Match Stats/Report - Fognini vs Nadal, Monte Carlo semi-final, 2019

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Fabio Fognini beat Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-2 in the Monte Carlo semi-final, 2019 on clay

Fognini would go onto win his to date sole Masters title by beating Dusan Lajovic in the final. Nadal had been the triple defending champion and would go onto win the French Open shortly after. It was Fognini's 3rd win over Nadal on clay. To date, only 2 players have more

Fognini won 63 points, Nadal 46

Serve Stats
Fognini...
- 1st serve percentage (24/50) 48%
- 1st serve points won (15/24) 63%
- 2nd serve points won (14/26) 54%
- Aces 1
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (5/50) 10%

Nadal...
- 1st serve percentage (41/59) 69%
- 1st serve points won (18/41) 44%
- 2nd serve points won (7/18) 39%
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (4/59) 7%

Serve Patterns
Fognini served...
- to FH 24%
- to BH 61%
- to Body 14%

Nadal served...
- to FH 26%
- to BH 65%
- to Body 9%

Return Stats
Fognini made...
- 53 (18 FH, 35 BH), including 2 runaround FHs
- 4 Errors, comprising...
- 1 Unforced (1 BH)
- 3 Forced (1 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (53/57) 93%

Nadal made...
- 44 (17 FH, 27 BH), including 5 runaround FHs
- 4 Errors, comprising...
- 2 Unforced (2 FH), including 1 runaround FH
- 2 Forced (1 FH, 1 BH)
- Return Rate (44/49) 90%

Break Points
Fognini 6/10 (6 games)
Nadal 3/4 (3 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Fognini 20 (9 FH, 7 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)
Nadal 10 (5 FH, 3 BH, 1 BHV, 1 OH)

Fognini's FHs - 1 cc, 5 dtl, 1 inside-in/cc, 1 longline and 1 drop shot
- BHs - 1 cc, 4 dtl, 1 drop shot and 1 net chord dribbler

- 1 from a serve-volley point, a second volley FHV

Nadal's FHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl, 2 inside-out and 1 drop shot
- BHs - 3 cc (1 on which Fognini stopped playing)

- the OH was on the bounce

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Fognini 31
- 27 Unforced (13 FH, 14 BH)
- 4 Forced (3 FH, 1 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.5

Nadal 36
- 28 Unforced (19 FH, 9 BH)
- 8 Forced (5 FH, 3 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 43.9

(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
Fognini was...
- 7/7 (100%) at net, including...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve

Nadal was...
- 2/6 (33%) at net, with...
- 0/3 forced back

Match Report
An extraordinary, zoning performance from Fognini in a two part match, with partially difficult, windy conditions shaping action for about half the match

In first half, when winds are troublesome, both players hit safely, gently and just try to keep the ball in court. Fog scores odd blazing dtl winner to add a touch of variety to proceedings around heavy norm of gentle, who-blinks-first, dull play

In second half, Fog goes on a dtl winners spree off both both sides while Nadal continues to lop balls in play - and leaves his opponent in the dust

In first set, Fog has 10 winners and 21 UEs, which are good figures given how difficult both players find just keeping ball in court
In second, its 10 winners, 6 UEs. Nadal has 10 winners for the whole match

Its more accurate to seperate the match more finely than by set

Serving at 3-4, 0-15 in first set, Fog wins 35 of the next 43 points. And ironically, ends the run with his nose on the finish line - 5-0, 40-0 with 3 match points on serve and a bagel, to be exact. He manages to lose that game and the one after, with Nadal for the first time stepping up to attack - 4/10 Nadal winners and all 4 errors he forces in the match occur from 40-0 down to start of Fog's next service game (over 11 points). And Fog serves it out second time of asking

So 8 aggressively ended points over 11 points by Nadal in that very small portion of the match. Rest of match, its 9/98 (including FEs drawn by the serve)

So how bad are these winds? Bad enough to be problematic, but by time match starts, the worst seems to be over. The court at start is bare of clay in certain patches and looks like winds were severe prior to start to have made it that way. Some blowing about of Fog's hair and both players tight shirts. There's a lady in the first row whose long hair is mildly swung about by the wind. A towel is blown onto the ground just off court - it was on the edge of the players sitting area stand - at one point. Balls float through the air but aren't blown sideways and even slices go through more or less straight. A few balls that seem to check and require last minute adjustment by the players to handle. They're being a bit inconsistent - now close enough to calm, now picking up suddendly - is bigger problem than outright intensity of winds

Strong and random enough to hinder normal hitting, but not too bad and I'd discredit both players for the extent of the sloppiness of play in first set. Both just lop balls in play gently to keep balls in court and both blink regularly and at about the same rate to remain about even. Fog gets the odd blazing dtl winner off amidst it

When winds die down, Fog goes all in with blazing hitting, Nadal remains stuck in 'wind-mode'. Even with Nadal's soft, putting-balls-in-play game, Fog's success rate at scoring with his point ending shots off both sides is extremely impresssive. Nadal's left a spectator

The casual style of Fog's hitting is lovely to see. Stands bolt upright as he hits his shots. Sloppy errors look all the more sloppy for it, the blazing winners all the more amazing

With gentle serving, serve & return are largely insignifant factors. Just 1 ace in match and very lowunreturned rates (Fog 10%, Nadal 7%)

In play -
- Winners - Fog 20, Nadal 10
- Errors Forced - Fog 8, Nadal 4
- UEs - Fog 27, Nadal 28
- UEFI - Fog 48.5, Nadal 43.9

Nadal losing double the points via UEs as he wins aggressively is a poor showing. Throw in low UEFI - 75% of his UEs are neutral shots to 41% of Fogs' - completes picture of his play. Gentle, keep ball in play stuff. Might be ok in all out windy conditions, though even then, his UE rate would qualify as not good. Way he plays, keeping neutral UEs down is imperative to a far greater rate than for Fog, who's much more aggressive

Neutral UEs read Nadal 21, Fog 11. Roughly in proportion to how often they play neutrally - Nadal virtually always, Fog about half the time... a relative win for Fog here

Remaining half of time, Fog smacks balls dtl to finish at a stroke. In the wind or otherwise. Perfect shots either way and they don't come back

The milder attacks aren't too successful - Fog forces 8 errors while having 9 attacking UEs. That's not due to Nadal defending particularly well. Struggling to keep gentle routine groundies in play, it would be very unsual if he was defending well

The all in attacking ones are a different story - 20 winners, 7 UEs. Its classic, dtl based shot making, not the more delicate inside-out stuff. 5/10 FH winners and 4/7 BHs are dtl. Throw in a couple drop shots (1 of each side). And being 7/7 at net with 4 winners. An amazing performance

Not much point construction goes into them. Two players trade cc shots in routine way and Fog picks his moment to go for dtl winner and nails it. No setting up attempt with extra wide or hard hit cc shot first. Just very pure and basic, shotmaking excellence on show

Other potential factor in result is how Fog's BH holds up to Nadal's FH. Fog's BH has 14 UEs, Nadal's FH match high 19. In line with Nadal just keeping ball in play, not pressuring or hitting well enough even with his FH. In fact, FH is the loosest shot on show

Summing up, an amazing showing of simple, very basic dual winged, down-the-line shotmaking from Fognini. He's in the zone for about half the match and nails winners throughout that period. When its windy, he still gets the odd one off. Nadal looks to keep ball in play safely - understandable if unenterprising in wind - isn't particularly good at it and doesn't switch gears when winds recede
 

The Big Foe fan

Hall of Fame
Nadal Said it was the worst clay match of his life but I'd give that vote to his mugfest against murray of all people in 2015 Madrid final.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
Nadal Said it was the worst clay match of his life but I'd give that vote to his mugfest against murray of all people in 2015 Madrid final.
That 2015 final was so atrocious, he made Murray look like a clay god. But even that 2015 Madrid Nadal may have taken out the Mugdal that showed up in the 2019 MC match against Fognini.
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Nadal Said it was the worst clay match of his life but I'd give that vote to his mugfest against murray of all people in 2015 Madrid final.
That 2015 final was so atrocious, he made Murray look like a clay god. But even that 2015 Madrid Nadal may have taken out the Mugdal that showed up in the 2019 MC match against Fognini.
Interesting

There's a similarity in the softness of Nadal's shots between the two matches.

In '15, its just soft and loose. Here at least, you can put it down to the wind for half the match

Murray not the sort to overly punish such balls (and its not particularly easy to do on clay to extent of slapping winner after winner). Fog clearly is

Fog with 20 winners and forcing 8 errors, Nadal with 28 UEs - most of them neutral shots, and while hitting softly

Pretty bad from Nadal, no question. Think Fog deserves some kudos too. Perfect finishing shots, not half-trackers

Its atypical of Nadal to be thrown off by the wind to this extent. His showing in the French semi, where the wind was a lot worse than here, is probably the best in that kind of wind I've seen
 

The Big Foe fan

Hall of Fame
That 2015 final was so atrocious, he made Murray look like a clay god. But even that 2015 Madrid Nadal may have taken out the Mugdal that showed up in the 2019 MC match against Fognini.
2015 madrid final Nadal was hitting backhands 2 feets before the net and couldn't even break Murray of all people on clay.
Player like he was drunk or something, for which I'd not be surprised because that was his best tournament of the year so far.

There's no way 2015 nadal from madrid final would have taken down 2019 Montecarlo nadal. Though if they'd play, it'd a very ugly match.
 

The Big Foe fan

Hall of Fame
Interesting

There's a similarity in the softness of Nadal's shots between the two matches.

In '15, its just soft and loose. Here at least, you can put it down to the wind for half the match

Murray not the sort to overly punish such balls (and its not particularly easy to do on clay to extent of slapping winner after winner). Fog clearly is

Fog with 20 winners and forcing 8 errors, Nadal with 28 UEs - most of them neutral shots, and while hitting softly

Pretty bad from Nadal, no question. Think Fog deserves some kudos too. Perfect finishing shots, not half-trackers

Its atypical of Nadal to be thrown off by the wind to this extent. His showing in the French semi, where the wind was a lot worse than here, is probably the best in that kind of wind I've seen
Fognini for sure does deserve the credit for putting Nadal to the sword he deserved to be put up on.
If not for fognini, a bad AF nadal would've won MC. (Don't tell me lajovic or coric would beat nadal on clay in F/SF).
And tbf it looked business as usual for Rafa after he broke back in set 1 and then broke again to lead 3-1 on serve.
 

Third Serve

Talk Tennis Guru
Still a pretty shocking match honestly and can't believe it's already been 3 years since the Fabulous One won this tournament. Fog could have bageled Ned here :oops:
 
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