Federer and Nadal's Head to Head Stats [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Federer and Nadal's Head to Head Stats

Arakasi
05-31-2010, 11:16 PM
I think we're all aware that despite Federer clearly trailing in his head to head with Nadal that he actually has won nearly as many points as Nadal in their matches. This is the breakdown for their 21 matches to date:

Match W-L: Nadal leads 14-7 (66.7%)
Point W-L: Nadal leads 2306-2257 (50.5%)

So Nadal has won two thirds of his matches against Roger despite only leading by 49 points. But it occured to me that this statistic might be even more drastic if we remove the one outlier in all their matches: the FO 2008 beatdown. This is the only match in which either player won so convincingly and I think it distorts the figures somewhat. The breakdown looks as follows once you eliminate this match:

Match W-L: Nadal leads 13-7 (65%)
Point W-L: Nadal leads 2214-2205 (50.1)

If that isn't the clearest indication of Nadal's mental domination over Federer, especially on the big points, I don't know what is. Nadal has managed to win 13/20 matches with only 9 more points in total. Remarkable.

In fact, if you eliminate Federer's next most comphrehensive loss, points-wise, to Nadal (the 6-4 6-4 loss in Monte Carlo 07) we would have:

Match W-L: Nadal leads 12-7 (63.2%)
Point W-L: Federer leads 2146-2141 (50.1)

Federer would lead the points total but trail clearly in head to head. All credit to Nadal for being a mental juggernaut but I think this statistic is ridiculous. How on earth do you win more points than an individual but still lose to them repeatedly? :o

I wonder if this bizarre statistic is only present in the Nadal-Federer head to head? I know that Roger has a tendency to lose matches despite winning more points not only against Nadal. Does anyone know of any other tennis head to head in which this kind of thing has happened over the course of several matches? I have a feeling this may be more common than I think. It would interesting if someone did this for an even more lopsided head to head. Maybe points breakdowns tend to be about 50% for most head to heads?

Just so I don't incite a tard war I'll add this disclaimer: obviously by manipulating the figures and eliminating matches I could make the gap even bigger for either player but in truth I don't think it's statisically relevant to eliminate any match other than F0 2008; and that match only because it is very out of the norm for their head to head. I only removed Monte Carlo 07 to further demonstrate the discrepancy between points/match wins, realistically it shouldn't be ignored.

Johnny Groove
05-31-2010, 11:22 PM
Nadal simply plays the big points better.

Look up the break point stats and you'll see a pretty big disparity.

Roamed
05-31-2010, 11:23 PM
Nice stats. I don't really agree with removing any results just because they were beatdowns - I mean that FO final happened - but it still is interesting to see how close they are point-wise. Supports the idea that one of the reasons Rafa has been so dominant in the head-to-head is that Federer often has problems converting on the big points against him. :)

Edit:

Federer BP stats: 69/191 - 36%, his YTD average is 39%
Rafa BP stats: 85/195 - 44%, his YTD average is 49%

@Sweet Cleopatra
05-31-2010, 11:25 PM
Both are great players.

ShotmaKer
05-31-2010, 11:39 PM
interesting stuff.

Nidhogg
05-31-2010, 11:39 PM
Not all too curiously, the one breakpoint Federer converted (out of the 17 he earned) in RG 07 was when Nadal served to the deuce court.

Voo de Mar
05-31-2010, 11:46 PM
Point W-L: Nadal leads 2306-2257 (50.5%)


:)

Arakasi
05-31-2010, 11:50 PM
I should probably mention I got the initial breakdowns from a thread started by Nicholas Warino over at tennis warehouse.

Arakasi
05-31-2010, 11:53 PM
:)

Voo you're the stats man. Do you know of any other head to heads which display the same disparity between points and match wins?

Everko
05-31-2010, 11:53 PM
It's a good try. Bold too

jenanun
05-31-2010, 11:56 PM
because nadal can win the points that matter

Arakasi
05-31-2010, 11:57 PM
It's a good try. Bold too

Don't misunderstand me. I wasn't trying to subtly explain away the Federer-Nadal head to head. It clear for all to see: 14-7. No analysis can remove that.

I was just interested in Federer's failure to translate points into match wins and was wandering if this was common.

Arakasi
06-01-2010, 12:06 AM
Nadal simply plays the big points better.

Look up the break point stats and you'll see a pretty big disparity.

because nadal can win the points that matter

Yes but usually the player who can win the big points can also win the majority of the smaller points as well, especially when you consider it's over 21 matches.

I don't think even Nadal plays matches often in which he wins the big points but loses >50% of the smaller points. Of course it happens once in a while but not with this large a sample.

In general, the player winning the big points is winning the majority of points big or small.

Voo de Mar
06-01-2010, 12:06 AM
Voo you're the stats man. Do you know of any other head to heads which display the same disparity between points and match wins?

:) My emoticon in the post above referred to two things:

1) I never thought about H2H's from the perspective of points won in all by two players (but it's interesting)

2) I wonder does it make any sense showing a percentage in this case with such big numbers; it's a little bit confusing, it's only 50.5% but the difference of points won to lost is 49 -> it's like 6-0 6-0 without a lost point by a player who won the match.

Replying on your question: I don't know.

dodo
06-01-2010, 12:23 AM
2) I wonder does it make any sense showing a percentage in this case with such big numbers; it's a little bit confusing, it's only 50.5% but the difference of points won to lost is 49 -> it's like 6-0 6-0 without a lost point by a player who won the match.

Replying on your question: I don't know.

Or, less than 1 point per set. The difference between the occasional 40-0 vs a 40-15 service-hold.


I think the stats are remarkable. Would love to see a breakdown by surface, by serve/return and, most of all, by deuce/ad court.

Arakasi
06-01-2010, 12:34 AM
:) My emoticon in the post above referred to two things:

1) I never thought about H2H's from the perspective of points won in all by two players (but it's interesting)

I don't think it is that meaningful but like you said I think it is interesting.

2) I wonder does it make any sense showing a percentage in this case with such big numbers; it's a little bit confusing, it's only 50.5% but the difference of points won to lost is 49 -> it's like 6-0 6-0 without a lost point by a player who won the match.

I guess it is a little deceptive to just look at the percentages. In fact the main reason I removed F0 08 is because a 40 out of those 49 points are in that one match. Once you get rid of it the percentages are a bit more appropiate.

Also, nearly all their matches have a similar percentage, points-wise, when you look at them individually. 12 of their 21 matches lie between 50% and 53% for the points breakdown. 19 out of 21 lie between 50% and 56% for the points break down.

MrMarble
06-01-2010, 01:49 AM
That's a small difference point-wise, but often matches are this close between top players.

I'd like to note though that Federer often cruises through his service games more easily which evens out the points. But yet Nadal could be more likely to actually break when Federer finally misses too many first serves on one game.

So I'm saying that it's a typical big server stat. I bet someone like Karlovic/Roddick do very well against Nadal points wise but still don't have equally good chance of winning - Nadal will punish them in rallies when they can't get 1st serve in.

NYCtennisfan
06-01-2010, 02:16 AM
Federer has won more points overall in a match than Nadal in 10 of their 21 matches and in 7 out of their 9 meetings off of clay.

I cannot think of any rivalry where two players have played each other 10 plus times and one player has a +5 or more advantage in the head-to-head, but has won more overall points in only one more match than his opponent. Nadal is simply fearless on break points and when break point down. He goes for it with the FH and more often than not, makes it work against Federer.

Here's a list of all of their matches and the point totals (h= hard c= clay g=grass):

Nadal 58-46 h
Federer 157-150 h
Nadal 125-114 c
Federer 78- 71 h
Nadal 155-140 c
Federer 179-174 c
Nadal 121-109 c
federer 133-113 g
Federer 75-65 hard carpet
Nadal 73-59 c
federer 85-67 c
Nadal 136-119 c
Federer 165-158 g
Federer 53-34 hard/carpet
Nadal 76-62 c
Nadal 113-106 c
Nadal 92-52 c
Nadal 209-204 g
Federer 174-173 h
Federer 63-58 c
Nadal 85-84 c

Pirata.
06-01-2010, 04:24 AM
Federer 179-174 c
Nadal 209-204 g
Federer 174-173 h
Nadal 85-84 c

Some really close ones! :eek:

Priam
06-01-2010, 04:44 AM
The Nadal-Djoker h2h is also 14-7. The points difference is probably greater though.

crude oil
06-01-2010, 05:32 AM
Federer's main weakness is his return against nadal's 1st and second serve in the ad court.

He cannot get the ball out of nadal's strike zone on this side of the court and commits many errors returing . If he just floats the ball, nadal takes the offensive with his fh, and the point is effectively over.

all the important points are played in the ad-court where nadal has the huge advantage...nadal saving all those bps and winning game points eventually breaks federer's spirit.

HKz
06-01-2010, 05:36 AM
Federer often times accumulates a lot of points in matches compared to his opponents he loses to plainly because he doesn't lose too many points on serve, and he wins a decent amount of points returning. And I think this is the case in many Federer vs Nadal matches where Federer clearly has a much better serve and easier time holding most of his service games. Then at the same time, Federer usually puts himself in contention during Rafael's service games. So I mean even with the French Open 2008 match calculated in, they are quite close to each other.

But after you look at their break point conversion rate, as Roamed put up, Nadal has only gotten 4 more chances but has converted 8% more.

rafa_maniac
06-01-2010, 06:07 AM
Goes to show that there really isn't much in it when these two play. It always hinges on just a handful of key points and this is probably why I never feel confident in a Nadal victory even on clay.

osmonde
06-01-2010, 06:39 AM
It happened in Nadal-Gulbis match in Rome:
2 points apart:
Nadal: 103
Gulbis: 101

Nadal had the best % of 2nd serves won and 2nd return points won
He worked on that serve for purpose: less power but more accuracy.

jenanun
06-01-2010, 07:23 AM
federer can hold serve more comfortable than nadal, but when he has one bad game, nadal grasp the opportunity

federer bp conversion is embarrassing against nadal...

Stroba
06-01-2010, 07:38 AM
Federer's main weakness is his return against nadal's 1st and second serve in the ad court.

He cannot get the ball out of nadal's strike zone on this side of the court and commits many errors returing . If he just floats the ball, nadal takes the offensive with his fh, and the point is effectively over.

all the important points are played in the ad-court where nadal has the huge advantage...nadal saving all those bps and winning game points eventually breaks federer's spirit.

This is a very good point, and one I think ultimately has a significant impact on their H2H. How much significance is of course pure speculation.

Mechlan
06-01-2010, 07:44 AM
Federer's main weakness is his return against nadal's 1st and second serve in the ad court.

He cannot get the ball out of nadal's strike zone on this side of the court and commits many errors returing . If he just floats the ball, nadal takes the offensive with his fh, and the point is effectively over.

all the important points are played in the ad-court where nadal has the huge advantage...nadal saving all those bps and winning game points eventually breaks federer's spirit.

It would be interesting to get a breakdown of the points won when Nadal serves to the ad court versus the deuce court.

Apophis
06-01-2010, 09:07 AM
Federer's main weakness is his return against nadal's 1st and second serve in the ad court.

He cannot get the ball out of nadal's strike zone on this side of the court and commits many errors returing . If he just floats the ball, nadal takes the offensive with his fh, and the point is effectively over.

all the important points are played in the ad-court where nadal has the huge advantage...nadal saving all those bps and winning game points eventually breaks federer's spirit.

It would seem that it would be more fair if service games are alternately started at deuce-court and ad-court. But this is not the case, because now Federer can start receiving on his favorable side every game, which means that in total he will return more services from the deuce-court than the ad-court. The current system will hurt his break point conversion percentage, but not his overall receiving points won percentage. If they would start on the other side, he would have a harder time even getting to break point.

peribsen
06-01-2010, 03:26 PM
Nadal has said a couple of interesting things about all this (I quote both from memory, they are not literal; the second one I read in a Spanish paper after the Madrid final):

- "Federer is into this because of the tennis; I am into this because of the fight". (Virtuoso against killer).

- 'Matches between us are not just tennis matches, they are mostly psychological struggles. I think we both center far more on getting the other guy out of his comfort zone than on playing your usual game; if I can hammer his BH often enough or if he can shorten the points often enough'. Maybe they don´t always deliver beutiful tennis, but you can't deny the sheer intensity of their matches that makes them so thrilling to watch.