Match Stats/Report - Nadal vs Agassi, Canadian Open final, 2005

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Rafael Nadal beat Andre Agassi 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 in the Canadian Open final, 2005 on hard court in Montreal

It was Nadal's first hard court title and Agassi's last Masters series final

Nadal won 86 points, Agassi 70

Serve Stats
Nadal...
- 1st serve percentage (54/81) 67%
- 1st serve points won (39/54) 72%
- 2nd serve points won (19/27) 70%
- Aces 7
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (22/81) 27%

Agassi....
- 1st serve percentage (43/75) 57%
- 1st serve points won (31/43) 72%
- 2nd serve points won (16/32) 50%
- Aces 7, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (21/75) 28%

Serve Patterns
Nadal served...
- to FH 43%
- to BH 51%
- to Body 6%

Agassi served....
- to FH 28%
- to BH 72%

Return Stats
Nadal made...
- 50 (15 FH, 35 BH), including 5 runaround FHs
- 13 Errors, comprising...
- 3 Unforced (1 FH, 2 BH), including 1 runaround FH attempt
- 10 Forced (4 FH, 6 BH)
- Return Rate (50/71) 70%

Agassi made...
- 58 (32 FH, 26 BH), including 8 runaround FHs
- 15 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (3 FH, 2 BH), including 1 runaround FH attempt
- 10 Forced (4 FH, 6 BH)
- Return Rate (58/80) 73%

Break Points
Nadal 3/6 (4 games)
Agassi 1/3 (2 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Nadal 12 (7 FH, 4 BH, 1 FHV)
Agassi 14 (6 FH, 3 BH, 2 FHV, 3 OH)

Nadal's FHs - 1 cc, 3 dtl (1 pass), 2 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- BHs - 2 dtl, 1 dtl/inside-out and 1 at net

- the FHV was a swinging shot

Agassi's FHs - 3 cc, 2 dtl and 1 FH at net (a first 'volley' off a serve-volley point)
- BHs - 2 cc and 1 at net

- 1 FHV was a swinging shot hit from well behind the service line and not a net point. The other was a drop

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Nadal 34
- 10 Unforced (7 FH, 3 BH)
- 24 Forced (9 FH, 15 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 44

Agassi 48
- 31 Unforced (10 FH, 20 BH, 1 BHV)
- 17 Forced (12 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.2

(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
Nadal was...
- 2/4 (50%) at net, with...
- 0/1 forced back

Agassi was...
- 13/18 (72%) at net, including...
- 1/2 serve-volleying, both first serves
--------

Match Report
You won't see a match with a greater discrepancy in the movement capabilities of the two players. Nadal is a hare, Agassi a slug. All other things being roughly the same, the difference is more than enough to be decisive and credit to Agassi for managing to make the match competitive.

Though there's just 1 break, the first set is basically all Nadal. He wins 32 points (Agassi 22) in it. Nadal returns Agassi's serve from well behind the baseline and manages to get a lot of balls back, though not with great authority. He also serves exceptionally well, keeping the ball away from Agassi's strike zone and the American doesn't appear to be able to read the serve particularly well

That out of the way, the action is almost entirely baseline-to-baseline - and movement is the key. Nadal is zipping all over the court to get ball after ball back while anything hit a bit to the side threatens to draw errors from Agassi. Even balls slightly deeper than normal are tough for Agassi, who looks stiff as well as slow. Agassi tries breaking down the Nadal BH with his FH cc... but the ball keeps coming back just as strongly. He tries moving the teenager around... but that usually leads to Nadal taking charge of the point. And errors. Agassi yields plenty of errors, Nadal hardly any. Agassi is trying to 'boss' from the baseline as was his wont.... but Nadal's shots are just as strong as his and he's a lot more consistent with them

You can see the huge difference in UEs (Nadal 10, Agassi 31). Unable to hit winners, thwarted by Nadal's speed and defence from forcing too many errors, incapable of doing much damage with the serve and not able to do damage with the return.... Agassi looks toothless and most points end with unforced errors (usually Agassi making them) or with a forced error (Agassi needs 3-5 good shots to force an error from Nadal, while Nadal can force errors with 1 or 2 less heavy shots). An uphill task for Andre

In the second set, Agassi steps up the aggression. He starts approaching the net more and more. Not in the classic, looking to volley way but just advancing forward behind big groundstrokes, probably hoping to hit mid-court groundstrokes to finish the point. It largely works and he holds serve comfortably for the set and while not making much headway on return, is at least doing more damage than Nadal can to his serve

Nadal escapes a deuce game with one of his miraculous gets to pass Agassi FH dtl…. and even Agassi smiles at the brilliance of the play. Agassi manages to clutch up to break to take the set by forcing a pair of errors (one of them by taking the net) and hitting an outstanding FH dtl on the run

Agassi starts the decider even more emphatically, putting away a pair of cc winners (1 of each wing, the BH being a baseline 1/2 volley to Nadal's loopy attempt to slow down a fast rally) and holding easily. But Nadal raises his game. He makes just 2 UEs in the set, while playing more aggressively himself. Flattening out his groundstrokes and going dtl more, the Spaniard starts dictating play while remaining as safe as he likes to be. Inevitably, the errors leak out of Agassi or he's forced into them due to Nadal's increased aggression. Nadal takes the set comfortably to seal the match

Summing up, the players are about equal in most areas - serve, return and groundstroking.... but Nadal is much faster of foot. Agassi seems to need to do twice as much to draw half as many errors from Nadal as Nadal does from him.... and its just too much. And when Agassi is able to remain even, Nadal shows his extra attacking gear without comprising the consistency of his shots. Solid stuff with dashing movement from the teenager and Agassi just physically outmatched
 
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BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
Andre took a cortisone shot to his back before walking on court for the final. He was never nearly as fast as Nadal, but his speed was a whisper of what it was by 2005. 1988-89 Andre (even with questionable fitness) was his best showing in terms of quickness around the court.
 
C

Chadalina

Guest
I thought agassi's head was going to explode in the 3rd waiting for nadal to serve. He hated slow servers more than anyone
 
Andre took a cortisone shot to his back before walking on court for the final. He was never nearly as fast as Nadal, but his speed was a whisper of what it was by 2005. 1988-89 Andre (even with questionable fitness) was his best showing in terms of quickness around the court.
It was a painful yet so indicative match to watch...
As it should be in case of young versus old player...
Sadly, we don't get much of performances like this by youngsters against current tour veterans (Big3)
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
I thought agassi's head was going to explode in the 3rd waiting for nadal to serve. He hated slow servers more than anyone
He did get visibly annoyed - and took it up with the umpire a couple of times. Can't hear the dialogue most of the time, but did catch the umpire explaining to an irritated Agassi, "Andre, he has 20 seconds" (pretty sure Nadal took longer than 20 seconds on average)

I was amused by Agassi's handling of it in Wimbledon 2006

No show of annoyance... but as Nadal dawdled coming out of his chair, Agassi would sit down at a chair next to the lines people behind the court, seemingly patiently

As Nadal steps up to serve, Agassi wouldn't crouch into his returning position until Nadal was done fixing his hair and bouncing the ball a few times

Don't think it was deliberate from Agassi.... but it did make a statement
 
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