Match Stats/Report - Wawrinka vs Nadal, Australian Open final, 2014


Hall of Fame
Stan Wawrinka beat Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the Australian Open final, 2014 on hard court

It was the first of Wawrinka's to date 3 Slam titles. Nadal had won the last Slam at US Open previous year and would go onto win the next at French Open. Nadal had won all 12 of the pair's previous matches in straight sets, winning 26 sets in total

Wawrinka won 116 points, Nadal 88

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (53/96) 55%
- 1st serve points won (46/53) 87%
- 2nd serve points won (22/43) 51%
- Aces 19
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (43/96) 45%

- 1st serve percentage (84/108) 78%
- 1st serve points won (50/84) 60%
- 2nd serve points won (10/24) 42%
- Aces 1
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (25/108) 23%

Serve Pattern
Wawrinka served...
- to FH 43%
- to BH 57%

Nadal served...
- to FH 39%
- to BH 60%
- to Body 1%

Return Stats
Wawrinka made...
- 80 (39 FH, 41 BH), including 11 runaround FHs
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 24 Errors, comprising...
- 17 Unforced (10 FH, 7 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 7 Forced (4 FH, 3 BH)
- Return Rate (80/105) 76%

Nadal made...
- 51 (20 FH, 31 BH)
- 3 Winners (2 FH, 1 BH)
- 24 Errors, comprising...
- 13 Unforced (5 FH, 8 BH)
- 11 Forced (2 FH, 9 BH)
- Return Rate (51/94) 54%

Break Points
Wawrinka 5/15 (10 games)
Nadal 2/6 (3 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Wawrinka 32 (18 FH, 9 BH, 1 FHV, 4 BHV)
Nadal 19 (14 FH, 4 BH, 1 FHV)

Wawrinka's FHs - 5 cc, 3 dtl, 2 inside-out, 6 inside-in, 1 inside-in/cc and 1 longline/inside-out
- BHs - 5 cc (1 return, 1 at net) and 4 dtl (1 slice at net)

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

Nadal's FHs - 3 cc, 1 cc/inside-in, 2 dtl (1 return), 4 inside-out, 2 inside-out/dtl, 1 inside-in and 1 net chord dribbler return
- BHs - 2 cc (1 return), 1 cc/longline and 1 inside-out

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Wawrinka 42
- 34 Unforced (20 FH, 13 BH, 1 BHV)
- 8 Forced (6 FH, 2 BH)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 49.1

Nadal 38
- 25 Unforced (13 FH, 12 BH)
- 13 Forced (7 FH, 4 BH, 2 BHV)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.2

(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...
- 8/9 (89%) at net, including...
- 4/5 (80%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 3/4 (75%) off 1st serve and...
- 1/1 off 2nd serve

Nadal was...
- 3/6 (50%) at net, including...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 2nd serve
- 1/1 forced back

Match Report
This match is best known for Nadal injuring his back during the match, playing on on fumes and losing easily. That's all true but before it comes a set and a bit of normal, high quality tennis between two fit players during which Wawrinka is excellent as he overpowers and convincingly a normal enough Nadal

By the time something goes wrong with Nadal's back, he's down 3-6, 1-2 (including a break). Going into the game he's injured, stats read -
Wawrinka 13 winners, 7 errors forced (as in, Nadal has 7 FEs), 10 UE
Nadal 5 winners, 1 error forced and 2 UEs

Stats afterwards don't matter much. Given Nadal's condition, they're pretty poor from Stan's point of view and very good from Nadal's - though Stan's remains well ahead. As play is, Stan could reasonably have looked for bagels and breadsticks - let alone a straight set win - but becomes highly error prone, particularly on the return. Gutsy of Nadal to play on and he hits some fine shots and combination of shots, but far more discredit to Stan for dropping a set than credit to Nadal for pinching one

Part 1 - Pre-Injury
High quality tennis, particularly from Stan while Nadal, though somewhat passive, plays well within his norm of style as well as quality

Essentially, Stan overpowers Nadal, pins him back and finishes with excellent finishing shots of both sides

its Nadal's choice to 'stay back' behind the baseline so to speak, but Stan's shots keep him there and move him around very effectively. The wide shots aren't particularly wide, but hard as he hits moderate/mild attacking shots and depth he gets are enough to open the court just enough for Stan to land his killing shots with. Its beautiful tennis from him. His ability to finish with winners or hard forcing error shots of either side is impressive and uncommon

Nadal plays to outlast Stan. He plays consistent from behind baseline with little attempt to step up and take charge, essentially daring Stan to step up. The plan seems to be to draw errors from an attacking Stan, or backing himself to make fewer errors defending than Stan will attacking. And neutrally, he's the more secure player. The short balls he coughs up are a product of Stan's depth and power, not Nadal regulation neutral balls short

Its not a bad plan. Give the players head-to-head (Nadal had won all 26 sets they'd played), one assumes Nadal knows what he's doing. Credit Stan for playing above himself. He trades neutral groundies, gains ascendancy with greater power, flatness of shot and depth and lashes his winners off both sides

Stan gains break early, punishing a very poor drop shot with a BH cc winner at net, blasting a pass against another and breaking with an error forcing FH cc. He has a break point next return game too

Serve out is strange. Nadal leads 0-40... then misses 3 second serve returns in a row. How often do you see that? He misses his next 2 too in the next set

Fantastic game by Stan to open set 2 with a break to love (3 winners, 1 forced error) - a muscled FH inside-out from regulation position, a muscling 1 and ending with a sharply angled, BH cc return winner. Its in Nadal's next service game that he does something to his back


Hall of Fame
Part 2 - Post-Injury
Nadal completes a hold in game 3 and then takes a medical time out. On resumption, he's barely moving - even a step to the side seems tough for him - and serving about half pace (70-80mph ). Can barely make a return and elects to let most slightly wide serves go.

His play improves slowly and uniformly from there to the end of match.

From Stan's point of view, remainder of second set and early third is target practice. Thereafter, Nadal plays a reasonable standard from baseline with sub-par movement

Nadal takes to serving more and more to the FH. Initially, he'd served more to BH. Stand returns firmly all match. Generally, he tends to block or chip FH returns. Here, he looks to swing at them. Early in match, there are plenty of runaround FH returns (11 of them. Nadal has 0). Later, serves are directed there and he continues hitting firmly. He's not particularly good at. Note the 10 UEs and Nadal's serve is below average. Nadal's serving brings home how much the shot has improved over the years. By 4th set, its roughly about as strong as his serve used to be in his breakout 2005 year - and its downright weak compared to early part of match. Curiously, he also takes far less time between points than usual. His playing pace is that or normal players standard

Nadal looks takes to returning from normal position and hitting firmly (as opposed to from tucked back position and looping returns in), the emphasis less on consistency and more on giving a not comfortable third ball for Stand to wade into. "Damaging returning" would be an overstatement. He's also content to let wider serves go, which is what's behind Stan's large 19 aces and huge 45% unreturned rate. Good serving from Stan, but nothing like those numbers indicate. Nadal's returning isn't dissimilar to how Pete Sampras regularly returned serve

Nadal plays closer to baseline and hits with greater depth. The depth causes Stan problems and he's pushed back to make mildly defensive shots. Some excellent, adventurous point ending shots form Nadal from regulation positions. His 14 FH winners are just 4 short of Stan's figure - and much of Stan's come through Nadal not running after balls. Plenty of misses too

And what of Stan? He continues to play in same vein without looking to move Nadal about. Hits firmly and looks for depth (that's made harder by Nadal hitting more firmly and deeper) to open court and aims from winners from there. He continues hitting his winners, largely due to Nadal not moving to retrieve wide-ish shots

Not good play from Stan in this part of match. A strategy that suggests itself is to move Nadal around, but that isn't Stan's game. He retains advantage in firm hitting, but is error prone. He finishes with 34 UEs to Nadal's 25... and large lot of Nadal's 13 FEs are product of poor movement. If he'd continued playing as well as he had in first phase, third set would probably have been 6-1 or 6-2

Couple of good shots by Nadal to break to move ahead 2-0 in third set, helped by a double fault and Stan missing regulation third ball on break point. Stan threatens to break back, but misses regulation returns as Nadal takes set. No Nadal service game looks safe - returns are easy to put in play and his movements don't promise much chance for surviving baseline rallies. And its all baseline rallies - the 2 players combine for just 15 trips to net all match - 6 of them serve-volleys

Similar story in fourth set, with Nadal moving a bit better and Stan still in charge. Serving for match, Stan plays a horror game to be broken to love (4 FH errors - 3 unforced), but breaks right back and serves it out second time of asking

Summing up, outstanding from Wawrinka for first set and a bit as he overpowers and outplays a typically steady Nadal from the baseline with duel-wing attacking play. Thereafter, Nadal is hopelessly hobbled of movement, does well to stay out and hit more proactively and Stan is irregularly loose enough for match to not be completely one way traffic

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No Rafa fan is going to admit that Stan actually could have outplayed Nadal even if he was healthy. He actually did do that in set 1.

If Stan could beat AO GOAT playing like that, he could beat Nadal too.

Red Rick

Bionic Poster
No Rafa fan is going to admit that Stan actually could have outplayed Nadal even if he was healthy. He actually did do that in set 1.

If Stan could beat AO GOAT playing like that, he could beat Nadal too.
Except for the part where matchups are clearly a thing and Wawrinka hasn't beaten Federer off clay or any good Nadal ever. Nadals matchup over Wawrinka is absolutely filthy.


What a complete and outright lie and misleading post.

"before it comes a set and a bit of normal, high quality tennis between two fit players during which Wawrinka is excellent as he overpowers and convincingly a normal enough Nadal"

A complete lie. Nadal strained his back in the warmup and was hampered from the first ball.

No Rafa fan is going to admit that Stan actually could have outplayed Nadal even if he was healthy. He actually did do that in set 1.
That's a nice fantasy.


Part 1 - Pre-Injury
Serve out is strange. Nadal leads 0-40... then misses 3 second serve returns in a row. How often do you see that?

Wow, how weird! What a mystery as to why that happened.

It's almost like he was playing with a strained back or something?

But that injury according to you happened when he bent over to fix his bottles or something after the first set, right?


Hall of Fame
Lol classic match. In terms of tennis amnd because the Nadal couldn't handle being beat up so it immediately came up with cheap excuses.

"Imma deadly injured, bery tough. But gonna practice tomorrow again, no?"