Match Stats/Report - Nadal vs Wawrinka, French Open final, 2017

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Rafael Nadal beat Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in the French Open final, 2017 on clay

It was Nadal's 10th title at the event. He would go onto win the next 3 editions. It was his first Slam title since 2014. Wawrinka was the reigning US Open champion and this was his first loss in a Slam final. The two had previously met in the Australian Open final in 2014 with Wawrinka winning

Nadal won 94 points, Wawrinka 57

Serve Stats
Nadal...
- 1st serve percentage (42/65) 65%
- 1st serve points won (35/42) 83%
- 2nd serve points won (15/23) 65%
- Aces 4 (1 second serve)
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (17/65) 26%

Wawrinka...
- 1st serve percentage (50/86) 58%
- 1st serve points won (27/50) 54%
- 2nd serve points won (15/36) 47%
- Aces 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (14/86) 16%

Serve Patterns
Nadal served...
- to FH 42%
- to BH 49%
- to Body 9%

Wawrinka served...
- to FH 35%
- to BH 65%

Return Stats
Nadal made...
- 72 (20 FH, 52 BH)
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 13 Errors, comprising...
- 6 Unforced (4 FH, 2 BH)
- 7 Forced (5 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (72/86) 84%

Wawrinka made...
- 48 (26 FH, 22 BH), including 3 runaround FHs
- 13 Errors, comprising...
- 11 Unforced (5 FH, 6 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 2 Forced (2 BH)
- Return Rate (48/65) 74%

Break Points
Nadal 6/13 (7 games)
Wawrinka 0/1

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Nadal 22 (13 FH, 5 BH, 3 BHV, 1 OH)
Wawrinka 16 (9 FH, 2 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 BH1/2V, 1 OH)

Nadal's FHs - 3 cc (1 pass), 4 dtl (1 return) and 6 inside-out
- BHs - 2 cc, 2 dtl (1 pass) and 1 running-down-drop-shot dtl pass at net

Wawrinka's FHs - 3 cc, 3 dtl, 2 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- BHs - 1 inside-out and 1 running-down-drop-shot cc pass at net

- the BH1/2V was played from behind service line and not a net point

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Nadal 27
- 15 Unforced (9 FH, 6 BH)
- 12 Forced (7 FH, 4 BH, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.7

Wawrinka 55
- 35 Unforced (21 FH, 12 BH, 1 BHV, 1 OH)... the BHV was a baseline shot & the OH was a baseline shot on the bounce
- 20 Forced (12 FH, 7 BH, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.6

(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...
- 14/17 (82%) at net, with...
- 0/1 forced back/retreating

Wawrinka was...
- 7/13 (54%) at net, including...
- 2/2 serve-volleying, both 1st serves
--
- 0/1 forced back/retreated

Match Report
Atypically brutal display from Nadal, particularly on the return and off the BH, as he bludgeons Wawrinka into submission.

Its more that Stan isn't allowed to play his game because Nadal plays it better (if not first), rather than he doesn't play well, though there's some of that too

Routine scoreline (2, 3 & 1), points total (Nadal 94, Stan 57), Nadal's huge lead in basic stats (first serve in +7%, first serve won +29%, second serve won, +18%) all speak to one sidedness of contest

Nadal isn't just +7 on winners/UE differential but is close to being in positives off both wings. On FH, he's +4, on BH -1. Figures like that are very rare on any surface, but particularly clay. Meanwhile, he's forced 20 of Stan's 55 errors... which is very rare for him. Nadal typically outlasts or at most, consistently pressures errors out of his opponents, not thrashes them out of them

Here, 36% of Stan's errors are FEs... and that's with him being quite error prone (i.e. its not that he just isn't making UEs, so whatever errors come must be FEs) and much of the UEs being beaten out of him (i.e. relatively hard for UEs). Comparing to other Nadal French Open finals -
- '05 its 32%
- '06 its 26%
- '07 its 23%
- '08 its 27%
- '10 its 33%
- '11 its 31%
- '12 its 19%
- '13 its 29%
- '20 its 15%

Not much wrong with Stan's defence either. Nadal's hits exceptionally hard and when he goes wide on top of that, balls would extremely difficult to get back in play for anyone.

Note unusual 0 runaround FH returns by Nadal. Usually, he's always moving around to hit second serve returns with loopy FHs. Here he belts BHs instead. Same thing in play... virtually no runaround FH'ng, just pulverizing BHs instead. Few things set this match apart from Nadal's point of view -

- He plays a power baseline, not outlasting game
- He returns with intent to snatch initiative, not with undue focus on just getting ball in play and being content to start rally from defensive position
- He plays a dual winged game, not running around to hit FHs all the time
- He uses BH to attack, not just as a rock that won't give up errors

Serve & Return
Hefty serving from Nadal of power, very ordinary of placement. Almost everything is in Stan's swing zone, though strong enough to get the odd error. Stand swings at returns off both sides. Generally, he blocks back a lot of returns - even off FH or/and falls back well behind baseline to take a big swing. Here, he stands in orthodox position and swings

Decent, but short of good 74% return rate from Stan. 11/13 errors have been marked unforced, mostly powerful but in reach serves. He's under some pressure to return hard because Nadal is apt to look for point ending shots or highly attacking ones first up

The standout is Nadal's return, which is some of his best. Stan has a genuinely big serve - for starters, a lot bigger than Nadal's. You wouldn't know it to see Nadal return. He takes ball well behind baseline, is quick to run to cover Stan's wider serves (which are well wide, given where Nadal's standing) and hammers returns flat and sometimes wide, especially BH cc. Not at all like his norm. Likely out of respect for Stan's power hitting. Nadal misses a few returns long, in pursuit of depth to keep from Stan launching into third ball. Despite the (for him) attacking returning and strong opposition, he still gets high 84% returns in play

Note the big serving Stan kept to just 1 ace. Nadal has 4 and his serve is a cut or 2 below of strength - that's Nadal's fleetness in moving to return at work

No double faults in the match from either player
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Play - Baseline & Net
Initially, Stan is on the look out for chances to unload with his big shots. Both Nadal's serve and return keep these chances down, and Stan has to go for them against regulation balls rather than short or loopily slow ones. He misses a good number trying - he has 7 attacking UEs (Nadal remarkably has 0), but also succeeds.

Nadal's forced into error as often as he give up UEs (12 FEs, 15 UEs), or 44% of his errors are forced. So much higher a proportion of FEs than what Stan has has much to do with Nadal being consistent enough not to give up UEs. Nadal isn't unduly strong in defence because Stan's attacking shots are too good

Nadal plays a toned down version of the same game. On service game, he looks to take charge of points with power or hit point ender off third ball (not necessarily of third ball). He's willing - and somewhat able - to scamper and defend when needed, but is far more apt to counter-attack on the run than retrieve the ball. He keeps normal court position, virtually never runsaround to hit a FH and hits hard and deep with BH. Its rare to see Nadal hit so many attacking, wide BH cc's, which forces at least as many of Stan's match high 12 FH FEs (Nadal has 12 total, Stan has 8 non-FH FEs) as the FH does

FH is still his chief kill shot and has match high 13 winners, including 6 inside-out. These aren't exaggerated runaround shots, but balls in middle of court that he can hit off either side and that he elects to take with FHs

Best rallies are Nadal FH vs Stan BH ones. Nadal gets the ball up high, occasionally troubling Stan but on whole, Stan's able to hit with authority and often able to hit forcefully wide. Nadal's systematic FH cc'ng to get the errors tend to go out the window when Stan swishes one extra wide, but he remains typically consistent and goes closer to line than his norm

UEs read Nadal 9 FHs, Stan 12 BHs... a good outcome from Stan's point of view, given potential for having his BH broken down completely

The alternative Stan FH vs Nadal BH is disappointing from Stan's side, independent of Nadal hitting particularly well. In addition to being outhit, Stan's FH is genuinely loose and has match high 21 UEs (Nadal has 15 UEs total, Stan 14 non-FH ones). About as much discredit to Stan for loose play here as credit to Nadal, who hits particularly well of power and is able to get the ball attackingly wide after suitable build up. Having missed a bundle and the ones he makes coming back, Stan more or less gives up on attacking dtl and sticks to neutral cc shots. The errors don't take too long to come, or Nadal boxes the BH to take charge

Stan's FH accounts for 33 of his 55 errors in play. Not a good FH day for him, though he's up against a handful in Nadal's BH

Beaten convincingly from the back, Stan flirts with coming to net a bit. Doesn't do him much good - he's 7/13 at net and just 5/11 coming in off rallies. Volleys well enough and comes in behind strong approaches (opportunities for which are scarce) but Nadal too good on finding strong passes

Match Progression
First set is an ugly affair. Nadal serves quite heftily and returns with an eye for depth to keep Stan from attacking. Stan goes for power based attacking shots and beats out a few errors from Nadal. Nadal's goes in for some uncharacteristic attacking shot choices off the BH - early taken hard hit cc and some dtl's. Rallies are short and hard hitting. Not too much defence involve - Stan makes his shots or misses

The set is decided by Stan's errors. He survives 18 point hold to make it 2-2 but doesn't win another game. He's broken to 15 - great Nadal FH cc + dtl 1-2 ending with a winner and a wide BH cc return that leads to him taking charge on break point. And broken again to end the set to 30, with 3 FH UEs

Nadal makes it 7 games in a row to take a 3-0 lead in the 2nd set. The break comes to love and is a wonderful, commanding game from him. His play grows stronger and cleaner. Stan comes to net a bit as he's being bullied from back of the court. No more breaks in the set

Nadal runs away with the third, continuing to dominate the baseline. Stan gets a few good, wide BHs off, which Nadal's mostly upto handling, but his FH is fairly soft and error prone. Nadal meanwhile adds coming to net more to all the power stuff from the back to make his play even more formidable as he breaks 3 times - including to finish the match

Summing up, outstanding showing from of power hitting from Nadal, including on the return. While retaining his normal iron consistency, he hits harder, deeper, flatter, taking ball earlier then his norm. The BH hitting in particular stands out and he returns in the same way. Not bad from Wawrinka. His FH is a bit off, but its up against formidable opposition in Nadal's BH and he gets bullied from and on the baseline

Stats for pair's '14 Australian Open final - (2) Match Stats/Report - Wawrinka vs Nadal, Australian Open final, 2014 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
Stats for '15 final between Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic - (2) Match Stats/Report - Wawrinka vs Djokovic, French Open final, 2015 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
 

Milehigh5280

Professional
Man, this was a beatdown. I thought this match had potential to be close, but I should've known better after that brutal semi Stan played and because it's Nadal in a RG final
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
The fact that Wawrinka only had 1 break point in this match (in the 1st set) really stood out.

In the 57 clay court major finals that have taken place so far in the open era, including the 3 at the USO from 1975-1977, the only 4 I'm aware of where the winner wasn't broken at all, are Vilas vs. Gotffried in the 1977 RG final (saving 4/4 break points), Federer vs. Soderling in 2009 (saving 2/2 break points both in the 3rd set), Nadal vs. Soderling in 2010 (saving 8/8 break points). and Nadal vs. Wawrinka in 2017 (saving 1/1 break point).

Kodes and Nastase dropped their first service games of the match during their respective very one sided wins in the 1970 and 1973 RG finals, Borg was broken multiple times vs. Vilas in 1975 and 1978 and vs. Gerulaitis in 1980, Nadal once apiece vs. Federer in 2008, Thiem in 2018 and Djokovic in 2020 etc.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
The fact that Wawrinka only had 1 break point in this match (in the 1st set) really stood out.

In the 57 clay court major finals that have taken place so far in the open era, including the 3 at the USO from 1975-1977, the only 4 I'm aware of where the winner wasn't broken at all, are Vilas vs. Gotffried in the 1977 RG final (saving 4/4 break points), Federer vs. Soderling in 2009 (saving 2/2 break points both in the 3rd set), Nadal vs. Soderling in 2010 (saving 8/8 break points). and Nadal vs. Wawrinka in 2017 (saving 1/1 break point).

Kodes and Nastase dropped their first service games of the match during their respective very one sided wins in the 1970 and 1973 RG finals, Borg was broken multiple times vs. Vilas in 1975 and 1978 and vs. Gerulaitis in 1980, Nadal once apiece vs. Federer in 2008, Thiem in 2018 and Djokovic in 2020 etc.
GOATY AF :D
 
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