Djoko back). 2 winners and forcing 3 errors. At most 1 errors trying (more likely 0)

- Overall, good showing from Djoko - just 3 more UEs than winners, while forcing large 18 errors. Against an opponent who's difficult to force errors out of. Sans the drop shotting, could be a first class performance. When on front foot, Djoko persists with his attacks off both sides clinically

Diego not able to trouble Djoko from the baseline. Sans net chord dribblers, dealing with crap drop shots, drop shots of his own and passes, just 4 baseline winners from Diego (Djoko has 11) and he forces just 2 baseline-to-baseline errors (rest are drop shot or net related). Way he plays - as much by choice as Djoko not leaving him other options - he'd need Djoko to mess up from the back to come out ahead

Match Progression
Very gruelling first set. Diego breaks twice to lead 3-0 at first change over. It starts raining soon after and Djokovic is not a happy bunny at playing through it

Still, he levels at 3-3 with hard hitting play. Games continue to be competitive - Djoko's BH faltering with drop shots and otherwise, Diego remaining rock steady. Having held his last 2 games in 10 and 8 points (with a 10 point return game sandwiched in between), Djoko breaks to end the set in the only poor game of the match from Diego (3 UEs + a double fault)

A poor game by Djoko to start the 2nd set - couple of by now, routine poor drop shot losers and couple of routine third ball misses - to get broken. Again, he breaks right back and proceeds to play clinically from thereon, cutting back on the errors, serving harder to draw weak replies and running with that efficiently. Diego holds steady to and holds a game to 15 with 4 winners - striking given he's only got 16 for the match

Couple of good shots from Djoko - a FH lob and BH dtl winner - couple of loose ones from Diego (FH dtl winner attempt and third ball BH approach attempt) - sees Djoko get the break to love before he serves it out. With Djoko playing solidly and clinically, not many ways for Diego to count on winning points

Summing up, interesting encounter with a lot of pretty good grinding, both players hitting firmly. Djokovic's more apt to blink - or fail going for drop shots. In his favour, his serve gives him good starting positions, while Schwartzman's are just point starters. The two dynamics somewhat cancel out, leaving the first set to be a dog fight

When Djokovic cuts out the drop shotting and looks to remain solid in the second set, he moves comfortably ahead. Solid showing from Schwartzman, a half-foolish one from Djokovic but he's got enough extra tools in the shed that he can afford it and still come out on top