Roger FedererTennis Statistics

Roger Federer: Saving and Wasting Match Points Since 1999

How many times has the Swiss Maestro saved match points before going on to win in his career?

In the last two Masters 1000 tournaments, Roger Federer managed to save match points and go onto win. Both times he saved two match points, first against Monfils in Madrid and then against Coric in Rome.

Fresh from publishing my lesser known Federer statistics post, that got me thinking about how many times in his 20-year professional career has the Swiss being able to recover from the brink of defeat only to end up recording a victory. The answer, thanks to tennismylife.org is 21 times.

The most he's ever saved in one match is seven against Scott Draper at the Cincinnati Masters in 2003. During that year he saved 13 over the course of the season. Pretty impressive. His next best was saving five match points against Mayer in Shanghai back in 2014 which I'm sure most fans will remember πŸ˜€

Coincidentally he's also squandered match points 21 times. For some reason, these ones seem to stick in the mind a bit more than the saves especially the US Open ones against Djokovic.

There's a few in the list I didn't know about either, notably, the one against Pat Rafter in Halle, if he'd taken that match point then Skunky wouldn't have the accolade of being the only player to play Federer more than twice and never lose to him.

You can see the full match list of both saving and wasting match points below:

Matches Where Federer Has Saved Match Points and Won

federer match point save miami
# Tournament Year Opponent Round Match Points
1 Rotterdam 1999 Guillaume Raoux R32 2
2 Marseille 2000 Ivan Ljubicic QF 2
3 US Open 2000 Peter Wessels R128 1
4 Basil 2000 Lleyton Hewitt SF 1
5 Rome 2001 Thomas Johansson R32 1
6 Vienna 2001 Nicolas Massu R16 3
7 Cincinnati 2003 Scott Draper R16 7
8 Paris 2003 Martin Verkerk R16 4
9 Masters Cup 2003 Andre Agassi RR 2
10 Dubai 2005 Juan Carlos Ferrero R16 2
11 Halle 2006 Olivier Rochus QF 4
12 Masters 2006 Andy Roddick RR 3
13 Madrid 2011 Feliciano Lopez R16 1
14 US Open 2014 Gael Monfils QF 2
15 Shanghai 2014 Leonardo Mayer R16 5
16 Masters Cup 2014 Stanislas Wawrinka SF 4
17 Wimbledon 2016 Marin Cilic QF 3
18 Miami 2017 Tomas Berdych QF 2
19 Halle 2018 Benoit Paire R16 2
20 Madrid 2019 Gael Monfils R16 2
21 Rome 2019 Borna Coric R16 2

Matches Where Federer Has Held Match Points and Lost

federer match point djokovic uso 2010
# Tournament Year Winner Round Match Points
1 Vienna 2000 Tim Henman SF 2
2 Halle 2001 Patrick Rafter QF 1
3 Australian Open 2002 Tommy Haas R16 1
4 Miami 2003 Albert Costa QF 3
5 Australian Open 2005 Marat Safin SF 1
6 Monte Carlo 2005 Richard Gasquet QF 3
7 Rome 2006 Rafael Nadal F 2
8 Indian Wells 2010 Marcos Baghdatis R16 3
9 Miami 2010 Tomas Berdych R16 1
10 US Open 2010 Novak Djokovic SF 2
11 Bercy 2010 Gael Monfils SF 5
12 US Open 2011 Novak Djokovic SF 2
13 Dubai 2013 Tomas Berdych SF 3
14 Rome 2014 Jeremy Chardy R16 1
15 Madrid 2015 Nick Kyrgios R32 2
16 Stuttgart 2016 Dominic Thiem SF 2
17 Dubai 2017 Evgeny Donskoy R16 3
18 Stuttgart 2017 Tommy Haas R16 1
19 Indian Wells 2018 Juan Martin Del Potro F 3
20 Wimbledon 2018 Kevin Anderson QF 1
21 Madrid 2019 Dominic Thiem QF 2

Which matches stick with you the most from the list? Other than the Djokovic wastage at the US Open, the Mayer match point saves in Shanghai, the one I can picture as clear as day in my mind is the Lopez match in Madrid. One of the most hilarious smashes of all time at 5-2 in the tie break πŸ˜† even Lopez had to laugh.

The full list comes from tennismylife.org who I first discovered on Twitter and asked if they could email me the data. The site is in Italian but is filled with a lot of stats which the owner maintains personally so check it out.

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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80 Comments

  1. Thanks, this is an interesting post. Seems he’s lost a few match points in grand slam matches.

    At the moment the one in last years Wimbledon still sticks in my mind pretty bad. Such a shame that one.
    The ones he saved against Coric in Rome were pretty exciting.

    By the way I find your first table a bit confusing. Perhaps the winners column should be titled Loser?

  2. Well, you win some, you lose some… No win is tasty without the proper seasoning by the losses.
    The one wasted against Del Potro last year in Indian Wells was particularly blargh.
    +1 Vote for the ones saved against Born-a-Chorizo.

    1. I know what is Chorizo (even being vegan) but has the word some idiomatic or symbolic meaning?
      BTW – can someone explain, how Wimbledon-specific seeding system works? I know only, that they take into account not only current ATP ranking but additionally grass-ranking, but don’t know in details, how it works? Has Federer chances to be seeded 2. this year?

      Sorry, Jon, I’m not a fan of stats, that’s why I’m not commenting this post πŸ˜‰

      1. None. It’s just a pun with the name/phonetics with no particular meaning (or maybe because Coric is not too exciting to watch and I’m not very fond of sausage-type food), like Djokotronic (machine-type gameplay), Nadull (not much variation), Murray-the-Moaner (no need to explain!…), etc.

      2. ATP Ranking points at 24 June 2019

        Add 100% of the points earned for all grass court tournaments in the last 12 months period prior to 24 June 2019.

        Add 75% of the points earned for the best grass court tournament in the 12 months prior to that.

      3. @Jon
        Thanks for explanation.
        Because somehow Grass Rankings are not published (or I could not find it), what does it mean actually for Fed’s seeding in this year’s Wimbledon?

        BTW – Just watched a bit of grass in Stuttgart – Aliassime vs. Gulbis and Monfils vs. Johnson. Well … I was bored after 10-15 minutes. I’m not going to compare clay with grass, but class and styles of players.

        Then I recalled, in your table are 2 Fed’s matches against Thiem, both with 2 MP wasted and matches lost. One them was Stuttgart 2017.

        I know, Federer was coming back from injury, but it was short before he won Wimbledon again. Still I’m not going to wonder about Thiem’s win. I was watching it to recall, how well or bad Thiem is on grass and of course to compare the current Stuttgart play with Federer’s grass game.

        So I was comparing players, not surfaces. And I was surprised, how good and competitive match was this. We don’t need to discuss about Federer’s class especially on grass. But somehow Thiem was not hitting hard, but playing slice, serve&volley, volleying.

        I guess it was playing-Federer-effect.

        This leads me to the conclusion – not the surface makes tennis exciting but the class of players.

        If Federer “wasted” MP’s in this match? Not really, I think. There is still another guy on court, when you just have MP’s. And you play once serving, another time returning i(which makes a difference, I guess).

        Maybe it would make sense to mark, which MP’s were saved/wasted on ser and on return? Or make 4 tables from your 4?

      4. Federer needs to win Halle to be 2nd seed for Wimbledon.

        You are wrong with the dates, Thiem beat Fed Stuttgart in 2016. That was a match Federer should not have played. He rushed back from injury resulting in Wimbledon making him realise he needed far more rehab. Thiem won it that year, took advantage of a Kohlschreiber choke in the final.

      5. @Jonathan
        You are right of course., but my point was not Thiem’s unexpected win (well, Fed lost then SF to Raonic, right?), but the game and whatever the year and circumstances, Fed was playing his game and even if not recovered enough, you could see his game with pleasure and aside of the outcome, I was surprised how well (I’m not comparing to Fed of course) Thiem did play then.

        Now that he is 3 years older and 3 years more mature, I expect from him more in Wimbledon, first of all higher level of the game. I don’t expect him to beat Federer on grass, whatever the tournament and stage. Because of Thiem’s ranking (not sure if he stays 4., probably not) it cannot happen before QF, which would be next level on grass for Thiem.

        Of course we expect a lot more from Fed πŸ™‚

      6. I would expect him to be better on grass now than vs 3 years ago for sure.. His style doesn’t lend itself to grass though, he’s still got big swings.

      7. @Jonathan
        This is changing all the time. How he could have defeated Roger in IW, playing his old style? He can still hit full swing but he plays now basically short swing. Ask MassΓΊ+Cordero, how they teached him to do so. I have seen video from his current training – just for hard hitting with short swing.

        You will see only, if Thiem plays Fed in Halle or Wimbledon. If not, you will rely on your memories from yesterday πŸ˜‰

      8. @Pablo
        Agree. He is just about to improve. Hard to see so far in matches, because Thiem plays new things in matches first after he means, he has learned them perfectly. But if you compare his volley 2018 and 2019, it’ another world.

        Quality of volleying depends of course from whom you play.
        Federer is a perfect volleyer, but cannot play so much volley as usual against Nadal, even on grass.

        Also Thiems overhead is poor (it’s not a shot you use often, but sometimes you must and if you cannot, you lose the point.

        His smash was problematic last year too (he lost to Nadal in USO just by missing a simple smash.

      9. [Federer is a perfect volleyer]

        Finally, someone agrees. I have always maintained that Federer is the greatest volleyer ever. Yes, you might point out several players from before the early 2000’s. But those were the times when courts were fast and volleying was extensive.

      10. [How he could have defeated Roger in IW, playing his old style?]

        Thiem’s own words about IW earlier this year, “It’s playing like a clay court.”

      11. @Sid
        About IW.
        I know, what he told. It’s relative. On clay we have Madrid and we have Paris. Courts at all (have read something about that of late, cannot recall where, wasn’t it from Fed?), court speeds are going to be very similar on different surfaces.

        Has Fed complained about court speed in Madrid or Rome or even Paris? Clay is going these days to be faster, hard and grass is going to be slower.

        But still this was rhetoric. I simply know, Thiem is no more playing full swing. Even in Paris. Of course not half-volleying (where again Federer is 1-man-class).
        Federer is goo/best in so many departments, you start to forget, what is he so good at. But to be serious: half-volleying and volleying and slice and overhead and footwork. This all makes him playing and winning still no matter the age.

        Thiem has some own departments, where he is near-to-perfect. Topspin forehand and backhand from the baseline. Slice – I dare to say, his slice is almost that good as Federer’s. He mixes now Fed’s slice with Lopez’ slice. Block return, kind of aggressive return which I call “swinging return” – not going so deep into the court like Fed with SABR and rushing to the net but making a loop, starting staying close to the baseline, then going back slightly and finally going on high-speed into the coming ball and a bit into the court. This return has a strength of normal rally topspin shot.

      12. Thiem’s slice as good as Federer? lol. Thiem’s slice isn’t an effective shot, doesn’t stay low and it’s telegraphed the minute he takes the racquet back. I like Thiem btw but I do know how he plays πŸ™‚

      13. I don’t even know if Thiem’s forehand is near to perfect as he misses quite a lot when he goes for winners down the line.
        With regards to his backhand, it is a very good one but I don’t think it is close to Novak’s or Rafa’s specially on fast surfaces (they just don’t miss). I think that in general a two handed backhand is the better option, there is no player with a one handed backhand who is as consistent and good as the likes of Novak, Rafa or Murray.

      14. Nadal’s backhand is hugely underrated. Technically far better than his forehand. Djoker’s backhand is of course good, but it’s helped hugely by his movement and being there early.

        Stan’s backhand is easily on a similar level though. His backhand can go to the highest levels imaginable.

      15. Well Stan’s backhand is the closest one I agree but I don’t think it is as consistent throughout an entire year as those from the 3 guys I mentioned above.

        Regarding to your comment about Nadal’s FH it might not be the one they teach in tennis academies but it is one of the best and most consistent shots of tennis history so I guess it must be a new technique (not to mention he can hit the classic FH as well)

      16. @JON
        I wrote “almost” as good. Maybe you have not seen Thiem’s slice so much? It was a kind of very passive defense half a year or a year ago. Right now it is productive, mainly in two versions: aggressive Lopez-slice DTL and slice CC almost touching the net and going wide out (you can name it a dropshot) (not stop volley).
        I have told elsewhere, Fed’s slice to be perfect. Maybe “almost” is too much told, but it’s going to be good and attacking shot.

        @PABLO
        Thiem’s forehand is one of his best shots. If his forehand is not good, has he any good shot at all?
        I would never compare 2-handers with 1-handers. I agree with JON, Nadal’s backhand is underrated, maybe because his forehand is so impressive (mainly because he is lefty) and Nadal does not win matches with his forehands, only finishes a few points with forehand.
        Nadal’s game is IMO all about angles and point construction, not a single shots.

        The only thing, which is specific in Nadal’s forehand is, it’s lefty. Just because of being lefty Nadal cannot found his game on forehand. The shot is only killing, when it’s runaround or if Nadal gets the ball to the racket, when being pushed out wide on his forehand side.

        I don’t know if there are such stats available, but from watching I would say, the forehand is generally the main baseline shot for righties and the backhand for lefties..

        Do you have stats of how percentage of forehands Rafa plays?

        Thiem definitely wins his matches mainly with the forehand, even if his backhand ie spectacular. It has for Thiem the same role as the forehand for Nadal. To close points when the situations calls for this.

        About Stan. We should talk about his shots before and after surgery. They are not so good, because he hits them in less comfortable positions (because of movement limitations after the surgery).

      17. @PRF
        “Nadal does not win matches with his forehands”. I do think that’s definetely the case, that’s his biggest weapon and a big part of his game is to start points dominating his opponent with the FH.
        I did not say that Thiems’s FH is not good, I was just disputing your comment “Thiem has some own departments, where he is near-to-perfect. Topspin forehand and backhand from the baseline”. To me he has a very good FH but I don’t think it is close to Roger’s or Rafa’s which would be the “near to peferct” FH’s IMO.

      18. @PABLO
        This is only stats for Thiem-Nadal match (RG final)
        BH winners: Nadal 37, Thiem 30
        FH winners: Nadal 19, Thiem 19
        Was FH a dominant shot? Neither for Nadal nor for Thiem.
        There are more detailed stats available, but too complicate to say, which shot was dominant.
        In this match both used BH more frequently and both attacked the FGH of the opponent. That’s why BH was dominant for both.
        How can you tell, Nadal won this match with forehands?

      19. @PRG
        Those are stats for one game. I was not able to find his career stats nor I coukd check well how reliable is this website: https://www.tennisprofiler.com/nadal
        If the source is reliable it explains in many ways why Rafa’s FH is his most dominant and important shot (it seems pretty obvious to me without looking any numbers).
        This is an interesting survey I found in the NY times (it was answered by former players, current players and
        MOST INTIMIDATING SHOT
        1. Del Potro forehand
        2. Nadal forehand, particularly down the
        3. Isner first serve
        4. Djokovic returns
        5. Karlovic first serve

        This is a good one too.
        TO PLAY A MATCH FOR YOUR LIFE
        1. Nadal
        2. Djokovic
        3. Federer
        4. Murray
        Source: https://www.google.es/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2018/11/09/sports/tennis/who-has-the-best-shots-in-mens-tennis.amp.html

      20. @PABLO
        The are stats for the match (not game) and the source is for sure reliable. It’s Roland Garros website.
        And these are STATS (and you are stats believer unlike me, hahaha)
        What you quote, are not stats or facts, it’s someone’s opinion

        And I thought, we were talking about Nadal’s current game, not when he was 19 or all over the career.

        As for now, Nadal wins matches with backhand (if wee want to speak about single shot).
        And what would be your theory about Nadal lpsing matches? (last 5 before RG2019 to Federer), one every year in four last years to Thiem.

        Was the forehand poor in these matches? Or he simply lost them because opponents were better just this day. And Nadal loses last years also on clay and at big stages. The only place, where he still wins, is Paris.

        And don’t tell me about injuries. Everyone has them and must pause. When he decides to play again, there is no special assessment for his losses. Just Nadal is talking much about his injuries last years (which does not fit well to his image of a warrior, fighter and hard-die player). Thiem never looks for excuses. If I’m talking about things, which would look like excuses in Thiem’s mouth, it’s another thing. Well, Nadal is getting old. not only Federer.

  3. “For some reason, these ones seem to stick in the mind a bit more than the saves especially the US Open ones against Djokovic.” – Arrgh USO 2011 vs Novak was my painful memory No.1, too! I remember you were clearly annoyed on the post, Jonathan. Yep, he should have won. Thanks for the piece, was interesting to know.
    Love Roger’s curls in the photo and the video, by the way πŸ˜€

    1. The loss against Djoko in 2011 still hurts me since I had tickets to the final and instead of a Fedal I got Nole-Dull in the final

      #GoRoger

      1. I agree with Alexander. I absolutely do not believe Federer would’ve beaten Nadal in either of those finals in 2010 and 2011 had he made it. It’s just how things were then. The frame was smaller and the backhand was still technically a weakness.

      2. We’ll never know though if he’d won. Fed on US Open hard courts then was a bit of a beast. I think he’d have won one of them.

      3. Hard to say Jonathan but I think Roger woul be the underdog in both finals. Nadal was playing considerably better than him (not to mention their lobsided GS H2H…)

  4. Axiom #0: All players considered, the total number of matchpoints saved is exactly equal to the number of matchpoints not converted. How about that?…

    1. That’s what stats are good for πŸ˜‰ To prove something which don’t need to be proven. To manipulate people in various aspects of life. They are only productive for those who use them for money. Tautology. Works likes Β§22 πŸ˜‰

      1. Of course stats are useful but they don’t tell you everything and they are easy to manipulate.

        For example, how to increase GDP? Change the calculation to include vices like drugs and prostitution. That’s what the UK did, but they don’t tell you that when they announce the figure πŸ˜†

        How to decrease unemployment levels? Remove people from the statistic that you have randomly decided are no longer looking for work, so aren’t unemployed.

      2. @Jonathan
        Maybe Bismarck was one of first to realize this, calling (economic) statistics is a big prostitute.

        But we are talking here about match stats, which is simply the way to show some facts – depending on what you choose to show, you can still manipulate, but this does not change anything in reality of sports.

        If someone is statistically better in something (serve for instance), does not mean, he/she will win next match against someone having worse stats.

        What Craig O’Shit makes calling it “Beyond the Numbers” is pure manipulation.

        And … you know the stats of the match first after the match was finished. May be useful for the coach, but the one who watched the whole match, not only once. It’s not useful for next match, only to same extent for training plans.

        What tell you stats, if the match ends like say Federer-L.Mayer?

        Everyone knows, how good is Federer at the net or Djokovic in returning – no stats needed.

        Also you may get betrayed by stats if you don’t add other knowledge sources.

        One player wins all his serve games, but the game lasts 10 minutes and there are many break chances. Another one hits 4 aces in a row. What’s the difference? What really counts is winning games, sets and matches, not gaining superb stats in anything πŸ˜‰

      3. I agree Jonathan. Stats can be used to manipulate people easily(specially (uneducated) but if you know well how the numbers are being worked out, how you should compare and use them they can be very powerful.

        Regarding to tennis I have no doubt that they must be having a big impact on the player’s game and strategies. Correct me if I am wrong Jonathan but I understand that Nadal’s racket has technology to track all his shots (so I am sure the rest of players must have it as well).

      4. @Pablo
        Nadal was using some years ago Power Aero Play from Babolat with tracking technology, but I think, it was only for marketing. It’s meant for recreational players. Babolat offers also a wristband with a device doing quite the same with any racket. It’s called Babolat POP and works for every racket.
        Registered data are then synced with Babolat’s cloud service and then again with an app in your smartphone.
        Produced stats are somehow useful, mostly for motivation, as your data are collected on the cloud and you can see, how your skills and activity compares with other users.
        I don’t think it would make send to collect lots of data for every shot. To say the player he is hitting the sweetpoint only 70% of shots, so you must work on it.
        Players know, how they hit the ball and many times intentionally not with the sweet-spot. What a system could track your intentions? big Brother? πŸ˜‰

        If they have some technology helping to find out, what players are doing wrong, coaches would turn clerks πŸ˜‰

        Should they really have something, you will never know and it will not be available on the market.

        For the current Nadal’s racket you don’t find in technical description a word about shot tracking technology or something..

      5. I think PRF is right, that tracker was just a marketing thing. I can’t imagine Nadal uses that in match play? How much does it weigh? Will change the playing characteristics of the racquet

      6. @PABLO/JON
        You can still buy the PLAY version of Babolat Aero. On the Babolat cloud platform every owner of PLAY (racket) or POP (wrist band to use with any racket) can register and watch how his “ranking” looks like just today or yo7u can even have a virtual “challenge” with anyone registered there, meaning you both plan to play the same day (one in Vanuato, the other on Galapagos ;)) and you have a kind of a virtual match, not on points but on parameters – activity, skills: backhand, forehand, a.s.o.)
        That’s for what this solution exists. I’m mostly around ranked 1000.-2000. but never seen Rafa ranked higher then me, hahaha …

  5. The 3 that come to mind are Wimbledon winning the first 2 sets against Anderson and match point in the 3rd he should never have lost. He seemed out of sorts playing on a court he had not played in years rather than being on centre court after 8 Wimbledon wins. That was like putting Rafa on another court instead of centre court on clay. Next is Indian Wells against Thiem. He had match point on his racket and didn’t convert; it was so close. And then against the Djoker should have closed the deal.

    1. To be fair Nadal played on Lenglen this year. I think Fed played on Court 1 against Gilles Simon in 15 and played a great match in that one. It was more about his forehand than being off centre.

  6. Hey Jonathan, great idea for a post. So nice to get away from all the clay bs. πŸ™‚
    What I find interesting is from 2007 – 2010 there were no mps saved and won stats. And no finals in any of them!
    Held match points and lost, there are none from 2007 – 2009.
    I didn’t watch the match but a big one is Rome 2006. Also IW 2019 against Delpossum. Remembering the USO ones against Djoker were 10 out of 10 in terms of Fed pain.

      1. Of course; that goes without saying. It’s the opposite to a pusher who just sends the ball back hoping for an error. More winners = More unforced errors.
        One either takes chances… or doesn’t.

      2. Actually I agree with you, but … it’s not so simple. And there is still a problem with forced errors, which are mostly not shown in match stats but they are actually winners (on the other side). Not enough. How do you know, the error was forced or unforced? One winner can be just an unforced error of the opponent, who didn’t hit the ball even if he could have done it. Then – how do you know, why the loser of the point didn’t just decide to not run given his chances to reach the ball and additionally be able to hit it well back, so it counts as a winner, but could have been foced or unforced error.

        Sometimes defending player hits the ball desperately for an easy smash from the opponent, but the ball is dead and the 99% winner of the point shoots the smash in the net. Happens to the greates players too πŸ˜‰

  7. I want to know how many times Federer broke to save the match and went on to win it (like a set down, 4-5 in the second and the rival is serving for the match).

      1. The point is I can’t remember a single match that happened like that, I think he never really came back when he’s facing a serve for the match.

    1. There will be loads of matches where his opponent served for it and he broke back. Wawrinka at the World Tour Finals in the saved match points list is one of them.

      Didn’t Falla serve for it at Wimbledon?

      1. You’re right in both accounts.
        Maybe I’m getting older jaja, those matches never crossed my mind.

  8. Great post, Jonathan. The reason that ” … these ones seem to stick in the mind a bit more than the saves … ” is somewhat reflected by the following stats:
    Saved and won: Slam 2, Master cup 3 and Master 8.
    Not saved lost: Slam 5, Master cup 0 and Master 9.
    Three tough losses for me are AusOpen 05 against Safin (Roger was almost flawless, so was Safin); two USOpen against Djoke (Roger should have won both).

  9. I read somewhere that the Halle draw is going to take place on Saturday June 15 at 2:00 pm German time.

  10. Medvedev served I think may have completed the fastest game in tennis history at Stuttgart. 29 seconds! For the uninitiated, that’s about the time it takes Nadal to get a first serve in.

  11. @JON and PABLO
    Now I must laugh and withdraw from this debate.

    According to you both Thiem has poor forehand, poor backhand and poor slice and poor volley, whatever.

    And Big3 are of course the best in every department.

    How the hell it comes, Thiem is 2019 1:1 with Djokovic (after 2 epics), 1:1 with Rafa and 2:0 with Federer, summing up 4:2 with Big3.

    Is this some wizardry or what? If someone, not haing any single good shot can have such record against Big3, maybe I can too? πŸ˜‰

    1. Thiem has a great forehand, awesome top spin backhand. Good serve. Great court coverage. An average slice. Average over head. Average volley.

      You can be the best player in the world with that. Djoker has similar weaknesses. But makes up for it by being great at everything else.

      1. Thiem has poor over head or no over head at all πŸ™ Thiem has unreliable smash. I will rate his slice a bit higher than average. The same with volley.
        With this explanation.

        We have baseline slice and net approach slice (maybe more) . Thiem’s baseline slice is comparable with Fed’s (since some months). Thiem’s net approach slice is not comparable with Federer’s, because in everything in approaching the net Fed has better than anyone.

        Great court coverage is his new strength (since MassΓΊ and in particular – Cordero). He had always some decent footwork, but now it’s faster (resulting in better court coverage) . Nobody compares with Federer’s “agility” (I understand here his specific movement when playing inside the court, in the middle of the court or closer to the net.

        Hmmm … you say, Djoker has similar weaknesses. Has Federer one? πŸ˜‰ His forehand is meant to be one of the best on tour. Maybe his topspin backhand is a kind of weakness?

      2. I just think Thiem’s slice is easy to ready, no real disguise factor. Guess we shall see on grass in a week or two anyway. Volleys, I say average, for me looks like he never has the right grip or is trying to adjust too late. No good volleyers change grip on fh/bh volley. Conti grip, bang.

        Yeah Federer top spin backhand on higher balls is definitely a weakness. Heavy racquet, weaker muscle groups. Often lands short in the court. On low balls it’s not as his grip / technique are well suited to that. Whereas Djoker’s is the reverse, his backhand on low balls isn’t ideal. But most courts aren’t waist high bouncing so not a problem. He thrives off high balls.

      3. Well, I don’t expect Thiem to go for No. 1 or get closer to Big 3 (until they retire), but would be nice and well deserved to see him for longer as a kind of attachment to Big3 πŸ˜‰ Better him than Zverev or (Save God) Tsitsipas πŸ˜‰

  12. Great post and some interesting comments.

    Looks about right given how many matches he has played. Some of those will be TB MPs not on his serve presumably? Can be misleading I reckon. What can you control and what you cannot.

    TBH the only ones which I cannot bear to think about are v Novak in USOs and v Delpo at IW. Still bitter…….:(

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