Match Stats/Report - Nadal vs Ramos-Vinolas, Monte Carlo final, 2017

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Rafael Nadal beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 6-3 in the Monte Carlo final, 2017 on clay

It was Nadal's 10th title at the event, making him the first player in Open Era to reach that figure at a single event. He would add a 10th title in Barcelona and French Open shortly after, and in 2021 Rome. To date, he remains the only player to reach that mark. Ramos-Vinolas was seeded 15 and beaten world number #1 Andy Murray, Marin Cilic and Lucas Pouille en route to the final. To date, it remains the only Masters final of his career

Nadal won 58 points, Ramos-Vinolas 35

Serve Stats
Nadal...
- 1st serve percentage (31/41) 76%
- 1st serve points won (25/31) 81%
- 2nd serve points won (7/10) 70%
- Aces 5 (1 second serve)
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (11/41) 27%

Ramos-Vinolas...
- 1st serve percentage (29/52) 56%
- 1st serve points won (16/29) 55%
- 2nd serve points won (10/23) 43%
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (5/52) 10%

Serve Pattern
Nadal served...
- to FH 45%
- to BH 53%
- to Body 3%

Ramos-Vinolas served...
- to FH 60%
- to BH 40%

Return Stats
Nadal made...
- 45 (31 FH, 14 BH), including 4 runaround FHs
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 5 Errors, comprising...
- 3 Unforced (2 FH, 1 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 2 Forced (2 FH)
- Return Rate (45/50) 90%

Ramos-Vinolas made...
- 29 (12 FH, 17 BH)
- 6 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (2 FH, 2 BH)
- 2 Forced (1 FH, 1 BH)
- Return Rate (29/40) 73%

Break Points
Nadal 4/11 (5 games)
Ramos-Vinolas 0

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Nadal 16 (7 FH, 3 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV, 3 OH)
Ramos-Vinolas 9 (5 FH, 2 BH, 1 FHV, 1 OH)

Nadal's FHs - 3 dtl, 2 inside-out, 1 inside-in/cc and 1 running-down-drop-shot cc pass at net
- BHs - 3 dtl (1 return)

- 1 from a serve-volley point, a first volley FHV

- 1 OH was on the bounce

Ramos-Vinolas' FHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl at net, 2 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- BHs - 2 dtl (1 at net)

- the OH was on the bounce from near the baseline

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Nadal 20
- 16 Unforced (8 FH, 8 BH)
- 4 Forced (2 FH, 2 BH)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 51.9

Ramos-Vinolas 29
- 20 Unforced (12 FH, 8 BH)... with 1 BH pass attempt
- 9 Forced (3 FH, 4 BH, 1 BHV, 1 BHOH)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.5

(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 a measure of how aggressive of intent the average UE made was. 60 is maximum, 20 is minimum. This match has been scored using a four point scale - 2 defensive, 4 neutral, 5 attacking, 6 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Nadal was...
- 10/11 (91%) at net, including...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve

Ramos-Vinolas was 5/8 (63%) at net

Match Report
A baseline mismatch with Nadal stronger by streets than Ramos-Vinolas

Its not that Nadal plays particularly well or that Vinolas plays particularly badly. Its more that they look like two calibre of players

There are points of interest to action in looking at how Nadal tackles a left-handed opponent. Its not dissimilar to what he does against right handers. Particularly early on, Nadal looks to play back-away FH inside-outs to Vinolas' BH. Not aggressive, potential point ending shots, just testing out the BH and looking to break it down. Same thing he generally does to right handers with FH cc

Starting with that, Nadal moves Vinolas around some by throwing in FH inside-in/cc along with the inside-outs. Again, similar to what he does to right handed opponents

Vinolas isn't upto handling either move. His BH breaks down and on the move, he's apt to give up errors too

From Nadal's point of view, he's playing in leaning-on-BH-side and looking-for-back-away-FHs style at start. From his breakout in 2005, that's how he'd played but gone into a more central position and dual winged playing style gradually. For 2017, this is exceptionally of his old style. By following year, he'd be almost completely a dual winged player, with no undue running-around to hit FHs. He does switch to more dual winged position as match wears on

In second set, there's more orthodox BH-BH rallies. Both players switch to leaning back and hitting neutral FH inside-outs instead along the staple diagonal. Some good FH play from Vinolas in this part of match and he ends with decent 5 FH winners - just 2 shy of Nadal

There's a sharp consistency gap - neutral UEs read Nadal 6, Vinolas 12 - but more than that is the hitting gap. Vinolas' shots are tepid enough that Nadal can take charge from regulation rallies without strain, pushing him back, or wide or turning to running him around.

Its not a passive, bleeding out showing from Nadal. He's not quite putting Vinolas to the sword, but is looking to aggressively pound him down. Along with high 16 winners is very high UEFI of 51.9 (9/16 or 56% of his UEs are winner attempts. Vinolas 25%) and near perfect 10/11 at net, including a serve-volley. The way normal rallies go, just keeping ball in play to draw errors from Vinolas is viable strategy too

5 dtl winners from Nadal (3 FH, 2 BH), with bulk of his winner attempt misses also being attempted dtl shots speaks to both aggression and not overly back-away FH play. Just the 2 FH inside-out winners. Balance of inside-out and dtl winners from Nadal is usually a good indicator of extent he's going out of his way to play FHs... he does it a fair bit to start and continues to to a lesser extent all match, but not to the degree he was apt to in 2005-08 period

Vinolas' groundstrokes are inconsistent enough - not only do the errors come, but they don't take too long in so doing - that you'd imagine his UEs would account for bigger chunk of points than Nadal's aggressively ended points. 20 UEs from Vinolas, while Nadal has high 16 winners and forces 9 errors reflects a fairly attacking display from the winner

Nadal looks to do damage with serve too, serving fairly hard by his standard on clay. Vinolas is caught out by direction and slow to respond. 27% unreturned rate is high for Nadal on clay - that's due to Vinolas not being upto standard, not anything unduly strong in Nadal's serve

On flip side, typical consistent returning from Nadal to tune of 90% return rate. No demons in the average, Vinolas serve

Neither player is particularly impressive of movement. Vinolas is again average at best and doesn't seem to anticipate minor direction changing shots in similar way to his returning. Nadal's movement isn't tested much but he does pull off a couple of miracle 'gets'. 1 is a FH running-down-drop-shot winner at net where he has to run about as far as possible from outside the deuce court to the fore ad court. On another, he's run all over the place for the point and does very well to defend, before coming away with a BH dtl winner when Vinolas eases back on the wide hitting for a shot

Match Progression
Vinolas holds for 1-1 from 0-40 down, with Nadal missing 3 FH winner attempts (1 inside-in, 1 inside-out and 1 dtl). That's last piece of good news for him in the set as he wins 6 points in the 5 games as Nadal races away with the set. Plenty of Nadal back-away FH inside-out testing Vinolas' BH and otherwise, neutral rallying with Vinolas giving up the errors to end them in this part of the match

Second set is better and on serve to 2-2 before Nadal breaks. Action is more competitive with Vinolas hanging in rallies better and even getting occasional attacks off with the FH or approaching net. Nadal remains more consistent and heavier of shot though, but at least he's not just doing whatever he wants to Vinolas. And Nadal takes to being aggessive from central court position starting point to greater extent, going for dtl winners (missing more often than not, but he's got healthy basic consistency and serve-return complex advantage to fall back on). Not a bad set of tennis, though not a competitive one either

Summing up, a baseline mis-match, like two different calibre players competing. From neutral positions, Nadal either draws errors or soft balls that he can go off on attacking, while returning a harmless serve with typical consistency and getting a fair fill of cheap points with his own, average serve. Ramos-Vinolas plays a basic, sound game style but simply isn't upto par for the Nadal course
 
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