Match Stats/Report - Nadal vs Djokovic, US Open final, 2010

Raphael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 in the final of the US Open, 2010 on hard court

The win was Nadal's third Slam title of the year and saw him complete his Career Grand Slam. The two players would go onto contest the final again the following year and again in 2013

Nadal won 136 points, Djokovic 119

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (76/112) 68%
- 1st serve points won (56/76) 74%
- 2nd serve points won (20/36) 56%
- Aces 8, Service Winners 4
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (32/112) 29%

- 1st serve percentage (95/143) 66%
- 1st serve points won (61/95) 64%
- 2nd serve points won (22/48) 46%
- Aces 5, Service Winners 2
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (19/143) 13%

Serve Patterns
Nadal served...
- to FH 45%
- to BH 51%
- to Body 5%

Djokovic served...
- to FH 33%
- to BH 63%
- to Body 4%

Return Stats
Nadal made...
- 120 (64 FH, 56 BH), including 26 runaround FHs
- 12 Errors, comprising...
- 2 Unforced (2 FH), both runaround attempts
- 10 Forced (5 FH, 5 BH)
- Return Rate (120/139) 86%

Djokovic made...
- 78 (44 FH, 34 BH), including 10 runaround FHs
- 20 Errors, comprising...
- 2 Unforced (2 BH)
- 18 Forced (11 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (78/110) 71%

Break Points
Nadal 6/26 (9 games)
Djokovic 3/4 (4 games)

Winners (excluding serves, including returns)
Nadal 33 (18 FH, 10 BH, 3 FHV, 2 BHV)
Djokovic 36 (21 FH, 8 BH, 3 FHV, 2 BHV, 2 OH)

Nadal's regular FHs - 4 cc (1 not clean), 3 dtl, 6 inside-out, 1 inside-in
- FH passes - 1 cc, 2 dtl and 1 at net

- regular BHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl, 1 running down a drop shot at net
- BH passes - 3 cc, 3 dtl and 1 defensive lob

- 1 FHV could reasonably be called an OH, 1 was a stop volley and 1 was played with both players at net. 1 BHV was a drop

Djokovic FHs - 4 cc, 4 dtl, 9 inside-out, 2 inside-in, 1 at net, 1 drop shot

- regular BHs - 2 cc, 3 dtl and 1 drop shot
- BH passes - 1 cc, 1 dtl

- all 3 FHVs were stop volleys and 1 BHV was drop volley.

- 1 OH was the first volley off a serve-volley point

(excluding serves and returns)
Nadal 62
- 25 Unforced (10 FH, 15 BH)
- 37 Forced (16 FH, 20 BH, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 44.4

Djokovic 67
- 44 Unforced (25 FH, 16 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 23 Forced (10 FH, 13 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.0

(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 14/18 (78%) at net, including 1/1 when forced back. He had no S/V points

Djokovic was 21/37 (57%), including 2/2 serve-volleying - both first serve points. He was 0/1 when retreating from net

Match Report
This is probably Nadal at his very best on hard court and there's not much space for improvement. He's serving big - regularly in the mid 120s, occasionally cranking it up to the 130s... 29% unreturned serves. By contrast, the figure is just 16% in both the 2011 and 2013 finals. Djokovic for his part returns excellently and one imagines against anyone else, Nadal would have won a good deal more cheap serve points

Again, look at the very high return rate of 86%, which is slightly better than the other two finals. Note the unseemly number of 26 runaround FH returns. He gets enough on these shots to neutralize any edge Djokovic might have aspired to - and then its a 50-50 point (I do think Djokovic's second serve improved in future, so that would be a factor in this too)

From those 50-50 positions, Nadal is much the stronger player from the back and usually outlasts the Serb. Djokovic, however, raises his level in the second set... looking to attack more, but in a measured way. This second set is the highlight of the match and exceptional of quality from both players. In play, Djokovic hits 16 winners and forces 15 errors, all the while making 7 ues of his own (Nadal has 10 winners, forces 7 errors and makes 9 ues)

Its ironic that both in this match and the one a year later, the only set won by the loser of the match was the one featuring the highest quality of play.

By the third set though, Djoko starts making more and more errors and isn't able to hit winners or force errors to the same extent. He had been measured (not 'redlining') in the second set... but it was a lot to expect for him to have kept up that level. As Nadal holds with ease, Djoko's service games become tussles - and he's forced to stave off many a break point (Nadal had 26 in total, to just 4 for Novak)

Mid-way through the 3rd, Djoko looks tired, weary even. Round about then, he switches to borderline rash aggression - and the errors come at a greater rate. Nadal remains focused and a cool customer, just playing his own game. The final set is a pushover, with Djoko looking tired and rattled and being overaggressive

So it is that Djokovic in this match just couldn't hang with Nadal from the baseline - and wisely, took to attacking (both from the net and the baseline). But he struggles to open the court and has to rely on low percentage winner attempts - which he pulls off rather well. but not quite well enough. In succeeding years, I think Djokovic became more consistent off the ground.... enough to a match for outlasting Nadal in gruelling baseline exchanges, but he's not quite there yet here. His second serve improved. And his mind became stronger. Nadal meanwhile, stopped serving in the powerful way he did in this match (and tournament)

Djokovic hits many pretty volley winners - drop volleys and stop volleys, but also makes errors at the front.

A final word on Nadal's baseline game. Its more aggressive than usual, what with his serve giving him a strong initiative. When he raises his attacking instincts to go toe to toe with Djoko, he shows good ability to play aggressive baseline tennis. Of course, his error rate remains characteristically low, but he does miss more routine balls than is normal for him

Summing up - outstanding from Nadal in all areas. He rarely played this way (using the big first serve and attacking off the ground), but I reckon the form he showed here is up there with anyone on hard court. Djokovic, just missing that 5% of game... you can see he's already an outstanding player, but with a little ways to go yet


Bionic Poster
Djokovic did well on BPs to save them, but would immediately go to below par on the next point to go down BP again.
That's why even though Djokovic saved 20/26 BPs, he was broken in 6 of the 9 games in which he faced BPs.