Match Stats/Report - Nadal vs Anderson, US Open final, 2017

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Rafael Nadal beat Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in the US Open final, 2017 on hard court

It was Nadal's third US Open title and first hard title since early 2014. Anderson was playing his first Slam final and would go onto reach the next Wimbledon final also

Nadal won 102 points, Anderson 78

Serve Stats
Nadal...
- 1st serve percentage (45/72) 63%
- 1st serve points won (38/45) 84%
- 2nd serve points won (19/27) 70%
- Aces 1, Service Winners 2
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (27/72) 38%

Anderson...
- 1st serve percentage (64/108) 59%
- 1st serve points won (47/64) 73%
- 2nd serve points won (16/44) 36%
- Aces 11 (1 not clean)
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (35/108) 32%

Serve Pattern
Nadal served...
- to FH 30%
- to BH 68%
- to Body 3%

Anderson served...
- to FH 46%
- to BH 53%
- to Body 1%

Return Stats
Nadal made...
- 69 (29 FH, 40 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 24 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (3 FH, 2 BH)
- 19 Forced (7 FH, 12 BH)
- Return Rate (69/104) 66%

Anderson made...
- 44 (17 FH, 27 BH), including 2 runaround FHs
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 24 Errors, comprising...
- 12 Unforced (3 FH, 9 BH)
- 12 Forced (3 FH, 9 BH)
- Return Rate (44/71) 62%

Break Points
Nadal 4/9 (6 games)
Anderson 0

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Nadal 25 (8 FH, 8 BH, 4 FHV, 3 BHV, 2 OH)
Anderson 20 (8 FH, 5 BH, 5 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 BHOH)

Nadal's FHs - 4 cc (2 passes), 3 dtl (1 pass) and 1 inside-out
- BHs - 3 dtl passes (1 return - which Anderson left, 2 at net) and 5 cc (1 pass)

- 3 from serve-volley points (1 FHV, 2 BHV), all first volleys

Anderson's FHs - 2 cc, 2 dtl, 3 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- BH - 1 cc, 1 dtl, 1 inside-in return and 2 drop shots

- 4 from serve-volley points
- 2 first volleys (1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 2 second volleys (2 FHV)

- 1 other FHV was a swinging shot

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Nadal 22
- 12 Unforced (8 FH, 4 BH)
- 10 Forced (8 FH, 2 BH)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.5

Anderson 46
- 36 Unforced (18 FH, 13 BH, 1 FHV, 3 BHV, 1 OH)
- 10 Forced (5 FH, 4 BH, 1 FHV)... with 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.6

(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 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...
- 17/17 (100%) at net, including...
- 5/5 (100%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves

Anderson was...
- 13/28 (46%) at net, including...
- 7/10 serve-volleying, all 1st serves

Match Report
Strongly solid showing from Nadal in a one sided match. He does everything - serve, return, groundgame and net play - at least decently and mostly well. Anderson has the fat serve and that's about it

Outstanding numbers from Nadal. He doesn't face a break point and is only taken to deuce once (last game of match). 38% unreturned serves is large. And in play, he has 25 winners to 22 total errors (12 unforced, 10 forced). Both having twice the number of winners as UEs and having more winners than total errors is extremely rare and usually an indicator of astronomical level of play for a baseline match. He certainly plays very well, but there's the small matter of Andy's 36 UEs in play to go along with 4 double faults and 12 return UEs - which is poor

Nadal with equal number of FH and BH winners. Very, very rare for him. He has odd matches where he hardly has any winners - 5 or less -when the two sides are bound to be near equal. These are invariably losses. But for a match he won and struck substantial number of winners, rare as can be, possibly unique

Serve & Return
The biggest shaper of play is the return and the two players return positions
. Andy is standing well back to return, typically 5-6 paces behind baseline to take even second serves. Which would stand out for being unusual. It doesn't here because Nadal stands about double that even and like Andy, does so for both serves

Large part of reason Nadal so dominates his serve is Andy's sub-par returning. 12 return UEs for Andy. Nadal has 5. That direct comparison is deceptive because there's not much scope for Nadal to make UEs since most Andy serves qualify as forceful. And Nadal himself serves strongly by his standard but probably not 38% unreturned serves strongly, especially given where Andy is standing.

A good way of comparing the respective strengths of the two players' serves is rate of sending down unreturnable (aces and service winners). Nadal does so once every 15 first serves, Andy 1 every 5.8. Nadal leading unreturned rate by 6% despite that is partially down to Andy being off on the return. His balance is poor and he looks like he's about to fall over in reaching for anything just a touch wide, which he often does sans any kind of footwork. Even against second serves. And standing where he is. Still, the returns he makes are firmly struck

Meanwhile, Nadal's returning goal is to get ball in play anyway possible, which is a reasonable one against a serve as big as Andy's. He manages to the tune of 66% return rate, usually just getting it in play short and with no great force. Even second serves are thus, with a bit less feebleness. Andy should be in complete control of point at this point

Good serving from both players. Nadal strikes harder than he used to in years gone by and just on power alone, is not easy to cope. He also gets good number out wide, especially down T, and they don't have to be wide with Andy's clumsy returning. Andy's serve quality is all about power. With Nadal standing where is, there's endless scope to drag him miles off court. Andy doesn't, Nadal can reach most serves without too much trouble, though returning it is still a handful
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Play - Baseline & Net
Baseline play is mainly of the ball bashing variety, slightly more so from Andy. Both players, particularly Nadal, stay behind baseline to rally

After Nadal's return, he's standing miles behind baseline and Andy is in position to collar the point with his first groundstroke. He also serve-volleys some, winning a convincing 7/10 so doing (and 1 point he lost was a floating return he chose to leave). Nadal's first serve returns tended to be fended back, leaving balls Andy fancies hitting an outright winner to. Second serve returns are better, but not by much. Andy still retains command of point and he ball bashes third ball

Pretty sloppy from Andy off the ground. He hits winners and hard hit but not widely placed shots off third ball. Misses a good number of them. Nadal is also outstanding defensively, scrambling to put slightly wide hit balls back in play and giving Andy another shot to miss. Nadal's strategy is almost clay-tennis like... put ball in play from well behind baseline, let Andy flay away and get a few errors when he misses. It works... great scrambling by Nadal, but more a blackmark against Andy's hitting. He has 31 groundstroke UEs at high 48.6 UEFI. Nadal has just 12 at slightly lower 47.5. Some great point ending shots, but not enough to justify all the errors from such strong positions, even with Nadal's defence

Andy occasionally looks to come to net to finish his ball bashing attacks. Nadal's outstanding on pass (he has 6 passing winners in play), Andy's poor on volley (5 UEs) - both of which are high for just 18 approaches from rallies (he wins most of his 7/10 serve-volleying points with unreturned serves)

On flip side, Nadal also ball bashes. He also hits winners off third balls (goes for fewer, but makes higher percentage than Andy) and also hits hard without wide placement shots. Its good enough to draw errors and Nadal's own stay typically low. With Andy's sluggish movements, there was plenty of scope for Nadal to run him all over the place. He doesn't try but sticks to hitting hard and not wide. Occasionally throws in clever, wrong footing shots which are not easy to cope with as hard as he hits though they're not placed too wide. Anderson's movements aren't changing direction isn't up to handling it

A reason for unusual distribution of Nadal's groundstroke winners is his strategy. Closed-ish court ball bashing with Andy behind baseline involves Nadal keeping central court position and not looking for his favourite FH inside-out. Just the 1 i/o winner. Andy has 3. He actually plays more 1-2 court opener-hit into it plays off BH

Nadal finishes a perfect 17/17 at net, including 5/5 serve-volleying. Occasional quick dashes to net, but mostly coming in from commanding position or even running up to dispatch weak volleys he's drawn with his passes. And Andy returns from far back enough that serve-volleying is an obvious choice to capitilize. Volleys are easily - if anything, trickly high ones are the challenge - and Nadal controls them flawlessly

Nadal's movements are outstanding, especially the footwork to move around while ball bashing but the footspeed to chase balls is high quality too. Compared to anything short of the impossible standards he himself set from '05-'08, Nadal's movements are top drawer. Andy's are sluggish, the balance particularly below par

Match Progression
Nadal loses 4 points in 4 holds in first set, while all of Andy's games go to deuce. Nadal serves 20 points to Andy's 58, which is I think the biggest gap over a set I've seen (Andy serves the extra game)

Andy survives the two longest games (18 and 16 points) but gives up breaks in 2 8 point games. The last game is particularly good, with 2 players combining for 5 winners

Andy's first serve in count drops to 36% in second set. His second serves still leave him in charge of points, and he holds far more comfortably than previous set, where the first serve percentage was 60%. Just 1 break - a good game from Nadal with a pair of net winners and a FH cc pass

Andy misses 4 FHs in a row - 3 of them third balls (2 winner attempts that were there to be made), 1 regulation shot - to be broken from 40-15 up to start the third. Routine holds from there til Nadal steps up to serve for match. Andy misses an easy OH at 15-15, but next point, hits a fine BHOH winner. He gets to deuce for first time, but Nadal wraps up with a service winner and a BHV winner serve-volleying

Summing up, solid from Nadal in all areas - powerful serves, somehow getting a very strong serve back regularly, duel winged hard hitting baseline play with sprinkles of clever change ups supported by fleet movement, great passing and perfect at net. Big serving from Anderson but he struggles in all other areas. More great from Nadal than poor from Anderson, but some of both involved in result

Stats for the Australian Open final between Nadal and Roger Federer - (1) Duel Match Stats/Report - Nadal vs Federer, Australian Open finals 2009 & 2017 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
Stats for '10 final between Nadal and Novak Djokovic - Match Stats/Report - Nadal vs Djokovic, US Open final, 2010 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
Stats for '13 final between Nadal and Djokovic - Match Stats/Report - Nadal vs Djokovic, US Open final, 2013 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
 

Bamoos

Semi-Pro
I remember watching this one thinking what the hell are you doing Anderson. He should’ve S&V a lot more and mixed up his serves. He kept bombing them down the middle, and waiting for the next shot, allowing Nadal to reset the point often.
 
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BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
I remember watching this one thinking what the hell are you doing Anderson. He should’ve S&V a lot more and mixed up his serves. He kept bombing them down the middle, and waiting for the next shot, allowing Nadal to reset the point often.
And allowing Rafa to stand in New Jersey to return his serves.

Pete would have exploited that in about .0001 seconds, bomb the serve, come in and volley short and angled. But expecting Anderchoke to understand a basic principle like that is a stretch.
 
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Third Serve

G.O.A.T.
And allowing Rafa to stand in New Jersey to return his serves.

Pete would have exploited that in about .0001 second, Bomb the serve, come in and volley short and angled. But expecting Anderchoke to understand a basic principle like that is a stretch.
Ned's passing shots are too good on a slower court like that. There are reasons why people no longer use that strategy these days.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Ned's passing shots are too good on a slower court like that. There are reasons why people no longer use that strategy these days.
Think peak Sampras could get by S&V'ing agaisnt 2017'Dal lol. If he's standing that far back then Pete is going to have more time to close the net and the Sampras serve is definitely going to draw some weak returns. Probably not advisable on second serves though.
 

California

Semi-Pro
And allowing Rafa to stand in New Jersey to return his serves.

Pete would have exploited that in about .0001 second, Bomb the serve, come in and volley short and angled. But expecting Anderchoke to understand a basic principle like that is a stretch.
Anderson is one of the worst slam finalists in the last 30 years! A 6' 8" guy with a big serve and a defensive counter punchers game. No vollies, tactics, nothing offensive other than serve speed. How did he ever make the final? Maybe he too, like Nadal didn't have to play anyone ranked in the top 25 to make the final. Not worth the effort to look it up.
 
Anderson is one of the worst slam finalists in the last 30 years! A 6' 8" guy with a big serve and a defensive counter punchers game. No vollies, tactics, nothing offensive other than serve speed. How did he ever make the final? Maybe he too, like Nadal didn't have to play anyone ranked in the top 25 to make the final. Not worth the effort to look it up.
Didn't play a single top tenner yes, highest ranked opponent was PCB lol. What a s(h|l)am
 
Can someone explain the difference?
A service winner is called when a forced return error is deemed to be uncontrollable so the serve is considered effectively a winner. Like a big serve the returner could only get with the tip of his racquet but no ability to control where the ball went.
 

Yugram

Legend
And allowing Rafa to stand in New Jersey to return his serves.

Pete would have exploited that in about .0001 second, Bomb the serve, come in and volley short and angled. But expecting Anderchoke to understand a basic principle like that is a stretch.
Anderwho?

 

alexio

Hall of Fame
Can someone explain the difference?
думаю, по сути то же самое что и эйс, только слегка задел ракеткой мячик, окорочок уже объяснил
 

Bamoos

Semi-Pro
Ned's passing shots are too good on a slower court like that. There are reasons why people no longer use that strategy these days.
I’d rather be passed at least trying to make something happen, than rallying all day Nadal, going down in straights.
 

Bamoos

Semi-Pro
Anderson is one of the worst slam finalists in the last 30 years! A 6' 8" guy with a big serve and a defensive counter punchers game. No vollies, tactics, nothing offensive other than serve speed. How did he ever make the final? Maybe he too, like Nadal didn't have to play anyone ranked in the top 25 to make the final. Not worth the effort to look it up.
LMAO Bagdhatis Philippousis Gonzalez say hi
 

MeatTornado

G.O.A.T.
I want to be mad at Anderson for not exploiting that Nadal return position, but I think we all know if Kevin made an adjustment then Nadal would certainly find a way to counter-move and still win without much drama. Either in 4 sets or still in straights but needing a tiebreak or two.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
Ned's passing shots are too good on a slower court like that. There are reasons why people no longer use that strategy these days.
Nadal wouldn't have been able to tee off on Pete's serve and many of his returns would have been WTA level weak sauce. Unlike Anderson, Pete actually got his serve in during big matches and his second serve blew doors off Anderchoke's second delivery.
 
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