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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking over some of the stats in the matches between the big 3, I came across this interesting discrepancy in the average first serve percentages of Nadal and Federer whenever they have played against each other. I think its better understood when compared with the other rivalries in the big 3.

Here are the first serve percentages of Djokovic and Nadal in every match that they have played against each other:

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Overall, Djokovic averaged a 66% first serve percentage in his rivalry with Nadal, while Nadal averaged 68%. These seem like fairly average numbers, and they are both fairly close to one another (save for a small 2% difference). Similarly, here are the first serve percentages of Djokovic and Federer in every match they played against one another.

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Overall, Federer averaged a 61% first serve percentage against Djokovic in their rivalry, while Djokovic averaged 65%. Again, they both appear to be average numbers that are similar to one another (only a 4% difference). In contrast, here are the first serve percentages of Nadal and Federer in every match that they played against each other.

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Here, you can see that while Federer averaged a 63% first serve percentage against Nadal in their rivalry, Nadal averaged a 73% first serve percentage against Federer. That is a significant 10% difference, which is more than double the difference in first serve percentages in the Djokovic-Federer and Nadal-Djokovic rivalries. For further context, while Federer only played one match against Nadal in which he had a first serve percentage above 70% and one above 80%, Nadal played 25 matches against Federer with a first serve percentage above 70% and 6 matches with a first serve percentage above 80%.

Clearly, there was a huge discrepancy in first serve percentages in the Nadal-Federer rivalry that was not present in the other rivalries. What I'm interested to know is why was this the case? Why was Nadal able to land so much more first serves in against Federer as opposed to the other way around?
 

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His game is based on spin. He puts extreme spin and expects you to make an "unforced" error. He will never be a king of winners and power tennis so he tries to trick others into mistakes. It is the perfect tactic for the extreme slow courts we have now with not a single slam having a fast court pace index.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Because fraud shat his pants everytime he met these two. He’s such a pathetic player I don’t even know where to start.
Federer's first serve percentage against Nadal wasn't too bad though. Its more like Nadal's first serve percentage was incredibly high when he played Federer. Do you have any idea why that was the case?
 

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If you will teach tennis the only thing a strong pupil must learn is to spin the ball to extreme rotations and make any player in the other side have 50 to 100 UE's.

In slams those matches will take 5, 6 hours and rich buyers will be happy about their tickets worth seeing endless rallies with repeated plays.

Power Tennis fans will not be happy but we basically are powerless today to change anything in the circuit so people who loves single player cricket or atp tennis those days will feel home like in a dream test series between their favorite batsmen seeking non-wicket points until the victim is bowled.



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Because fraud shat his pants everytime he met these two. He’s such a pathetic player I don’t even know where to start.
That is why he was universally aclaimed as the Goat by thousands of newspapers, magazines, sports channels and fans after retiring with a coverage that no other sportsman besides our late King Pelé will have in his life or after.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Because Nadal not needed big serve against Federer
Just to put the serve into his BH and Federer will break himself
So you mean to say that Nadal's tendency to serve at Federer's backhand all the time (essentially maintaining the same service patterns) is the reason behind his high first serve percentage against Federer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
His game is based on spin. He puts extreme spin and expects you to make an "unforced" error. He will never be a king of winners and power tennis so he tries to trick others into mistakes. It is the perfect tactic for the extreme slow courts we have now with not a single slam having a fast court pace index.

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I see. This seems to be more related to the ground game though. It doesn't explain the difference in first serve percentage between the two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Because Nadal's serve sucks, he can't generate enough power and proper placement on the serve, so he needed to have higher ratio of 1st serves in.
In contrast, Federer at roughly the same height, had way way better placement especially.
But if Federer's serve had better placement, shouldn't that mean he would have a higher first serve percentage, since then he would be able to land the serve in the corners of the service box more consistently?

Also, Nadal's first serve percentage dips to 68% when he plays Djokovic, which seems fairly normal rather than high ratio. Why was this the case? Was Djokovic just better at attacking Nadal's serve compared to Federer?
 

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But if Federer's serve had better placement, shouldn't that mean he would have a higher first serve percentage, since then he would be able to land the serve in the corners of the service box more consistently?

Also, Nadal's first serve percentage dips to 68% when he plays Djokovic, which seems fairly normal rather than high ratio. Why was this the case? Was Djokovic just better at attacking Nadal's serve compared to Federer?
No because it means Fed went for it more on his 1st serve, he played it less safe in comparison to Nadal's 1st serve.
 

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There are two other points to consider. Nadal increased the risk on 1st serve during his career. His overall first serve decreased from around 70% at the beginning to around 65% in recent years. Federer's matches tend to be earlier in Nadal's career, of course.
And then had a few matches with notably low 1st serve in against Djokovic.

Together, that explains at least part of the difference.
 

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Federer's first serve percentage against Nadal wasn't too bad though. Its more like Nadal's first serve percentage was incredibly high when he played Federer. Do you have any idea why that was the case?
I would assume he is more focused on getting first serves in than doing a lot of damage with them.

It would be good to see if there's some discrepancy between the deuce and the AD courts in terms of %. I think especially on the AD court he would be more focused on betting the ball in to his backhand than trying to hit an ace.




That is why he was universally aclaimed as the Goat by thousands of newspapers, magazines, sports channels and fans after retiring with a coverage that no other sportsman besides our late King Pelé will have in his life or after.

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Cause Dull just rolled his serve in while Federer actually went for aces. Common sense really and doesn’t need a long explanation.
Yeah but that doesn't explain the discrepancy in Nadal's first serve percentage vs Federer compared to Djokovic. Why would Nadal's first serve percentage drop by 5% against Djokovic if he simply rolled the serve into play? Or did he serve differently against Djokovic compared to Federer?
 
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