Match Stats/Report - Nadal vs Federer, Miami semi-final, 2011


Hall of Fame
Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer 6-3, 6-2 in the Miami semi-final, 2011 on hard court

Nadal would go onto lose the final to Novak Djokovic, his third loss in the final of the event, including 1 to Federer in 2005. For Federer, it would turn out to be the first year since 2002 that he didn't win a Slam event

Nadal won 61 points, Federer 40

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (32/43) 74%
- 1st serve points won (27/32) 84%
- 2nd serve points won (7/11) 64%
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (10/43) 23%

- 1st serve percentage (35/58) 60%
- 1st serve points won (20/35) 57%
- 2nd serve points won (11/23) 48%
- Aces 6
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (11/58) 19%

Serve Pattern
Nadal served...
- to FH 7%
- to BH 91%
- to Body 2%

Federer served...
- to FH 39%
- to BH 61%

Return Stats
Nadal made...
- 46 (14 FH, 32 BH), including 2 runaround FHs
- 5 Errors, comprising...
- 3 Unforced (3 FH)
- 2 Forced (2 FH)
- Return Rate (46/57) 81%

Federer made...
- 33 (10 FH, 23 BH), including 6 runaround FHs & 1 return-approach
- 1 Winner (1 FH), a runaround FH
- 10 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (1 FH, 4 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 5 Forced (5 BH)
- Return Rate (33/43) 77%

Break Points
Nadal 4/5 (5 games)
Federer 0/1

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Nadal 10 (7 FH, 2 BH, 1 OH)
Federer 13 (8 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)

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

Federer's FHs - 1 cc pass, 1 dtl and 6 inside-out (1 runaround return, 1 at net)… 1 inside-out clipped the net chord on its way over
- BHs - 2 cc and 1 drop shot

- 2 from serve-volley points - a first volley BHV and a second volley FHV

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Nadal 16
- 9 Unforced (3 FH, 6 BH)
- 7 Forced (4 FH, 2 BH, 1 BHV)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 40

Federer 40
- 34 Unforced (20 FH, 11 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH)… including 1 BH at net and 1 OH from the baseline
- 6 Forced (4 FH, 1 BH, 1 FH1/2V)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.6

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

Federer was...
- 7/17 (41%) at net, including...
- 2/5 (40%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 1/3 (33%) off 1st serve and...
- 1/2 off 2nd serve
- 0/1 return-approaching
- 0/2 forced back

Match Report
Solid and adequate from Nadal on a slow court with some good passing and steady returning being the high points. He's limited to being merely 'adequate' because his opponent plays terribly

If Federer has played a worse match, I can't recall it. 40/61 points Nadal wins comes form Federer unforced errors (including returns and double faults - without which, the number is 34). That's as many as he wins in all ways in the match. Nadal makes a miserly 12 UEs (including 3 returns) by comparison

Match starts brightly enough. Federer holds to 15 with an ace, a third ball FH inside-out winner and a first volley BHV serve-volley winner. Nadal goes 1 better, holding to love by overpowering Federer before finishing with a smash and a powerful BH cc- FH inside-out 1-2 ending with another winner

Then Federer is broken to 15 - all points ending with errors. Medium length, neutral rallies for most points

And he's broken again to lose the set. Hesitates coming forward behind the serve, and misses a FH1/2V (could have waited and played groundstroke instead), then misses FH cc to open court. Ends with a shanked FH and another FH error, this time inside-in to a loopy return he hopped back to

Nadal lost 2 points in 4 service games in the set. Federer mostly made neutral errors in regulation, medium length rallies

In second set, Fed plays more aggressively. He has his only break point in first game, on back of a couple of winners (FH inside-out and BH cc). He's able to push Nadal back from net on it, but is forced into error in ensuing baseline rally - and Nadal goes onto hold

And then breaks. Nice FH inside-out + cc combo to force an error and 3 strong passing shots to win another point (helped by a mediocre, in-middle-of-court volley) are his contributions. Fed donates a couple of errors too

Nadal loses 3 points in his remaining 3 service games. Fed struggles through holding a 12 point game, but is broken again to lose the match. The last game appropriately is another all-UEs-game, including an easy FHV off a serve-volley point. Match point sees Fed dump a mid court FH into the net

Nadal's play
Returning is the standout feature of Nadal's play. He mixes up his returning position - now far back, now on the baseline and most points in between - almost every point. More so against second serves, but also the firsts

In the pair's previous match in Year End Championship final, Nadal had found the serve out wide in deuce to court to his BH all but unplayable. He leans towards covering that serve much of the time here. Fed isn't slow to notice and bangs down a couple of aces down the 'T' in that situation.

Court is slow but Federer serves decently, with 60% first serves in. Nadal returns very well to not just get 81% of them back, but with decent depth. Not outstanding - it doesn't have to be - but certainly well, not many short balls for Fed to get stuck into

Some typical, strong passing from Nadal too (though Fed's volleying is off too)

Nadal serves fairly conservatively, as the 74% first serve in count suggests. No aces or service winners or even anything approaching one. The usual 91% directed to Fed BH. Most first serves are highly returnable... the 23% unreturned rate is more about Fed not returning well than Rafa's serving

Winning a humongous 84% first serve points has more to do with superiority in play than it does quality of serve

In rallies, the usual consistent stuff from Nadal, barely missing a ball. Lots of FH cc's to Fed BH which is particularly soft, and with Fed looking to backaway to play FHs to such balls, Nadal takes aim at open court with FH inside-outs and dtl's. Mostly not with point ending force, but enough to make Fed run and chase. Couple of excellent FH dtl winners to Fed's attempts to end points with BH cc or FH inside-outs

Federer's play
Save the serve, which is decent, poor from Federer in virtually all areas

Nadal's serving is ordinary by choice... still Fed can't do anything substantial against it off the BH. The runaround FHs are more effective, but facing 74% first serves, not much scope to use it

20 FH UEs to 11 on BH makes it seem it was the usually stronger side that was failing, but that's half the picture. The BH is particularly toothless - just plopping balls back into middle of court, and prone to routine errors for every 3-4 such shots made - and Fed looks to runaround and play FHs instead. Leading to FH errors instead of BH ones... FH isn't too consistent either, but more than the BH

Even FH isn't particularly damaging. Slow court has something to do with that

In first set, Fed's errors usually come in neutral rally points. In second set, he goes for more attacking shots - often erring with BH dtl's and FH inside-out's. It looks even worse than the first set... but not a bad move. Its unlikely Fed would suddenly start to keep balls in play consistently enough to hang with Nadal. That being the situation, might as well go for more attacking shots. It beats the alternative

When the attacking shots come off, Nadal is usually up to scrambling in defence. More often, they don't

Other option is coming to net and Fed does not infrequently, but wins just 7/17 points there. Bad volleying - the 2 volleys he misses are downright easy and the ones are placed where Nadal can easily reach them - coupled with Nadal's strong passing and defensive lobbing (pushes Fed back twice - going onto win both points) sees Fed falter in forecourt too. Terrible BH at net miss on his sole chip-charge return

Summing up, very good returning from Nadal, with typically sound baseline play and choice passing to back it up, but more than that, terrible stuff from Federer, particularly off the ground
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Well Federer asked for it to be honest, the night before he went out celebrating and partying for Mirka's birthday and didn't get back until the early hours of the day of the semi. He did this despite knowing he needed to be ready for someone who always demands his best, and he simply did not care. He partied then next day came to the court and Nadal ended his misery.
Well Federer asked for it to be honest, the night before he went out celebrating and partying for Mirka's birthday and didn't get back until the early hours of the day of the semi. He did this despite knowing he needed to be ready for someone who always demands his best, and he simply did not care. He partied then next day came to the court and Nadal ended his misery.
Ha, that's some nice info. Did the right thing really, no way he could beat peak Nadal and Djokovic back-to-back in Miami of all places so may as well not bother.