Match Stats/Report - Djokovic vs Thiem, Australian Open final, 2020

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Novak Djokovic beat Dominic Thiem 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the Australian Open final, 2020 on hard court

Djokovic was the defending champion and this was his record extending 8th Australian Open title. This was Thiem's third loss in as many Slam finals. He would go onto win his maiden Slam at the US Open later in the year. Thiem had won 4 of the pair's last 5 matches and would go onto win the next one too

Djokovic won 157 points, Thiem 147

Serve Stats
Djokovic...
- 1st serve percentage (87/134) 65%
- 1st serve points won (66/87) 76%
- 2nd serve points won (24/47) 51%
- Aces 9
- Double Faults 5
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (32/134) 24%

Thiem....
- 1st serve percentage (108/170) 64%
- 1st serve points won (75/108) 69%
- 2nd serve points won (28/62) 45%
- Aces 14 (1 not clean), Service Winners 3 (1 second serve)
- Double Faults 5
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (35/170) 21%

Serve Patterns
Djokovic served...
- to FH 45%
- to BH 47%
- to Body 8%

Thiem served...
- to FH 41%
- to BH 49%
- to Body 10%

Return Stats
Djokovic made...
- 130 (52 FH, 78 BH), including 1 return-approach
- 2 Winners (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 18 Errors, comprising...
- 8 Unforced (1 FH, 7 BH)
- 10 Forced (5 FH, 5 BH)
- Return Rate (130/165) 79%

Thiem made...
- 97 (47 FH, 50 BH)
- 23 Errors, comprising...
- 14 Unforced (8 FH, 6 BH)
- 9 Forced (6 FH, 3 BH)
- Return Rate (97/129) 75%

Break Points
Djokovic 5/12 (10 games)
Thiem 5/12 (7 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Djokovic 37 (18 FH, 10 BH, 2 FHV, 5 BHV, 2 OH)
Thiem 37 (18 FH, 6 BH, 4 FHV, 3 BHV, 6 OH)

Djokovic's FHs - 5 cc (2 at net), 7 dtl (1 return), 1 dtl/inside-out, 3 inside-out, 1 inside-in and 1 longline
- BHs - 2 cc (1 slice), 5 dtl (1 return), 1 inside-out/dtl, 1 drop shot and 1 net chord dribbler

- 2 from serve-volley points - a first volley and a second volley, both BHVs

- 1 from a return-approach point (1 OH)

- 1 OH on bounce from baseline

Thiems FHs - 4 cc, 4 dtl, 7 inside-out, 2 inside-in and 1 drop shot
- BHs - 5 dtl and 1 lob

- 2 swinging FHVs (1 not a net shot)

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Djokovic 70
- 52 Unforced (23 FH, 27 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)… with 1 BH at net
- 18 Forced (9 FH, 8 BH, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.5

Thiem 83
- 63 Unforced (36 FH, 26 BH, 1 FHV)… with 1 FH pass at net
- 20 Forced (11 FH, 7 BH, 1 FHV, 1 Tweener)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net & 1 BH at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.9

(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...
- 20/28 (71%) at net, including...
- 3/4 (75%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 2/3 (67%) off 1st serve and....
- 1/1 off 2nd serve
---
- 1/1 return-approaching
- 1/4 (25%) forced back

Thiem was...
- 22/30 (73%) at net, with...
- 1/2 forced back

Match Report
Good match of clean hitting and rallying baseline play, with the two players playing similarly of style. Its not an even-level match. Thiem is very consistent of level, but Djokovic's fluctuates in line with the scoreline of sets - never sinking too low (he's at least decent at his worst though sometimes erratic) and at his best, exceptionally clean and clinical. The court is low of bounce but not unduly fast

Djokovic is just a bit better in most areas. His greater depth of shot and more powerful returning are particularly important in shaping the result

Not much in it between the two overall, but Djoko does come off a little better

He serves 134 points to Thiem's 170 while winning 10 more... an indicator of his holding serve more easily
Identical, basic break point numbers of 5/12 but Djokovic having had such points in 10 games to Thiem's 7 favours the winner. Thiem's plays particularly well down break point, often taking net to decisively win the point. And needs to as he's under the gun a bit more often. By contrast, Djoko faces break points and is broken during 2nd and 3rd sets when something seems to be off with him, mental and/or physical

Statistically, there are a number of areas were the two finish identical or nearly so -

- break points - both 5/12
- double faults - both 5
- winners - both 37, including both with 18 FHs
- first serve in - Djoko 65%, Thiem 64%
- unreturned rates - Djoko 24%, Thiem 21%
- return forced errors - Djoko 10, Thiem 9
- forced errors - Djoko 18, Thiem 20
- BH UEs - Djoko 27, Thiem 26
- unforced error forcefulness index - Djoko 48.5, Thiem 48.9
- net points - Djoko 20/28 at 71%, Thiem 22/30 at 73%

Djoko's slight superiority comes through in his leading both first serve points won (76% to 69%) and second serve points won (51% to 45%) - with first serve in count virtually equal

In play, the difference comes through in the UEs. Djoko 52, Thiem 63 - with UEFI virtually equal
FHs aside, the UEs read Djoko 29, Thiem 27... statistically, you could say Djoko's slight consistency advantage on the FH is the only difference between the two. FH UEs read Djoko 23, Thiem 36

In short, not much in in, with Djokovic a bit better

Serve & Return
Djokovic returning considerably better is the standout feature. Both serve decently and Thiem returns well too. Thiem perhaps serves slightly better, but both are in the ball park in this area

Good solid, serving from both players, at about 2/3 first serves made. Most first serves are just slightly wide and can be reached with a quick step or two. Thiem leading aces 14-9 and service winners 3-0 but also serving a lot more first serves (108-87)

However, Djoko leads unreturned count 24% to 21%. That's all due to his return

He's got 8 UEs and 10 FEs, while Thiem has 14 UEs and 9 FEs. With much of even the first serving being more returnable than otherwise, the proportion of UEs indicates Djoko's greater consistency. He barely misses anything other than outright unreturnable balls (he's aced/service winnered 17 times while making 18 total errors. Thiem by contrast has 14 unforced errors while being aced 9 times

Its not just consistency. Djoko's apt to return deep or wide, neutralizing advantage instantly or even grabbing it at regular intervals. Thiem's best neutralizing returns are on par with Djoko's typical ones

And that's with Thiem returning well. Returning firmly at 75% return rate is an excellent figure. His normal returns leaves Djoko with just minor initiative or the opportunity to take initiative (as opposed to soft returns where the obvious third ball choice is an attacking shot)

Good second serving for most part too from both players. Most second serves are just smaller versions of the firsts. Not easy to attack and potentially, good enough to keep initiative. It wouldn't be easy to tell difference between first and second serves. Djoko at times takes something off and just rolls in the second serves, usually aiming at body. Thiem almost never does, which is wise given even his first serves are regularly hit back to near baseline. For all that, he double faults just 5 times, same as Djoko who serves 15 fewer second serves

In nutshell, about equal on the serve with both players so (Thiem a touch more), while on the return, Djokovic's outstanding, Thiem good
 
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Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Play - Baseline & Net
Play is dual winged, classical baseline of nature with the two players exchanging cc shots of both sides with occasional longline change-ups. Neither is particularly aggressive (looking to open court or/then hitting winners into it), nor passive ('just' putting ball in court). Both hit well, but short of beat-down strong. Closer to 'beat-down' than 'out-last' shots are the norm. It would be difficult to actively pursue attacking play against the hitting of either player

Djokovic hitting with greater depth is central to his having thin advantage in play. If consistency of shot is very close, Djoko fairly regularly gets balls in deep too while hitting firmly. Thiem hits just as firmly and while by no means dropping ball short, doesn't get it trickily deep to same extent

To be clear, this isn't a top-class Djokovic showing where ball after ball lands near opponents baseline. 'firm and deep-ish' describes his typical shot. Thiem is firm and normal

Its Thiem that turns to looking for point killing dtl shots off both wings more often. He has 5 such BH winners but misses a lot more than that. On FH, he has 4 and usually makes the shot. His most dangerous shot is FH inside-out on which he has match high 7 winners but chances to play such a shot is limited. Djoko's regulation shots are good enough that moving around to play such an aggressive shot would be difficult. Thiem doesn't particularly try. dtl is his go-to attack

Otherwise, Thiem comes into net after upping his hitting strength. Only occasionally does he take a full, aggressive power swing at the ball (again, it would be difficult to against what he's up against), but is able to manufacture approaches from harder than his normal firm shots to very good effective. He's 22/30 at net and virtually never has to make a tough volley. He often comes in on important points

Would coming in more be a good option, given his high success at net and that he trails a bit from the back? Its not clear. He volleys surely when called upon and looks good of form up front. None of the uncomfortable or clueless feel in his movement or actual net play that players who rarely come in often show. Djokovic doesn't pass particularly well. One imagines part of the reason for Thiem's net success is that he only comes in occasionally. And he's close enough to even - in fact, over periods superior even - from the back that he wouldn't necessarily feel the need to come in. Still, he's much better coming in from moderate attacking shot and finishing at net then he is going for point killing groundstroke from the back

Just 1 volleying UE, but its a crucial and easy miss that likely costs him the 4th set, which happens to be the most open of sets

Another option open to Thiem that he under-utilizes is slicing. Its a low bouncing surface, with shots being taken hip or slightly lower typically and slices stay as low as ankle height. Djoko is often moved to slicing back when faced with the slice. Its Thiem who slices as a normal shot, while Djoko reacts in kind when the ball stays particularly low. Very few slicey rallies. Thiem doesn't look to it as a way to outlast and win points apparently. He pressured into slicing sometimes when Djoko gets off particularly good BH cc's amidst regulation cc rallies

Thiem's play is very uniform. Only in 5th set does he falter a bit, his movements slowing. Djokovic by contrast, is uneven and so, its how well he's playing that determines result at any point in the match

He plays the same way as Thiem, with better depth. Thiem perhaps hits a bit harder on average, particularly off FH

When Djoko is on (particularly in last set, also the first), he's the better, more consistent player. While hitting well, he gives the impression of playing within himself in measured fashion. When needed, he's able to use depth to take control of point, including coming to net to finish. In fifth set, he's a wall on top of that

When he's not on though, Thiem surges ahead. Djoko's level drops in second set as Thiem hangs in. Starts missing more shots, including erratic ones. He's also irritible, likely due to crowd vocally getting behind his opponent. Mood hits a low when he's broken to lose the second set after losing a first serve for taking too long to serve. In third set, his movement is poor and he looks very tired. He takes a medical time out after the third set and continues moving not well afterwards, though playing with more care

It isn't til the fifth set that he returns to his vigorous best

Some unusual shots from Djoko. There's a perfect and beautiful, low drop BHV first volley winner serve-volleying. A return-approach point that he finishes with an OH winner. A lovely, cutting BH slice winner. He plays a relatively large number of BH inside-outs mildly attackingly. He's one of the few players who plays the shot at all, but generally does so with point finishing intent. Here, just as a surprise change up. Good number of drops shots (this isn't unusual), including off FH (this is) and well played ones at that

Djoko has his share of dtl winners (6 FHs, 4 BHs - excluding a return off each side). Unlike Thiem, he isn't pressured into going for them and it flows organically from rallies he's taken lead in

Action is better than stats would suggest. Both players have far more UEs than winners (Djoko -15, Thiem -26). Djoko moves to +3 when errors forced are thrown in, Thiem remains -6

The rallying shots from both players though are high quality and rallies are long. Its pressuring play, regularly skirting the line between neutral and attacking, and both players hit consistently firm. Both are able to take charge by pushing a bit beyond the regulation shots. Djoko's more measured in how he does so. Thiem as often, just goes for the winner dtl and usually fails on BH side in particular

The big difference in play is in the UEs, with Djoko having 52 to Thiem's 63 (there's only a difference of 2 in Djokovic's favour for winners + errors forced). Djoko's figure has a large lot of erratic shots when he seems to be mentally not all there. When he's keyed in, he's very solid. The greater number of errors Thiem makes is fair indicator of Djoko just rallying better than him

Djoko's consistency by wing is similar (23 FH UEs, 27 BH), Thiem's is more FH heavy (36 FHs, 26 BHs)

Djoko has advantage BH-BH. Thiem is kept from attacking with big cuts and driven to going for dtl winner attempts that mostly miss. Lot of erratic BH UEs from Djoko in his 'off' phases
Thiem shading regulation FH power. When he finds Djoko not missing a ball, he's pushed to go for more aggressive shots, faltering as often as not. He'd have to wait a long time for short ball
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Match Progression
Djokovic dominates first set and his return is the key shot for that so being. He seems to make every return at least near-neutralizingly, with a fair few mildly putting Thiem on defensive. By contrast, Thiem misses a number of makeable returns and his very best ones are about as good as Djokovic's average

Then they rally, both hitting firmly. Djoko is more consistent and hits with greater depth, and is able to outlast or take control of points. Thiem takes to coming to net on important points effectively but with so many neutral rallies developing, has his back to wall. He serves 48 points in the set to Djoko's 25

Djoko breaks early to move ahead 3-0. Thiem gets the break back middle of set in a game Djoko misses a number of aggressive FHs. Djoko breaks in a 10 point game to end the set - with 3 poor errors from Thiem to finish, including a double fault on break & set point

Second set is a bit strange. Djoko holds to love - points he wins includes a drop shot + low, lob volley combo and a perfect BH dtl winner - then command first point of next game with drop shots. Carrying on, accelerating even, from first set in short. Only he ends up losing the point... and it seems to adversely affect him. Misses 2 second serve returns right after (he'd barely missed a first earlier), starts missing first serves (he'd served conservatively but got 80% in first set)

Rallies become more competitive (Thiem cutting back errors). After Djoko gets broken in a long game, he starts reacting irritably with the crowd. Baseline play remains about even though (a step up for Thiem, a step down from Djoko), and Djoko grabs the break back with Thiem missing a number of BH dtl winner attempts to level at 4-4

Thiem breaks right back in a game where Djoko is first warned for taking too long to serve and then on break point, loses a first serve for the same offence. And Thiem serves out the set

The time violations and crowd support for Thiem doesn't exactly sooth the already irritated champion. He's broken to twice to go down 0-3 in third set. His play becomes increasingly lacklustre and often careless. He's treated at a changeover, looks dead tired and his movements get poorer. With the carelessness comes some uncharacteristic shots. A beautiful, first volley low BHV drop winner serve-volleying. A cavalier BH inside-out'ish winner. A return-approach ending with a smash winner. Thiem though wins the lions share of baseline rallies

Tough, 14 point serve-out for Thiem, saving a break point on which Djoko misses a 2nd serve return. Djoko takes an off-court medical time out between sets

Fourth set is the most competitive one of the match. Djoko still isn't moving too well, but he's got the dead tired look out of his system. He looks to shorten points, initiating more open court play, looking for winners early or amibitiously from regulation positions, including coming to net more (including via serve-volleying). There are 18 winners (24% of match total) in the set, including 7 in a row across 2 games

Djoko's movements improve as set goes on and before the end of it, he's returned to clinical mode. The break comes in game 8 and the critical point is when Thiem misses an easy drop FHV to open court with Djoko out of position - his only volley UE in the match - to make score 15-15 instead of 30-0. He throws in a double fault and on second break point, misses a regulation third ball FH. Djoko serves out impressively to love with 2 winners and 2 unreturned serves (1 ace)

Djoko's back to his best in fifth set and plays very cleanly and clinically. Action is centered around solid neutral rallying and Djoko's depth is impeccable. Thiem is outlasted and pressured to go for low percentage attacking shots that usually miss. For first time, Thiem shows small signs of tiredness too in his movement and misses a several makeable returns. Djoko's returning also hits a match high. Even after breaking early, he continues to threaten on return. Thiem's able to get into one return game in which he has 2 break points. Djoko saves one of them with a serve-volley, forcing a passing error with a decent first volley. Thereafter, 3 routine holds from Djokovic to see out the match

Summing up, good match of duel winged, neutral rallying baseline action. Both players hit firmly off both sides and rallies aren't short. Thiem is very even of play throughout. When Djokovic goes off - whether its looking disturbed by crowd or tired or possibly physical discomfort - Thiem gains upper hand. Otherwise, Djoko is slightly better, particularly with regard to consistency, force and depth of returns and depth of groundstroke

Djokovic's play is off his standard, squeezing opponent out style but Thiem is up to 'squeezing back' so to speak, to keep action more or less even. Just a little bit better from Djokovic

@The Guru - thoughts?

Stats for the '19 final between Djokovic and Rafael Nadal - (5) Match Stats/Report - Djokovic vs Nadal, Australian Open final 2019 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
 

The Guru

Legend
I think you're mostly spot on but a little too generous on Thiem's form. He was often poor tactically and pulled the trigger at terrible times and also I think his BH was worse in this match then you're saying it was. Particularly his BHDTL was poor I remember when I was watching seeing Novak bait him into hitting it with his court positioning and Thiem just could not find the range on it. I do think, as you probably do as well, the match quality in this one has been understated and that Novak played quite well in sets 1 and 5 solid in 2 and 4 and was only really poor in the 3rd. Thiem as you said was at a consistent good but not great level. What do you think of the mental battle in this one? Do you think nerves played a role in the Thiem loss?
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
(Thiem) was often poor tactically and pulled the trigger at terrible times and also I think his BH was worse in this match then you're saying it was

He did miss a lot of BH dtl winner attempts

His alternative is to keep playing the cc rally, and I think Djokovic has the better of those. Hits a bit better and particularly deeper, which also keeps Thiem from teeing off with a big cc shot. Thiem's encouraged if not forced, to slice when Djoko starts getting better of them

UEs are all but identical (Djoko 27, Thiem 26)
BH UEFI - Djoko 48.5, Thiem 47.7

the UE breakdowns are suggestive -
- Neutral - Djoko 11, Thiem 13
- Attacking - Djoko 9, Thiem 3
- Winner attempt - Djoko 7, Thiem 10

Djoko with edge in consistency - which coupled with a deeper ball is a big plus for him
Thiem missing the big winner shot more often - which is understandable decision, given how neutral play runs

The attacking errors is where Thiem has big advantage. He doesn't hit much just attacking BHs... its a neutral shot or a kill shot with him. Djoko by contrast, transitions seamlessly to moderate attacking shots, including dtl

Sizable chunk of Djoko's attacking UEs would be on unimportant points or when well down in games, while Thiem plays very uniformly

No easy answer about Thiem's shot choices on BH

He can keep going cc, where he's good but Djoko's better. Or go for the dtl winner and he has to go for those against normal balls, not short ones because Djoko barely gives him a short one

I think Djoko has ability to squeeze out an advantage from BH-BH rallies shot by shot to take charge while also being less likely to give up the neutral error, thus putting onus on Thiem to do something different if he wants to come out ahead. Did he overdo the dtl winner attempts?

Maybe, but the way those rallies went, no obvious alternative. Slicing more is one, but don't think he's the type to slice constantly. Coming to net more - he does when in trouble and almost always successfully. That's probably outside his comfort zone

On numbers, they're very close on the BH in all areas. Its on FH UEs that the biggest difference comes up - Djoko 23, Thiem 36

What do you think of the mental battle in this one? Do you think nerves played a role in the Thiem loss?

His movement goes down a bit in fifth set, but Djoko plays very well there

I thought mental issues were all on Djoko's side.

In first set, play is even, but when he looks to take charge, Djoko almost always does so and wins points

there's a point like that early in second set involving drop shots and both players coming to and being forced back from net that Thiem ends up winning. Immediately, Djoko's play falls off. misses next 2 returns, both second serves. He'd barely missed a 1 in first set

Then he starts reacting adversely to crowd and being a bit loose off the ground, double faults twice to get broken

It looks like the crowd has got to him and made him erratic. Its just as likely that his level dropped off naturally as happens and that made him more sensitive to the crowd (i.e. which is the cause and which is the effect isn't clear)

He's got his 'dying duck' look on for most of third set and moving badly. In fourth, he's still moving too well but playing more carefully

Mental part of this match is all Djokovic versus himself... Thiem seems fine
 

RS

Bionic Poster
I think you're mostly spot on but a little too generous on Thiem's form. He was often poor tactically and pulled the trigger at terrible times and also I think his BH was worse in this match then you're saying it was. Particularly his BHDTL was poor I remember when I was watching seeing Novak bait him into hitting it with his court positioning and Thiem just could not find the range on it. I do think, as you probably do as well, the match quality in this one has been understated and that Novak played quite well in sets 1 and 5 solid in 2 and 4 and was only really poor in the 3rd. Thiem as you said was at a consistent good but not great level. What do you think of the mental battle in this one? Do you think nerves played a role in the Thiem loss?
You don’t seem too big on the match here were as later on you did.
 

The Guru

Legend
You don’t seem too big on the match here were as later on you did.
I’m only big on this match compared to the absurd dunking on it gets. It definitely was not Thiem’s A game look at their WTF match for what it looks like when Thiem can hit his BHDTL. That really was the critical thing missing for him in this match.
 
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RS

Bionic Poster
I’m only big on this match compared to the absurd dunking on it gets. It definitely was not Thiem’s A game look at their WTF match for what it looks like when Thiem can hit his BHDTL. That really was the critical thing missing for him in this match.
Would you consider like a 2nd tier ATG match at AO? Like first tier obviously being the usual suspects AO 09 SF/F/AO 05 SF/AO 13 4R etc etc.
 

The Guru

Legend
Would you consider like a 2nd tier ATG match at AO? Like first tier obviously being the usual suspects AO 09 SF/F/AO 05 SF/AO 13 4R etc etc.
Absolutely shocking to not see AO 12 F there though I'm sure that's part of etc ;)

Depends what's in the second tier. If the AO 12 SF is second tier than this is a tier below that for sure. AO has so many epics this is probably third tier. Is this better than Nadal-Berdych or Djokovic-Tsonga? Personally I don't think so.
 
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RS

Bionic Poster
Absolutely shocking to not see AO 12 F there though I'm sure that's part of etc ;)

Depends what's in the second tier. If the AO 12 SF is second tier than this is a tier below that for sure. AO has so many epics this is probably third tier. Is this better than Nadal-Berdych or Djokovic-Tsonga? Personally I don't think so.
Yes but I couldn't get the words out ;)

I think 3rd tier seems right too but not sure really. Hard to say there are a lot of matches. Those last two are pretty strong 4 set match which could easily be ranked not to far from a top tier.
 
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