Match Stats/Report - Rosol vs Nadal, Wimbledon second round, 2012


Hall of Fame
Lukas Rosol beat Rafael Nadal 6-7(9), 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in the Wimbledon second round, 2012 on grass

Rosol, who was ranked 100th in the world, would go onto lose in the next round to Philipp Kohlschreiber. Nadal had reached the final of the event in his last 5 entries. He would not play again for rest of the season

Rosol won 139 points, Nadal 137

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (92/137) 67%
- 1st serve points won (76/92) 83%
- 2nd serve points won (26/45) 58%
- Aces 22
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (52/137) 38%

- 1st serve percentage (93/139) 67%
- 1st serve points won (73/93) 78%
- 2nd serve points won (29/46) 63%
- Aces 20 (4 whiffs), Service Winners 3
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (64/139) 46%

Serve Patterns
Rosol served...
- to FH 34%
- to BH 65%
- to Body 1%

Nadal served...
- to FH 39%
- to BH 47%
- to Body 14%

Return Stats
Rosol made...
- 73 (33 FH, 40 BH)
- 3 Winners (1 FH, 2 BH)
- 41 Errors, comprising...
- 23 Unforced (13 FH, 10 BH)
- 18 Forced (10 FH, 8 BH)
- Return Rate (73/137) 53%

Nadal made...
- 82 (23 FH, 59 BH), including 6 runaround FHs
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 30 Errors, comprising...
- 7 Unforced (2 FH, 5 BH)
- 23 Forced (10 FH, 13 BH)
- Return Rate (82/134) 61%

Break Points
Rosol 4/8 (5 games)
Nadal 3/4 (4 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Rosol 37 (26 FH, 4 BH, 1 FHV, 5 BHV, 1 OH)
Nadal 16 (12 FH, 1 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV)

Rosol's FHs - 6 cc, 6 dtl (1 at net), 5 inside-out (1 at net), 1 inside-out/dtl, 6 inside-in (1 return), 1 longline and 1 net chord dribbler
- BHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl and 2 inside-in returns

- 3 from serve-volley points (1 FHV, 2 BHV), all 1st volleys

- 1 other BHV was a swinging pass from near baseline and not a net point

Nadal's FHs - 2 cc, 2 dtl (1 return), 5 inside-out (1 at net) and 3 inside-in (1 pass)
- BH - 1 longline at net

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

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Rosol 54
- 39 Unforced (23 FH, 15 BH, 1 OH)... with 1 BH at net
- 15 Forced (5 FH, 8 BH, 1 BHV, 1 Over-the-Shoulder)... with 1 FH that he got in play, but incorrectly challenged & 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.2

Nadal 48
- 20 Unforced (13 FH, 7 BH)
- 28 Forced (16 FH, 11 BH, 1 BHV)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net & 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47

(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
Rosol was...
- 13/19 (68%) at net, including...
- 6/7 (86%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves
- 0/1 forced back

Nadal was...
- 13/18 (72%) at net, including...
- 3/3 (100%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves

Match Report
Rosol serves big and fearlessly takes brutally huge cuts off the ground - including on the return - leaving Nadal pushing and poking what he can back in play and hoping for Rosol to miss. He doesn't miss nearly enough and comes out with a memorable and inspirational win

Essentially, this is a serve dominated match, where the rare good return game/bad service game (almost all good return game in fact) becomes crucial. There is (deceptively) next to nothing between the two players statistically

- Points won - Rosol 139, Nadal 137 (with Rosol serving 137, Nadal 139)
- 1st serve in - both 67%
- 1st serve won - Rosol 83%, Nadal 78%
- 2nd serve points won - Rosol 58%, Nadal 63%

You'd be hard pressed to tell who won the match from that. So why is it deceptive?

Rosol breaks early in all 3 sets he wins. After that, he just has to hold serve. In that situation, he's free to go bananas on return - and to some extent, does. Almost always failing. Nadal holds serve very comfortably for almost entirety of remainder of those 3 sets, which makes his numbers look good. It doesn't matter a jot as long as he can't break... and not only can't he, but he can't even get close

That still leaves Ros the job of holding serve 5 times to win the sets. Not an easy job against Nadal. That's where the Ros shines. The only break point Nadal sees in the sets he loses is aced away

Key features of the match are both serve vs return duels (which are both intense, but in very different ways) and the remarkable extent to which Rosol overpowers Nadal off the ground (regardless of who's service games the rallies take place in)

Serve & Return
Rosol serves huge and well. Nadal is a bit off on the return of consistency and when he remedies that, of force

On flip side, Nadal serves well, within the context of having a categorically less potent serve than Rosol. Rosol returns with extreme aggression... missing a lot, but whatever he makes tends to give him strong command of points.

In incontestable numbers, its deceptively Nadal who looks to be getting better of serve-return complex

Nadal leads unreturned rates by substantial amount 46% to 38%. He trails aces just slightly 20 to 22. Throwing in service winners (not an 'incontestable' number), Nadal moves ahead 23-22 on unreturnable serves

46% unreturned serves and 20 aces are extremely high for Nadal. The highest I know of for him

Substantial differences in the return error types hint at something else being at play

Rosol has 23 UEs, 18 FEs - or 44% of his return errors are forced
Nadal has 7 UEs, 23 FEs - or just 77% by contrast

Basically, Rosol swings for the hills on returns, thus missing a high lot of times - but whatever he connects leaving him in charge. Stress on 'leaving him in charge'.... these aren't neutralizing or mildly putting Nadal on defensive returns, they're full on, potential point endingly brutal returns. Nadal does reasonably well to keep his third ball forced errors down to a minimum, but can just poke balls back... and Rosol's ready to hammer the fourth ball for a point ending shot

Not that that happens too often. 46% unreturned rate from Nadal speaks to that. But as long as Rosol can hold serve, its likely to eventually get him a break when the big cuts land in. As is, they get him the breaks early in sets, so what happens after doesn't matter much. On whole, his showing is reminiscent of Goran Ivanisevic, who used to handle things in this way

Nadal's high 20 aces include at least 4 Rosol whiffs (couple of others are unclear). While getting genuinely unreturnable serves out wide fairly often, much of his first serving is in-swing zone and highly returnable. And Rosol tees off on these

Nadal on return by contrast, gets racquet on ball somehow to poke the ball back in play, usually softly in middle of court. And Rosol again, is ready to hammer the point to bed off the third ball. Very few serves are in his swing zone - and even those that are are very powerful

That happens frequently and more or less throughout the match, gaining in regularity as match wears on as Rosol gains in confidence

61% return rate from Nadal is better than his showing looked. Early on, he can barely return a first serve. Later on, he starts to struggle with the seconds. And at no stage that Nadal return with any kind of authority... its relatively easy pickings for Rosol when Nadal's return comes back. Just a bit off on consistency too. All of Rosol's first serves are powerful, and only odd ones aren't particularly placed wide. Nadal's large 23 return FEs include a small portion of 'makeably' forceful first serves... nothing's easy, but he at any rate is in the habit of getting such returns back


Hall of Fame
Play - Baseline
Play is virtually all baseline stuff, with negligible net play

First set, baseline rallies are normal. As in both players hitting the ball - Rosol more firmly (decently, nothing outstanding), Nadal a bit feebly, particularly off the FH, which is also uncharacteristically loose with errors. Still, Nadal retains consistency advantage

Nature of play changes for good at start of 2nd set. Rosol breaks to love to get things started. Thereafter, Rosol hits with brutal power for rest of match, particularly off FH. Nadal's left to poke balls back as he can
This hasn't come out at all in UEFI, which are near identical (Rosol 47.2, Nadal 47). Rosol doesn't aim wide too often, just blasts the ball with regulation placement... a shot more neutral than attacking, but very much pressuring. Nadal's counter-shots are reactive, but also essentially neutral

It has come out in winners and error figures
- Winners - Rosol 37, Nadal 16

Rosol has 26 FH winners alone. Almost any FH he hits is at least pressuring. And he hits them every which way - non-return, purely baseline-to-baseline winners include 6 cc, 5 dtl, 4 inside-out and 5 inside-in... you won't see a more balanced distribution than that

Nadal's offence is confined to FH, with BH being the rock of the match. With Rosol's hitting, there isn't time to move around to hit FHs, so he has to make do without his preferred, runaround FHs

Both players with outstanding FH showings - Rosol 26 winners, 23 UEs, Nadal 12 winners, 13 UEs... and 7 of Nadal's UEs are in his off first set. He has just 6 in the matches remaining 4 sets

On the BH, Rosol's hard hitting does substantial damage in forcing errors, but just 4 winners. 2 are returns and both of the others are in last set. It keeps Nadal pinned back and does its part though. Nadal's BH is typically consistent, with match low 7 UEs, but is unthreatening. His only BH winner is a putaway shot at net in first game of match. UE counts -

- Nadal BH 7
- Nadal FH 13
- Rosol BH 15
- Rosol FH 23

Rosol leading winners by 21, Nadal leading (as in, has fewer) UEs by 19 largely cancel out. And with Nadal with significant unreturned serve lead, would leave Nadal ahead, but for the FEs

Rosol forces 28 errors, Nadal can manage just 15. Overwhelming bulk of Nadal's FEs are drawn by Rosol blasting balls from the baseline. 20 UEs to 28 FEs for Nadal is a very FE heavy yield of errors, and is best indicator of Rosol's brute force hitting

No problem with Nadal defensively or off movement... just too good hitting from Rosol. He finishes +26 points ended forcefully/UE differential, while Nadal is +19, also a good figure

Match Progression
Serve dominates early part of match. Nadal can barely get a first serve back in play and Rosol doesn't lose a first serve point until the tiebreak. Nadal's FH is a loose in play

Players trade breaks in early/middle part of set. Nadal breaks first with Rosol making BH UEs. Rosol breaks right back with Nadal making FH UEs. Tiebreak is entertaining and both players have a 2 set points each. It ends with Rosol missing a very much there for the shot, third ball FH dtl winner attempt. Just the 2nd first serve point he loses all set out of 24 - both of them in the tiebreak. Curiously, he wins all his 2nd serve points in the 'breaker though, which he'd struggled on earlier

Rosol breaks to love to open the second set. There's some luck involved with a net chord dribbling winner and Nadal double faulting on break point. Nadal also misses a makeable, running-down-drop-shot at net. Nadal has break point in the following game, which is aced away. Thereafter, neither player can get anywhere in return games

Similar story in 3rd set. A series of very powerful returns puts Rosol up 0-40. Nadal saves a couple of break points with Rosol missing roundhouse returns (including a whiffed ace), but Nadal misses a routine FH to give up the break. Other than the break, Nadal only loses 1 service point in the set, but again, can't get into return games

From 2-2 in the 4th set, Nadal wins 4 games in a row to force the decider. He gains his breaks by hanging in rallies and ekeing out errors from Rosol

There's a 30 minutes break as the roof closes and lights are turned on. Rosol plays a blinder of a fifth set. He breaks to start with even more intense hitting then he'd shown earlier in the match. A poor shot choice from Nadal on break point, as he elects to hit a soft, mid court ball longline down middle of court which he comes in behind. Rosol smacks the FH cc pass and Nadal can't handle the very difficult volley

Thereafter, Rosol serves up a complete storm, making 19/23 first serves and winning 18 of them, including 7 aces. Whatever returns come back are usually blasted away for a winner. In play, Rosol has 12 winners, forces 5 errors and makes 5 UEs... one of the most awe-inspiring sets of tennis you'll see. Nadal not only can't get into return games, but is severly under the gun against huge cut returns while serving. He holds mostly on back on unreturned serves, but with break in hand, Rosol is never in danger. He finishes the match with a love hold - 3 aces and a third ball FH winner

Summing up, very impressive showing from Lukas Rosol - big serving and roundhouse swinging from the hips off the ground, including on the return. Nadal himself serves well but is pushed back so regularly that he's in no position to dictate from the baseline. There are plenty of matches where Nadal errs on side of passivity from the back; this isn't one of them - he doesn't have much choice against Rosol's power blasting hitting. Soft returning from Nadal is a problem, but he'd have had to be at his very best to do well against the calibre serving Rosol dishes out

Rosol overpowering Nadal is gist of story. Getting his breaks early in sets does make it easier for him to carry on along those lines, but all in all, a brutal showing from the 100th ranked, playing his 2nd ever grass tournament Rosol

@aldeayeah - thoughts?


Bionic Poster
A 2-point difference in the match, interesting....... Basically the 11-9 in the first set TB. Only watched highlights a few times so forgot the score.
He breaks to start with even more intense hitting then he'd shown earlier in the match.
Nadal UE shank
Rosol netcord FH followed by a big swinging volley
Nadal serve+FH
Nadal unret serve
Rosol FH error-forcer (winner quality)
Rosol easy passing FH after Nadal hits the ball at him
He was about to be 2 sets up, it was squeaky bum time like crazy. I think Rosol had 2 set points in the 2nd set, or he was 2 points from taking it. Toni was sweating.
Had double set point in the tiebreak. One serve away from a two-set lead. Nadal proved his mettle but we saw that his form wasn't all that. The ensuing Kyrgios upset rather followed the pattern except with even more botting.


Bionic Poster
Had double set point in the tiebreak. One serve away from a two-set lead. Nadal proved his mettle but we saw that his form wasn't all that. The ensuing Kyrgios upset rather followed the pattern except with even more botting.
Yeah it was crazy. Nadal came out of the tunnel looking confident like, yeah buddy this isn't happening for you twice. Next thing you know he was rattled and very lucky to not have been down 2 sets. Wimby 2014 he lost the first set of all his matches. It caught up with him against Nick.


This was a pretty fun match, although obviously a heartbreaker.

Credit to Lukas for managing to keep his head cool in the 5th, that was the most impressive part.

Sent Rafa into a well needed vacation, so it may have been a blessing in disguise!

Pity Rafa failed to retool his grass game until 2017 and collected a bunch of early exits for his trouble (I rate the 2017 Muller match pretty highly though)


Talk Tennis Guru
He was about to be 2 sets up, it was squeaky bum time like crazy. I think Rosol had 2 set points in the 2nd set, or he was 2 points from taking it. Toni was sweating.
Nothing helped Rosol at Wimbledon in 2014, including knoking over Rafa's bottle after a changeover.




Talk Tennis Guru
Yeah it was crazy. Nadal came out of the tunnel looking confident like, yeah buddy this isn't happening for you twice. Next thing you know he was rattled and very lucky to not have been down 2 sets. Wimby 2014 he lost the first set of all his matches. It caught up with him against Nick.