Match Stats/Report - Murray vs Nadal, US Open semi-final, 2008

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Andy Murray beat Rafael Nadal 6-2, 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4 in the US Open semi-final, 2008 on hard court

The result saw Murray reach his first Slam final, where he would lose to Roger Federer. Nadal had won French Open, Wimbledon, the Olympics and would go on to win the next Australian Open

Murray won 149 points, Nadal 126


Serve Stats
Murray....
- 1st serve percentage (70/108) 65%
- 1st serve points won (55/70) 79%
- 2nd serve points won (24/38) 63%
- Aces 22 (1 not clean), Service Winners 3
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (47/108) 44%

Nadal...
- 1st serve percentage (120/167) 72%
- 1st serve points won (71/120) 59%
- 2nd serve points won (26/47) 55%
- Aces 7, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (33/167) 20%


Serve Pattern
Murray served...
- to FH 37%
- to BH 63%

Nadal served...
- to FH 36%
- to BH 58%
- to Body 7%


Return Stats
Murray made...
- 132 (51 FH, 81 BH), including 1 runaround FH & 1 return-approach
- 2 Winners (2 BH)
- 25 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (3 FH, 1 BH)
- 21 Forced (2 FH, 19 BH)
- Return Rate (132/165) 80%

Nadal made...
- 58 (23 FH, 35 BH), including 6 runaround FHs
- 2 Winners (2 BH)
- 22 Errors, comprising...
- 8 Unforced (5 FH, 3 BH), including 3 runaround FH attempts
- 14 Forced (5 FH, 9 BH)
- Return Rate (58/105) 55%

Break Points
Murray 4/20 (10 games)
Nadal 2/3 (3 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Murray 37 (14 FH, 11 BH, 4 FHV, 5 BHV, 1 BH1/2V, 2 OH)
Nadal 25 (11 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV, 5 BHV, 3 OH)

Murray's FHs - 3 cc, 4 dtl (1 pass), 4 inside-out, 1 longline, 2 running-down-drop-shots at net (1 dtl, 1 longline pass)
- BHs - 6 cc (2 returns), 2 dtl (1 pass), 1 inside-out/dtl, 1 running-down-drop-shot at net pass and 1 net chord dribbler

- 4 first volleys from serve-volley points (3 BHV, 1 OH)

- 1 BHV was a lob, played from behind the service line and has not been counted a net point

- the BH1/2V was played from no-man's land

Nadal's FHs - 3 cc (1 pass), 2 dtl passes, 4 inside-out, 1 inside-in and 1 longline pass
- BHs - 1 cc return pass, 3 dtl (2 passes - 1 of them a return) and 1 at net

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

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Murray 65
- 49 Unforced (27 FH, 20 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 16 Forced (9 FH, 4 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.5

Nadal 63
- 29 Unforced (17 FH, 10 BH, 2 FHV)
- 34 Forced (17 FH, 15 BH, 1 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.6

(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
Murray was...
- 29/41 (71%) at net, including...
- 12/18 (67%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 9/13 (69%) off 1st serve and..
- 3/5 (60%) off 2nd serve
--
0/1 return-approaching

Nadal was...
- 17/29 (59%) at net, including...
- 6/9 (67%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves

Match Report
Possibly Andy Murray finest performance as he virtually shuts down Nadal. Nerves is the only area Nadal has an advantage and he utilizes it to keep the match more competitive than it looks

Serve & Return
Murray cruises through serve throughout, Nadal struggles almost throughout. Statistically, this comes shining through with Murray serving 108 points (Nadal 167) and having break points in 10 games (Nadal 3). Murray is serves particularly well, banging down 25 unreturnable serves and finishing with a very high 44% unreturned serves. Noteworthy is Nadal only makes 22 return errors.... its very rare for a player to have fewer return errors than his opponent has aces/service winners, though more likely to happen to Nadal, who's forte on return is getting balls back in play few others could. This is an indication of how well Murray served and also, that Nadal returned surely

On the flip side, Murray takes a leaf out of Nadal's book and returns first serves from about as far back as you can stand. He's so far back that there's a risk of him hitting the line judge with his racquet swing. He mixes up how he takes the second serve... sometimes staying further back than usual, sometimes returning normally. Most often, he stands a couple steps behind baseline but hops forward as he makes the return

Whatever he does, it works. 80% return rate and a fair number of initiative grabbingly forceful returns. And it shapes the playing action...

Play - Baseline & Net
You'll often hear people wonder why players don't serve-volley against Nadal returning from a deep position. Clearly, Nadal himself knows how to deal with a deep returner. He - one of the most reluctant serve-volleyers in the game - follows his serve to net now and then (but a lot for him) to capitilize on Murray's deep return position. With reasonable success, but he doesn't do it much (9 times). Murray does the same, off both serves. A bold move for a usually non-S'Ver against the heavy Nadal return.... off first serve, his serve is strong enough to come in behind and off second serve, he's able to get closer to the net

Both players win 67% serve volleying

Baseline play (the bulk of the action) is characterized by Murray's clean ball striking. Off both wings, he hits clean as a whistle, even when making errors. Initially, he focuses his attack to Nadal's FH with great success... as the match goes on, Nadal holds up better

Murray returning from well back gives Nadal the chance to step up and take charge of baseline points. He usually declines and is content to play from behind the baseline himself. Murray generally rallies from behind the baseline, but edges forward during rallies, especially off short balls (Nadal doesn't do much against short balls). He is the more aggressive baseliner and forces many errors with clean hit shots (power a greater factor than placement)

On Murray's service games, the dynamic is enhanced still more. Again Murray generally looks to move forward, Nadal is content to stay well back.... only now, Murray extends his attack to taking the net too

Stats cover how well play went. Virtually the same number of errors (Murray 65, Nadal 63), but Murray forcing many more errors (34 to 16), while making a lot more unforced errors (49 to 29)…. hitting more winners though (37 to 25), puts Murray well into the net positives in play situations (i.e. when return is made). And of course, he's winning a lot more points with unreturned serves (44% to 20%)

A note on movement. Nadal's seems to be down from his norm. Not that he's slow, but there's a dearth of 'miraculous' gets that are typical of Nadal's play - which is 1 reason for the relatively high number of errors he's forced into, (the other being how cleanly Murray hits). In fact, I'd say Murray probably has a thin advantage in court coverage and defence... he seems to move faster but of course, but is up against a less ferocious attack (Nadal plays relatively safe with his attacking groundstrokes, keeping them more safely in play than usual)
 
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Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Change in Court
The first set and a half is played on Louis Armstrong Arena. The rest of the match is played on Arthur Ashe the following day

I don't recall in outcry over this... but I find this unsatisfactory. Conditions on Armstrong appear a bit faster - rally length and unreturned serve rate goes down, along with winner/forcing errors while unforced errors go up on Ashe. Perhaps its just the weather, one assumes the balls are the same, but perhaps the courts are also less than identical of condition

The change favours the eventual loser Nadal, which would mitigate controversy, but I found such a change more objectionable than the hullaballoo over whether the roof should or should not have been closed in Nadal's loss to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon 2018

Mental Game - 'Clutch' & 'Choke'
With Murray so much the superior, Nadal's only hope of eking out a win is remaining firm mentally and having Murray do the opposite

That is the bend of what happens, though not near enough to alter the result. At key times, Murray becomes more error prone and Nadal more strong. Nadal saves 16/20 break points and resists being broken in 6-10 games he's down break point ( including a mammoth 22 point game where he saves 7). Murray is only faces 3 break points in 3 games - and loses 2 of them

Primarily, I would credit Nadal for clutch play. He's aggressive, takes the net (sometimes serve-volleying) and reins in his errors at critical times, but there are signs of mental weakness from Murray. After failing to break in the 22 points game, he plays a horror service game (completely against the run of play) - broken to love with a double fault and 3 UEs

The clutch/choke dynamic has become so entrenched - Murray's breezing through service games and pushing Nadal on almost every return game - that one could have wondered if even the huge difference in playing standard would be overturned by it. Ultimately, it is not... Murray just knocks on the door so often that eventually, it has to open. Match point down, Nadal plays an injudicious drop shot that Murray runs down and puts away for a winner for a well earned win

Summing up, clean hitting, tactically sound attacking play, excellent serving and unusual but well executed returning tactics from Murray give him a huge advantage on court over a Nadal who plays too safe (a common failing of his)… and counter-advantages of mental strength not enough to override. A fine performance from Murray - especially the first 2 sets - and a well earned win

The final is here https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-federer-vs-murray-us-open-final-2008.611390/
 
Andy Murray beat Roger Federer 6-2, 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4 in the US Open semi-final, 2008 on hard court

The result saw Murray reach his first Slam final, where he would lose to Roger Federer. Nadal had won French Open, Wimbledon, the Olympics and would go on to win the next Australian Open

Murray won 149 points, Nadal 126


Serve Stats
Murray....
- 1st serve percentage (70/108) 65%
- 1st serve points won (55/70) 79%
- 2nd serve points won (24/38) 63%
- Aces 22 (1 not clean), Service Winners 3
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (47/108) 44%

Nadal...
- 1st serve percentage (120/167) 72%
- 1st serve points won (71/120) 59%
- 2nd serve points won (26/47) 55%
- Aces 7, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (33/167) 20%


Serve Pattern
Murray served...
- to FH 37%
- to BH 63%

Nadal served...
- to FH 36%
- to BH 58%
- to Body 7%
You mean Rafael Nadal, right bro?
 

Zetty

Professional
Muzz was supposed to be US Open Champ, just like Djokovic the previous year. Too bad about that Federer rascal.
 

RS

Hall of Fame
2012 Wimbledon.

Fed was just way too clutch from 2nd set onwards
Murray was amazing so agressive in that match. His level for the first 2 1/2 sets is one of the best anybody has played Federer on grass. Federer was GOating in those last two sets.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Muzz was supposed to be US Open Champ, just like Djokovic the previous year. Too bad about that Federer rascal.
Federer was unbeaten in US Open finals back then and won 5 in a row (the only player ever to do that).
 

Pantera

Banned
Nadal was tired in this match after winning the Olympics which was his main goal in 2008 (says so in his book).

Murray played outstanding tennis in that match and had he replicated those stats in final he would have defeated Federer.
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
A 10/10 analysis, how do you do this??
Thanks

On the match report, I try to put myself in the position of someone who hasn't watched the match - and paint a picture of play so they can feel like they have. Too much or too little details and it becomes either cumbersome or flimsy

I find the news reports on a lot of news sites rather dull ("... then X made 2 FH errors"... that doesn't tell me anything), try to avoid that

Murray played outstanding tennis in that match and had he replicated those stats in final he would have defeated Federer.
I doubt Murray beats Federer.
Murray served worse in the final than here (56% to 65%) which was a big factor in his going down easily... but strategically, he didn't adjust to Federer's game

Played the same way as here. Big first serve, return from way behind baseline, clean hitting on neutral rallying to gain an advantage then stepping up to attack

Here it worked like a charm

In the final.... Fed returned from on the baseline (and did so exceptionally well - 82% return rate), so Murray's third ball wasn't as forceful. Fed stepped into court at every opportunity to attack, so little chance for Murray to wear him down in neutral rallies (and he's slow to step in himself). Fed's return position discouraged serve-volleying (which Murray did to exploit Nadal's return position)

Murray struck the ball cleanly in the final too, obviously less so than here because he was facing a guy taking the ball early and hitting it with forcing hits, while Nadal was taking it late and plopping the ball back in the court

Different strokes for different folks.... perhaps a more proactive strategy was needed against Federer, and Murray ended up being too passive (he was more passive still in 2010 Aus final)

He had an excellent head to head against Fed at the time, so he knew how to play him... would be interesting to have a look at some of those Murray wins to see what, if anything, he did differently in them
 

DSH

Legend
Murray played awful in the final against Federer.
Only his performance in the final of AO 2011 tops that.
:sick:
 

Pantera

Banned
Thanks

On the match report, I try to put myself in the position of someone who hasn't watched the match - and paint a picture of play so they can feel like they have. Too much or too little details and it becomes either cumbersome or flimsy

I find the news reports on a lot of news sites rather dull ("... then X made 2 FH errors"... that doesn't tell me anything), try to avoid that




Murray served worse in the final than here (56% to 65%) which was a big factor in his going down easily... but strategically, he didn't adjust to Federer's game

Played the same way as here. Big first serve, return from way behind baseline, clean hitting on neutral rallying to gain an advantage then stepping up to attack

Here it worked like a charm

In the final.... Fed returned from on the baseline (and did so exceptionally well - 82% return rate), so Murray's third ball wasn't as forceful. Fed stepped into court at every opportunity to attack, so little chance for Murray to wear him down in neutral rallies (and he's slow to step in himself). Fed's return position discouraged serve-volleying (which Murray did to exploit Nadal's return position)

Murray struck the ball cleanly in the final too, obviously less so than here because he was facing a guy taking the ball early and hitting it with forcing hits, while Nadal was taking it late and plopping the ball back in the court

Different strokes for different folks.... perhaps a more proactive strategy was needed against Federer, and Murray ended up being too passive (he was more passive still in 2010 Aus final)

He had an excellent head to head against Fed at the time, so he knew how to play him... would be interesting to have a look at some of those Murray wins to see what, if anything, he did differently in them
I haven't ever watched that match as was in Banff at the time up various mountains.
 
Murray played awful in the final against Federer.
Only his performance in the final of AO 2011 tops that.
:sick:
I don't remember any slam finals in which Murray played well. His best performance in a slam final was in Wimbledon 2012 and he still lost.
 

MCallanan

Semi-Pro
I don't remember any slam finals in which Murray played well. His best performance in a slam final was in Wimbledon 2012 and he still lost.
[
Murray played great in that match until the final game of the second set. Then it started raining, he took a spill on the grass, the roof was closed and he was unable to regain the form he had in those sets.

Honestly, Andy's best all around performance in a Slam Final was 2016 Wimbledon against Raonic. That match doesn't get a lot of attention because it wasn't against a member of the big three but Raonic was really good that season especially on grass. In that final he didn't give Murray anything easy, played a really good match, and made Murray go out and take it and that's what Andy did.
 

weakera

Legend
Frustrating match, Rafa would bludgeon Murray to a pulp at USO in many years but 2008 was tough, over 80 matches by then including the emotionally draining RG/W/Olympic triple.
 

MCallanan

Semi-Pro
(y)

Could be.
Two other matches I would note, albeit not as high profiled as the matches you mentioned, are the 2015 Australian Open semifinal against Berdych and the 2016 US Open fourth round against Dimitrov.

Berdych looked unstoppable in that Australian Open until he talked trash to Murray after he won the first set. After that Murray got angry and played spotless tennis the next three sets.

And the 2016 US Open match against Dimitrov was a complete bludgeoning with Murray setting a personal serve velocity record in the 140’s.

Not surprisingly both players were coached by old friend Dani Valverdu.
 

RS

Hall of Fame
Murray played great in that match until the final game of the second set. Then it started raining, he took a spill on the grass, the roof was closed and he was unable to regain the form he had in those sets.
Murray didn’t play bad in the last game Fed just stole it from him with a great return game. The 3rd set was really competitive for the first 6 games the 6th game had like 10 deuces before Federer broke him to get to 4-2.
Federer was on fire after the roof went on though.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
In the 3 he won he played just fine. Nothing close to great.
Nobody wins 3 Slams and a host of other big titles against the likes of the Big 3 by just playing "fine". By the standards of your definition, every other player below him must have consistently played like utter crap!
 

MCallanan

Semi-Pro
Murray didn’t play bad in the last game Fed just stole it from him with a great return game. The 3rd set was really competitive for the first 6 games the 6th game had like 10 deuces before Federer broke him to get to 4-2.
Federer was on fire after the roof went on though.
I should’ve used different wording. Up until that game in the second set I think most would agree that Murray had been the better player. In that game he missed a sitter forehand, first serve disappeared, and the rest is history. After that set though I stick by my words that Murray’s level faltered and Roger’s improved. Was it the roof, the slip and fall, the rain delay, the mental doubts creeping back in after squandering a second set that seemingly would have guaranteed his maiden Major never mind his dream Wimbledon? I don’t know.

But out of all of his Grand Slam Final losses it was certainly the most winnable match.
 

ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
The outcome of that match was such a good news for Fed fans.Another GS final vs Nadal in that freaking 2008 year would have ment bad news.Although Roger was in "savage" mode starting with the SF, that match could've have ended like the 2009 AO F, given the mental scars.
 
Nobody wins 3 Slams and a host of other big titles against the likes of the Big 3 by just playing "fine". By the standards of your definition, every other player below him must have consistently played like utter crap!
2012 Wimby run was staggeringly good..
Sadly it led to roger
 
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