Match Stats/Report - Nadal vs Berdych, Wimbledon final, 2010

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Rafael Nadal beat Tomas Berdych 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 in the Wimbledon final, 2010 on grass

It was Nadal's second Wimbledon title, he'd won the French Open shortly before and would go onto win US Open shortly afterwards. This is Berdych's only Slam final and he beat Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic among others in route to the final

Nadal won 93 points, Berdych 78

Serve Stats
Nadal...
- 1st serve percentage (62/90) 69%
- 1st serve points won (48/62) 77%
- 2nd serve points won (18/28) 64%
- Aces 5
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (31/90) 34%

Berdych...
- 1st serve percentage (48/81) 59%
- 1st serve points won (35/48) 73%
- 2nd serve points won (19/33) 58%
- Aces 13
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (26/81) 32%

Serve Pattern
Nadal served...
- to FH 26%
- to BH 71%
- to Body 2%

Berdych served...
- to FH 19%
- to BH 75%
- to Body 6%

Return Stats
Nadal made...
- 55 (12 FH, 43 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 13 Errors, comprising...
- 6 Unforced (6 BH)
- 7 Forced (7 BH)
- Return Rate (55/81) 68%

Berdych made...
- 56 (13 FH, 43 BH)
- 26 Errors, comprising...
- 15 Unforced (6 FH, 9 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 11 Forced (4 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (56/87) 64%

Break Points
Nadal 4/6 (4 games)
Berdych 0/4 (2 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Nadal 23 (20 FH, 2 BH, 1 BHV)
Berdych 14 (8 FH, 3 FHV, 3 BHV)

Nadal's FHs - 8 cc (4 passes), 1 cc/inside-in, 4 dtl (2 passes), 6 inside-out (1 at net) and 1 cc/longline running-down-drop-shot at net
- BHs - 1 cc pass and 1 dtl

Berdych's FHs - 3 cc, 1 cc/inside-in, 1 dtl and 3 inside-out

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Nadal 35
- 20 Unforced (13 FH, 7 BH)
- 15 Forced (8 FH, 7 BH)... with 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47

Berdych 39
- 24 Unforced (17 FH, 6 BH, 1 BHV)
- 15 Forced (8 FH, 6 BH, 1 BHV)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.3

(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...
- 10/12 (83%) at net, with...
- 0/1 forced back

Berdych was 14/23 (61%) at net

Match Report
Good, fast court baseline match. Both players play well and play not dissimilarly of style and Nadal is just a bit better in most areas. Most so on the return and baseline play

Nadal's superiority isn't enough to guarantee a win, but it does put odds of result so going in his favour. The odd game here and there (in fact, at end of all sets) - well played by Nadal or the opposite by Berdych - is what decides matters. Its hard to imagine two more different Wimbledon champions than Nadal and Pete Sampras - but the way sets go comfortably on serve, 'til the end when Nadal snatches a break - is similar to the 7 time champion's modus operandi

Serve & Return
Nadal with just 13 total return errors, while he's aced 13 times too. Having as many return errors as being aced is usually a sign of extremely consistent returning (alternative explanation is returner taking return very early, thus getting aced disproportionately often). Here, the former explanation is at work. Great returning from Nadal, taking ball from regulation position, missing as little as possible and even taking returns early and hitting them attackingly wide occasionally. Returns deep and flat by his standard too. Berdych still wins 58% second serve points, so Nadal's returning isn't decisive by any means. It does shift liklihood of grabbing the break his way though. Very unusually, all his 13 return errors are BHs. Not a single FH return missed (he is aced on that side a couple of times. Berdych serves 15 times to FH and Nadal has 12 FH returns. In general, Nadal is very, very consistent returner off both sides but tends to be more so off BH, with the freer swinging FH rarely mishitting balls out. Not here. And, he returns significantly more attackingly than his norm. His returning in match is closer to a good Novak Djokovic showing than a typical Nadal

This is all against standard, strong Berdych serving display. He's still got good 32% unreturned serves, despite excellent Nadal returning. Second serves are good (as in, not easy to attack, though Nadal manages in moderation) and 0 double faults to go with 13 aces

On other side of the battle, Nadal serves solidly and consistently to BH where he directs 71% serves. Not much difference between first and second serves and about half directed in swing zone. When he needs to, he can find an extra wide serve and directs more out wide than his norm. Serving out wide to BH in ad court in particular is very successful for him. He barely loses a point so doing, and only goes to FH when well up in games on that side. Good serving, more widely placed than his norm but room for improvement for Berdych on the predictable return. He's not the only player to be rendered helpless by this serve of Nadal's. Roger Federer struggled similarly against it in Wimbledon finals '06-'08 - and Nadal's serving strength is stronger here
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Play - Baseline (& Net)
The standout stat is Nadal's FH which has 20 winners, 13 UEs. He only has 3 non-FH winners in match and Berdych has 14 total. Its not an outrageous, FH shot-making showing but the finisher of general baseline superiority + great passing shots. From the back, Nadal commands play and uses the FH to finish. Very, very well, including on the pass. I would credit his groundgame overall (FH part of which makes up the bulk) rather than signal out the FH particularly. Nadal works baseline rallies off both sides, with little running around to hit FHs. BH is hard hit and typically consistent

Nadal 'bosses' from the baseline by moving Berdych side to side and pushing him back with depth and heavy spin that keeps loopy balls that look like they're headed out, in. He doesn't look to breakdown Berdych's BH with FH cc's

Nadal's play is better described as commandingly sound than outright brilliant. Berdych plays in similar style and figures for two players are surprisingly similar
UEs - Nadal 20, Berdych 24... you'd expect Nadal to have a much bigger lead in this area. Note also similarity off breakdown...
FH UEs - Nadal 13, Berdych 17
BH UEs - Nadal 7, Berdych 6
... and similarity of UEFI - Nadal 47, Berdych 46.8

A larger chunk of Berdych's UEs are on difficult side (he has 2 defensive UEs, which is very rare), with Nadal moving him around, pushing him back, than Nadal's are. Its not fanciful to suggest that Berdych might even be shading consistency. Nadal has 11 neutral UEs, Berdych 10. Not what you'd expect

FEs are dead even at 15 and again, virtually identical breakdown (both with 8 FHs, Nadal with 7 BHs to Berdych's 6). Here, story is reverse of the UE counts. A larger chunk of Berdych's are mildly forced errors for the same reason that some of his UEs are on hard side... things like balls he misses while on the move that he's more likely to put in play than not. Nadal's FEs tend to be hard forced ones

Berdych also goes in for sound play. He attacks forced weak returns with big third ball FH. Otherwise, rallies neutrally with an eye for openings. Given his game and Nadal's, alternatives for him might be be very aggressive with his groundies, looking for point ending shots from regulation positions off the FH (assuming he'd be outlasted neutrally). He doesn't do this at all and as error breakdowns show, he does well playing as he does. Defends decently too, making a lot of running shots, though Nadal usually goes on to win such points anyway. Also handles the low ball well. Being so tall, he looks a bit awkward almost genuflecting to handle low slices below knee height, but he doesn't miss such balls

He does take to coming to net, which is a good idea seeing he gets short end of stick from the back. Comes in off reasonably strong approach shots 23 times (Nadal just 12, coming in off more favourable positions and winning virtually all such points). He's kept down to 61% net points won by typically, brilliant Nadal passing shots. 7 passing winners from Nadal - the best of them is his sole BH effort, which is one of those 'impossible' shots he sometimes makes on full run, well behind baseline and against a hard hit approach shot. Just a couple errors from Berdych in forecourt (and just 1 UE). Credit Nadal for outstanding passing, good net instincts from Berdych and he's fine on the volley

0 Serve-Volleying - Wimbledon final first?
This is possibly the only Wimbledon final in history with 0 serve-volleying. Confining to Open Era, there's plenty of serve-volleying in every final from start to 2001. Roger Federer indulges at least a little in 9 of his 12 finals (confirmed) and I'm confident, in the other 3 too (not confirmed though). Milos Raonic likely does so in 2016. Only possible exceptions would be the 2002 final between Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian and the '13 final between Andy Murray and Djokovic

Match Progression
First set is the best of the bunch. Both players maximize their efforts in all games of it, but comfortable holds anyway 'til 3-3. Nadal takes the last 3 games - with 2 breaks - to end it. Some very good, initiative grabbing returns from Nadal in those two games which he backs up by commanding rallies from the back. Just 10 UEs in the set (Nadal 3, Berdych 7)

Second set opens with a terrible Nadal service game. He has 4 FH UEs - 1 more than total UEs in play in all first set - plus a couple double faults. But manages to hold, saving 3 break points along the way in a 14 point game. Some very good attacking play in between the errors from Nadal. From here on, both players take it easy in select return games, particularly if they've fallen behind on score, with some ambitious, low percentage shot choices that usually miss. Nothing drastic, and about normal for grass but its a step down of effort from first set

Again, comfortable holds til the end where Berdych plays a terrible game (3 FH UEs - including 2 third ball FH inside-outs) to be broken to love to give up the set

Fairly comfortable serving in third set too. Nadal hits shot of the match in opening game, a stabbed, on full run BH cc pass winner. He's down break point for just the second game in match the service game after on which, he turns to slicing. Berdych misses a BH on the point and Nadal goes on to hold

Set (and match) again ends with a break but this one is very good game from Nadal with powerful, wide or deep returns, artfully attacking Berdych from back and whipping away 3 FH winners (2 of them passes, including on match point. Berdych's only negative contribution is again missing an easy third ball FH inside-out winner attempt to bring up match point, on which Nadal nails a FH cc passing winner

Summing up, good match from both players. Nadal returns and plays quite attackingly for him and commands baseline action by moving Berdych around, pushing him back, stepping in to finish with precise FHs or passing as needed. Berdych is sound and solid from back too, looking to construct points rather than attack outright, but is outplayed more often than not. Not much difference between the two. Nadal's never in trouble and is the better player by noticable, if not large, amount

Stats for Nadal's semi with Andy Murray - Duel Match Stats/Reports - Nadal vs Murray, Wimbledon semi-finals, 2010 & 2011 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
Stats for '11 final between Nadal and Novak Djokovic - Match Stats/Report - Djokovic vs Nadal, Wimbledon final, 2011 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
 
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BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
Great work as always, Waspy. What is startling is that a Wimbledon champion can hoist the trophy when they venture to the net a grand total of 12 times. Not the way grass court tennis was ever played until post-2001.




 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
What is startling is that a Wimbledon champion can hoist the trophy when they venture to the net a grand total of 12 times. Not the way grass court tennis was ever played until post-2001.
True, true

In general, I think Nadal could do with coming in more. He's so often the bossier player from the back, but bossing the point and winning it are two different things. One way of winning it is coming to net

From 'bossing' dynamic, can come in off strong approach shot. Probably won't have to make a volley, and if you do, probably an easy one. And Nadal's a good volleyer, especially against the easy stuff (as in, rarely fails to finish point on them relative to other players)

Occasionally, it happens to even the best, commanding baseliners - Agassi, Federer, Djokovic - they take charge and boss baseline rally, but lose a bunch of points on the kill shot from the baseline. Probably higher percentage to come in off strong approach to finish the point

Nadal doesn't do this as often. He works his way upto the kill shot more and might even dial it back to neutral if he's counter-attacked, but he's the best at pressuring his way through to winning points when he's in leading position from back. So less need for him to consider coming in

If nothing else, I'd think it'd save energy than banging down more strong groundies, but he doesn't seem to mind

Changing times

yeah that ain't gonna cut it against Nadal (regarding 59% first serves in)
Your right

I hadn't keyed in on this, instead focused on his doing well with 58% 2nd serve points won. But your right. Comparing with Nadal's other finals -

Berdych...
- 1st serve percentage 59%
- 1st serve points won 73%
- 2nd serve points won 58%

'06 Federer...
- 1st serve percentage 67%
- 1st serve points won 71%
- 2nd serve points won 59%

'07 Federer...
- 1st serve percentage 71%
- 1st serve points won 72%
- 2nd serve points won 60%

'08 Federer...
- 1st serve percentage 69%
- 1st serve points won 78%
- 2nd serve points won 57%

'11 Djokovic...
- 1st serve percentage 73%
- 1st serve points won 72%
- 2nd serve points won 54%

First serve points won - all in the same boat, ranging from 71%-78%. Ironically, highest is '08 Federer at 78%
Second serve points won - all around same boat, ranging from 54%-60%
First serve in is the bugger here. Next lowest after Berdych's 59% is a full 18% higher

Another sign of changing times. '80s and '90s, you had Wimbledon champions winning with 50-55% first serves in. They tended to have even bigger first serves points won, in 80%+ area. An in-form Nadal probably wins more first serve return points than almost anyone, but still

And of course, a lot of those matches involve Sampras, Becker, Goran... guys who are very likely to have those kinds of huge first serve points won numbers and lower first serve in count too
 
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