Match Stats/Report - Federer vs Roddick, Wimbledon final, 2005


Hall of Fame
Roger Federer beat Andy Roddick 6-2, 7-6(2), 6-4 in the Wimbledon final, 2005 on grass

It was Federer's third title and third in a row at the event. He'd beaten Roddick the previous two years also, in the semi-final in '03 and in the final in '04. The two would go onto contest the final again in 2009 with Federer again winning

Federer won 101 points, Roddick 74

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (49/79) 62%
- 1st serve points won (40/49) 82%
- 2nd serve points won (22/30) 73%
- Aces 11 (2 second serves), Service Winners 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (27/79) 34%

- 1st serve percentage (66/96) 69%
- 1st serve points won (44/66) 67%
- 2nd serve points won (13/30) 43%
- Aces 7, Service Winners 3 (1 bad bounce related)
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (32/96) 33%

Serve Pattern
Federer served...
- to FH 34%
- to BH 62%
- to Body 4%

Roddick served...
- to FH 42%
- to BH 46%
- to Body 12%

Return Stats
Federer made...
- 63 (30 FH, 33 BH), including 1 runaround FH & 1 return-approach
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 22 Errors, comprising...
- 6 Unforced (3 FH, 3 BH)
- 16 Forced (6 FH, 10 BH)
- Return Rate (63/95) 66%

Roddick made...
- 52 (18 FH, 34 BH), including 2 runaround FHs & 5 return-approaches
- 14 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (3 FH, 2 BH), including 1 return-approach attempt
- 9 Forced (4 FH, 5 BH)
- Return Rate (52/79) 66%

Break Points
Federer 4/9 (6 games)
Roddick 1/2 (1 game)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Federer 36 (15 FH, 13 BH, 4 FHV, 3 BHV, 1 OH)
Roddick 9 (3 FH, 2 BH, 3 FHV, 1 BHV)

Federer had 18 passes (8 FH, 10 BH)... with 1 BH a return
- FHs - 5 cc (1 at net), 2 dtl and 1 longline
- BHs - 6 cc (1 return), 3 dtl and 1 lob

- regular FHs - 1 cc, 2 inside-out and 4 inside-in (2 at net)
- regular BHs - 2 dtl and 1 drop shot

- 4 from serve-volley points - 1 first volley (1 BHV) & 3 second volleys (2 FHV, 1 OH)

- 1 from a return-approach point, a BHV

Roddick's FHs - 2 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- BHs (both passes) - 2 dtl (1 sliced... similar to a running-down-drop-shot shot but not at net)

- 3 from serve-volley points (2 FHV, 1 BHV), all first volleys

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Federer 33
- 13 Unforced (4 FH, 9 BH)
- 20 Forced (3 FH, 11 BH, 4 FHV, 2 BHV)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 42.3

Roddick 37
- 20 Unforced (13 FH, 5 BH, 2 BHV)
- 17 Forced (6 FH, 9 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)... with 1 BH at net
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.5

(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
Federer was...
- 19/27 (70%) at net, including...
- 7/8 (88%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 5/6 (83%) off 1st serve and...
- 2/2 off 2nd serve
- 1/1 return-approaching

Roddick was...
- 26/51 (51%) at net, including...
- 13/20 (65%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 11/17 (65%) off 1st serve and...
- 2/3 (67%) off 2nd serve
- 0/5 return-approaching
- 1/1 forced back

Match Report
Federer is fluently on song in all aspects of the game and with his opponent seeking net, its the passing that’s given room to particularly shine from even that very high standard as he brushes a solid and potentially damaging Roddick aside

20 ‘passing’ winners (2 are net-to-net volleys) from Federer to 4 volleying ones from Roddick isn’t likely to end well for latter. Rod wins just 51% of his net points - and he comes in behind powerful groundies. Winning the only point he’s forced back, Rod’s dead 50% or 25/50 when finishing point at net. Throw in 2-3 approach errors and he’s coming out et negative when he’s at his most offensive

By contrast, Fed typically dominates when he’s on the offensive, from baseline and at net. Baseline-to-baseline -
- Winners - Fed 6, Rod 3
- Errors forced - Fed 7, Rod 1

… to go with Fed winning 19/27 or 70% of his net points. Fed's faced with plenty of tough volleys up front too. All 6 of his volleying errors have been marked FEs and he makes similarly difficult volleys (and half-volleys) about as often as not

Neutrally, things are about even. Neutral UEs read Fed 9, Rod 8 (Fed also has 1 defensive UE). Neutral play is largely limited to BH exchanges, whereas FH ones tend to move into one or the other seizing chance to attack. Rod has BH consistency advantage and has 5 UEs on that side to Fed’s 9. Not too important. And not too rare either. Rod’s BH had match low UEs in both previous years matches between the 2 (also, the 2 matches at Canadian Open in the same years)

Fed’s got 3 BH winners (2 dtl, 1 drop shot) baseline-to-baseline to Rod’s 0 to counter-act the consistency deal and things of the BH in baseline exchanges are roughly equal (the pass is a different story)

FH play starts hard-hittingly neutral (as opposed to normally on the BH) and both players quickly move to taking attacking position. The wide FH cc to take charge is a favourite of both players, and both do well to run it down and engage create lively, open court, attacking/counter-attacking rallies. What happens next is covered in baseline-baseline numbers and net points given earlier. Fed’s that much quicker (particularly on first step) to cover the first wide attacking shot and essentially never misses. In stats terms, he isn’t forced into error by strong shots that have potential to draw FEs. Rod’s no slouch either and makes most running shots (at least, the first one), but unlike Fed, not all

Match low UEs prize goes to Fed’s FH with just 4 to Rod’s 13. Even by his standard, this is one of Fed’s most impressive FH showings

- 15 winners (8 passes, 7 regular), 7 errors (4 UEs, 3 FEs)

Double the winners to errors, let alone unforced errors. About double the winners to errors on both the pass and non-pass. This is very possibly unique. There are no return winners (which as stats are presented, doesn’t have scope for corresponding error to be counted)

Its not all flash and crash either. As suggested earlier, Fed’s ability to handle running FHs against Rod’s attacking wide FH cc’s is virtually perfect too. Flicks back very deep, hard hit shots from baseline regularly too, of both sides. Might be overshadowed by the offence, but an excellent defensive showing from Fed too
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Hall of Fame
Rod’s FH has match high 13 UEs, much of it straining to attack. His attacks have to be particularly strong to succeed and he’s rarely able to deliver. Some discredit to Rod’s offensive abilities and credit also to Fed’s defensive showing. Inability to persist in attacking from favourable positions is common problem for Rod against Fed. In this match, its a little better than that. He has to create those attacks out of nothing. Serve doesn’t give him too much of an advantage (and when it does, he approaches, not belts FHs) and neutral hitting is even (I.e. no short/weak balls being drawn to readily attack from)

Breakdown of UEs -
- Defensive - Fed 1
- Neutral - Fed 9, Rod 8
- Attacking - Fed 1, Rod 7
- Winner Attempts - Fed 2, Rod 5

Almost flawless attacking efficiency from Fed - 1 attacking error while forcing 17 errors (about half from net, half from baseline) and 2 winner attempt errors while hitting small matter of 36 winners. All Fed’s UEs are groundstrokes (4 FH, 9 BH)

Roddick not doing so well. Virtually all the errors he forces (20) are passing ones and he’s got just 2 UEs on the volley. Most of his 7 attacking errors would be from baseline-to-baseline situations and he’s got almost nothing to show for it in terms of ending points (and not much more than that in terms to persisting with attack in other ways to finish, as his net numbers indicate)

5 winner attempt UEs to o with 9 winners is also not good. Its probably prefarable to a swinging-for-the-hills showing. Roddick tries to attack sensibly, in balanced and building up way, usually culminating by coming to net. Things don’t go well for him up there

On the Rod volley vs Fed pass battle, almost all credit to Fed.

Rod's volleying is decenent. Just 2 UEs and the both return-approaching, the least important type of approaches as they’re not going to get him broken and which he uses in a nothing-to-lose sort of way (he’s 0/5 on the play). There’s room for improvement in placement of his volleys but nothing discredit worthy there either. Generally, Rod’s apt to ‘plonk’ volleys in middle of court leaving best possible chances for passer. His showing is better here. Volleys away from Fed most of the time, if not into corners and not plonking them. First volley he gets is usually at least firmly struck and slightly under net, the kind of ball that can be guided but is difficult to punch - and Rod makes them well (i.e. doesn't miss and doesn't plonk them)

He lunges and handles the tough volleys well - just a couple FEs (also a BH at net), including making a remarkable between-the-legs first ‘volley’ 1/2volley serve-volleying. He putsaway what’s there to be putaway (there isn’t much)

In nutshell, Rod’s net game - the instincts, the approach shots and the volleying - are potentially highly damaging. Instead, he sees 20 passes sail by and is down to 50% points won when at his most offensive

Large chunk of the 25 points Rod wins finishing at net are from overwhelming approach shots, stuff like Fed on the dead run reaching the ball inches from the ground. Whenever Fed can get reasonable look at a pass - including on the move - he usually wins the points passing him every which way - off the FH (8 times), off the BH (10 times), net-to-net (twice), cc (11 times), dtl (5 times), a lob… its a passing masterclass and all credit to Fed

Rod’s net points comprise -
- serve-volleying - 13/20 at 65%
- return-approaaching - 0/5
- rallying to net - 13/26

… with much of the serve-volleying being return errors. He's doing better serve-volleying than not serve-volleying, but not well enough to be confident of holding for long. Off first serves, Rod -
- aces/service winners 15% of time, and of what remains...
- serve-volleys 30% of time, winning 65%
- stays back 70% of time, winning 59%

Skimming over serve-return complex that’s basework of play, good and normal stuff

Fed serves within himself somewhat. The flat, hard service winner he finishes the match stands out as rare and brings home how rarely he goes for the knock-out serve in the match. The usual lot of variations, disguise and occasional wide second serves (the 2 aces are product of Rod moving in wrong direction for a premeditated FH return). Doesn’t draw particularly weak returns he can attack right of the bat. Its good for 34% unreturned - not particularly high on grass. Unreturnable first serve 27% of the time is good, but drawing 14 errors while serving 13 unreturnables is either sign of Roddick being very consistent on return or some held back serving. Its more the latter

Solid returning from Rod. Doesn’t have a read on Fed’s serve but not slow to react and as low errors suggest, not missing much. Not leaving Fed attacking third balls is a relative win for Rod’s returning. He’s 0/5 return-approaching. These are firm hits, not chips and Fed is immaculate on the pass. Not a bad pressure ploy to keep Fed on his toes, but Fed just happens to be on his toes anyway

Rod’s not overly big on the serve either and keeps high 69% first serves in - 7% more than Fed. Fed reading the serve well, virtually never caught out by direction and moving the right way as serve is hit. His returns tend to leave Rod with more of an advantage, though not a big one, then other way around

Unreturned rates sum it up - Fed 34%, Rod 33% and with Rod with the only double fault, return rates dead equal at 66%, with Rod's unreturned lot bolstered by serve-volleying (he serve-volleys 30% off the time off first serves, Fed 17%), Fed nominally having better of it. More practically, things are near enough to equal

Play is center-piece of action, not serve-return but serve-return being equal establishes a nice platform for play to flourish

In play, Fed with a rare more winners (36) than total errors (33) showing, forget about winners/UE differential and winners + errors forced/UE one. Top drawer and fair reflection of his showing

Rod’s -11 winners/UE differential and +9 when errors forced are added. Hits well from the back but can’t end points through Fed’s defences. Relies on coming to net to give his game teeth and that’s where he forces all those 20 errors (more than double his small 9 winners), but Fed’s shooting passing holes through him just as often as making FEs

Match Progression
Almost a perfect from Federer to start. He loses 1 point on serve in holding 4 times and breaks twice

5 easy holds into match (1 point having gone returners way), Fed strikes with pair of perfect BH passes (1 cc against low deep approach, 1 running dtl) to get to get into a return game. Some help from Rod to finalize the break - not putting away an OH leads to Fed's third passing winner of the game a few points later to bring up a second break point of the game. On it, Rod misses an attacking, third ball FH inside-in

Fed breaks again to end the set - starting game with a beautiful, chip BH lob winner and finishing with his sole return-pass winner of the match, a BH cc. 13 winners, forcing 4 errors and 1 UE in the set for Fed

Rod breaks for only time early in the second, taking both points Fed's at net for and a couple of Fed errors from the back accounting for the points. On top of Fed breaking back soon after, Rod struggles to hold for rest of set and survives 3 deuce games

Great game by Fed to break back for 3-3. 3 excellent returns lead to to him winning points and there's a poor volley right back at Fed that's dispatched FH longline for a winner

Rod serve-volleys and comes to net more as set wears on and is pushed to hold. He aces Fed with a a body serve.

Slightly odd 'breaker. Fed's on top from the get go after taking 3-0 lead - his return forces a BH at net error against a 2nd serve-volleying Rod and Rod misses an ambitious third ball FH winner attempt to give up the 2 mini breaks. Rod gains them both back immediatly, with a Fed BH UE and a beautiful, delicately played BH dtl slice pass winner to make score 2-3 and on serve

Rod doesn't win another point - Fed striking again with another BH cc passing winner and drawing a wide FH error to again go up 2 minis. And he consolidates by hitting the FH inside-in third ball winner that Rod had missed earlier before closing things out. Fed serves 35 points in the set, Rod 46

Third set is even enough but for the sole break game, which is about as good a return game as you'll find

Fed starts by dispatching a running FH dtl pass against an imperfect volley by Rod. Next point, he blasts the return which Rod somehow half-volleys between his legs (Goran Ivanesive went one better and hit a winner off a similar shot in the '98 final, though that wasn't a half-volley), but Fed smacks the follow up pass to leave an impossible volley

Nothing to be done about last 2 points Fed wins. Rod gets a low volley first up serve-volleying that he steers back at Fed, who dispatches it BH dtl. And after a Rod service winner saves the first break point, Rod comes in off a good FH inside-out approach (after Fed blocks back a big body serve) but Fed's BH cc pass is inch perfect for another winner and the break

No more (competitive) thrills as Fed serves out the match to 15 awhile later - starting with 2 aces (1 second serve) and finishing with service winner

Summing up, a stunning, top drawer showing from Federer as he shoots passing holes of both sides and in all directions through Roddick's solid net attacking game - and that's just the eye stealing part, with seemingly easy returning, fleet movement, coping with power and balls on the run and shot-making from the back just fading into background. A solid showing from Roddick but he can't get too much out the serve, can't outhit his opponent from the back and is left with coming to net to attack. Does it well enough and volleys solidly but is met by flurry of untouchable passes


Hall of Fame
Interesting, I got the impression that this wasn't a very good match from Roddick. Maybe I need to see it again.

Not a very good match, but I don't think there's anything wrong with it either

What is a 'very good match' from Roddick?

I'd say something based on large unreturned rate and drawing weak returns that he can blast FHs to

Here, typical of the match-up, Fed returns well (as in keeps the freebies down and even the commanding third ball chances). That seems to just be a function of their serve-return match-up. Something similar would come to happen to Fed himself from Andy Murray

Now what?

- he's not going to outsteady Federer from the back. Its just not his game. If he tries, he's unlikely to get more errors than he'll give up and even more likely, Fed will take charge and attack

- that leaves attacking. which he can do from the back or by coming in

He has a go at attacking from the back. They both do. 1 or the other hits a hard, wide FH cc to open up the court, both usually run it down and now you've got a lively rally. Fed gets the better of them... he can find the point ending shot way Roddick can't and he can get balls back defensively in a way Rod can't

So come to net. Which he does. And he keeps getting passed. Roddick's gained a (justifiable) rep as being a poor net player. But the shots he comes in off are strong shots, good to win 60%+ points behind, I'd say. He wins 50%, getting passed every which way. He doesn't volley badly. Misses very little and usually, the weaker volleys that Fed dispatches are drawn by a powerful pass


Few problems with Rod's game
- there's no disguise to his shots at all. Big swing, telegraphs where he's going. Fed's movement and anticipation might be exceptional, but Rod being patterned predictable and telegraphing where he's going to go has hand in Fed being able to be wherever the balls going

- his attacking shots from the back (the FH, basically) are based on brute power, not wide placement. Doesn't get them wide enough to go for winners. Its sort of exaggerated beat-down play. Fed knows where balls going, gets there and blocks them back

- he's not good at persisting with the attack from back to conclusion. His potential point-ending shot comes back, and he's apt to miss the next one. Contrast to someone like Nadal, who can keep hitting pressuring shot after pressuring shot until opponent - even someone like Federer - cracks to give up the error. Blake had similar problems with Federer

This cost Rod big in the '04 final. Here, he's more apt to come to net than keep blasting away from the back

- his volleys aren't killers (as in, they don't go for winners), which means opponent is left a shot on the pass at least. If he's plonking volleys, the passer might even be favoured to win bulk of points, which even in this most volleyer unfriendly of eras, isn't common

In this match, though he's not putting volleys in corners, he's not plonking them in middle of court either (he does hit a few more or less straight back to Fed, but that's minority). I'd call this as a very, very exceptional passing display from Fed than discredit Rod's volleying

Not seeing many options for Rod here

More generally, I get the sense that if his serve is is neutralized to extent Fed can and does, there are many players who can give him a tussle in court action. Throw in Fed's ability to thwart Rod's ball-bashing attacks and prospects get worse for Rod (leaving aside entirely Fed's attacking ability)

Throw in 20 untouchable passing winners beyond that, and this match is what you get


Bionic Poster
Interesting, I got the impression that this wasn't a very good match from Roddick. Maybe I need to see it again.

Think it's somewhat underrated, it was more mediocre than bad - @Waspsting does a good breakdown.

In 2004 Arod tried to hit through Fed but the margins ultimately tipped too far against him with his low percentage game. This match was the quintessential post 2005 match for Roddick, basically using his fh more as a set-up shot to either approach or force errors rather than point ending. He tried to target the backhand and many of these approaches by my recollection were inside-out, the TA chart seems to suggest this is likely: with more FH's going I/O than even cross court. Wasp also has Fed with more BH pass winners than FH. So he was a bit predictable targetting the weaker wing - a bit more of a spread may have paid off on a few points but it would also be silly to suggest he should have approached the Federer FH IMO.

For me Roddick didn't put quite enough on the approaches, they were solid but in the mood Fed was in they weren't damaging enough and Fed knew generally where they were going. I think positioning wise as well Roddick didn't help himself - he was getting too close to the net which hurt him on some volleys/passes where he was left flat footed. However this is basically the best anyone has played from the back of the court on grass IMO. Roddick's hands were tied unless he was going to have a career best serving day.