Match Stats/Report - Djokovic vs Tsitsipas, Madrid final, 2019


Hall of Fame
Novak Djokovic beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4 in the Madrid final, 2019 on clay

Djokovic was the top seed and world #1, this was his third title at the event and his first on clay since the 2016 French Open. He'd finish runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the next tournament in Rome.
Tsitsipas was seeded 8th and had beaten Nadal and defending champion Alex Zverev among others en route to the final

Djokovic won 65 points, Tsitsipas 50

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (40/59) 68%
- 1st serve points won (31/40) 78%
- 2nd serve points won (11/19) 58%
- Aces 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (12/59) 20%

- 1st serve percentage (33/56) 59%
- 1st serve points won (20/33) 61%
- 2nd serve points won (13/23) 57%
- Aces 1, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (10/56) 18%

Serve Pattern
Djokovic served...
- to FH 46%
- to BH 49%
- to Body 5%

Tsitsipas served...
- to FH 51%
- to BH 36%
- to Body 13%

Return Stats
Djokovic made...
- 45 (21 FH, 24 BH)
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 8 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (4 FH)
- 4 Forced (4 FH)
- Return Rate (45/55) 82%

Tsitsipas made...
- 47 (28 FH, 19 BH), including 5 runaround FHs
- 10 Errors, comprising...
- 6 Unforced (2 FH, 4 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 4 Forced (4 FH)
- Return Rate (47/59) 80%

Break Points
Djokovic 2/5 (3 games)
Tsitsipas 0

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Djokovic 25 (15 FH, 9 BH, 1 OH)
Tsitsipas 16 (6 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV, 4 OH)

Djokovic's FHs - 7 cc (1 return, 1 pass), 1 cc/inside-in, 1 dtl/inside-out, 2 inside-out, 3 inside-in and 1 running-down-drop-shot cc/drop shot at net (very finely angled)
- BHs - 3 cc (2 passes - 1 at net), 4 dtl (1 pass), 1 dtl/inside-out and 1 drop shot

Tsitsipas' FHs - 1 cc pass at net, 4 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- BHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl and 1 drop shot

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Djokovic 24
- 17 Unforced (13 FH, 4 BH)
- 7 Forced (3 FH, 3 BH, 1 BH1/2V)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net & 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.9

Tsitsipas 27
- 19 Unforced (8 FH, 11 BH)
- 8 Forced (5 FH, 2 BH, 1 BHV)... with 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.4

(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 4/9 (44%) at net

Tsitsipas was 13/19 (68%) at net

Match Report
Excellent match and one of Djokovic's best showings, with Tsitsipas playing well too.

For Madrid, where ball is often flying around due to altitude, conditions are on slow side, though still quicker than most clay courts

Typically in Madrid, strong serving can be highly effective. Not much of that here. Djoko serves within himself, just regulation, in swing-zone or a touch wide first serving. He occasionally kicks even 1st serves up to Tsis' BH. Mundane serve-return contest between Djokovic serve and Tsis return. 20% unreturned rate

Other side is better, with Tsit's actually serving hard enough to potentially be damaging. Not likely against Djokovic, but potentially so. Djoko returns in his usual way, calmly and without strain biffing returns firmly back down the middle at least deep-ishly. 18% unreturned rate

With unreturned rate near the same, that leaves match to be decided by court action. And that's first class

Good basic stats hint at it
- 1st serve in - Djoko 68%, Tsis 59%
- 1st serve won - Djoko 78%, Tsis 61%
- 2nd serve won - Djoko 58%, Tsis 57%

The high 2nd serve points won by both players particularly speak to a well played match, especially in light of low unreturned rates. Tsis being near equal off first and second serve is largely due to Djoko returning firmly against both serves. Though the firsts are typically stronger than seconds, Djoko's returning against it is about the same. This isn't uncommon for Djokovic and hints at his having potential to more aggressively attack 2nd serves than he's in habit of doing

If you can bop decent first serves back to near baseline regularly, you can probably whack 2nd serves dtl or wide cc for winners or otherwise point ending shots. He rarely does. Just returns them the same way he does first serves. Its good enough and can't argue with the results he gets

Of court action, Djokovic is absolutely top class. A typical, winning Djokovic effort involves consistent, firm and deep-ish hitting. No one shot likely to draw an error, but with a series of shots of that type, the errors likely to come.

The better showings involve the hitting getting harder and deeper from that starting point norm. The best showings involve regular hard hit shots to near baseline

Here, he's that deep but not as powerful of shot as some earlier years. More than compensated for by regularly attacking dtl change-ups, especially off the BH. Off the FH, he's willing throws in 1-2s - first a wide enough cc shot (of course deep), followed by a dtl shot. Its a virtually perfect mix of beat-down, move-opponent around and shot-making tennis - and he remains above even his norm consistent through it all. Top class, and its come out in the numbers

25 winners comes to 1.32 per game, very high for clay. Would be high even for a faster surface
25 winners to 17 UEs is great, but it gets even better. He's got more winners than total errors at 24... which is about as rare as it gets for a baseline clay match with low unreturned rates
He's got more winners than UEs off both wings - on FH 15 winners, 13 UEs and on BH 9 winners, 4 UEs. You'd be hard pressed to find even Nadal doing that

The winners don't spring out of strong serving. Serve is about average, which leaves him to outrally Tsis to build up to ending points forcefully

That's not all. His 'neutral' play is particularly deep, with balls landing near baseline. That alone could be expected to draw pressured UEs (which it does) and be good enough to be called 'good solid play'. Here, its just the foundation for attacking 1-2s and wrong footing shots, and moving-opponent around and dtl line scrapers

Defensively, he's as good as norm. Tsis isn't the type to all out fall-back and counter-punch (he doesn't have much choice a large lot of the time) and makes a point of attacking first. Hence, the positive numbers for him off both serves. Djoko is called on to defend and does so in his customary, run-everything-down and hit-back-near-as-firmly as a neutral scenario. Djoko's defence doesn't particularly stand out because his point construction, shot making and deep hitting neutral play takes the eye more, but typically resistant, solid stuff from the winner from back foot also

Only cause for concern for Djoko relates to fitness. Its not a long match, but he seems a bit gassed by end of it. Nothing drastic, but given comfy length of match, not the best of signs. Tsitsipas too, but he's been through the wringer a lot more and had been playing a lot of tournaments in the year
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Hall of Fame
Tsitsipas plays well too. Djoko returns firmly, making it awkward to take charge off 3rd ball, but Tsis looks to do so anyway. Usually, with success. He thumps FHs a bit harder than Djoko and is willing to go attackingly wide cc. Djoko's defence is usually upto handling it. On the BH by contrast, he's outmatched in hitting for which I'd credit Djoko, but again, looks to go sweepingly wide and follow up with aggressive dtl next shot. Djoko again usually handles it. Djoko's deep BH cc shots cause him trouble. He's got 11 BH UEs, which are on the tough side as he's up against exemplary depth, 2 fewer than Djoko's match high 13 FH UEs

Tsis moves well by a general standard, especially so for his large frame. Resists being forced into error to an extent, but Djoko's persistence (and wrong footing shots) sees the winner come out ahead when he's attacking. Eventually, Tsis eases up to small extent in chasing wide shots. Probably wisely so... making the get would take plenty of effort, there's no certainty he could make it anyway and even if he did, Djoko's next shot is likely to either end point or send him running the other way again.

To make up the slack in normal rallying, Tsis turns to drop shots in first set. Something different is needed, but this isn't the best option. Still, Djoko's low 4/9 at net is largely about Tsis' drop shots, so it works to a point
In second set, he turns to coming to net. The extent to what he knows what he's doing up there brings home how majority of players in this era don't. Balls above net are putaway efficiently. Its stand out as exceptional today. Would be routine for a net player in earlier periods. 16/19 at net for Tsis, including 7 winners. He's not foolhardy in coming in - when Djoko's hammering groundies to baseline, he stays put to counter-punch, but utilizes situations when he's in lead position to come in

16 winners, 19 UEs and forcing 7 errors out of Djoko comes to +4 on points ended forcefully/UEs. A good figure and under-representing how well he plays. Against Djoko's depth, UEs aren't far away and attacking is difficult

Match Progression
Djokovic breaks to go up 2-0. Couple of attacking third ball errors from Tsitsipas, but also firm returning and dealing with drop shots by Djokovic

No more break points in the set and action is lively from both sides. There's a cute reversal play on game point in back-to-back games. Djoko runs down an excellent drop shot to hit winner at finest of angles to win a game. Next game down game point, he goes with the same drop shot Tsis had played, and Tsis reply is like a replay of the shot Djoko had made (Djoko gets racquet on it barely to deny the winner)

For Djokovic, 14 winners, 7 UEs and forcing 4 errors out of Tsis for the set

Second set is similarly of quality. Tsis replaces drop shots with forays to net and is better for it. Djoko remains solid and attacking. He gains the break late by pulling off consecutive BH pass winners (1 in each direction), having rarely won a point with Tsis at net prior to it

A little hiccup from Djoko has he's stretched to 10 points to serve it out, though leading 40-15. He looks to finish with a bang, and makes some loose FH errors before seeing it out with consecutive winners

Summing up, an extraordinary performance from Djokovic - hitting firmly and deep as a starting point, opening court and hitting into it off both sides and painting lines with his dtl shots - while returning firmly to neutralize opponents serve. Just his depth would make for a good showing, without all the 1-2s and line kissing winners thrown in. A good one from Tsitsipas too - near giving as good as he gets off the FH, outmatched on the BH, and smartly as well as effectively utilizing drop shots and net play. He's not upto handling what he's up against though. Very few players would be

Third Serve

Talk Tennis Guru
I think this was the very last match I was genuinely impressed with Djokovic’s level from start to finish (not “good for his age”, just “good” in general). A very commanding showing and a solid tournament overall from him though the semifinal against Thiem was kind of annoying to watch.


Tsitsi was just super tired. Novak won all the important points. I dont recall him playing as you say, skinny Novak was not my cup of tea, specially on clay. That was main reason he was bad on it during 2017-2020 seasons.