Match Stats/Report - Nadal vs Djokovic, Canadian Open semi-final, 2013


Hall of Fame
Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2) in the Canadian Open semi-final, 2013 on hard court in Montreal

Nadal would go onto beat Milos Raonic in the final to win the title for the third time. Djokovic was the two time defending champion. Nadal would follow up with titles in Cincinnati and the US Open, beating Djokovic in the final of the latter

Nadal won 97 points, Djokovic 95

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (66/94) 70%
- 1st serve points won (47/66) 71%
- 2nd serve points won (16/28) 57%
- Aces 7
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (25/94) 27%

- 1st serve percentage (64/98) 65%
- 1st serve points won (45/64) 70%
- 2nd serve points won (19/34) 56%
- Aces 8, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 7
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (30/98) 31%

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

Djokovic served...
- to FH 42%
- to BH 58%

Return Stats
Nadal made...
- 61 (23 FH, 38 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 21 Errors, comprising...
- 10 Unforced (4 FH, 6 BH)
- 11 Forced (5 FH, 6 BH)
- Return Rate (61/91) 67%

Djokovic made...
- 68 (35 FH, 33 BH), including 6 runaround FHs
- 2 Winners (2 FH)
- 18 Errors, comprising...
- 8 Unforced (6 FH, 2 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 10 Forced (6 FH, 4 BH)
- Return Rate (68/93) 73%

Break Points
Nadal 2/5 (4 games)
Djokovic 2/6 (3 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Nadal 15 (9 FH, 3 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV)
Djokovic 18 (11 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)

Nadal's FHs - 1 cc, 2 dtl, 3 inside-out, 1 longline/inside-out and 2 inside-in
- BHs - 2 cc passes (1 hits Djokovic in the face) and 1 drop shot

Djokovic's FHs - 3 cc (1 pass), 1 dtl return, 4 inside-out (1 return, 1 not clean), 1 inside-in, 1 inside-in/cc and 1 longline
- BHs - 2 cc, 1 cc/longline, 1 dtl and 1 inside-out/dtl

- the BHV was a first volley from a serve-volley point
- the FHV was as swinging shot from well behind service line and not a net point

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Nadal 46
- 31 Unforced (21 FH, 10 BH)
- 15 Forced (10 FH, 5 BH)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 43.5

Djokovic 50
- 33 Unforced (22 FH, 10 BH, 1 Challenge)
- 17 Forced (12 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 1 Challenge)
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 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 9/10 (90%) at net

Djokovic was...
- 3/7 (43%) at net, including...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve

Match Report
Good, shot-making final set where Nadal is slightly the better player decides the contest after two poor sets of error ridden tennis. Overall, not a good match

Sets 1 & 2
Possibly the most insipid tennis the two have ever played with one another. First two sets of US Open '11 is comparable but there, strong winds had a hand in shaping play

No such trouble here. Weather is normal and court is medium paced, tilted towards slow

The two rally neutrally from the baseline. Little aggression or attempt to grab initiative by either. Points end with unforced errors after short-ish rallies

Compare stats for two sets against the third
After two sets, Nadal has 6 winners and 20 UEs, Djokovic 10 winners, 19 UEs
With Nadal forcing 12 errors and Djoko forcing 9 - Nadal winners/errors forced 18, UEs 20, Djoko winners/errors forced 19, UEs 19
That doesn't look too bad... its the nature of the UEs (bulk are routine shots) and length of rallies (short to short-ish) that make up the rest of the picture. Also, relatively low defensive gusto from the two. Forced errors are typically mild of nature

In third set, Nadal has 9 winners and 11 UEs, Djoko 8 winners, 14 UEs
Nadal winners/errors forced 14, Djoko 14

First set is decided by of all things, double faults by Djokovic, who has 5 - including on both break points and with an additional 1 in one of the games he was broken in. Otherwise, play is about even and lacklustre from both sides

Second set is similar, sans Djoko double faulting. On serve after 7 holds, Nadal loses 5 points in a row from 40-0 up - 4 unforced errors (2 FH, 2 BH) and a mild BH FE make up the points he loses

Set 3
A distinct step up of quality. Play warms up to good, it doesn't start of much different from what had come before. About mid-way through set, there a couple of good rallies - which brings home just how lacking it had been prior. These types of rallies are the norm rather than exception in most Nadal-Djokovic matches... here they're the highlights

Rallies get longer, both players look to attack more (especially Nadal, who had been the less proactive player earlier). Nadal plays shot-making tennis and is impressive with his FH, running Djoko about and forcing errors. Djoko steps in some and whacks strong shots, missing as often as not

Nadal's quick dashes to net are key to his coming out ahead, as are his stunning passes when Djoko comes forward

Nadal has the only break points, which Djoko snuff out with a third ball, step-in BH inside-out/dtl winner and a net point. Nadal has a good look at a running FH pass on the latter point and it was the sort of shot he was pulling off at the time, but misses

Nadal collars the tiebreak. Strong FH + dash to net wins him the first point and deep strong FHs give him 2 mini-breaks. Djoko misses a winner attempt return, a FH inside-in winner attempt and a regulation third ball FH to go down 0-6 before snatching a couple of winners but match is good as done by then

Nadal's Play
Some good stuff from Nadal. His serve isn't powerful, but is able to swing it out wide or close to the T when he wants. When in a spot of trouble, he does so. Most times though, just average serves well in Djoko's swing path, with some body serves thrown in

He returns from orthodox position. Note high 10 UEs and for him, low return rate of 67%... but its worth it to get the depth he does on returns. Nadal's returns are occasionally error-forcingly good - especially due to depth but also firmly hit. Not his usual, loopy, consistent, undamaging showing at all. Note also just the 1 runaround FH... which is also different from his norm of regularly doing so against second serves

For 2 sets, Nadal is neutral of play. And not very good, with errors coming in short rallies regularly (same as Djoko). He does hit flatter and stay closer to the baseline than his wont, which is a good idea

That court positioning allows him to attack in the third, where he's very impressive commanding play with the FH. There are 9 FH winners (all his winners in first two sets had been FHs, so just 3 in the third set) but its the shot that runs Djoko about and forces errors. He slices occasionally and well - a good change of pace shot that isn't easy to attack

Note low UEFI of 43.5. Attacking isn't his problem, its consistency of regulation shots. 22/31 of his UEs are neutral balls

The last bit of his offence is net play. Note the 9/10 points won in forecourt. He comes in occasionally when in complete command of points, but also, makes quick dashes to net when he's somewhat rushed Djoko or pushed him out of position. This is rare for Rafa… and he pulls it off wonderfully. Something he needs and doesn't do near enough in general

Djokovic's Play
Good 65% first serves in, but its not too damaging. Mostly like Rafa's serve, with less ability to utilize wide placement for effect. The high 7 double faults speaks for itself

Standard of personal style returning, firmly hitting balls back deep down the middle. One slightly out of characteristic thing there... he moves over to hit FHs regularly and has 6 runaround FHs

In play, he like Rafa is unduly error prone, though its more normal for him. He attacks more (Note UEFI of 46.6 - 3.1 points ahead of Rafa) in general, but is less controlled and more chaotic doing so. He has 16 attack or winner attempts errors to Nadal's 9

Defensively, Djoko's probably superior. he's made to run more, but also does it better. Nadal by contrast, occasionally gives up on chases

Note the near identical error breakdowns both by type and shot -
- FH UEs - Nadal 21, Djoko 22
- BH UEs - both 10
- FH FEs - Nadal 10, Djoko 12
- BH FEs - Nadal 5, Djoko 3

They key difference in play from the pair's norm are the forced errors - Nadal forcing 17 errors, Djoko 15. Usually, the figure is heavily higher in the other direction

Summing up, not a good match - both players are highly error prone in short rallies, without even being aggressive for most of the match - but an interesting one. On the return, with his groundstrokes, in his court positioning and with his net play, Nadal demonstrates a willingness to seize the initiative and attack successfully during the matches high quality part. Djoko plays his normal game, but Nadal's extra aggression is a spanner in that work

Stats for pair's US Open final shortly afterwards -
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Bionic Poster
The last set had some good tennis in it, but you are right about the errors during the first stages of the match. One of only two wins Nadal has had against Djokovic outside of clay for nearly a decade.


Bionic Poster

Such an epic match