Match Stats/Report - Nadal vs Nishikori, Madrid final, 2014

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Rafael Nadal beat Kei Nishikori 2-6, 6-4, 3-0 retired in the Madrid final, 2014 on clay

Nadal was the defending champion and he would go onto win the French Open shortly afterwards. This was Nishikori's first Masters final and he had recently won the title at Barcelona

Nadal won 65 points, Nishikori 55

Serve Stats
Nadal...
- 1st serve percentage (43/55) 78%
- 1st serve points won (31/43) 72%
- 2nd serve points won (7/12) 58%
- Aces 4
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (20/55) 36%

Nishikori...
- 1st serve percentage (38/65) 58%
- 1st serve points won (25/38) 66%
- 2nd serve points won (13/27) 48%
- Aces 2
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (14/65) 22%

Serve Pattern
Nadal served...
- to FH 13%
- to BH 79%
- to Body 8%

Nishikori served...
- to FH 31%
- to BH 66%
- to Body 3%

Return Stats
Nadal made...
- 48 (25 FH, 23 BH), including 10 runaround FHs
- 12 Errors, comprising...
- 9 Unforced (6 FH, 3 BH), including 3 runaround FHs
- 3 Forced (1 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (48/62) 77%

Nishikori made...
- 33 (9 FH, 24 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 16 Errors, comprising...
- 14 Unforced (2 FH, 12 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 2 Forced (2 BH)
- Return Rate (33/53) 62%

Break Points
Nadal 3/9 (5 games)
Nishikori 3/6 (4 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Nadal 7 (4 FH, 2 BH, 1 OH)
Nishikori 15 (7 FH, 7 BH, 1 FHV)

Nadal's FHs - 2 dtl (1 at net) and 2 inside-in
- BHs - 2 dtl at net

Nishikori's FHs - 6 inside-out and 1 drop shot
- BHs - 3 cc (1 return), 3 dtl and 1 drop shot

- the FHV was a swinging, inside-out shot

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Nadal 24
- 13 Unforced (7 FH, 6 BH)
- 11 Forced (7 FH, 4 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 44.6

Nishikori 35
- 30 Unforced (18 FH, 12 BH)
- 5 Forced (3 FH, 2 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 51

(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 6/6 (100%) at net

Nishikori was...
- 7/7 (100%) at net, including...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve
---
- 2/2 forced back/retreated

Match Report
Nishikori works Nadal over thoroughly from the back off the court with direction changers, wrong footing shots and early taken balls, especially off the BH for bulk of match before injury leaves him flat initially and barely able to move not long after, at which times he quits on a dampish looking court

Nishi leads the match 6-2, 4-2 with Nadal to serve. After a point where he's runaround and on defensive at 4-3, he appears to pull something in his groin. Proceeds to get broken with Nadal playing strongly from the back, with Nishi's hitting dropping of force and a couple of winner attempts misses without proper set up.

And he doesn't win another game, his movement and hitting going down and down by the game. A medical time out doesn't help, nor a bathroom break between sets. He's barely moving by the end, or capable of hitting anything more than feebly.

Nadal finishes on an unbroken run of 19 straight service points won and 14/15 total points

Not sure exactly what goes wrong with Nishi. According to commentary, he'd had lower back/upper butt trouble during the tournament and undergone massages at changeover late in 2nd set in his previous two matches.

He has it again after Nadal holds for 3-4 in the second set, right on schedule. Is limping slightly after a long point in the game while serving for 5-3 lead. Gets broken going for his shots amidst Nadal leading play (which had rarely happened all match)

Nadal proceeds to hold with Nishi missing 4 regulation returns on the trot. Nishi takes medical time out before losing serve and set going for shots to unwise extent. Takes a bathroom break between sets but is obviously in no condition to continue. 6/8 Nadal serve points in 3rd set are unreturned serves, most of them routine returns. Meanwhile, Nishi just rolls his serves in weakly, pinches a point with a third ball BH winner while being broken to 15

The type of limping looks like a groin matter, rather than a leg or lower back issue

Start of match looks like a typical Nadal rollover showing on the cards. Nadal holds to love to open (3 Nishi UEs) and has break point to go up 2-0, before Nishi finds himself to hold. Nadal wins first 6 games of the match

Nadal wins 7/11 points to start match
Nadal ends winning 29/35 points to end the match
In between, Nishi 57/76 or 75% of the points, with both players healthy. A remarkable run of dominance

In that dominant phase, the neutral ground battle sees Nishi come out ahead. Nadal's hitting is quite soft and he's apt to runaround to play FHs, even though he's not quick enough to do it comfortably or doesn't hit the FHs with enough authority to justify the move. He'd largely dropped the constant running around to hit FHs style by this period, but brings it out here. The limitations of it are on show. Nishi not only holds up, but takes lead by taking ball considerably earlier - occasionally stepping in to do so very early - without particularly hard hitting. Harder than the loopy Nadal, but not hard in general sense, but taken early, enough to rush Nadal a bit

Nadal isn't too strong on defence or movement either. Slightly wide balls draw weak replies from him (or very poor errors, like hitting ball half-way up net) and Nishi capitilizes by hitting genuinely attackingly. Smartly constructed points by Nishi - draw weak ball with slightly pressuring shots, and attack slightly more from those weaker balls. Rarely does he go for outright winners or otherwise point ending shots - and Nadal isn't able to thwart the moderate attacks

Odd, zipper of a winner throw in by Nishi. And an excellent lot or wrong footing shots. Nadal's caught moving the wrong way on both FH and BH sides of court - good mix of shot choices from Nishi

BH dtl is played attackingly. He tends to step up and sweep BH cc's early attackingly, but less so (giving Nadal a tough running shot, not a winner attempt). FH inside-out and dtl often catch Nadal mis-anticipating. FH cc is solid

Serve-return isn't much of an issue. Nish takes the odd return pressuringly early, Nadal looks to loop balls in passively (again, including with runaround FHs and again, its not worth the candle). So most rallies start 50-50

Nishi seizes initiative and from those positions and proceeds as outlined above. To tune of winning 75% points, sans a slow start and the hopeless ending. Great play from him, against a passive, not particularly good Nadal.

"Not particularly good" is a fair description of the soft hitting, not overly consistent and defensively vulnerable Nadal, but he's not bad either. Still shades UEs and keeps rallies going for awhile while on the run. Normal for most players, a couple steps down for him. All credit to Nishi for how play goes... he constructs points beautifully and hits a lovely balance of working Nadal over and finishing him off. Like a puppet master

Post injury isn't worth getting into. Suffice to say, Nishi's a goner. And he's already down 15-30 from a couple of early winner attempt errors before the point where he's run ragged and left limping afterwards goes. So likely, Nadal breaks regardless of injury in that particular game, mostly due to overaggression from Nishi. He also loses the game from similar, attacking errors without proper set up

Not a good game from Nishi - injury or not - and at odds with the point construction style that had gotten him so far. Its more a shot-makers game gone wrong, going for point ending shots from regulation positions

Match long stats are of limited value. Nadal's high 36% unreturned rate shoots up with missing 10/12 last returns
Nadal with low 7 winners (and 4 of them are at net - 3 of those grounstrokes). In other words, he can't get any real offence going from the back. He's only forced 5 errors too (Nishi has 30 unforced)
Nishi with 15 winners and forcing 11 errors are excellent numbers and almost all occur prior to injury. Meanwhile, he makes about a third of his 30 UEs post injury - and that's excluding all the return UEs and a double fault

And a little statistical tidbit. Both players win 100% net points - Nadal 6/6, Nishi 7/7 (including 2 points where he's forced back). Never seen that before

Summing up, excellent showing from Nishikori as he outhits, outmanuvers and works Nadal over from the back like a puppet on a string. Nadal's hitting and defence aren't too good, but he's more or less solid. And injury to Nishikori makes result a formality thereafter
 
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Amen786

Semi-Pro
Rafael Nadal beat Kei Nishikori 2-6, 6-4, 3-0 retired in the Madrid final, 2014 on clay

Nadal was the defending champion and he would go onto win the French Open shortly afterwards. This was Nishikori's first Masters final and he had recently won the title at Barcelona

Nadal won 65 points, Nishikori 55

Serve Stats
Nadal...
- 1st serve percentage (43/55) 78%
- 1st serve points won (31/43) 72%
- 2nd serve points won (7/12) 58%
- Aces 4
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (20/55) 36%

Nishikori...
- 1st serve percentage (38/65) 58%
- 1st serve points won (25/38) 66%
- 2nd serve points won (13/27) 48%
- Aces 2
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (14/65) 22%

Serve Pattern
Nadal served...
- to FH 13%
- to BH 79%
- to Body 8%

Nishikori served...
- to FH 31%
- to BH 66%
- to Body 3%

Return Stats
Nadal made...
- 48 (25 FH, 23 BH), including 10 runaround FHs
- 12 Errors, comprising...
- 9 Unforced (6 FH, 3 BH), including 3 runaround FHs
- 3 Forced (1 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (48/62) 77%

Nishikori made...
- 33 (9 FH, 24 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 16 Errors, comprising...
- 14 Unforced (2 FH, 12 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 2 Forced (2 BH)
- Return Rate (33/53) 62%

Break Points
Nadal 3/9 (5 games)
Nishikori 3/6 (4 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Nadal 7 (4 FH, 2 BH, 1 OH)
Nishikori 15 (7 FH, 7 BH, 1 FHV)

Nadal's FHs - 2 dtl (1 at net) and 2 inside-in
- BHs - 2 dtl at net

Nishikori's FHs - 6 inside-out and 1 drop shot
- BHs - 3 cc (1 return), 3 dtl and 1 drop shot

- the FHV was a swinging, inside-out shot

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Nadal 24
- 13 Unforced (7 FH, 6 BH)
- 11 Forced (7 FH, 4 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 44.6

Nishikori 35
- 30 Unforced (18 FH, 12 BH)
- 5 Forced (3 FH, 2 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 51

(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 6/6 (100%) at net

Nishikori was...
- 7/7 (100%) at net, including...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve
---
- 2/2 forced back/retreated

Match Report
Nishikori works Nadal over thoroughly from the back off the court with direction changers, wrong footing shots and early taken balls, especially off the BH for bulk of match before injury leaves him flat initially and barely able to move not long after, at which times he quits on a dampish looking court

Nishi leads the match 6-2, 4-2 with serve to come. After a point where he's runaround and on defensive at 4-3, he appears to pull something in his groin. Proceeds to get broken with Nadal playing strongly from the back, with Nishi's hitting dropping of force and a couple of winner attempts misses without proper set up.

And he doesn't win another game, his movement and hitting going down and down by the game. A medical time out doesn't help, nor a bathroom break between sets. He's barely moving by the end, or capable of hitting anything more than feebly.

Nadal finishes on an unbroken run of 19 straight service points won and 14/15 total points

Not sure exactly what goes wrong with Nishi. According to commentary, he'd had lower back/upper butt trouble during the tournament and undergone massages at changeover late in 2nd set in his previous two matches.

He has it again after Nadal holds for 3-4 in the second set, right on schedule. Is limping slightly after a long point in the game while serving for 5-3 lead. Gets broken going for his shots amidst Nadal leading play (which had rarely happened all match)

Nadal proceeds to hold with Nishi missing 4 regulation returns on the trot. Nishi takes medical time out before losing serve and set going for shots to unwise extent. Takes a bathroom break between sets but is obviously in condition to continue. 6/8 Nadal serve points in 3rd set are unreturned serves, most of them routine returns. Meanwhile, Nishi just rolls his serves in weakly, pinches a point with a third ball BH winner while being broken to 15

The type of limping looks like a groin matter, rather than a leg or lower back issue

Start of match looks like a typical Nadal rollover showing on the cards. Nadal holds to love to open (3 Nishi UEs) and has break point to go up 2-0, before Nishi finds himself to hold. Nadal wins first 6 games of the match

Nadal wins 7/11 points to start match
Nadal ends winning 29/35 points to end the match
In between, Nishi 57/76 or 75% of the points, with both players healthy. A remarkable run of dominance

In that dominant phase, the neutral ground battle sees Nishi come out ahead. Nadal's hitting is quite soft and he's apt to runaround to play FHs, even though he's not quick enough to do it comfortably or doesn't hit the FHs with enough authority to justify the move. He'd largely dropped the constant running around to hit FHs style by this period, but brings it out here. The limitations of it are on show. Nishi not only holds up, but takes lead by taking ball considerably earlier - occasionally stepping in to do so very early - without particularly hard hitting. Harder than the loopy Nadal, but not hard in general sense, but taken early, enough to rush Nadal a bit

Nadal isn't too strong on defence or movement either. Slightly wide balls draw weak replies from him (or very poor errors, like hitting ball half-way up net) and Nishi capitilizes by hitting genuinely attackingly. Smartly constructed points by Nishi - draw weak ball with slightly pressuring shots, and attack slightly more from those weaker balls. Rarely does he go for outright winners or otherwise point ending shots - and Nadal isn't able to thwart the moderate attacks

Odd, zipper of a winner throw in by Nishi. And an excellent lot or wrong footing shots. Nadal's caught moving the wrong way on both FH and BH sides of court - good mix of shot choices from Nishi

BH dtl is played attackingly. He tends to step up and sweep BH cc's early attackingly, but less so (giving Nadal a tough running shot, not a winner attempt). FH inside-out and dtl often catch Nadal mis-anticipating. FH cc is solid

Serve-return isn't much of an issue. Nish takes the odd return pressuringly early, Nadal looks to loop balls in passively (again, including with runaround FHs and again, its not worth the candle). So most rallies start 50-50

Nishi seizes initiative and from those positions and proceeds as outlined above. To tune of winning 75% points, sans a slow start and the hopeless ending. Great play from him, against a passive, not particularly good Nadal.

"Not particularly good" is a fair description of the soft hitting, not overly consistent and defensively vulnerable Nadal, but he's not bad either. Still shades UEs and keeps rallies going for awhile while on the run. Normal for most players, a couple steps down for him. All credit to Nishi for how play goes... he constructs points beautifully and hits a lovely balance of working Nadal over and finishing him off. Like a puppet master

Post injury isn't worth getting into. Suffice to say, Nishi's a goner. And he's already down 15-30 from a couple of early winner attempt errors before the point where he's run ragged and left limping afterwards goes. So likely, Nadal breaks regardless of injury in that particular game, mostly due to overaggression from Nishi. He also loses the game from similar, attacking errors without proper set up

Not a good game from Nishi - injury or not - and at odds with the point construction style that had gotten him so far. Its more a shot-makers game gone wrong, going for point ending shots from regulation positions

Match long stats are of limited value. Nadal's high 36% unreturned rate shoots up with missing 10/12 last returns
Nadal with low 7 winners (and 4 of them are at net - 3 of those grounstrokes). In other words, he can't get any real offence going from the back. He's only forced 5 errors too (Nishi has 30 unforced)
Nishi with 15 winners and forcing 11 errors are excellent numbers and almost all occur prior to injury. Meanwhile, he makes about a third of his 30 UEs post injury - and that's excluding all the return UEs and a double fault

And a little statistical tidbit. Both players win 100% net points - Nadal 6/6, Nishi 7/7 (including 2 points where he's forced back). Never seen that before

Summing up, excellent showing from Nishikori as he outhits, outmanuvers and works Nadal over from the back like a puppet on a string. Nadal's hitting and defence aren't too good, but he's more or less solid. And injury to Nishikori makes result a formality thereafter
Nishikori played like Djokovic until his body remembered that its made up of glass.
 

aldeayeah

Legend
I watched this match. Nishi looked unstoppable until divine intervention happened.

Props to Rafa for believing, others would have stopped trying and failed to take Nishi to the breaking point.
 

Sudacafan

Bionic Poster
I watched this match. Nishi looked unstoppable until divine intervention happened.

Props to Rafa for believing, others would have stopped trying and failed to take Nishi to the breaking point.
(Malignant?) divine intervention only happened in 40-15.
 
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