Match Stats/Report - Federer vs Agassi, Australian Open quarter-final, 2005


Hall of Fame
Roger Federer beat Andre Agassi 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the Australian Open quarter-final, 2005 on hard court

Federer would go onto lose in the next round to Marat Safin. The two would go onto play the US Open final later in the year, with Federer again winning

Federer won 99 points, Agassi 79

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (65/99) 66%
- 1st serve points won (50/65) 77%
- 2nd serve points won (21/34) 62%
- Aces 23 (1 second serve, 1 not clean), Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (46/99) 46%

- 1st serve percentage (44/79) 56%
- 1st serve points won (33/44) 75%
- 2nd serve points won (18/35) 51%
- Aces 1
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (20/79) 25%

Serve Pattern
Federer served...
- to FH 37%
- to BH 57%
- to Body 6%

Agassi served...
- to FH 26%
- to BH 74%

Return Stats
Federer made...
- 57 (15 FH, 42 BH), including 3 runaround FH & 2 return-approaches
- 2 Winners (2 FH), including 1 runaround FH
- 19 Errors, comprising...
- 7 Unforced (1 FH, 6 BH)
- 12 Forced (7 FH, 5 BH)
- Return Rate (57/77) 74%

Agassi made...
- 49 (21 FH, 28 BH), including 1 return-approach
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 22 Errors, comprising...
- 9 Unforced (4 FH, 5 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 13 Forced (4 FH, 9 BH)
- Return Rate (49/95) 52%

Break Points
Federer 3/5 (3 games)
Agassi 0/4 (2 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Federer 20 (9 FH, 6 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV, 2 OH)
Agassi 12 (7 FH, 1 BH, 1 FHV, 3 OH)

Federer's FHs - 3 cc (1 pass), 1 inside-out, 4 inside-in (2 returns - 1 a runaround) and 1 inside-in/cc
- BHs - 1 cc pass, 4 dtl (1 pass - a slice) and 1 inside-out/dtl

- 4 from serve-volley points -
- 2 first volleys (1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 2 second volleys (1 FHV, 1 OH)

Agassi's FHs - 5 cc (1 return, 1 pass, 1 at net), 1 inside-out pass and 1 lob
- BH - 1 cc

- all 3 OHs were on the bounce

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Federer 43
- 28 Unforced (9 FH, 18 BH, 1 FHV)
- 15 Forced (8 FH, 6 BH, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.4

Agassi 31
- 21 Unforced (9 FH, 11 BH, 1 BHV)
- 10 Forced (4 FH, 6 BH)... with 1 FH at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.2

(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 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
Federer was...
- 11/16 (69%) at net, including...
- 5/7 (71%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 4/6 (67%) off 1st serve and...
- 1/1 off 2nd serve
- 1/2 return-approaching

Agassi was...
- 11/17 (65%) at net, with...
- 0/1 return-approaching

Match Report
Outstanding serving and exceptional gap in movement are the key differences in a good match and great performance from Federer on a slow-ish hard court.

Federer with 23 aces (and a service winner) and 46% unreturned rate largely locks down his service games. According to commentary, he'd served a grand total of 22 in first 4 matches of the tournament. The big lift in unreturnables is partially due to Agassi being slow and stiff in his movements on return. I'm fairly certain he also goes out of his way to serve particularly aggressively against Agassi, relative to those earlier matches

This seems to be common for him during the period. He'll often hold back on going wide and/or for an unreturnable serve, preferring a solid one and rely on court game to win points. You can see this when he's in a spot of trouble and he does go for the aces. Both in this match and in 2 others that followed soon after in Dubai and Miami, there's a Sampras-like quality to Fed finding an ace or other very strong serve (not necessarily a first serve either) on rare occasion he's in trouble on service games

The other thing he has that Agassi doesn't is whizzing movement. Generally in the match-up, Agassi hits his brand of heavy, regulation neutral shots - particularly regulation BH cc's to try to break down Fed's BH and wider FH cc's to 'encourage' errors. Agassi shots tend to be not particularly hard hit... closer to an outlasting strategy than beatdown, let alone attacking one

Not here. Agassi's hammering groundies all match off both sides. And going error-forcingly wide with BH cc's quite often, while on FH, he goes for still more. This is beat-down cum attacking play, not outlasting... about as aggressive as Agassi got around this period, when he was apt to be a high percentage, consistent back courter

It doesn't do him much good because Fed's whizzing about and getting everything back. And with Agassi hitting wide as well as hard, the balls that come back do so counter-attackingly of angles, not defensively. Much of play is open court action

That's when Agassi starts rallies with initiative. When Fed does, he's apt to overwhelm Agassi with lashing FHs. Power and depth more than wide placement are his weapons. Agassi isn't too bad chasing balls either, but a league or two behind Federer exceptional showing in that regard

And some amount of Agassi hammering BH cc's in effort to breakdown Fed's BH/stay away from FH. Its more successful than otherwise (BH UEs - Fed 18, Agassi 11... and more than usual Fed BH FEs coming out of these rallies with Agassi hitting wider and harder than he usually does)

In short, play is roughly even -

- When he has initiative, Agassi hitting hard and looking to beat Fed down with power, depth and width, Fed whizzing around full speed to smack balls back at counter-attacking angles to come away with his fair share of such points

- When Fed has initiative, whipping overpowering FHs that Agassi can't handle. Fed's attacking play is much more lethal, even allowing for large gap in defensive ability

- From neutral starting position, Agassi more apt to gain initiative in the BH-BH rallies

'Roughly even' in play amounts to Federer well ahead on whole, given he's leading unreturned rates 46% to 25%. Federer's movement and anticipation extends to on the return too. Some good wide serving from Agassi... but he's kept to just 1 ace and a lot of these strong serves come back. Still, he wins healthy 75% first serve points... a sign of his ability to see advantageous starting positions to termination. He isn't winning these points with third ball point finishing shots... he overpowers, and outmanuvers Fed on them over short to short-medium rallies

Fed with slim 2% lead in first serve points won... and a much, much bigger chunk of his are unreturned serves. That's a bit deceptive if it suggests Fed is less effective winning rallies from strong starting point. The trade off for Agassi's low 52% return rate that most of returns he makes he does initiative grabbingly. Lots of near half-volleys for Fed to make on third ball, including a high proportion of the first serves that actually come back (granted, most don't). If anything, Fed's ability to play a more or less neutral shot from what should be a defensive one against Agassi's power return is more impressive than his attacking play

Some very good, deep second serve returning from Fed too, comparable to Agassi's normal returning (not as strong) but a lot, lot more consistent. Thus good, job by Agassi to win 51% second serve points

Match Progression
Fed holds to love to open with 4 unreturned serves (2 aces) and adds 4 more next service game (while losing a couple of points). More or less how he continues all match on serve

He gains the break to move ahead 4-2. Feature points include a swashbuckling, runaround FH inside-in return winner and a short return he follows to net to force a net-to-net error. Agassi double faults on set point

Couple of tough holds for Fed before he can take the set. First last 10 games and it takes 18 points to serve out the set. He serves 42 points in the set to Agassi's 26, finishing with a not easy BH dtl third ball winner

After that, Fed's always ahead, breaking to start both second and third set. He plays more freely in the circumstance, is more apt to go for BH dtl point finishers (he has 4 winners off the shot, plus a pass) in BH rallies and counter-attacking shots when moved about by Agassi. Along with sure returning, you'd think that would give him plenty of chances to break. That doesn't happen. The 3 games he breaks in are the only ones he has break points in. Agassi though, can barely get a sniff on return as Fed cruises with aces and other very strong serves

Summing up, good match with some terrific serving from Federer, good hard hitting and pressuring/attacking baseline play from Agassi and exceptional handling of it by Federer, whizzing around to chase balls down and hitting back at sharp angles to counter-attack while dominating from advantageous positions himself. Some great shot making from Fed too, while Agassi retains advantage in consistency of shot

Not much in it of play - Fed pulls off the more memorable plays, Agassi a bit stronger on basics - but Fed with huge advantage in serve-return complex. His court coverage and speed along with the serve stand out particularly and he has answers for all the extra hard hitting things Agassi throws his way

Stats for pair's matches in Miami and Dubai semis shortly after - Duel Match Stats/Reports - Federer vs Agassi, Miami & Dubai semi-finals, 2005 | Talk Tennis (
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New User
One of the underrated matches, for sure, sir.
Even though this tournament for me was a heartbreaking one (due to the warrior's loss at the hands of hewitt).
Thank you again for this gem @Waspsting
I wonder whether we'll have another top player capable of striking the ball as clean, effectively and ferrociously as Andre Agassi, such a legend.