Match Stats/Report - Nadal vs Ferrer, Rome final, 2010


Hall of Fame
Rafael Nadal beat David Ferrer 7-5, 6-2 in the Rome final, 2010 on clay

Nadal was the defending champion and this was his 5th title at the event. He'd win all the clay Masters (Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome) and the French Open in the season. This was Ferrer's only final at the event

Nadal won 77 points, Ferrer 59

(Note: I'm missing 4 points and have made confident guesses regarding serve type for couple others. Outcome of missing points are known, but not ending

Presented stats exclude all possible deductions about the missing points

Missing Points - Set 1, Game 8, Points 3-4
- Set 1, Game 9, Points 2-3)

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (42/53) 79%
- 1st serve points won (32/42) 76%
- 2nd serve points won (8/11) 73%
- Unknown serve points won (1/2)
- Aces 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (12/53) 23%

- 1st serve percentage (57/79) 72%
- 1st serve points won (35/57) 61%
- 2nd serve points won (8/22) 36%
- Unknown serve points won (2/2)
- Aces 1, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 5
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (16/79) 20%

Serve Patterns
Nadal served...
- to FH 40%
- to BH 49%
- to Body 11%

Ferrer served...
- to FH 24%
- to BH 74%
- to Body 1%

Return Stats
Nadal made...
- 58 (19 FH, 39 BH), including 7 runaround FHs
- 14 Errors, comprising...
- 7 Unforced (4 FH, 3 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 7 Forced (2 FH, 5 BH)
- Return Rate (58/74) 78%

Ferrer made...
- 41 (21 FH, 20 BH), including 4 runaround FHs
- 9 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (3 FH, 2 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 4 Forced (3 FH, 1 BH)
- Return Rate (41/53) 77%

Break Points
Nadal 3/13 (5 games)
Ferrer 0/1

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Nadal 19 (10 FH, 4 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV, 2 OH)
Ferrer 11 (6 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)

Nadal's FHs - 3 cc (2 passes - 1 at net), 1 cc/inside-in, 4 dtl and 2 inside-out (1 at net)
- BHs - 1 cc, 2 dtl (1 pass) and 1 longline/cc pass at net

Ferrer's FHs - 2 cc, 1 inside-out, 1 inside-out/dtl, 1 inside-in and 1 drop shot
- BHs - 3 cc (1 pass, 1 at net - the 1 at net can reasonably be called a pass)

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Nadal 29
- 14 Unforced (9 FH, 5 BH)... with 1 BH at net
- 15 Forced (7 FH, 8 BH)... with 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.4

Ferrer 40
- 28 Unforced (16 FH, 12 BH)
- 12 Forced (8 FH, 4 BH)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net & 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.1

(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 11/17 (65%) at net

Ferrer was...
- 7/15 (47%) at net, with...
- 0/2 forced back/retreated

Match Report
Good showing from Nadal along his typical, high consistency based baseline game. Ferrer plays the same way and hangs in well enough to keep things competitive for more than half the match, before faltering to fall behind in latter part

With both players playing soundly (if not passively) from the back or coming to net much, back court errors are key to match and UEs read Nadal 14, Ferrer 28

That balance of UEs is sharply divided by set.
In first set, UEs read - Nadal 10, Ferrer 12
in second set - Nadal 4, Ferrer, 16 (9 of them FHs)

Play isn't quite even in 1st set. Nadal holds considerably more comfortably and serves 34 points to Ferrer's 51. 2nd set, Nadal is sizably the better player. Ferrer falters but not to degree of playing poorly. Rallies are still competitive if not overly long. Its a case of Nadal being more secure and commanding. Ferrer doesn't play well, but not badly either - he's just outmatched. His level dropping from first set though is the main difference from competitive first set, not Nadal's rising. Also, a slight switch in tactic by Nadal to go more to Ferrer's FH (more on that later)

Particularly interesting distribution of error types for Nadal with 14 UEs and 15 FEs. Having that high a proportion of FEs usually happens when -

- the player is supremely consistent and barely gives up a UE, so whatever errors he makes has to be FEs (some of that here)

- is slow, so reaches balls late and errors get marked FEs (not true here, but Nadal's ability to defend is a touch down. The FEs aren't mild by any stretch, but types of balls he's in habit of putting in play)

- the error drawer either lacks power to hit winners (so his more attacking shots force errors instead) or/and has hit sound balance of hitting just attacking enough to win points, without risking missing by going for too much (some of both here, considerably more Ferrer hitting a sound balance)

Nadal's below personal par defensive showing extends to the return. 7/14 return errors have been marked forced. Good, wide serves by Ferrer, but kind of thing Nadal generally gets back in play. Nadal's serve is slightly beefed up from previous years - its not strong, but not as innocuous as before

Nadal keeps central court position with minimal running around to hit FHs and plays a dual winged game. 4 dtl winners to 1 inside-out is one outcome of it. In first set, he leads with FH cc's to test Ferrer's BH. Its a good contest, with Ferrer in more reactive position but holding about 50-50. He hits back firmly enough - occasionally, even taking lead position - that Nadal doesn't get balls he can attack out of the rallies, let alone the Ferrer BH breaking down. Nadal turns to shot making of the FH and has match high 10 FH winners - 1 more than the UEs on that side

In second set, Ferrer's FH shows signs of cracking first - missing regulation balls without being pressured - and then Nadal switches to playing more BH cc's to help it breakdown. Short of systematic BH cc'ng to draw the errors, but Nadal does play more to Ferrer's FH after the cracks show... and that's main reason the set is one sided. Ferrer also gets frustrated and has a few what-the-hell flay misses late in set, but small number

From Ferrer's point of view, good job to hold even with Nadal's FH cc. Always job #1 for right hander that isn't pointedly looking to take action by scruff of neck against Nadal. Moves well and hangs in from the back off both sides. He attacks sensibly, as Nadal's FE load shows, but trails in attacking on the whole. Nadal's FH on shot making is a cut above the other shots on show

Good drop shotting from Ferrer to somewhat mitigate trailing on offence. He misses very little when going for drop shot, Nadal is tested to reach the balls (and he's quick) and is left with nothing easy when he does. The only easy one he gets, he misses with a BH at net

Ferrer's play in 2nd set is not good though and certainly not good enough to hang in with Nadal. On top of the errors, there are enough weak balls for Nadal to take charge of. The FH partakes in putting points to bed and he also comes in to finish. He's 11/17 at net - with good lot he loses being against Ferrer's drop shots

Curiously, not a single volleying error in the match from either player. There are 4 groundstroke errors at net, but no volleys of OHs

Nadal finishing +5 winners/UE differential and +17 when errors forced are thrown in. Excellent numbers and fair reflection of his showing. Ferrer finishes -2 winners & errors forced/UE differential. A bit unjust to his showing, with significant lot of the UEs being product of outlasted by wall-like Nadal play.

Neutral UEs read Nadal 8, Ferrer 16 and in competitive first set, Ferrer actually leads 4-6 - which speaks both to how well Ferrer plays in first set and his not doing so in the second

Match Progression
Ferrer saves 5 break points in in game 5 - Nadal missing regulation returns on first 2, and Ferrer attackingly winning the rest. No more break points til extended, gritty 12 point game in game 11. Ferrer weakens at the end and loses last 3 points with a double fault and 2 attacking FH errors. Its the only break point Nadal has in the game, with Ferrer having had 3 game points before it

That leaves Nadal serving for the set. Good, attacking play from Ferrer brings up his only break point of match. Good serve from Nadal to thwart it and he closes out the set 7-5

2nd set is one way traffic. Ferrer manages to hold the opener from 15-40 down, but his FH starts failing him. He's got 4 FH UEs in the game alone, but is also able to attack to win points. He's not so lucky the next time and gives up break to trail 1-2. On other side, Nadal holds to love twice, more commandingly from the back then he'd been in 1st set

Terrible, frustrated game from Ferrer afterwards, where double faults back to back and smacks a third ball FH into net to be broken again before Nadal serves out the match to 15

Summing up, good, sound showing from Nadal - secure off both wings while being damaging off the FH and firm of hitting off the BH. Ferrer plays soundly for the first set too - both hanging in from the back to near equality and attacking with just the right balance of risk & safety. Nadal is just a bit more damaging when Ferrer hangs in. In second set, Ferrer's standard drops and Nadal surges ahead
Last edited: