Match Stats/Report - Soderling vs Federer, French Open quarter-final, 2010

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Robin Soderling beat Roger Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 the French Open quarter-final, 2010 on clay

Soderling would go onto reach the final, where he'd lose to Rafael Nadal. The match was a repeat of the previous years final which Federer had won. The result ended Federer's run of consecutive Slam semis reached at 23. It would turn out to be Soderling's only victory over Federer in 17 matches

Soderling won 124 points, Federer 121

[Note: I'm missing 7 points - 4 Soderling serve points (he won 3, lost 1), 3 Federer serve points (he won 2, lost 1)

Missing Points
Set 4, Game 1, Points 1-3
Set 4, Game 2, Points 2-5

On a small number of points, I've made educated guesses about serve type]

Serve Stats
Soderling...
- 1st serve percentage (80/122) 66%
- 1st serve points won (58/80) 73%
- 2nd serve points won (23/42) 54%
- Unknown serve points won (3/4) 75%
- Aces 14
- Double Faults 6
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (38/122) 31%

Federer...
- 1st serve percentage (75/116) 65%
- 1st serve points won (55/75) 73%
- 2nd serve points won (22/41) 54%
- Unknown serve points won (2/3) 67%
- Aces 12, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (46/116) 40%

Serve Patterns
Soderling served...
- to FH 41%
- to BH 52%
- to Body 7%

Federer served...
- to FH 41%
- to BH 55%
- to Body 4%

Return Stats
Soderling made...
- 68 (26 FH, 42 BH)
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 33 Errors, comprising...
- 14 Unforced (3 FH, 11 BH)
- 19 Forced (12 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (68/114) 60%

Federer made...
- 78 (36 FH, 42 BH), including 2 runaround FHs
- 2 Winners (2 FH)
- 24 Errors, comprising...
- 8 Unforced (5 FH, 3 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 16 Forced (10 FH, 6 BH)
- Return Rate (78/116) 67%

Break Points
Soderling 4/9 (5 games)
Federer 2/7 (5 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Soderling 32 (20 FH, 7 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV, 2 OH, 1 BHOH)
Federer 26 (13 FH, 10 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV)

Soderling's FHs - 7 cc (1 at net), 1 dtl, 6 inside-out, 4 inside-in, 1 running-down-drop-shot dtl pass at net and 1 net chord dribbler
- BHs - 6 dtl and 1 inside-out return

- 1 OH can reasonably be called a FHV

Federer's FHs - 7 cc (2 returns, 1 pass), 2 inside-in, 1 inside-in/cc, 2 drop shots and 1 running-down-drop-shot cc at net
- BHs - 3 cc, 5 dtl (2 passes, 1 slice) and 2 drop shots (1 at net)

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Soderling 40
- 31 Unforced (19 FH, 11 BH, 1 BHV)... with 2 FH at net
- 9 Forced (6 FH, 2 BH, 1 FHV)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net & 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 49.4

Federer 48
- 29 Unforced (19 FH, 10 BH)
- 19 Forced (9 FH, 9 BH, 1 FHV)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.9

(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
Soderling was...
- 19/31 (61%) at net, with...
- 1/1 forced back/retreated

Federer was 10/13 (77%) at net

Match Report
Great showing off dual winged power baselining from Soderling in a serve dominated match in wet conditions. Both players serve up superbly - Soderling more through brute power, Federer with pinpoint placement as well as pace - to make comfortable to easy holds the norm. Soderling though is better at choice attacking returning (in context of scarce serves that allow it) and over course of match, is much the more proactive, attacking player from the back

It seems to have rained not long before start of match and court looks damp. The whole match is played in at least overcast conditions, much of the time its drizzling and small part of the match, raining about as hard as it can without play being halted. There are 2 breaks for rain when it gets too much. The bounce is relatively low. In theory, court should also be getting slower as it gets wetter, though you wouldn't think so to see the serving and Soderling's power hitting

Match long stats are virtually dead even -
- 1st serve in - Soderling 66%, Federer 65%
- 1st serve won - both 73%
- 2nd serve won - both 54%
(there's also negligible and near equal unknowns service points - Soderling wins 3/4, Federer 2/3)

Break point numbers are also very close -
- Soderling 4/9 and Fed 2/7 with both having such points in 5 games

Match isn't as close as those figures would indicate and are heavily influenced by a sublime first set from Federer in which he loses 2 points on serve while regularly threatening to break (he serves 4.4 points per game, Soderling 8), hits 14 winners (9 FH, 5 BH) while making 5 UEs. Extraordinary numbers and a fair reflection of virtually flawless play - excellent serving, sure returning against a strong serve, gliding about the court, barely missing a ball and lashing winners off both sides of anything imperfect

Thereafter, Fed's level drops to normal and Soderling takes charge of rallies. Both players continue to dominate with serve shot (especially Federer, who has huge 40% unreturned serves to Soderling's still high 31%), so gaining break chances remain scarce

Excellent numbers from both players in play too.
Soderling has 32 winners, 31 UEs, Federer 26 winners, 29 UEs. The big difference is in the errors forced. Soderling blasts 19 out of Fed - more than double what Fed can get out of him

Excluding the staggering showing in first set, Fed's figures fall to sub-par 12 winners, 24 UEs. A reasonable reflection of his not playing too well, but more credit to Sod's play than discredit to Fed's. Sod takes charge of rallies and last 3 sets feature Sod stepping in and blasting the ball with Fed looking to hang in and hope Sod misses

Serve & Return
Great serving from both players - especially Federer. Brilliant, choice power returning by Soderling - especially in his choice of which ball to pick

Soderling blasts down his serve at huge power, looking for aces/service winners almost all the time off first serves. The kind of thing that's a challenge to return even when directed at returners swing zone (and most serves aren't). Some excellent body serves thrown in as a surprise. For good measure, he usually sends down hefty, wide-ish second serves too

Decent returning from Fed to get 67% returns back. With such powerful serves, he can often just push them back in play, leaving Soderling to hammer the third ball. He struggles against the pace off his FH where he has 14 errors (10 forced) more than the BH (10 errors) [counting a runaround FH error as a BH), despite Sod serving 52% to BH and 41% to FH. Sod's serve out wide to Fed's FH in deuce court is his most damaging serve

Fed's serve is what keeps him in the match and he has a grass figure of 40% unreturned serves. He serves wider and better after the first set when he particularly needs to and like his opponent, with a good lot of damaging, wide second serves thrown in

Most Fed serves - 1st or 2nd - tempt just-put-ball-in-play and Soderling has little choice but to comply. His ability to thrash anything that isn't damaging is one of main keys to the match. He blasts such balls hard and usually deep to put Fed on defensive

This partially accounts for relatively high 14 UEs (Fed has 8). The rest is accounted for by the UEs in question being relatively hard for UEs - hefty serves to swing zone that aren't easy to attack but not particularly difficult to put in play
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Play - Baseline & Net
Match can be neatly divided into 2 parts - the first set and everything after

Federer's shotmaking is on sublime in first set as he lashes winners from all parts of the court off both sides, more through precision placement than power and not necessarily to weak or/and short balls. Soderling doesn't get to play in that part of match, but to biff the groundies he can... that Fed's able to play attackingly wide and retain initiative

Rest of match, Soderling steps in and hammers the ball off both sides first chance he gets. Regulation balls or not. When not hitting wide, he's hitting hard enough to push Fed back. Once having pushed him back, he goes wide for the point finisher. FH inside-out and BH dtl are most effective point killers but his 'neutral' cc shots off both sides are also brutally hit

Fed's pushed back by it all. He's good enough on defence to get the first attacking shot back, often with his FH squash shot, but that's usually followed by the second being wider hit into more open court with Fed out of position that he can't get to. Soderling's rarely pushed on defence, but moves superbly to pounce and attack. Better than Fed in this area, though the types of movement are significantly different. Fed's footwork is near flawless but footspeed is tested more and has room for improvement

UEs are almost identical - both with 19 FHs, Sod with 11 BHs to Fed's 10. Sod's the one attacking, Fed counter-punching, particularly on FH. Fed's FH UEs are beaten out of him and relatively difficult for UEs, while Sod's are attacking shots. Things are more even on BH, though Sod still the one pushing for dominance and hitting harder. Far higher proportion of Fed's BH UEs are his just missing regulation cc shots. Its outgunned and loose enough that attempting to break it down suggests itself as a strategy for Soderling. He doesn't systematically try, and leads with pummelling, dual winged stuff instead

Breakdown of UEs -
- Neutral - Sod 12, Fed 18
- Attacking - Sod 9, Fed 5
- Winner Attempts - Sod 10, Fed 6

Sod's hitting is such that there's no obvious need for him to take net to finish, but he does with sound judgment, coming up 31 times. Fed rarely ventures forward. To do so, he'd have to proactively manufacture approaches since he's usually on back foot... and Sod's hitting promises a hot reception. Just 13 trips forward for Fed and he wins 10 of them

With Fed having large 40% unreturned serve cushion, bulk of the Soderling attacking/Fed defending dynamic is on Sod's service games. Despite looking outplayed, that's not necessarily too bad from Fed's point of view as long as he can keep holding. The key is those odd, big cut returns that Sod's able to get off - and then rallies follow the Sod attacking/Fed defending dynamic that he's able to dominate

Match Progression
Its a bit windy at start. In first set, both serve well - particularly Fed who lands 17/22 first serves - both go in for first strike tennis, both go for the odd big return when they can (especially Soderling). There's little neutral rallying and Soderling looks to beat Federer down in the non-going-for winners play

The two share 9 winners (including an ace) in 12 point game 2 where Soderling saves 2 break points. Serving at 3-4, Sod is broken when he misses a regulation height BHV and Fed serves out to love

Start of 2nd set looks a continuation and Sod has to save another break point in the opener. After this game, break points stats read

- Federer 1/5 (3 games), Soderling 0. For rest of match, Federer 1/2 (2 games), Soderling 4/9 (5 games)

Play turns for good in the next game, with Sod striking to point ending return winners from 30-15 down (1 winner) and breaking with Fed missing routine BH. Action for remainder is as described earlier

Soderling starts serving bigger, particularly second serves and hammering anything he can reach to take charge of rallies. No more breaks as match is levelled at 1 set all. Sod's BH dtl is particularly impressive and he's able to even spank Fed's attacking FH inside-outs away aggressively

Easy holds to Sod serving down 4-5 in the third set. Couple of third ball errors gives Fed break and set point. On it, Sod overpowers him and comes to net to dispatch a floater. He slaps the ball down hard as can but too short and Fed's able to fall as far back as possible and OH slice/lob the ball dangerously, but Sod is upto making a difficult BHOH winner. He goes on to hold

Fed's broken next game from 40-15 up, with Fed's FH making 2 errors to go to deuce. A double fault later, its break and set point to Soderling. In better position, Fed unwisely elects to FH inside-out straight at Sod instead of inside-in to open court, Sod hammers the BH cc back to draw soft shot that he dispatches FH inside-in for the winner and the break

Fed breaks to move ahead 2-0 to start the 4th and again, Soderling breaks right back. Fed is more attacking in this set than he'd been in the last 2, looking for wide FHs (usually missing) though still up against exceptional power hitting. Sod continues overpowering him from the back. Fed endures a 16 game hold, saving 3 break points to hold for 4-3. He's broken next game in an error filled game before Sod serves out the match

Summing up, a great showing from Soderling - big and risky serving, blasting returns against what little doesn't force him on defensive, hammering groundstrokes in play constantly off both sides while utilizing net play as needed to deliver final thrust to points. Federer is at his shot making best to start the match, before falling back to counter-punching by Soderling's turning on the power at first chance. He's not bad on defence but not upto holding the fort against this calibre persistence in power hitting. Superb serving from Federer too keeps scoreline close, but he's forced into second fiddle role for most of match

@dapchai , @ForehandCross - thoughts?

Stats for the final between Soderling and Rafael Nadal - Match Stats/Report - Nadal vs Soderling, French Open final 2010 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
Stats for '09 4th round match between Soderling and Nadal - Match Stats/Report - Soderling vs Nadal, French Open fourth round, 2009 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
 

ghostofMecir

Hall of Fame
Federer played at an unbelievably high level in that first set and it took some great mental fortitude for Soderling not to say, “Here we go again.” The wet conditions really helped Soderling as he could play a power game on slowed down balls he could get to and attack and his movement wasn’t as exposed as it usually was by Federer. The wet Conditions made taking the ball early more difficult and less advantageous since the slower court conditions didn’t reward taking the ball off the bounce.

Absolute tremendous hitting from both throughout

 
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RS

G.O.A.T.
Good analysis as always. After finding out just now my last thread yesterday was deleted i came straight here to read this.
 
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T

TheNachoMan

Guest
Great performance by Sod. It’s such a shame his career was cut so short
 

dapchai

Hall of Fame
Awesome as always @Waspsting. It looks like the damp clay suits Robin's game best: slow and low bouncing enough to give him decent time and space for his powerful groundstrokes, and to prevent his opponents from taking the ball early (Roger) or chasing the ball to death (Rafa). That might explain why his gameplan didn't work out in two finals where it wasn't rainy or as humid IIRC. I imagine he would be very dangerous given the condition at 2020 RG, especially in the final.

I agree that Robin 2010 was better than his 2009 version; his 2011 version was also decent.

Today Rafa will meet another ball basher (also in R4) who is also able to hit through him in damp condition. I hope the outcome won't be similar to what happened 12 years ago.
 

aldeayeah

Legend
My impression back in the day was, Fed just couldn't hit through the court in those conditions (not without going for too much), while Sod obviously could. Some absolute rocket groundies here.

I miss Robin's particular brand of balls to the wall aggression, Stanimal is the closest things we got but he's a different kind of beast, while Delpo has been diminished by injuries and has a less aggressive style. Note that Robin was forced to retire just a year after this performance, he had potentially several prime years left.
Today Rafa will meet another ball basher (also in R4) who is also able to hit through him in damp condition. I hope the outcome won't be similar to what happened 12 years ago.
Today will be a warm day, and unless Djoko goes to 5 sets or something they play in the afternoon, so expect spin city.
 
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Waspsting

Hall of Fame
40% unreturned serves? Was this played on clay or..
Following year, Fed would serve 42% against Djokovic

I miss Robin's particular brand of balls to the wall aggression, Stanimal is the closest things we got but he's a different kind of beast, while Delpo has been diminished by injuries and has a less aggressive style. Note that Robin was forced to retire just a year after this performance, he had potentially several prime years left.
I can't think of anyone who hits like this off both sides

Blake and Gonzalez did it off FH only

In '09 French, commentators were going on about how Soderling's at his best indoors on fast surfaces because of big serve and power off the ground

The serve is a no brainer, but the power groundies on clay involve a healthy wind up and on BH in particular, is contingent on ball bouncing to a comfortable height for him to have a rip through

I imagine he'd struggle hitting like that on faster and lower bouncing surface
 

Ray Mercer

Hall of Fame
Following year, Fed would serve 42% against Djokovic



I can't think of anyone who hits like this off both sides

Blake and Gonzalez did it off FH only

In '09 French, commentators were going on about how Soderling's at his best indoors on fast surfaces because of big serve and power off the ground

The serve is a no brainer, but the power groundies on clay involve a healthy wind up and on BH in particular, is contingent on ball bouncing to a comfortable height for him to have a rip through

I imagine he'd struggle hitting like that on faster and lower bouncing surface
The windup on Soderling’s forehand was massive. It was like a giant haymaker.
 

Milanez82

Hall of Fame
Following year, Fed would serve 42% against Djokovic



I can't think of anyone who hits like this off both sides

Blake and Gonzalez did it off FH only

In '09 French, commentators were going on about how Soderling's at his best indoors on fast surfaces because of big serve and power off the ground

The serve is a no brainer, but the power groundies on clay involve a healthy wind up and on BH in particular, is contingent on ball bouncing to a comfortable height for him to have a rip through

I imagine he'd struggle hitting like that on faster and lower bouncing surface
No wonder Djokovic lost that match
I imagine comparable numbers in their wimbledon 12 sf?
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
No wonder Djokovic lost that match
I imagine comparable numbers in their wimbledon 12 sf?
very much so - 44%

Match Stats/Report - Federer vs Djokovic, Wimbledon semi-final, 2012 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)

The highest I have for Federer (against anybody) is again against Djokovic at '19 YEC at 57%

Duel Match Stats/Reports - Federer vs Djokovic, Year End Championship round robins, 2019 & 2015 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)

My lot of Federer matches on clay are considerably skewed towards matches against Rafael Nadal - the most consistent of all returners - almost all of which he loses too, so not the best of samples for drawing conclusions about his general rates.

I'm pretty sure 40% is rare for him on clay though

He's usually around 30%-35% on hard courts and grass. He occasionally hits 40%, but its not common

Generally, he holds back some on the serve, saving the all out stuff for toughest opponents. Against Agassi, against Djokovic, against Nadal

Its a compliment to his esteem for Soderling that he goes all in here. In 2010, he's also possibly transitioning to relying more on the serve shot alone than he had previously

The '11 French match against Djokovic is a contender for his best ever serving in a match... better than this match

Match Stats/Report - Federer vs Djokovic, French Open semi-final, 2011 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
 

Milanez82

Hall of Fame
very much so - 44%

Match Stats/Report - Federer vs Djokovic, Wimbledon semi-final, 2012 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)

The highest I have for Federer (against anybody) is again against Djokovic at '19 YEC at 57%

Duel Match Stats/Reports - Federer vs Djokovic, Year End Championship round robins, 2019 & 2015 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)

My lot of Federer matches on clay are considerably skewed towards matches against Rafael Nadal - the most consistent of all returners - almost all of which he loses too, so not the best of samples for drawing conclusions about his general rates.

I'm pretty sure 40% is rare for him on clay though

He's usually around 30%-35% on hard courts and grass. He occasionally hits 40%, but its not common

Generally, he holds back some on the serve, saving the all out stuff for toughest opponents. Against Agassi, against Djokovic, against Nadal

Its a compliment to his esteem for Soderling that he goes all in here. In 2010, he's also possibly transitioning to relying more on the serve shot alone than he had previously

The '11 French match against Djokovic is a contender for his best ever serving in a match... better than this match

Match Stats/Report - Federer vs Djokovic, French Open semi-final, 2011 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
It was for sure a masterpiece of a match for Federer(the RG2011 win)
If it was a final it would be seen as one of his best ever matches
One thing i clearly remember how tactical he was, playing exceptionally defensive or neutral slices, running around with fh every weaker bh rally from Djokovic off those shots which in turn made Djokovic go for even more off these nearly dead balls leading to a bunch ue
Though if it wasn't for so many freebies on serve, doubt he wins that match
 
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