Match Stats/Report - Wawrinka vs Djokovic, French Open final, 2015


Hall of Fame
Stan Wawrinka beat Novak Djokovic 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in the French Open final, 2015 on clay

It was Wawrinka's second Slam title. Djokovic would win the remaining 3 other Slams of the year and starting from the next one, complete a non-Calendar year Grand Slam, finishing at the next French Open

Wawrinka won 137 points, Djokovic 117

(Note: I've made educated guesses about serve type for 2-3 points)

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (83/126) 66%
- 1st serve points won (63/83) 76%
- 2nd serve points won (22/43) 51%
- Aces 9, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (29/126) 23%

- 1st serve percentage (83/128) 65%
- 1st serve points won (52/83) 63%
- 2nd serve points won (24/45) 53%
- Aces 6, Service Winners 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (23/128) 18%

Serve Pattern
Wawrinka served...
- to FH 45%
- to BH 50%
- to Body 5%

Djokovic served...
- to FH 43%
- to BH 52%
- to Body 5%

Return Stats
Wawrinka made...
- 105 (50 FH, 55 BH), including 4 runaround FHs
- 1 Winner (1 FH), a runaround FH
- 15 Errors, comprising...
- 7 Unforced (4 FH, 3 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 8 Forced (2 BH, 6 BH)
- Return Rate (105/128) 82%

Djokovic made...
- 94 (46 FH, 48 BH), including 1 runaround FH & 1 return-approach
- 2 Winners (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 19 Errors, comprising...
- 8 Unforced (4 FH, 4 BH), including 1 drop-return attempt
- 11 Forced (4 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (94/123) 76%

Break Points
Wawrinka 4/15 (10 games)
Djokovic 2/10 (8 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Wawrinka 48 (26 FH, 9 BH, 5 FHV, 3 BHV, 5 OH)
Djokovic 22 (7 FH, 8 BH, 1 FHV, 6 BHV)

Wawrinka's FHs - 6 cc (1 at net), 6 dtl, 8 inside-out, 3 inside-in (1 runaround return), 1 inside-in/cc and 2 running-down-drop-shot cc at net
- BHs - 1 cc pass, 7 dtl (3 passes) and 1 around and over net post

- 1 OH was on the bounce

Djokovic's FHs - 1 dtl/inside-out, 1 inside-out, 2 inside-in (1 return), 1 inside-in/cc, 1 drop shot at net and 1 running-down-drop shot dtl at net
- BHs - 1 cc, 5 dtl (1 pass), 1 inside-in return pass and 1 drop shot

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

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Wawrinka 69
- 53 Unforced (26 FH, 23 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net
- 16 Forced (9 FH, 7 BH)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net & 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 49.1

Djokovic 60
- 41 Unforced (23 FH, 16 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 19 Forced (10 FH, 7 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.6

(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
Wawrinka was...
- 28/39 (72%) at net, including...
- 1/2 serve-volleying, both 1st serves
- 1/1 forced back

Djokovic was...
- 14/25 (56%) at net, including...
- 1/3 (33%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 1/1 off 1st serve and...
- 0/2 off 2nd serve
- 0/1 return-approaching
- 0/1 forced back

Match Report
Good baseline slugfest. Wawrinka has the bigger serve, remains about as consistent while being a lot more damaging from the back, especially with FH. Djokovic is a bit flat and conservative in what he tries to do, leaving himself open to being out-slugged as he ends up being

Oddity in stats are break point figures. Wawrinka has just 15 break points spread across 10 games, and he only breaks in 4. Djokovic is even more extreme with 10 break points in just 8 games (breaks twice). Not many prolonged games - 1 chance per games almost and its usually not taken

Statistically, it looks like Wawrinka's bigger serve is key. First serve in count is a wash (Djokovic +1%), Djoko thinly leads second serve points won (+2%) but Wawrinka with sizable first serve points won (+13%), with +5% unreturned serves and +2 aces/service winners

They key to the lead in first serve points won though isn't the serve alone, though he does have the stronger one, but aggression in play. Stan with humongous 48-22 lead in winners. He has more FH winners (26) than Djoko's total figure. Note also Stan at net 39 times to Djoko's 25 and winning 72% there, as opposed to a low 56%. UEFI of Stan's high 49.1 to Djoko's middling 46.6 completes picture of play. Stan is far more aggressive in play

For Djoko to come out ahead in that light, he'd have to remain rock solid consistency (i.e. not making UEs) or/and have Stan be loose from the back (which, in light of his winner numbers, you'd expect). Neither happens. Djoko isn't particularly solid and has 41 UEs. His winners to UEs ratio of 22-41 is not only poor, it remains net negative even when the errors he forces are added to his winners 38-41. He'd need to Stan to be particularly error prone to come out ahead having played like that

Other than first set, Stan isn't. Djoko leaves match on Stan's racquet, but the winner strikes an outstanding balance of aggression and solidity.

After first set, UEs read Stan 19, Djoko 7. That ratio is something like what Djoko would need to win, seeing as he isn't able or willing to step up and end points forcefully.
Rest of match though, UEs are dead even at 34... with Stan also regularly hitting baseline winners and coming to net to finish off, while Djoko basically pushes

Djoko's game plan seems to have been to play solid and outlast Stan from the back. Its not a bad plan, but he's slow to change when its clearly not working

Serve & Return
Very good serving from Wawrinka, below personal par returning from Djoko. And good serving from Djoko, met with solid returning from Stan

Some very big serving from Stan, and 66% first serves in at that power is impressive. 9 aces, a service winner and many other very forceful first serves. Just as impressive are his second serves, which are no gimmes either
A typical Djokovic returning showing involves a good chunk of hard, deep returns down the middle. There's almost none of that here. Just regular returning, leaving Stan with initiative, most of them time even on second serves.

Still, I would primarily credit Stan's serving than discredit Djoko's returning. By a normal standard, Djoko's returning is just fine and only suffers by comparison to his own. His problems have more to do with play than the return. Oddly, he goes for a drop-return (he misses) that seems to be deliberate. Don't recall any other instance of Djokovic trying this

Djoko serves about his norm, decent without being overwhelming. Stan returns efficiently, often falling back to swing back the ball. Rare, thumping runaround FH return from him, including a winner
Stan's return is normal and leaves Djoko with initiative off third ball


Hall of Fame
Play - Baseline & Net
From Djokovic's point of view, baseline play is passive. He plays neutral third balls from positions where taking charge was very doable and more in line with his norm

The plan seems to be to play solid and outlast Stan to draw errors. Djokovic generally does this with hard hit, deep shots in a beat-down style. Here, he's virtually pushing and style of play is outlasting, who-blinks first stuff instead

Its not a bad plan necessarily. BH cc is at the heart of it. He has match low 16 UEs from the BH to Stan's 23. Does he win that duel?

Probably just, but by a whisker, if that. Neutrally, he gets better of Stan BH-BH, but without imposing himself. crosscourt rallies are 50-50 affairs, rather than Djoko pushing for advantage with Stan holding out, as tends to be with Djoko's BH cc play. Stan comes out with some blinding dtl winners and initiative snatchers. After hitting a remarkable around-net-post winners, he starts going for point finishing BHs more and more, missing more often than not

Off the FH, Djoko is outright passive and rarely gets stuck into a ball. It stands out all the more for Stan doing just the opposite. He plays fair few mildly attacking FH inside-outs too, which trouble Stan some but remains almost neutral with the shot

Stan's showing is a balanced, not aggressive one, which makes his play even more impressive. You don't usually see 1.23 winners per game on clay from a player playing like that. He looks to play solidly and step up to take charge from there and uses the serve to set up attacking shots

Other than late in match, he doesn't go for wild shots or shots from regulation positions often. He rallies neutrally, gain upper hand to overpower Djoko and then finishes with killing FHs or approaches

Note the wide variety and balance of FH winners - 6 cc, 6 dtl, 8 inside-out and 4 inside-in based. The high 72% net points won spring from baseline superiority (and Djoko's inept drop shots to a lesser extent)

The around-net-post BH winner is the best remembered shot of this match and Stan adds a few other stunning BH winners on critical points. This has somewhat skewed perception of the match. Its primarily a top drawer FH showing from Stan, with selective great BHs thrown in. He has 26 winners and same number UEs of that wing. Winner/UE differentials for match -

- Stan FH... even
- Djoko BH... -8
- Stan BH... -14
- Djoko FH... -16

Plenty of scope for improvement for both on movement and defence. Stan isn't forced into too many errors due to Djoko's conservative hitting rather than great defence. Djoko's movements are often sluggish and he regularly shows poor footwork. His movements stand out for being below his norm

Djokovic throws in drop shots for variety and does badly. Stan runs them easily - and he's not particularly quick - often being able to hit a regular top spin shot (as opposed to the hitting up running-down-drop-shot shot) once he reaches it. Puts away 3 winners at net against it or hits a strong shot that leaves him complete control at net with Djoko chasing a wide, hard hit shot. Uncharacteristically, Djoko doesn't approach himself behind his drop shots, which makes it easier still for Stan

This is a universal poor pattern in Djokovic's play and one which unlike his troubles on the OH, is entirely his choice. In this match, he accentuates it still more by going for these drop shots on important points - and getting burnt. He also approaches on such points, also getting burnt but that's more down to great passing from Stan

Match Progression
Solid first set from Djoko as he outlasts Stan from baseline. Stan lets loose with odd aggressive shots but by and large, looks to play a steady game himself and is nowhere near as consistent as Djoko. Just the 1 break but most counter-play is Djoko's and he has break point in 2 other games also. Stan's only 1 is with Djoko serving for set - and is met by a service winner

Poor game from Stan to get broken to love though. 3 BH UEs - a cc winner attempt, a blink and a wild inside-out shot - followed by a double fault

The last game of the set redirects, if not turns the match. Starting with it, Djokovic faces break points in 6 of his next 7 service games. He mostly saves them by drawing errors from Stan's BH. Good game from Stan to break to end the second set though with a pair of running winners, 1 from each side, before outlasting Djoko in another BH rally. Stan shaves his errors while continuing to be damaging. Djoko's errors goes up due to Stan prolonging rallies, not looser play from him, without forcing shots going up

Djoko is given a warning for racquet abuse after the set. A game earlier, Stan wasn't after smacking the net in frustration

More of the same in set 3, with an even better return game from Stan to break to love, reeling of 3 winners on the last 3 points. Djoko has a point to break back next game, erased with a third ball FH inside-out winner

Djoko opens up a 3-0 lead in the fourth with Stan missing volleys and winner attempts BHs. Stan levels, outlasting Djoko in a great rally on break point. Ending is dramatic and high quality. Down 15-40, Djoko holds by taking net to save the break points - the second one a difficult, stretch BHV winner - before finishing game with a BH dtl winner

Next game, he moves to 0-40 on back of Stan missing attacking shots, but Stan steps up with strong serves and overpowering play to hold. Game after, couple of BH winners from Stan puts Djoko in trouble again and he elects to serve-volley and come to net to to cope. He's passed a couple of times with outstanding BHs and forced into error coming in behind a second serve to give up the break

Not an easy serve out, with Stan missing a couple of wild attacking shots and facing break point. On it, he defends ably before Djoko misses a FH. Stan finishes with a BH dtl winner

Summing up, top match from Wawrinka with strong serving, sure returning and a great balance of being reasonably solid but powerful in play, with tremendous shot-making off the FH in particular thrown in. Djoko looks to lead with solidity rather than command but ends up playing passively and is a bit flat, pushing more often than not from the back

Stats for Djokovic's quarter with Rafael Nadal -
Stats for '16 final between Djokovic and Andy Murray -
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