Match Stats/Report - Federer vs Roddick, Wimbledon semi-final, 2003

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Roger Federer beat Andy Roddick 7-6(6), 6-3, 6-3 in the Wimbledon semi-final, 2003 on grass

Federer would go onto win the title by beating Mark Philippoussis in the final to clam his first Slam title. Roddick would win his first at the next event at US Open. Coming into Wimbledon, Federer had won title in Halle, Roddick in Queen’s Club. The two would meet in the final the following two years and again in 2009, with Federer winning all the matches

Federer won 103 points, Roddick 80

Federer serve-volleyed off all but 3 first serves

Serve Stats
Federer...
- 1st serve percentage (51/84) 61%
- 1st serve points won (42/51) 82%
- 2nd serve points won (25/33) 76%
- Aces 18 (1 second serve - not clean & bad bounce related), Service Winners 2 (1 bad bounce related)
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (34/84) 40%

Roddick...
- 1st serve percentage (57/99) 58%
- 1st serve points won (42/57) 74%
- 2nd serve points won (21/42) 50%
- Aces 4, Service Winners 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (25/99) 25%

Serve Pattern
Federer served...
- to FH 43%
- to BH 54%
- to Body 4%

Roddick served...
- to FH 35%
- to BH 58%
- to Body 7%

Return Stats
Federer made...
- 74 (26 FH, 48 BH), including 1 return-approach
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 19 Errors, comprising...
- 3 Unforced (1 FH, 2 BH)
- 16 Forced (8 FH, 8 BH)
- Return Rate (74/99) 75%

Roddick made...
- 50 (25 FH, 25 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 14 Errors, comprising...
- 1 Unforced (1 BH)
- 13 Forced (8 FH, 5 BH)
- Return Rate (50/84) 60%

Break Points
Federer 3/8 (4 games)
Roddick 0/2 (1 game)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Federer 40 (17 FH, 8 BH, 5 FHV, 7 BHV, 3 OH)
Roddick 19 (3 FH, 4 BH, 6 FHV, 3 BHV, 3 OH)

Federer had 7 from serve-volley points
- 2 first volleys (2 BHV)
- 4 second volleys (3 BHV, 1 OH)
- 1 third volley (1 BHV)

- 1 from a return-approach point, an OH
- 1 other FHV was a swinging shot

- FHs - 9 cc (1 at net, 4 passes), 1 cc/inside-in, 2 dtl (1 pass), 1 inside-out, 3 inside-in and 1 longline pass at net
- BHs - 4 cc passes, 3 dtl (1 return) and 1 lob (that Roddick leaves)

Roddick's FHs - 1 dtl pass, 1 inside-in/cc and 1 longline/inside-out pass
- BHs - 1 cc pass, 2 dtl and 1 net chord dribbler

- 3 from serve-volley points
- 2 first volleys (2 FHV), both swinging shots
- 1 second volley (1 BHV)

- 1 other FHV was a swinging, non-net shot, 1 OH can reasonably be called a FHV and 1 other OH was on the bounce from the baseline

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Federer 36
- 16 Unforced (7 FH, 6 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 20 Forced (7 FH, 8 BH, 1 FHV, 2 FH1/2V, 2 BHV)... 1 FH1/2V can reasonably be called a FH at net
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 50

Roddick 29
- 14 Unforced (9 FH, 5 BH)... with 1 BH at net
- 15 Forced (6 FH, 8 BH, 1 BH1/2V)... with 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45

(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...
- 40/51 (78%) at net, including...
- 25/36 (69%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 30/29 (69%) off 1st serve and...
- 5/7 (71%) off 2nd serve
---
- 1/1 return-approaching

Roddick was...
- 24/39 (62%) at net, including...
- 4/7 (57%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves
---
- 1/1 forced back

Match Report
A top drawer, all-court equal parts graceful and fierce showing from Federer renders a ball bludgeoning Roddick invisible. Invisible, yes, out of the match, no

Match is a study in grass court tennis. Despite Fed having far, far better of action (again, in virtually all areas), as long as Roddick can hang onto his serve, he’s not out of it. And the outplayed Rod is very close to managing just that for 2 sets

Match long -
-Fed leads first serve in by 3%, first serve won by 8% and second serve won by 26%
- Fed’s second serve points won of 76% is higher than Rod’s first serve points won of 74%
- Fed wins 56% of the points while serving 46% of them
- Fed leads unreturned serves 40% to 25% (neither player double faults)
- Fed leads points in play 69-55 or wins 56% of them when a return is made

In holding 15 times, Fed’s taken to as little as 30 just twice. Rod by contrast holds 12 times and is taken to 30 6 times (on top of being broken 3 times)

Despite all of that… 3 points across 3 different games go the other way and Roddick’s probably 2 sets to love up rather than down. That’s grass tennis

For now, briefly, Rod has the first set point in 1st set tiebreak and gets his first serve in, draws soft return. And nets his attacking FH, before Fed takes the set

Second set opens with Rod having 2 break points (the only ones he does all match) before Fed holds 12 point game. Next game, Fed converts his third break point of a 10 point game to break. Rest of set is easy holds for both players

Fed does dominate the third, breaking twice while holding as easily as he has all match to seal the win

The two players approach the match differently. Fed serve-volleys virtually always off first serve (stays back 3 times, wins all 3 with winners) and usually stays back off 2nd serve (serve-volleys 28% of the time) and looks for early point ending FHs on them. And is massively successful doing both

61% first serves in, 82% won and 76% second serves won - clockwork holds for Fed

Roddick hammers down big serves.
Placement of his serve varies some across match, but its always big. Fed blocks back the bombs as well as possible with remarkable 75% reutrn rate but Rod’s left in charge of third ball. Rod rarely serve-volleys (just 14% of the time off first serves and none off 2nds) but bashes the third ball with FHs and moves forward to finish at net

58% first serves in, 74% won and 50% second serves won - not bad, nowhere near as good as Fed and with enough work to do with his FH and at net that its likely to give out sooner or later, even without Fed’s aggressive hindrance

Amidst very different approaches to pay, biggest difference between the two players is on the return. Fed’s is extraordinary, Rod’s has room for improvement, particularly against serve-volleying

Serve, Return & Serve-Volley
Extraordinary from Fed on both serve and return. Below personal par from Rod on the serve, but still very good by any normal standard (including Fed's high one) and he's somewhat out-matched on the return

Early on, Rod misses a bunch of first serves and after that, tones down the placement of it to raise in-count. It works but most first serves are within reach. Even within reach Roddick bombs are tough to return. Fed does so without any apparent difficulty. From second set onward, Rod serves a big wider and more challengingly. Fed continues making most returns, though naturally, missing a few more

Keeping Andy Roddick to 4 aces from 57 first serves and just 25% unreturned is one of the most remarkable things about Fed's overall showing. He doesn' return with authority, usually just blocking or pushing returns back in play, often a bit loopily. Rod gets comfortable third balls he can line up on whichever side he wants and naturally, he likes to take a big cut FH first up. Firmer, controlled returning against 2nd serves and again, Fed barely misses anything. Top job by Fed on the return. In particular, his sleek, gliding movements on the shot that make it look simple

It stands out next to Rod's returning, which just isn't upto handling Fed's serve. Rod's left as stone as Fed's serves go by and he either hasn't moved at all or is caught out on the stretch in dealing with first serves

This isn't unusual by general standard. It looks hapless against the exceptional showing on the other side

Rod's serve is considerably more powerful, Fed's considerably better placed. Still, some of Fed's aces down the middle that Rod doesn't move for are same calibre serves that come back, let alone not go for aces when Fed's returning

Off first serves, Fed has 19 aces/service winners, Rod 6 or Fed serving one 37% of the time, Rod 11%. A discrepancy that large inevitably is mostly about quality of serve, but movement on the return accounts for substantial part of it too

Unreturned rates read Fed 40%, Rod 25%. Given Fed serve-volleying 91% of the time off first serves to Rod's 14% and the huge discrepancy in aces/service winners, that's actually not too bad as far as making returns goes from Rod's point of view. If he can blast the returns that he does make against serve-volleys returning at that rate, its likely to get him into return games

He can't blast returns against serve-volleys. Gets the odd one off, that's all and Fed's upto handling it as often as not. Usually, he looks to go wide of Fed rather than straight at him with power - and misses the return. In other words, he doesn't look to test Fed on the regulation volley

Just 2 first volley winners from Fed speaks to his not having to volley too often (as does the 40% unreturned rate). Fed handles himself well enough in forecourt, but worth testing him on the volley. Which Rod doesn't do much of
 
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Waspsting

Hall of Fame
With Rod rarely serve-volleying, Fed's freer to focus on just getting return in play. And much of his returning would be putaway volleys against serve-volleying. 75% return rate against Rod on grass is very high, regardless. It doesn't actually lead to much though. Rod steps in and hammers FHs and comes in early on his first serve points and dominates them to tune of winning 74% first serve points (inferior to Fed's 82% but good to be holding regularly behind)

With Rod needing multiple shots in rallies to end points, Fed does create scope for him to mess up with attacking errors or missing volleys. For most part, Rod doesn't - and backs up the serve well

Play - Baseline & Net
Very high quality of play, both players with more winners than UEs, even without throwing FEs in

Winners/UE differential - Fed +24, Rod +5
Winners + FEs/UE differential - Fed +39, Rod +25

Given large lot of points starting on baseline - almost all of Rod's service points and most of Fed's 2nd serve ones - and large lot of unreturneds accounting for Fed's serve-volley winning points (points excluded from above numbers), these are remarkable numbers

Excluding all unreturned serves
, there are 124 points (Fed serves 50, Rod 74). Fed wins 69 of them, Rod 55... or Fed winning 56% while serving 40%. That's even better than he does overall

Sans unreturneds, Rod wins 39/74 or 53% of his service points. a low figure, potentially disastorous even given relatively low 25% unreturned
Fed wins 33/50 or 66% - a good figure, and overwhelming one given high 40% unreturned

Putting all that together confirms the obvious that Fed cruises on serve, but reaffirms Rod has done very, very well to keep scoreline respectable

As stated earlier, Fed's not overly tested on the volley when serve-volleying as Rod can't make the returns. The odd, powerful return from Rod giving Fed a tough, reaction volley. Fed's got 5 FEs on the 'volley' to 3 UEs (and 1 of those isn't particularly easy) to go with 7 winners from serve-volley points. All the errors are serve-volley points because Fed's a perfect 14/14 rallying to net and 1/1 return-approaching

Not great figures serve-volleying. Somewhat speaking to Rod making whatever returns he puts in play count. Not enough to justify the low unreturned rate though. And Fed not overly decisive on the volley
Rallying to net is a different story. Fed swats balls from the back and works his way to net. The approaches aren't overwhelming but take-charge shots from near routine positions. He's faced with tricky volleys or powerful passes and makes them all

Rallying to net and chip-charging, Fed's got 15 winners 0 errors

Hitting his way to net and taking on challenging net situation is Fed's second string offensive starting from baseline. The first is lashing FH winners. He's got 10, along with 3 BH dtl's (1 a return). Just 7 FH UEs to go with that, a good lot of those are winner attempts. Rod has just 3 baseline-to-baseline winners

Baseline play is hard hitting from both players, especially off FH. Fed's apt to whip the FH cc extra hard and slightly wider to take charge - or finish the point. When backing away against decent returns, he goes inside-in rather than inside-out. Fed literally hits lines with his FHs repeatedly. BHs are mostly struck firmly cc, with occasional aggressive dtl thrown in and a few average slices that don't stay particularly low.

From those neutral starting points, Rod is apt to get outhit of the FH, though he smacks his powerfully too. And his BH proves to be steadies shot on show
 
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Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Baseline-to-baseline UE counts -
- Rod BH 4 (excluding a BH at net)
- Fed BH 6
- Fed FH 7
- Rod FH 9

And UE types -
- Neutral - Fed 7, Rod 8
- Attacking - Fed 2, Rod 5
- Winner Attempts - Fed 7, Rod 1 (last point of match)

Neutral rallies don't go on for long. Both look to muster a power advantage to extent of moving up to attacking. About a wash of consistency, and both solid. Rod a little more so than the 7-8 count indicates as more of Fed's are beaten out of him and pseudo defensive shots (if not FEs)

Attacking and winner attempts UEs speak to difference in the way the 2 look to end points. Fed goes for his winners - from net, from the baseline, from regulation positions nearly as often as from advantageous ones and is apt to go for them from just slightly advantageous positions. Negligible attacking errors - because his attacking play shoot straight ahead to going for winners. 7 winner attempt UEs to 40 winners would be supremely good at any time, but even more so given adventurous shot choices and how close he goes to lines

Rod's offense springs out of his serve and a bludgeoning FH to follow it up that he usually follows to net. He rallies to net a huge 32 times (Fed just 14) and wins 20 of those. FH is powerful and approach shots are too. He doesn't go wide so isn't likely to score winners and as noted earlier, some of Fed's 7 neutral UEs are reactive efforts. Rod's attacks are an extension of that. Just 3 baseline-to-baseline winners, but he forces errors with his power. He's quick to come in as insurance and his approaches are close to overpowering

His volleying is similar to his power hitting. Doesn't miss but doesn't go too wide unless the ball is a putaway. Looks awkward, highly so at times, but doesn't miss anything. Literally, 0 volleying errors from Rod (he misses a BH at net and a BH1/2V, but not volleys)

Fed though has 11 passing winners (which is actually 1 more than Rod's net winners), and keeps Rod to 62% net points. Given the powerful approach shots he comes in behind, that's not a good number from Rod. Some superb passing from Fed. Rod's ordinary volleying placement leaves Fed scope to get a decent pass off, but Fed outdoes himself, working Rod over with powerful pass after powerful pass before he can get one by. Good job by Rod to put the tough volleys back in play too

Finally, defence is notable though not a major factor in outcome for Federer. He resists Rod's power hitting, makes Rod hit one more ball or putaway the volley. Doesn't come to much as Rod almost always ends up winning the points (hence, low 6 attacking/winner attempt UEs) but it does keep Rod under pressure to deliver. That he does so is why scoreline is reasonable. Failure to do so would be decisive factor in the pair's final the following year

There is no defence possible against Federer's attacks

Match Progression
No breaks in the first set, but Fed has much easier time of holding going into the tiebreak. He serves 28 points to hold 6 times (or loses 4 points), Rod 39

Fed serve-volleys off virtually all first serves and Rod struggles to return. 17/35 or 49% of Fed's serves go unreturned (for rest of match, its 17/49 or 35%) and he doesn't have a single serve-volleying winner. Fed stays back off virtually all second serves and is quick to lash point ending FHs early on them to tune of winning 7/9 second serve points

Rod gets just 5/15 first serves in to start the match, and has to endure a 10 point, tough hold saving the only break point. Thereafter, he eases up on going wide with the serve and makes 21/31 first serves. Still a huge serve and Fed does exceptionally well to block the bombs back in play, though rarely with any heat

In third game, couple of Rod third ball UEs (1 of each side) and a Fed FH dtl pass winner brings up the only break point. Rod wins next 3 points - all 2nd serve points - to hold, 2 of them via Fed neutral groundstroke UEs (1 of each side)

2 players share 9 winners (including an ace) in successive points across 2 games at one stage. Plenty of would-be memorable shots, particularly from Fed, only they're so common as to blend into general picture of play. A lashed FH inside-in winner to a normal ball, drawing Rod in and passing him BH cc and a powerful return + FH cc winner 1-2 stand out for Fed. Rod dismissing a swing FHV dtl from well behind service line is the pick of his shots

In the breaker, after mini-breaking to start, Fed misses a simple third ball attacking FH to hand it back. After going up mini-break again, Fed misses a not easy first volley later on against a hefty return to keep things on serve

The crucial and unique point comes at 5-5. For first time, Fed serve-volleys behind a second serve. For the only time, Rod runsaround to blast a FH return that's too powerful for Fed to handle to give himself set point. On set point, Rod gets in his first serve, draws a soft return and nets the same attacking third ball FH inside-out Fed had at start of the game
Normal service is resumed thereafter, with Fed smacking a FH inside-in winner from regulation position and serving out with another unreturned serve

In second set, Fed starts serve-volleying occasionally off 2nd serves and actually misses a few makeable returns. Rod shifts his serving to a bit wider and Fed continues to make most returns. Lower unreturned rates from first set for Fed leads to more shot-making and winners and in return games, he scrambles to make Rod hit one more ball to end points

Impressive hitting from Rod, including 2 different kinds of passing winners and an error forcing powerful FH brings up his first break point in the 2nd set opener. Fed takes net to save it, but is down break point again afterwards, which he erases and goes on to hold with aces and a service winner

Fed follows up with a break. Clever longline slice draws error, Rod misses another routine third ball FH inside-out to bring up third break point of game, on which, Rod manages to put in play 2 very difficult lunging volleys before Fed dispatches the third pass for a FH cc winner. Easy holds from there to end of set - and lots of perfect winners from Fed, both at net and from baseline. He ends the set with a particularly flashy FH cc at net after powering his way forward that has both players smiling

Third set is quite comfortable for Fed. Breaks to move ahead 3-2 with 3 winners and Rod missing a routine slice on break point. Wonderful serve-volley point awhile later starting with Fed 1/2volleying a powerful return and ending with a running, third volley winner

Fed breaks again to end the match from 30-0 down. 4 Fed winners - including 3 top class passes - helped by a horror BH at net error by Rod decorate the game. On the third break point, Rod misses his first winner attempt of the match, a third ball FH inside-in

Summing up, glorious, near perfect performance from Federer - serving with beautiful precision, returing a huge serve with assurance, moving like a swan in attack or defence, lashing FHs from regular positions for winners or hitting his way to net to take on and make tough volleys to finish, remaining consistent doing all of the above and even resisting Roddick's power hitting, forcing the attacking Roddick to hit one more ball and giving him, who comes in off very strong approach shots, a work-out at net with series of top class passes

A very good match from Roddick too, who does well to keep scoreline respectable. Doesn't serve too wide, but still big. Not upto handling Federer's serve. Hits hard and steadily from the back, while not hesitating to come forward to finish. Just outclassed

Stats for the final between Federer and Mark Philippoussis - Match Stats/Report - Federer vs Philippoussis, Wimbledon final, 2003 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
 

Kralingen

Talk Tennis Guru
Roddick tried - almost literally - everything in this match. I’ve seen an unbeatable Federer, but he was never as free and inspired as he was on this day imo. On grass I’m not sure if there’s ever been a performance with the improvisational, freestyling exuberance that Federer brought here. This is the day Roger Federer evolved.
 

Third Serve

Talk Tennis Guru
Still Fed's very best grass court match in my opinion, and this tournament his best Wimbledon performance. Some seriously jaw-dropping stuff, and Roddick actually played fairly well here.

It's interesting that, like in the 2009 final, though Roddick is completely out of his league in every aspect of the game, the serve is just enough to keep the match interesting, often trimming things down to a few points that could go one way or the other. Like that one set point in the first set. Still, though, I think Roddick served a little below his norm that day.

It's also kind of surreal watching this match and then going to the 2005 final. Both beatdowns, but they're so different from each other. Here, Fed's playing something that's not exactly old-school grass tennis here but still quite close to it with all the net and forecourt play, but I got the impression that the 2005 final was much more of a baseline domination.

I think this is one of Wasp's better match analyses (and there's stiff competition for that). Very interesting read, all three posts of it.
 
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mike danny

Bionic Poster
At that time Fed was a major headcase and this was his first really big match. You'd think pressure would get to him.

Instead, out of nowhere, he delivers back to back masterclasses in the semi and final in what were the biggest matches of his career at that point. That's like Shapovalov coming out of nowhere and winning a slam.
 

Roddickulous1

Semi-Pro
Great breakdown.

This was peak Fed on grass, just sublime all-court tennis. Out of all the things, his court coverage probably stood out the most to me when I watched this match.

Roddick could've served a bit better, both in percentage and placement. Also should've capitalized on that SP in the TB. Not a guarantee he would've won the point but I'd give him a very good chance of doing so. And yeah, a set like that is an example of why margins are slim on grass. Federer looked like the better player that set (he was doing way more damage on return) but Roddick kept up with him to force a TB due to his serve and the TB can boil down to a few points/errors here and there.
 
D

Deleted member 780630

Guest
Came up with the GOAT performance in his first try on the big stage only to never match this level again. Came close several times, but simply set the bar too high here. The Citizen Kane or Illmatic of tennis matches.
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
It's interesting to think how different tennis history might have been had Roddick taken his set point in the first set. Brad Gilbert was obsessed with it for a while afterwards. It became a beatdown in the second and third sets.
 

The Guru

Legend
It's interesting to think how different tennis history might have been had Roddick taken his set point in the first set. Brad Gilbert was obsessed with it for a while afterwards. It became a beatdown in the second and third sets.
What changes most likely is Fed in 4. Fed was just on a different planet that day. As Wasp said Roddick wasn't even bad Fed was just ridiculous.
 

Kralingen

Talk Tennis Guru
3 FH winners on grass court and 9 FH error what a mythical peaking FH performance from Roddick.
“Very high quality of play, both players with more winners than UEs, even without throwing FEs in

Winners/UE differential - Fed +24, Rod +5
Winners + FEs/UE differential - Fed +39, Rod +25”

You also have to remember Roddick was hitting a lot of these shots as volleys, #1 and #2, Federer got his racket on a lot of balls that were set to be clean winners (making them FEs, not winners)

have you tried watching the match?
 

Third Serve

Talk Tennis Guru
“Very high quality of play, both players with more winners than UEs, even without throwing FEs in

Winners/UE differential - Fed +24, Rod +5
Winners + FEs/UE differential - Fed +39, Rod +25”

You also have to remember Roddick was hitting a lot of these shots as volleys, #1 and #2, Federer got his racket on a lot of balls that were set to be clean winners (making them FEs, not winners)

have you tried watching the match?
lol I've already given up with that guy, good luck my dude
 

ND-13

Hall of Fame
“Very high quality of play, both players with more winners than UEs, even without throwing FEs in

Winners/UE differential - Fed +24, Rod +5
Winners + FEs/UE differential - Fed +39, Rod +25”

You also have to remember Roddick was hitting a lot of these shots as volleys, #1 and #2, Federer got his racket on a lot of balls that were set to be clean winners (making them FEs, not winners)

have you tried watching the match?

Must be one of those who started watching sport when the NextGen Event Unfurled.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
Also given that he had a positive Winner UE ratio overall, the winners had to come from somewhere. Perhaps the much maligned Roddick backhand wasn’t as bad as most believe?

Difficult decisions to be sure.

I have Roddick with 24 winners to 10 UEs (+44 errors forced from fed)

3 fh winners, 4 bh winners, 7 fh volley winners, 3 bh volley winners, 2 oh winners, 4 aces, 1 service winner

those net winners - a big chunk were set up by the fh

 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
3 FH winners on grass court and 9 FH error what a mythical peaking FH performance from Roddick.
9 FH winners according to Ultimate Tennis Statistics:

Mark Philippoussis also made 9 FH winners in the WB 2003 final:

Just compare it to the Wimbledon 2018 SF. Nadal made 42 FH winners and Djokovic made 26 FH winners.

I guess hypothetical peak Roddick is better than real-life peak Roddick.
 
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NeutralFan

G.O.A.T.
9 FH winners according to Ultimate Tennis Statistics:

Mark Philippoussis also made 9 FH winners in the WB 2003 final:

Just compare it to the Wimbledon 2018 SF. Nadal made 42 FH winners and Djokovic made 26 FH winners.

I guess hypothetical peak Roddick is better than real-life peak Roddick.

Medvedev made 50+ winners off ground in both finals and Nadal made 65 winners off ground in AO 22 against a backboard who was returning 97% of Nadal's serve in set 4 , yet it was a low level final from him. Hit 21 winners in 3rd set alone.

Peak Mythical Roddick is not just better than real Roddick but he beats everyone except peak Federer.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
9 FH winners according to Ultimate Tennis Statistics:

Mark Philippoussis also made 9 FH winners in the WB 2003 final:

Just compare it to the Wimbledon 2018 SF. Nadal made 42 FH winners and Djokovic made 26 FH winners.

I guess hypothetical peak Roddick is better than real-life peak Roddick.

that's not FH, but fh wing.
And forced errors with fh matter.

also comparing directly with a match more than twice the # of points with neither nadal/djoko being at peak movement?

FH wing winners from Roddick in Wim 04 final in 4 sets : 25
compare to 26 from Djoko in 5 sets in Wim 18 semi


and Roddick was up against peak 2004 fed, a significantly better player than Wim 18 semi Nadal or Wim 18 semi Djoko (including offense AND defense)

when Nadal was up against peak Djoko in Wim 11 final - he hit 10 winners off fh wing only (in a 4-setter, albeit 2 sets were shorter than normal)

a little worse rate than Roddick's vs fed in Wim 03 semi

nadal had 31 fh wing winners in 5 sets in Wim 08

29 fh wing winners in 5 sets in Wim 07 (shorter 5-setter than Wim 08, but longer match than Wim 04 final)

those 2 from nadal are similar rate to Roddick's Wim 04 final perf.

Djokovic had 12 fh wing winners in Wim 12 semi vs Fed in a 4-setter.

this is worse than Roddick's Wim 03 semi given roddick was up against a significantly better federer and over 4-sets.
 
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NatF

Bionic Poster
9 FH winners according to Ultimate Tennis Statistics:

Mark Philippoussis also made 9 FH winners in the WB 2003 final:

Just compare it to the Wimbledon 2018 SF. Nadal made 42 FH winners and Djokovic made 26 FH winners.

I guess hypothetical peak Roddick is better than real-life peak Roddick.

There were over twice as many points in the Wimbeldon 2018 SF...
 

Rafa4LifeEver

G.O.A.T.
At that time Fed was a major headcase and this was his first really big match. You'd think pressure would get to him.

Instead, out of nowhere, he delivers back to back masterclasses in the semi and final in what were the biggest matches of his career at that point. That's like Shapovalov coming out of nowhere and winning a slam.
I don't like this post, gentleman.
 

Roddickulous1

Semi-Pro
It's interesting to think how different tennis history might have been had Roddick taken his set point in the first set. Brad Gilbert was obsessed with it for a while afterwards. It became a beatdown in the second and third sets.
I mean barring some mental implosion on Fed's end which I'd say was highly unlikely, Fed would've won in 4. I do think Roddick should've taken the first set (the SP was on his racket and in an advantageous position) but it would've been a case of sneaking it out instead of playing outright better tennis. Fed was holding serve a lot easier than Roddick was even in the 1st.

Winning the first set would give Roddick more confidence too tho and he probably does put up a better fight. If you look at all their 24 matches, whenever Rod won the first set, I dont think he ever got beatdown afterwards.
 
It's interesting to think how different tennis history might have been had Roddick taken his set point in the first set. Brad Gilbert was obsessed with it for a while afterwards. It became a beatdown in the second and third sets.
There is too much stock put into these "history changing" moments lol. Like when people say the Agassi RR win at YEC 03 is the reason Federer was finally unlocked and started dominating like no other.

This stuff was gonna happen anyway as it was a result of an amazing player finally maturing or in case of 2003 maturing without consistency.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
He was on a different planet after winning the first set.

Federer won 37% of return points in 1st set to Roddick's 20%. He was clearly better in the 1st set before the TB.
Federer lost 4 points on serve before the TB in the 1st set. Roddick 11 points.
Federer had a BP, Roddick did not.
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Is there a typo with Andy's serving stats? They only add up to 90%.

thanks for the catch - editted accordingly. Should have read 35% to FH, not 25%

Raw numbers (which with Roddick serving 99 times is virtually interchangeable with percentages
- to FH 35
- to BH 57
- to Body 7

(Yes, I read your write-ups closely.) :sneaky:

:) Very glad to hear it!

If you ever spot something like that being off, please let me know. Other than net points and break points, there are auto multiple checking mechanisms for everything so if final counts are off by even a point, I can see it easily - and they're all lined up when I post

Typos though happen

I occasionally write the wrong score - and once, left it out altogether. Got a comment along lines of "all that detail... and you didn't even give the score"

I think this is one of Wasp's better match analyses (and there's stiff competition for that). Very interesting read, all three posts of it.

Thanks

don't think I've ever gone 3 posts for a 3 setter. Definitely not for a modern match. Its a special showing, probably my favourite of Federer's (or anyone for that matter) and particularly fun because of all-court, serve-volley + baseline-shotmaking nature (also the defence)

He became a less interesting player when he cut back on coming to net

Some stats trivia on this run, Federer keeping up a Wimby tradition of having more winners than errors (that's UEs and FEs combined, so a matter of fact with no interpretation involved) in play in both final and semi of a title run

40 winners, 36 errors here
29 winners, 20 errors in the final

McEnroe '83, Cash in '87, Becker in '89, Agassi in '92 all did this (In Cash and Agassi's case, the quarters too) and I'm sure there's more that I haven't statted. In the final alone, its norm in serve-volley era

Not too difficult to do with serve-volley and return-passing making up all action but would be almost impossible from baseline. Individual baseline matches with more winners than errors are very, very rare

Pretty sure it hasn't been done since. Of top of my head, hasn't been done in even just the final since (I've got all but '05, '17, and '18 statted)

Perhaps the much maligned Roddick backhand wasn’t as bad as most believe?

Match low UEs both here and following years final. Also both years in their Canadian Open matches... keeping UEs low as possible being BHs primary job

Has match high in the '09 Wimby final too
 
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TheFifthSet

Legend
9 FH winners according to Ultimate Tennis Statistics:

Mark Philippoussis also made 9 FH winners in the WB 2003 final:

Just compare it to the Wimbledon 2018 SF. Nadal made 42 FH winners and Djokovic made 26 FH winners.

I guess hypothetical peak Roddick is better than real-life peak Roddick.


As I’ve said before, Federer basically has the attributes of a player that was designed in a lab to beat Roddick. He’s a clearly superior player even beyond the confines of the match-up, but the match-up was uniquely and historically disadvantageous for the American.

Roddick’s forehand had two things going for it in its prime: it had sneaky-good shot tolerance (from a standstill position/closed-court dynamic) and it was huge. Absent his opposition opening up the court it was rarely spraying or beaten for pace. This is why he held up better than you would’ve expected off the ground against Djokovic and Nadal—two all-timers off the ground, but two guys that opted to play closed-court more than Fed.

So, from a standstill, his forehand was glorious and the heavy pace + lack of a shotmaking bent tended to force a lot of errors while also producing relatively few winners (hence why winner counts tend to undersell him).

However, he also lacked two things: the ability to open up the court with precisely-angled ground strokes, and the ability to go from defence to offence when cornered—leaving himself vulnerable to guys who DO open up the court.

Enter Federer. Peak Federer was one of the best shot-makers ever and his M.O was to lash big forehands all around the court. Moreover, he was close to impervious to ball-bashing at his best, and could parry closed-court ball-bashers with a mix of shot-making, variety and defensive half-volleying that made it a silly strategy on a faster court unless your court coverage was A1 (see: Nadal).

Roddick’s specific make-up off the ground also made him unable to exploit one of Federer’s (relative) weaknesses: second serve returning. Federer is an ATG first serve returner, but his second serve return has never been phenomenal (both numbers and eye test-wise) despite a handsome supporting game.

And yet, out of 64 players with 5+ matches against Roddick, Federer is 4th best at returning his second serve—beating out the likes of Nadal, Djokovic, Hewitt, Agassi, Davydenko…all better second serve-returners. Expand to 10 matches (thus correcting for small sample size skew), Federer comes in at second best out of 17…#1 was Andy Murray, who notched less than half the matches (11) against A-Rod and 0 from Roddick’s peak in 03-05.

That’s not a coincidence. Anyway, the second serve woes encapsulate the match-up: he’d be passive off the third ball, which played into Federer’s hands, or he’d ramp up the aggression, except it was the type of aggression that also played into Federer’s hands. Even coming to net didn’t help because Federer loves a target off the pass more than most and that’s what Roddick gave him with those closed-court forays. Welp.

TL;DR: Fedr gud, Rodk outclassed but Rodk also good and bettr than 3-21 suggest bcoz Fedr kryptonite for Rodk

PS: also see @abmk’s post (same goes for you, @NeutralFan) :

I have Roddick with 24 winners to 10 UEs (+44 errors forced from fed)

3 fh winners, 4 bh winners, 7 fh volley winners, 3 bh volley winners, 2 oh winners, 4 aces, 1 service winner

those net winners - a big chunk were set up by the fh



^Goes to show that winners ain’t everything, especially in Roddick’s (or even Nadal’s) case, and those 9 fh-side winners compare pretty well to the 11 he hit against Nadal in Miami ‘10, which everyone would agree was a fantastic showing from Roddick off that side.

Heck it especially isn’t the be-all end-all in Rafa’s case cuz his opponents hit more winners than him off the fh side more often than not in big matches, even Fed in the ‘08 RG final of all matches (11-7…yes, only 7..yet Nadal’s fh was devastating that day).
 
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