Match Stats/Report - Nadal vs Federer, Year End Championship semi-final, 2013


Hall of Fame
Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer 7-5, 6-3 in the Year End Championship (World Tour Finals) semi-final, 2013 on indoor hard court in London, England

The win was Nadal's to date only win over Federer indoors. He would go onto lose the final to Novak Djokovic, who had beaten Federer in the round robin stage

Nadal won 65 points, Federer 50

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (43/56) 77%
- 1st serve points won (32/43) 74%
- 2nd serve points won (9/13) 69%
- Aces 2 (1 second serve), Service Winners 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (16/56) 29%

- 1st serve percentage (39/59) 66%
- 1st serve points won (27/39) 69%
- 2nd serve points won (8/20) 40%
- Aces 6
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (19/59) 32%

Serve Pattern
Nadal served...
- to FH 9%
- to BH 82%
- to Body 9%

Federer served...
- to FH 40%
- to BH 53%
- to Body 7%

Return Stats
Nadal made...
- 39 (17 FH, 22 BH), including 4 runaround FHs
- 13 Errors, comprising...
- 1 Unforced (1 BH)
- 12 Forced (6 FH, 6 BH)
- Return Rate (39/58) 67%

Federer made...
- 40 (7 FH, 33 BH), including 3 runaround FHs
- 2 Winners (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 13 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (1 FH, 3 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 9 Forced (9 BH)
- Return Rate (40/56) 71%

Break Points
Nadal 4/4
Federer 1/4 (2 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Nadal 12 (8 FH, 3 BH, 1 OH)
Federer 10 (7 FH, 2 BH, 1 FHV)

Nadal's FHs - 2 cc (1 pass), 1 dtl, 4 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- BHs - 1 dtl, 1 inside-out pass and 1 net chord dribbler

Federer's FHs - 1 dtl, 5 inside-out (1 return) and 1 inside-in
- BH - 1 cc return

- 2 first 'volleys' from serve-volley points (1 FHV, 1 BH at net)

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Nadal 21
- 12 Unforced (7 FH, 5 BH)
- 9 Forced (4 FH, 5 BH)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 37.5

Federer 36
- 29 Unforced (17 FH, 11 BH, 1 BHV)
- 7 Forced (1 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 2 FH1/2V)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.9

(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...
- 3/3 (100%) at net

Federer was...
- 6/12 (50%) at net, including...
- 4/6 (67%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 3/5 (60%) off 1st serve and...
- 1/1 off 2nd serve

Match Report
Strong from Nadal (especially the serve and from the baseline) and ordinary to poor from Federer (particular the return and more so, the baseline) makes for a fairly routine straight setter on a slow-ish court

First set, Nadal is mostly in command of his service games, holding to love 4/6 times. He's serving strongly, Federer can't return with much authority and Nadal outmuscles him regularly from the baseline. Initially, Federer too holds easily - losing 1 point in 3 games and having led 40-0 in the game he was taken to deuce. Even in the last mentioned game, from 40-40, Fed bangs down an ace and whips away third ball FH winner. He's far more dependent on the serve shot to maintain command than Nadal is

Its Fed who has the first chances in a 12 point game where he conjures 3 break points. Its a messy game with both players making errors and on critical points, Nadal strikes good attacking shots while Fed misses his - and Nadal holds

Against the run of play, there are three breaks in succession. Nadal breaks to 15 - a double and a missed attacking FH are Fed's contributions, 2 FH winners (1 pass) and obviously stronger baseline shots are Nadal's. The Spaniard can't serve out the set though in a similar game right after. Couple of good shots from Fed - a big BH cc forcing putting Nadal on the defensive followed by a wrong footing shot and a great point which Fed's on the defensive for most of the time but comes out with a FH inside-in winner - and a couple of looses ones from Nadal leave the match back in balance

Nadal tilts it his way by breaking again, capitilizing on a not good Fed FH inside-out to hit one of his own into a corner for the winner. And Fed misses a couple of winner attempts. Nadal has no trouble serving out the set this time. It takes him about a minute - 1 of 3 such service games for him in the match

Second set is much more one sided. Nadal holds pretty comfortably. Federer struggles in play whenever his serve comes back, and misses routine shots regularly. Up a break and vastly superior, Nadal adds a second to seal the match

Serve & Return
Strong but not overly so serving from Nadal. His serve certainly improved over the years. Back in mid-2000s, it was below average. Here, I'd say its above average to good. Still the odd first serve that isn't strong enough to draw what I'd judge a 'forced error' (by contrast, Federer virtually never sends down such a first serve - in this match or in general, at any stage of his career)

Relatively weak returning from Federer. Anything slightly wide or particularly powerful, he struggles with - and most good serves are beyond him. Its a slow enough court that wouldn't be the case against good returning. Misses a fair few make-able returns too, without being aggressive with the return

He does come over the BH all match, eschewing those slices that never work against Nadal. Cant' get enough power on them to bother Nadal on the third ball though and looks to place them wide, not deep down the middle

This was generally Federer's preferred way of returning when coming over the BH and I think it was a mistake against Nadal. If the return isn't strong enough, it doesn't matter much where its placed... Nadal can reach it and start bossing at once. A deep return by contrast tended to push the Spaniard, who doesn't like taking balls early, back a step and hitting a less forceful first groundstroke

Note Nadal serving as much to the body as the FH - 5 serves each or 9%, with the remaining 80% to BH. Very high focus on BH is normal in this match up... the extra body serving isn't. 90% plus from Nadal is not uncommon

Federer serves strongly, Nadal returns passively but firmly, while half-assing his efforts on a number of points when he's down in the game or up in the set. Not sure when half-assing things became a thing with Nadal, who used to try to make every ball possible in his early days, but in the circumstances, its a good idea. He clearly has Fed's number in this match and had already sustained a number of career threatening injuries - having missed the latter half of the previous year through one, and that wasn't the first. No sense going all out for everything when he's the clear better player and chances will eventually come, probably sooner rather than later

Play - Baseline & Net
Mismatch - like a boy playing man. Note Nadal leading in winners 12-10, which is very rare. UE comparison is along normal lines but the margin of difference is particularly large (Nadal 11, Federer 29)

That Nadal is always the more consistent player goes without saying - he has fewer UEs than Fed even in his worst defeats, but Fed is particularly bad in this match. There are routine errors that come up some percentage of the time organically, but they come more often than usual and mostly in short-is rallies. Fed's attacking plays (almost exclusively from the FH) are fairly conservative, his FHs safely placed for attacking shots. Still he misses a boatload - 9 winner attempts to be exact (Nadal misses none)

Nadal's consistency is actually a bit down too. His baseline play is moderately attacking - bossy stuff, pushing Federer back and or moving him around a bit - not just putting balls in play or relentlessly targeting the BH. He misses more routine balls than usual. In fact, his UEFI is the lowest I've seen - a score of 37.3 indicates his average UE was less attacking than a routine shot. Of Nadal's UEs, 2 were defensive, 8 neutral and 1 attacking. 2 defensive errors are rare also. Most matches have 0 for both players. Fed also has one... this relatively large number of defensive UEs is a mild indicator of the court being slow. On a faster surface, they'd probably be marked forced errors

Overpowered and outlasted (and it doesn't take long for the latter) from the back, Fed's possible escape is coming to net. Doesn't do him much good - just 50% points won up there, with Nadal in beast passing mode. Fed's volleys are also on the loopy, popped over side, giving Nadal a good chance of lining up his strong passes. Note Nadal just coming in 3 times all match. A sign that he didn't feel the need to - things were going swimmingly for him from the back - so why would he need to?

Summing up, a crushing - Nadal strong, Federer weak. Possibly Nadal's most commanding win over Fed on hard court. In light of Nadal being near his best and Fed playing weakly (if not at his worst), the scoreline isn't too bad for the Swiss, but this is a thorough crushing

Stats for the final between Nadal and Djokovic -

Stats for the round robin match between Federer and Djokovic -
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The Green Mile

Bionic Poster
Nice stats and write up again, your scoreline is the 2010 Madrid match btw...

Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer 6-4, 7-6(5) in the Year End Championship (World Tour Finals) semi-final, 2013 on indoor hard court in London, England

Third Serve

This match was interesting. Fed should have been the favorite here, but he was the not the favorite going into the match.

Do you keep all of these match stats in a file somewhere? That'd be a pretty sweet way of storing all this information.

The Green Mile

Bionic Poster


Hall of Fame
Nice stats and write up again, your scoreline is the 2010 Madrid match btw...
Thanks and thanks

I'm getting better. I left out the score completely not long ago - one of yours - that was a first

This match was interesting. Fed should have been the favorite here, but he was the not the favorite going into the match.
One of the very few hard court matches Nadal would have started a strong favourite against Fed on, I think. He'd been very impressive in the fall hard court season, and Fed was playing probably the worst tennis since coming of age (and after)

Still, he made it London, made it out of his group. didn't look too bad in the Djokovic match

My feeling on Federer is how ever badly he's playing around a given period, he can turn out a blinder on any given day, like he did at this years WTF. Probably holds less true against Nadal pre-2017 though