Match Stats/Report - Gomez vs Agassi, French Open final, 1990

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Andres Gomez beat Andre Agassi 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the French Open final, 1990 on clay

It was both players first Slam final and would turn out to be Gomez' only one. Agassi would go onto reach the final the following year also, losing to Jim Courier in the final

Gomez won 118 points, Agassi 119

Serve Stats
Gomez...
- 1st serve percentage (75/130) 58%
- 1st serve points won (49/75) 65%
- 2nd serve points won (27/55) 49%
- Aces 10 (1 second serve)
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (36/130) 28%

Agassi...
- 1st serve percentage (82/107) 77%
- 1st serve points won (55/82) 67%
- 2nd serve points won (10/25) 40%
- Aces 1
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (22/107) 21%

Serve Patterns
Gomez served...
- to FH 36%
- to BH 61%
- to Body 2%

Agassi served...
- to FH 37%
- to BH 63%

Return Stats
Gomez made...
- 81 (37 FH, 44 BH), including 4 runaround FHs
- 5 Winners (3 FH, 2 BH), including 2 runaround FHs
- 21 Errors, comprising...
- 20 Unforced (6 FH, 14 BH), including 1 runaround FH & 1 drop-return attempt
- 1 Forced (1 FH)
- Return Rate (81/103) 79%

Agassi made...
- 91 (35 FH, 56 BH), including 4 runaround FHs
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 26 Errors, comprising...
- 9 Unforced (2 FH, 7 BH)
- 17 Forced (8 FH, 9 BH)
- Return Rate (91/127) 72%

Break Points
Gomez 6/14 (8 games)
Agassi 5/13 (8 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Gomez 40 (17 FH, 8 BH, 6 BHV, 9 OH)
Agassi 22 (10 FH, 8 BH, 1 FHV, 1 OH, 1 BHOH)

Gomez' FHs - 4 cc (1 runaround return, 1 at net), 1 cc/longline, 3 dtl, 5 inside-out and 3 inside-in (2 returns - 1 a runaround)
- BHs - 3 cc, 3 dtl (1 return), 1 inside-out and 1 inside-in return

- 3 from serve-volley points
- 2 first 'volleys' (1 FHV, 1 FH at net)
- 1 second volley (1 BHV), played net-to-net

Agassi's FHs - 1 cc return (that Gomez left while 'delayed' serve-volleying), 5 dtl (2 passes), 3 inside-out (1 at net) and 1 inside-in
- BHs - 5 cc (3 passes, 2 at net), 1 dtl at net, 1 inside-out pass and 1 drop shot

- 1 OH was on teh bounce

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Gomez 72
- 57 Unforced (32 FH, 23 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 15 Forced (7 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 1 BHV)... with 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.7

Agassi 38
- 21 Unforced (9 FH, 12 BH)
- 17 Forced (8 FH, 8 BH, 1 BHV)... with 2 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.2

(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
Gomez was...
- 28/43 (65%) at net, including...
- 7/14 (50%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves
---
- 2/4 (50%) forced back

Agassi was 10/14 (71%) at net

Match Report
Close, somewhat unusual and therefore interesting match. Both quality and style of play varies across the match - of style, especially Gomez who switches from playing neutrally to going on attack from the back to turn play his way. If there is a decisive factor in outcome, it's strategy; Gomez plays a smart match, Agassi does not

Unusually for clay, who-plays-big-points better is a very big factor. Despite the result, Agassi is the slightly better player overall. How often do you see that in a four set, clay match?

Note Agassi winning 119 points to Gomez' 118, despite losing 3 more games. Note Gomez serving 130 points to Agassi's 107 or Gomez serving 55% of the points
Break points are near even - Gomez 6/14, Agassi 5/13 with both players having them in 8 games

The stats are a touch deceptive in that Gomez tanks 2 return games in last set when he's up a break, losing both games to love with hardly any effort. But there's enough there to indicate how close the two players are. Match can readily be divided into 2 halves

First Half - Agassi moving Gomez around, Gomez being moved around passively
Gomez is slow. His groundies are feeble and inconsistent. His return is inconsistent. And he has a fat serve
Agassi is not slow (as opposed to fast). His groundies are heavy and consistent. He struggles to return. His serve is a gimme

For two sets, Agassi moves Gomez side to side against that background

Gomez gets a lot of cheap points with the serve... credit his serve, not discredit Agassi's return. He needs that cushion badly because rallies go heavily against him
In addition to having much the better of play, Agassi also gets his share of unreturned serves... discredit Gomez' return, not credit Agassi's serve. Agassi's serve is a point starter. Note 20/21 Gomez return errors being marked UEs (Agassi also has an ace). He scarcely sends down a forceful serve all match - maybe 3 or 4, and even those are highly makeable for being forceful

And then they rally. Agassi moves Gomez about without hitting overly hard. Even stationary, Gomez gives up UEs sooner more often than later. On the move, the errors come to... he's slow to get to balls as well as inconsistent. Agassi's no wall either and misses odd shots. Rallies are not long

Second Half - Gomez firing FHs and blasting balls while moved around
Change "Gomez' groundies are feeble" to "Gomez hits out, low-ish percentage style" and throw in minor fluctuations in Gomez' serving and both players returning consistency

From feebly putting balls in play (and missing regularly trying), Gomez goes in for going for winners and other attacking shots. FH is the chief shot, though he's not too shy going for it off the BH either. He continues to miss quite regularly, but Agassi isn't necessarily in control

Agassi continues to move Gomez about for the most part, but two changes from first half

a) In first half, that'd been the dynamic in all games. here, it shifts to mostly on Agassi's service games. Gomez goes for huge shots early on his own serve games - sometimes coming to net, including serve-volleying. More often than not ends points in his favour doing so, with good amount of UEs too

b) Gomez is apt to go for a big shot while being moved around... missing more often than not, but he's not helpless and likely to gain a break sooner or later when a few land in in succession

Dynamic is un-clay like where every game or even every point is up in the air to be played out. Here, its more match long percentages at work... Gomez going for it and sooner or later a return game will come along when a bunch land in, and he can break

Agassi doesn't up his aggression. Match is mostly left on Gomez' racquet

This smart from Gomez. He'd only won the first set by holding with unreturned serves. In second set, Agassi got more comfortable returning - and more or less continued to do so in second half. With Agassi returning regularly (and Gomez continuing to miss regulation returns not infrequently), likely outcome shifted dependence to play rather than serve or return

In first half, play was controlled by Agassi. The disparity in the two players neutral baseline play is such that its very unlikely that would end well for Gomez, even if Agassi's level dropped... and that's leaving aside Agassi moving Gomez around which just made the errors come faster (and tired the 30 year old Gomez quicker). Excellent change by Gomez

Agassi doesn't shift gears, which amounts to relying on Gomez' attacks to falter more often than not. Its not necessarily a bad strategy. Gomez never full out zones and continues making UEs throughout (he has 57 to Agassi's 21)

In play, Agassi is +1 on winners to UEs, Gomez is -17. Throw in errors forced, Agassi is +16, Gomez breaks even

There was safe scope for Agassi to up his power hitting, without going to likely error-proneness increasing degree. Agassi's is fairly conservative in his moving-Gomez-around hitting. He doesn't need to hit too hard with Gomez movement
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Match Progression
Gomez' serve is the key to the first set. 12/29 or 43% of them go unreturned - including a second serve ace on set point - and allows him to hold comfortably. The exception is game 7 where he has to save 2 break points and is moved around and has to hold out from the baseline. Agassi misses a drop shot on his first break point... he goes for drop shots on important points all match (on both players serve games) and almost always loses the points. Not harsh to call it dumb

Gomez gains the break late in the set, in a game opening with Agassi missing an easy FH inside-in winner attempt to open court but ending with Gomez aggressively taking net and slapping away an OH

Gomez opens set 2 with a break also, but Agassi answers with one of his own right away. Both players return surely in the set, unlike the first (Gomez kept missing regulation returns in first). Agassi intensifies his moving-Gomez around play and the lefty's movements aren't up to handling it. He does manage to break with Agassi serving for the set at 5-1, but is broken again to lose the set. Gomez does not hold serve at all in the set

From struggling severely the first to comfortably in second, Agassi's returning settles to something in between for rest of match. He's challenged by very good serving, but makes enough returns to gain counter-play. Gomez ups his aggression too though and looks to blast the inevitable weak returns that come

Great game by Gomez to break to start the third with 4 winners and forcing an error out of Agassi (helped by a stupid drop shot that brings him in and leads to OH winner on break point)

He keeps his nose in front. Agassi isn't hitting too hard while moving Gomez about and the latter is able to counter with some counter-attacking shots on the run. Against run of play, Gomez is broken to love, highlighted bya couple of great Agassi pass winners (very sharp BH cc and FH dtl). Agassi drops the ball on serve right away though. From 40-15 up, he loses next 4 points - 2 of them due to drop shotting Gomez to net

4th set is the only one where Gomez clearly out plays Agassi. He breaks to go up 2-1 in a fantastic game with 4 winners coming out of all types of dynamics (counter-attacking, taking charge of point, brilliant shot out of regulation position)

Thereafter, Agassi tends to drop balls short and hit a bit less strongly than earlier. Gomez is able to run down balls more comfortably than before and is on point with his attacking shots. So confident is he that he even tanks a couple of return games, despite being up just 1 break. Just 1 scare for Gomez when he's taken to deuce and has to save break point, but strong serving - and a very good serve-volley play - sees him through

Serve & Return
Very strong serving from Gomez. Good chunk of unreturnably strong serves (10 aces plus other hard forced errors) but even the regular serves are hefty. Including second serves. Some kickers rise to Agassi's head and draw weak returns

While struggling to cope with hard wide serves, Agassi returns balls in reach heftily. His handling of the shoulder high returns probably make it look easier than it is. 72% return rate against this serve is good job from him

Agassi's serve is harmless as a firecracker and he just rolls balls in. Gomez' return is not much better. 79% return rate against this serve on this surface is distinctly disappointing at the degree of damaging he goes in for. In second half of match, he goes for - and makes - attacking returns. Why not go for them more often?

Note 5 return winners by Gomez. Also note just 4 runaround FH returns, but 2 of them being winners. With Agassi serving 63% to BH... he could have returned like this more often without strain. Though there's little difference between Agassi's 1st and 2nd serves, Gomez only brings on the fireworks against the second, accounting for Agassi winning just 40% second serve points. The kind of damaging returning Gomez does was quite doable even against Agassi's first serve, but Gomez usually pokes at it and regularly misses regulation or even simple returns

Play - Baseline & Net
This isn't a typical clay court match and Gomez, reputedly a clay courter, doesn't look like one

For one thing, his movements are below par. Two, he's neutral groundstrokes are inconsistent. He looks more like a low percentage, go-for-it will-miss-some type of player

55 groundstroke UEs. They're on the hard side, a number of them on the move. The swings to roundabouts of that is his 12 FEs are on the soft side, as much a product of reaching the ball late as anything

There's variety to his BH as he mixes in slices and top spin shots. Neither are consistent. On the whole, the shot looks feeble. Agassi doesn't try to break it down but does hit wider when going to the BH side, amidst moving Gomez side to size

FH yields 32 UEs - 9 more than BH, but is very damaging and the errors coming out of it are more aggressive shots. A lot of the 17 winners are runaround shots. When Gomez is on top of his game, he starts letting loose with big BH drives too. He has 6 baseline-to-baseline winners of that side (Agassi has 0)

The Agassi number brings home his approach to play. He's played well within his limits of being damaging. Moving-around-play is at least more dynamic than breaking-down-a-wing, though Gomez BH looks an invitation to be broken down, but Agassi stops well short of looking to overpower or overwhelm Gomez. When he steps it up right at the end of the match, it brings home how little he went in for it all match.

Still, very good numbers from the loser - 22 winners, 21 UEs and forcing 15 errors are excellent. Better than he looks in fact

Where Gomez is particularly good is in his net play. Excellent touch at net and with those long arms, he's able to reach strong, wide passes. Just a couple UEs and some excellent drop volleys to low and/or wide balls that would have been marked forced had he missed. Opposition is strong (i.e. Agassi's passing), much credit to Gomez in forecourt. And he's bold in manufacturing approaches or taking charge of points to come in at important junctures

Agassi barely comes in. Just 10 approaches. He wins all but one voluntary approach. Being so much in charge of baseline rallies, there's plenty scope for him to have done so more too

Where he's particularly bad is in going for drop shots. Its not necessarily a bad idea given Gomez' movements, but probably best to sprinkle them in at all times. Agassi barely hits a drop shot at normal times, but goes for it when down or up break point. He his 1 winner - and that's his only success. He brings Gomez to net to dispatch a groundstroke or run down the shot to leave himself in commanding position at net to volley away the rejoinder. Very poor sense of timing for such a risky shot... and he doesn't seem to learn

Summing up, good tight match if somewhat unusual. Gomez utilizes the big serve, is excellent at net while being picky in approaching. Agassi gets nothing out of his serve other than what Gomez' poor returning gives him and commands baseline play by running his opponent side to side. Gomez turns to going for blazing counter-attacking shots and makes enough to create chances for himself on return

Ultimately, it comes down to a few choice points. Gomez is at his best in them, taking charge of action. Agassi isn't and overplays drop shots on them

@CHillTennis might find this interesting

Stats for '99 final between Agassi and Andrei Medvedev - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-agassi-vs-medvedev-french-open-final-1999.611261/
 

CHillTennis

Rookie
Wow! Top-notch breakdown of the match Waspsting. :)

I really enjoyed reading your report.

After looking at these stats, it does surprise me to see how close the match actually was.

I seem to remember it feeling like Gomez was the better player overall.

The one thing that really stands out about this match was that Agassi was really never in control.

Gomez always had the scoreboard advantage since he served first. Even when Agassi was tearing through the second set, it still didn't feel to me like he was winning the match. But rather frantically trying to turn things around.

I still believe that Andre could have won this match had he kept the ball going cross-court with his forehand into Gomez's backhand.

There is a point where you can see him doing this effectively (I believe it's at 4-all deuce in the third set).

Gomez was a little bit slow to get to the balls and the key to beating him was to get him out wide on his backhand side.

Unfortunately for Andre, he chose to rally the ball into Gomez's forehand. Which was a losing proposition for him.

Especially once Gomez started to hit a lot of winners off of it during the third and fourth sets (as Waspsting pointed out).

Definitely a missed opportunity for Andre.

But you really have to admire how well Gomez stuck to his plan.

He was able to produce some beautiful tennis on the points that mattered the most.
 
agassi choked per his open bio. gomez should send him a fruit basket every xmas for his one slam gift. in fact had lendel played chances are gomez would have never made the final.
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
The one thing that really stands out about this match was that Agassi was really never in control.
That's how I saw it too. Mostly because he couldn't return comfortably

Gomez serves well, but not 'leaving-Agassi-no-chance' well

Even when Agassi was tearing through the second set, it still didn't feel to me like he was winning the match. But rather frantically trying to turn things around.
This I saw a bit differently. Struggling to return for a set against a strong serve is normal enough... if I was watching this live, I'd have felt Agassi had come to grips with it in second set and was good to go, if he could continue being superior in court play

Agassi has break points in all 4 return games in 2nd set. Has them in 2/4 set after too, but Gomez reasserts himself with the serve shot more (as well as ups his aggression behind it)

I still believe that Andre could have won this match had he kept the ball going cross-court with his forehand into Gomez's backhand.

There is a point where you can see him doing this effectively (I believe it's at 4-all deuce in the third set).

Gomez was a little bit slow to get to the balls and the key to beating him was to get him out wide on his backhand side.

Unfortunately for Andre, he chose to rally the ball into Gomez's forehand. Which was a losing proposition for him.
I saw Agassi's play being about moving Gomez side to side more than break-down-a-wing. He rarely hits 3 cc shots of either side in a row... his shots aren't necessarily enough to 'force' an error, but its likely to come with Gomez on the move and his movements not being too good

Agassi does seem to be hitting wider to Gomez's BH side... that is the side he seemed to fancy getting the error from more readily

His strategy is more dynamic than break-down-a-side, but he holds back in how hard he hits. Its not a bad strategy (the drop shots on important times are stupid though) and not badly executed either

Looking to break down Gomez's BH also suggests itself as a sound plan. Its a pretty feeble shot

A very similar match was Agassi's win over Marc Rosset in '94 Paris final... Rosset with huge serve, Agassi moving him around and ouplaying him, Rosset turning to lashing out with FHs and with an impotent BH


Definitely a missed opportunity for Andre.

But you really have to admire how well Gomez stuck to his plan.

He was able to produce some beautiful tennis on the points that mattered the most.
Agree and agree

Well as Gomez plays, Agassi is significantly better court player, whilst playing within himself. Gomez's big advantage is on the serve, which is strong but not decisively so (for example, Marc Rosset on carpet is much bigger). Even with that, it comes down to who-plays-big-points-better... and Agassi often makes poor choices on them

Gomez' game is the opposite of what one might expect. He was predominantly a clay courter, right? In this match, his game is the opposite of what I'd have expected of someone with that reputation

big serve. inconsistent return. below par movement. inconsistent groundies. High risk, high reward attacking FH the star of his groundgame. Regular trips to net, including serve-volley. Excellent net play.... this sounds like anti-clay tennis

Cool head and smart play are assets on any surface - and he shows plenty of both too
 
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