Fed v. Nole v. Rafa v. Murray: Serving for the set and losing it (slams) - MensTennisForums.com

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Old 03-07-2012, 12:01 AM   #1
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Default Fed v. Nole v. Rafa v. Murray: Serving for the set and losing it (slams)

I was at work today (doing anything but ) and thinking about how often these 4 guys are unable to serve out sets against each other. So with a little help from the YouTube (for matches that I couldn't quite recall), here are number of times when they lost a set that they served for:

(I also included tiebreaks where they had a set point on serve):

FEDERER. Unsuccessfully served out 4 sets. Lost them to:
1. Djokovic - 2008 Australian Open: led 5*-4 in the 1st set. Lost the match
2. Djokovic - 2011 Australian Open: led 5*-3 in the 2nd set. Lost the match
3. Nadal - 2011 Roland Garros: led 5*-3 in the 1st set. Lost the match
4. Djokovic - 2011 U.S. Open: led 5*-3 in the 5th set. Lost the match


DJOKOVIC. Unsuccessfully served out 3 sets. Lost them to:
1. Federer - 2007 U.S. Open: led 6*-5 in the 1st set. Lost the match
2. Federer - 2011 Roland Garros: led 5*-4 in the 4th set. Lost the match
3. Nadal - 2011 U.S. Open: led 6*-5 in the 3rd set. Won the match


MURRAY. Unsuccessfully served out 2 sets. Lost them to:
1. Nadal - 2010 Wimbledon: led 6*-5 in the 2nd set tiebreak. Lost the match
2. Federer - 2010 Australian Open: led 5*-3 in the 3rd set. Lost the match


NADAL. Unsuccessfully served out 2 sets. Lost them to:
1. Federer - 2006 Wimbledon: led 5*-4 in the 2nd set. Lost the match
2. Federer - 2008 Wimbledon: led 8*-7 in the 4th set tiebreak. Won the match

Some observations:
-All the slams have been represented.
-Djokovic & Nadal are the only two players who have "choked" sets but won the match.
-Federer is the only one to lose a lead at 3 different slams
-No one has lost a lead to Murray
-73% of the time, the person who took advantage of the "choke" won the tournament
-5 of these 11 matches come from last year

Please add to this list if I missed any (or point out any mistakes)

Last edited by MIMIC : 03-07-2012 at 02:43 AM.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: Fed v. Nole v. Rafa v. Murray: Serving for the set and losing it (slams)

i think murray served for the 2nd set at *5-3 vs wawrinka in us open 2010 and went on to lose the match.
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: Fed v. Nole v. Rafa v. Murray: Serving for the set and losing it (slams)

wawrinka isn't in the title..
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Fed v. Nole v. Rafa v. Murray: Serving for the set and losing it (slams)

I believe that Nadal served for the second set up 5-4 in his 2006 Wimbledon match against Federer. Nadal wound up losing the match.

The player that's played the longest will most likely have the most "chokes," i.e., Federer in this particular case, which skews the numbers a bit. I'm pretty sure that Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray will all have plenty more "chokes" if they play until they are 30, 31, and beyond.

One has to give immense credit to Nadal -- he is an extremely clutch server when he's in a winning position against just about everyone other than against Djokovic last year and at the AO this year which is surprising given his relatively weak serve. In fact, he's really clutch in almost all nervy situations, e.g., 30-30, 40-30, 30-40, deuce, AD, etc., even with his weak serve. Again, against everyone other than Djokovic, his serve seems better in the clutch and of course he's fearless with the FH in these situations.

Last edited by NYCtennisfan : 03-07-2012 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: Fed v. Nole v. Rafa v. Murray: Serving for the set and losing it (slams)

I have seen Nadal throw in some nervy double faults on big points against players other than Djokovic. People don't want to recall those but they've happened. He's human, it happens. Once the aura of invincibility wears off, we'll start to see more of it.
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:14 AM   #6
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Default Re: Fed v. Nole v. Rafa v. Murray: Serving for the set and losing it (slams)

Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaKoh View Post
I have seen Nadal throw in some nervy double faults on big points against players other than Djokovic. People don't want to recall those but they've happened. He's human, it happens. Once the aura of invincibility wears off, we'll start to see more of it.
Every player does that at some point when under that kind of pressure. Nadal, however, relative to what other players do under extreme pressure, tends to shine, especially against Federer.
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:14 AM   #7
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Default Re: Fed v. Nole v. Rafa v. Murray: Serving for the set and losing it (slams)

Nadal also served for the match in the fourth set at RG 2006 against Federer and was broken but won the TB to win the match.
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:34 AM   #8
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Default Re: Fed v. Nole v. Rafa v. Murray: Serving for the set and losing it (slams)

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCtennisfan View Post
I believe that Nadal served for the second set up 5-4 in his 2006 Wimbledon match against Federer. Nadal wound up losing the match.
Thanks.

Quote:
The player that's played the longest will most likely have the most "chokes," i.e., Federer in this particular case, which skews the numbers a bit. I'm pretty sure that Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray will all have plenty more "chokes" if they play until they are 30, 31, and beyond.
Yeah, I figured that Federer's long career would skew his numbers a bit. I was going to provide the ratio of "sets chokes" vs. "sets successfully served out" but I got lazy I'll probably do it later.
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: Fed v. Nole v. Rafa v. Murray: Serving for the set and losing it (slams)

Murray failed to serve out the third set vs Djokovic at 6-5 at the AO but won the TB, and Djokovic failed to serve out the match at 5-3 but went on to win it 7-5.
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:13 AM   #10
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Default Re: Fed v. Nole v. Rafa v. Murray: Serving for the set and losing it (slams)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketassist View Post
Murray failed to serve out the third set vs Djokovic at 6-5 at the AO but won the TB, and Djokovic failed to serve out the match at 5-3 but went on to win it 7-5.
Yeah....this happened in quite a few matches. But I was just listing the ones where they couldn't serve it out and subsequently ended up losing the set
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:14 AM   #11
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Default Re: Fed v. Nole v. Rafa v. Murray: Serving for the set and losing it (slams)

Did Federer really serve for the second set in the 2011 AO SF?

I don't remember much from that match, but I think he was leading something like 4-2 and then lost the next 4 games. I am probably wrong though.

edit: I just watched the highlights of this match. Man, I forgot how close this match was even though it was a 3 setter. Lots of good points.

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Old 03-07-2012, 09:20 AM   #12
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Default Re: Fed v. Nole v. Rafa v. Murray: Serving for the set and losing it (slams)

Nadal served for the match in RG 2006 and was broken, it went into tiebreak and he still won it.

It seems like Federer just cant get momentum against Nadal and Nadal cant get momentum against Djokovic. Like when Nadal wins a very close set in the last 2 slams against Djokovic and Djokovic still wins the next set, or Federer in RG 2011 winning that 3rd set just to get breadsticked.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:30 PM   #13
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Default Re: Fed v. Nole v. Rafa v. Murray: Serving for the set and losing it (slams)

they all get nervous at big points (top 4 guys). too much at stake. Nole just somehow manages to win these big points lately.
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:16 PM   #14
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Default Re: Fed v. Nole v. Rafa v. Murray: Serving for the set and losing it (slams)

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCtennisfan View Post
One has to give immense credit to Nadal -- he is an extremely clutch server when he's in a winning position against just about everyone other than against Djokovic last year and at the AO this year which is surprising given his relatively weak serve. In fact, he's really clutch in almost all nervy situations, e.g., 30-30, 40-30, 30-40, deuce, AD, etc., even with his weak serve. Again, against everyone other than Djokovic, his serve seems better in the clutch and of course he's fearless with the FH in these situations.
In theory, Nadal being a left-hander, he should have a better ratio breakpoints saved/service points won than Djokovic, because breakpoints are often played on ad-side (many people say that it's the main advantage of left-handers).

Actually it's the opposite : on average between 2007 and 2011, Djokovic saved 0.1% more breakpoints than he won points on his serve, Nadal lost 1.4% more (Murray 2.6, Federer 3.3) (on average players save 2% less breakpoints than they win points on serve, because when they face breakpoints usually they're in a bad momentum).

On hardcourts, Djokovic saved 0.2% more, Nadal lost 2% more.

Moreover, Nadal is much more serve-oriented than Murray (Murray's serve is overrated : low first serve percent, erratic, weak second serve), and also more than Djokovic if you consider points won on serve comparing to points won on return, it has been especially the case in recent years.

With players like Djokovic and Murray who are so return-oriented, it's normal to expect some situations like this.
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: Fed v. Nole v. Rafa v. Murray: Serving for the set and losing it (slams)

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCtennisfan View Post
Every player does that at some point when under that kind of pressure. Nadal, however, relative to what other players do under extreme pressure, tends to shine, especially against Federer.
That's the reason why people say that : because the matches against Federer are so much into the light.

But everybody knows that Nadal-Federer is the most unequal H2H of all those 4 and Nadal has a huge confidence when he plays Federer : it's easy to have no fear when you have such a great H2H. As you said, now that he's lost often against Djokovic, he appears "choking" : just the reverse phenomenon

Personally, the player whom I give immense credit on this point and the stats are clear on that (both for breakpoints on serve and return) is Novak Djokovic.

Yet, it's partly related to a specific phenomenon about Djokovic : comparing to the other of these players, he has more tight games won at 40-30, etc.

I mean when I remember Djokovic's matches from the beginning of his carreer, it was very often a very quick succession of ups and downs. I remember how that idea was printed inside me by his match against Baghdatis in Wimbledon 2007 : he was able to go back to a full concentration very easily after tough points lost, at the moment he wanted. Then he relaxed, lost the points, then concentrated, etc ... just as if he was managing all those successions of concentration and relaxing more than the other players.
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