Match Stats/Report - Zverev vs Federer, Canadian Open final, 2017


Hall of Fame
Alex Zverev beat Roger Federer 6-3, 6-4 in the Canadian Open final, 2017 on hard court in Montreal

It was Zverev's second Masters title - the first having come in the previous tournament at Rom. Federer had won his previous 5 finals in the year, including a win over Zverev in Halle on grass

Zverev won 63 points, Federer 49

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (41/59) 69%
- 1st serve points won (33/41) 80%
- 2nd serve points won (11/18) 61%
- Aces 6
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (18/59) 31%

- 1st serve percentage (27/53) 51%
- 1st serve points won (19/27) 70%
- 2nd serve points won (15/26) 58%
- Aces 2
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (19/53) 36%

Serve Patterns
Zverev served...
- to FH 43%
- to BH 47%
- to Body 10%

Federer served...
- to FH 41%
- to BH 51%
- to Body 8%

Return Stats
Zverev made...
- 32 (11 FH, 21 BH)
- 17 Errors, comprising...
- 6 Unforced (1 FH, 5 BH)
- 11 Forced (5 FH, 6 BH)
- Return Rate (32/51) 63%

Federer made...
- 40 (14 FH, 26 BH)
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 12 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (5 FH)
- 7 Forced (1 FH, 6 BH)
- Return Rate (40/58) 69%

Break Points
Zverev 2/6 (4 games)
Federer 0/3 (1 game)

Winners (excluding serves, including returns)
Zverev 14 (7 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV, 1 OH)
Federer 6 (3 FH, 3 BH)

Zverev's FHs - 3 cc, 1 dtl and 3 inside-out
- BHs - 1 cc/inside-in, 2 dtl, 1 inside-out pass and 1 drop shot

- the FHV can reasonably be called an OH
- the OH was on the bounce and very close to being hit on Federer's side of the net

Federer's FHs - 2 cc (1 return) and 1 inside-out
- BHs - 1 cc at net (hit very close to or on Zverev's side of the net) and 2 dtl

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Zverev 23
- 15 Unforced (7 FH, 8 BH)
- 8 Forced (3 FH, 5 BH)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48

Federer 29
- 18 Unforced (7 FH, 9 BH, 2 BHV)
- 11 Forced (4 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.6

(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
Zverev was 6/8 (75%) at net

Federer was...
- 12/18 (67%) at net, including...
- 4/8 (50%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 2/5 (40%) off 1st serve and..
- 2/3 (67%) off 2nd serve
- 0/1 forced back

Match Report
Very impressive display of power from Zverev on a fast court

Zverev hits clean, hits hard on everything. Serve. 2nd serve. returns, passes, groundstrokes. Sizably outgunned from the back off both sides, Federer rests on his serve (which isn't at its best) and then turns to slicing, drawing Zverev forward, serve-volleying and coming to net smartly and with good success, but Zverev's power hitting remains a cut above it

Zverev leads in all basic categories, with all but Fed's in-count being good
- first serves in - Zver 69%, Fed 51%
- first serves won - Zver 80%, Fed 70%
- 2nd serves won - Zver 61%, Fed 58%

These are fast court numbers. Court is unusually quick for Canada, which tends to be on slow side

Zver leading in all playing categories too
- Winners - Zver 14, Fed 6
- UEs - Zver 15, Fed 18
- FEs - Zver 8, Fed 11
- UEFI - Zver 48, Fed 45.6

Fed's winners are low. He's not in much position to dominate even on serve. Zver blasts the returns - and with just 51% in, that's a lot of 2nd serve returns to look at - Fed's either on defensive or at least in a situation where an attacking third shot isn't a good option. He tries serve-volleying some as a change-up or surprise move (he does it 3 times off 2nd serve and wins 67% of those, more than the 40% he does off firsts) but is again met with blasted returns that leave him with tough first volley. Couple of FEs and UEs for Fed in forecourt, but volleys he gets are usually coming too hard to putaway. And that's the minority that are above net high. Bulk are around feet, which are difficult to put in play even. Fed manages and next act is Zver blasting the pass

Zver serves the same way, even blasting second serves. Fed takes a couple of 2nd serve returns from near the line judges. I don't recall any other instances of Fed falling that far back to return, though its only for a couple of non-consecutive points. Otherwise, he stays in his customary step-behind-baseline position to block or guide returns in play. In second set, Zver eases up on the power serving and wide placement some to make still more in. His in-count for the set is a massive 77%, still powerful but not as threateningly placed wide. Its kind of court where this is likely to do the job of drawing errors. Fed also more or less gives up after being broken to trail 3-4 in the 2nd and is almost standing bolt upright to return for last 2 games (Zver doesn't lose a point in them)

Not just a low in count for Fed, but he's not able to get serves out wide as he's apt to in general. Just 2 aces (1 every 13.5 1st serves) to Zver's 6 (1 every 6.8). Still, Fed gets them well enough to lead to unreturned rate by significant 36% to 31%, which given he's trailing in count by large 18% and aces, is a win. Its largely due to the hammer & tongs way Zver returns, the price of the damage he does with the return and more than counter-balanced by the advantages it gives to Zver that are reflected in above lists of numbers

When Fed's serve comes back, he wins just 15/32 points (sans 2 double faults). For fast court, that's not good. Some discredit to Fed for the serving, more credit to Zver on the return

In first set in particular, Zver's on fire and dispatches winners off both sides from near regulation positions while hitting pressuringly hard 'neutrally'. Its show-making + beat-down play, ably supported by both power serving and returning. Fed's pushed back and left to counter-punch and hope Zver misses. Which he rarely does. 8 UEs in set for Zver, to go along with 9 winners while forcing 6 errors out of Fed. Fed's defence and movement aren't particularly good and he isn't particularly difficult to force errors out of, but Zver's showing would do for most players

In second set, Fed turns to slicing and mixing up pace and spin of his shots, angling the ball short to draw Zver forward and coming to net. Its good thinking seeing how he's outhit from the back. He'd played similarly in their Halle final earlier in the year also and slicing low to tall players is a standard ploy of his. Zed deals with the lower balls without much loss of hitting though

Zver's effectiveness attacking drops to tune of 5 winners, 5 errors forced to 7 UEs... still good numbers

Best thing Fed manages to do is take net more. Trailing substantially in hitting strength from the back, its a difficult task. Alternative is more of the same from the first set. Very impressive 8/10 points won rallying to net by Fed

Few odd points. Zverev strikes a BH cc/inside-in winner. Though FH is a brute, he seems to prefer BH and moves over to hit them at times when FH would be easier shot choice. Both players have a winner where they strike ball on opponents side of net - or very close to it. Fed's is a BH at net. Zverev's is an OH to a Fed shank that flies way up in the air, only to land just in

Match Progression
Zver signals his intentions from the get go, thrashing a dtl winner off each side. Fed looks upto it too (which turns out to not be the case) and responds to Zver's FH dtl winner with a BH dtl one next point. A shot reminiscent of the kind he's played regularly early in the year in Australia, Indian Wells and Miami but it turns out to be an anomaly for the day.

Having saved a break point in his opening service game, Fed's broken in the second. Powerful game from Zverev, who whacks a FH cc winner from routine position, forces an error with surprise BH inside-out and overpowers Fed on break point to force a passing error. Remaining games are reasonably comfortable for server, particularly Fed

After holding to start the 2nd, Fed extends Zver to 12 points and has all 3 of his break points for the match. They're all saved through strong plays. Its here Fed takes a return from near the backboard. No real reason to it or plan behind it and he loses the point after Zverev comes to net

Fed has to save 2 break points game after that too. A return-pass 1-2 by Zver ending with a BH inside-out pass winner against serve-volleying Fed decorates the game, but Fed takes net to come away with the hold

Zver holds next game in 55 seconds

The break comes in game 7, which is a poor one from Fed. He seem to have gone off and is a bit listless after that. Not running after balls, not moving sideways too well, taking returns from upright position. It does bring home how extremely rare its been for Roger Federer to overtly give up in a match. Even in his worse defeats, you didn't see things like this. Strategic allocation of concentration yes, giving up and going through the motion, no. The latter is what this looks like

Summing up, enthusiastic and vigorous showing from Zverev as he hammers serves and returns and passes and groundstrokes to convincingly overpower Federer. Fed responds with touch and slices and guile and net play to some effect, but with serve not being dependable, Zverev retains significant overall advantage due to his stronger hitting
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Playing this tournament was a big mistake of Resurgent Federer.
He rushed, injured, jeopardized great chances of winning USO & YE#1.