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Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by mikeyM1000 on Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:17 pm

The different viewpoints.

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by Tenez on Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:25 pm

Actually JS, Mickey is right....mental strength is certainly not the reason. As I explained a 1000 times, mental does not quite apply for someone who essentially relies on physical strength. When Nadal faces a physical player, like Djoko for instance, hence his mental strength can be challenged.
 
All players can hit winners easily when relaxed....including nadal but he knows he cannot do it regularly enough under pressure so he feels more comfy as a retriever using a strength he can rely on: his fitness!
 
Federer is the opposite....he can win pulling winners under pressure....he has done that all his career and would have done even more so had conds had favoured him.
 
It's very simple.

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by summerblues on Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:16 am

Julia Santamaria wrote:
mikeyM1000 wrote:Has anyone explained why Rafa managed to get 10 BPs but converted less than half of them?
That is the normal service point ratio (Fed winning 6 out of 10 points BP down), ie the percentage of points he wins on his serve break point down is 60%, which is more or less exactly the number he won normally in that match on serve. So there is no discrepancy.
But it is interesting nonetheless, no?  If the whole thing is strictly due to mental pressure, you could argue that Rafa's stats should shoot up similarly on both his and Roger's break points.

For the record, I mostly agree with truffin's take - it is probably a combo of many things, one of them being Roger being less aggressive on his BPs than on standard returns, another probably Rafa being good on tense points, yet another one being the fact that most BPs are served to the AD court, etc.

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by summerblues on Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:00 am

I went through all 18 Grand Slam finals in which Rafa played:

He played 2232 return points, and won 878 (39%)
He generated 228 break points, and won 97 (43%)

His opponents played 2330 return points, and won 862 (37%)
They generated 212 break points, and won 69 (33%)

So, the stats are skewed Rafa's way (i.e., he does better on break points than on ordinary points) but not absolutely massively so.  If one were doing statistical analysis on this data in practice, this would certainly leave open the possibility that it is just a statistical anomaly.  Even if we take the view that it is more than just that, it is not so by very much.

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by DECIMA on Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:22 pm

summerblues wrote:He played 2232 return points, and won 878 (39%)
He generated 228 break points, and won 97 (43%)

His opponents played 2330 return points, and won 862 (37%)
They generated 212 break points, and won 69 (33%)
SB, 4% on each game- so 8% aggregate- in a game where fine margins make such a big difference such as tennis- that can make a big difference.

summerblues wrote:But it is interesting nonetheless, no? If the whole thing is strictly due to mental pressure, you could argue that Rafa's stats should shoot up similarly on both his and Roger's break points.
What that indicates to me, and back to the Fedal rivalry and French Open 2007, is that the stat shows it is more to do with Nadal than Federer.
Maybe Federer plays the big points against Nadal normally, on serve he hits his normal proportion of unreturnables/ aces/ massive 1-2 combos which means Nadal can't do much. But on Nadal's serve it is much more on his control, and he really does have the ability to step it up.

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by DECIMA on Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:45 pm

Tenez wrote:When Nadal faces a physical player, like Djoko for instance, hence his mental strength can be challenged.
Did you see my stats from the article?

And there are two posts I have made in recent weeks, one on the first page of this thread, the other on another one; addressing your points- but you have not responded to it..
Maybe you didn't see it? Let me post them now and help you out.

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by DECIMA on Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:48 pm

Tenez wrote:I must say that 1 in 17 is very much an oddity.

Indeed, I'm not claiming this is normal. However it does happen regularly in Fedal matches, albeit to a smaller degree... but even these small margins decide matches.

Federer certainly was very unlucky on some of those. I remember a couple where nadal frames the ball, yet the ball just bite the line by the thinnest margins....
I just watched the match today afternoon, there was any occasions where he framed it and it hit the line, but I can remember one time when Nadal framed it, but the margin was good so it landed safe... still even if we don't count that 1/16 isn't great.

Nadal doesn't have that stress. Nadal stresses at the beginning...when the player is fresh and can shorten rallies. In fact he often looks very panicky when the first few games he does not see the ball, be it v Federer (yes even on clay) or Davy, Delpo, Nalby. Nadal only starts to relax when the game extends and sees his opponent losing that key sharpness. The FO 2006 and 2007 are actually showing that, especially 2006.
Tenez I'm not sure if you can remember, but I have done a stats analysis on Federer vs Nadal matches a time ago, where I showed that Nadal has got both the first break and first set in the majority of his matches against Federer.
I also did a very similar research on Nadal Djokovic recently, where I showed that in his last 6 wins against Djokovic he has broken early and won the first set on every single occasion apart from Rome 2012.

Having said that there is still as I mentioned so many times the added pressure of crossing the "lines" versus defending players, especially on slower surfaces when you know that if you do not conclude, you are less likely to do it down the line.

I did consider this as a reason, but I realised that it was illogical for the following reasons:
a) Nadal's fitness does not improve during those break points, nor does Federer's get worse
b) Federer, upto that point in the game, has won atleast 1 more point than Nadal
c) Federer has already won a minimum of 3 points in that game (as he has a BP)

So when you consider those 3, why can Federer not think like this: 'I have won more points than Rafa in this game, if I do more of the same I will break.' And as we know, if his BP conversion was even the same as his normal 'return point conversion', then he would have done much better. Remember Federer with a BP leads Nadal in a game, so he has won more points in that game, despite lower fitness levels. So why should it simply get in the way on break points particularly?
 

Moving on to another example FO2011, consider what could have happened if Federer had played better on the big points, and Nadal hadn't.
-1st set, Federer had set point and hit a ridiculous drop shot when an easy winner had more margin for error and was a much harder for Rafa to return. So he could have won the first set, if he had won that key point.
-2nd set, on the biggest points, ie the tiebreak, Federer played worse on his service point than he did on his normal service points throughout the set. Again, another discrepancy in crucial points in favour of Nadal. If Federer had just played like he had during the set, he could have won the TB.
-Federer won the 3rd set. The fact he did so shows that it was unlikely he was totally out of energy in the 2nd set, so he could have won the 2nd set tiebreak. The only way this is not the case is if Federer magically hugely boosted  his stamina in between sets 2 and 3, which is unlikely given they have like a 3 minute break between sets.
So, if Federer had won the crucial points, he could have won it in straights. Without any changes to the fitness of either player.

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by DECIMA on Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:49 pm

Some more thoughts on Nadal's propensity to hit the lines when he needs, I have managed to find the key points in the 2 most important games of Nadal's 2013: at 4-4 in the 3rd set of the USO final.



Try turning this to HD too, so you can see the ball and it's not too fuzzy.

If you want to see the points I am talking about skip to 0:50-
4-4 0-40, Nadal hits a out wide serve and then goes straight away for a winner up the line. The ball is barely an inch away from the line and at full pace- incredibly risky considering the situation.
4-4 30-40, Ace- Nadal's only ace of the match which clips the T. Coincidental timing or does it show he steps up a level when required? I'd say the latter.
4-4 Ad Nadal, attacking point by Nadal finishes off with a smash.

Then 5-4, Djokovic plays two great points to go 30-0 up on his serve;
5-4 0-30, Nadal hits some fantastic defensive shot and shows goods hands with drop shot followed by volley.
5-4 40-30, set point: Nadal hits a return of serve which clips the line, yes it's loopy (so the margin over the net is not a problem)- but can anyone seriously say the margin of getting the ball to dip exactly on the line is not difficult and does not take precision? The return looked like it was going out, then dramatically dipped exactly on the line- however much you hate Nadal that accuracy is difficult to acheive.
A relatively save rally then ensues, before Nadal is the next person to hit the line at pace with the penultimate shot of the rally. The racket head speed from Nadal is immense, as is the accuracy of the forehand on the most crucial point of the match. Djokovic could not get it back into play.

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by Tenez on Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:36 pm

JS - We know Nadal...he doesn't aim for lines. When he hits them, it's pure luck. We all know that. He has not got the sheer talent to go for risky shots. Its not 2 shots in a match that are going to change what we have seen for the last 10 years!

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by DECIMA on Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:42 pm

That's a pretty weak response.

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by Daniel on Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:12 pm

Julia Santamaria wrote:That's a pretty weak response.

I don't think it is.  You can't prove an entire argument with one or two Youtube clips.  Exceptions do not make rules.  Again, if Nadal really did have the talent you suppose, he would be far better on indoor courts.

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by DECIMA on Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:25 am

Just when you think Tenez's poor reponse was the worst you could imagine, FedererKing comes up with a pearler of illogic.

Firstly my argument on Nadal's mental strength is not based on one or two Youtube clips (although if I wanted I could produce around 200 Youtube clips, but they take up a lot of space), Nadal on aggregrate is 8% up compared to normal in break points on serve and return throughout his career- pretty big when you consider the small margins tennis matches are decided on.

As for Nadal's indoor record, I will ask the same question you could not answer this time: If the tennis calendar was changed to low bouncing indoor surfaces were put in place throughout the year, how would you know that Nadal would fail to make the substantial adaptations to his game for that?
Of course it is clear is current game is not suited to indoor.

That is off-topic to the thread though, FK you still have not commented on the stats provided on OP? What do you think explains them?

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by DECIMA on Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:28 am

And Tenez will do what he always does, he will never respond to my post or questions directly; he will either ignore any question he can't answer (or more like doesn't want to) or write a short generic answer. Then when one of his satellites agrees with his earlier point, he will say 'Yes I agree' and then repeat his original point, as if repeating the point validifies it more than responding to its criticism.

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by luvsports! on Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:31 am

You will never get what you want JS, but credit for continually trying.

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by Tenez on Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:10 pm

Julia Santamaria wrote:And Tenez will do what he always does, he will never respond to my post or questions directly; he will either ignore any question he can't answer (or more like doesn't want to) or write a short generic answer. Then when one of his satellites agrees with his earlier point, he will say 'Yes I agree' and then repeat his original point, as if repeating the point validifies it more than responding to its criticism.

What answer are you looking for? I told you, I like talent and creativity first and foremost when watching tennis. This is why I love, Federer, Stan, Nalby, Davydenko, and many more....if Nadal had some obvious talent, he would be part of that list of players I support....however it is too obvious that his fitness is everything in his game....only his fans don't want to see what everybody else does!

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by DECIMA on Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:35 pm

Tenez wrote:

What answer are you looking for?
A response to my reponse- maybe?
But as usual you won't; let me give a prime example- I remember you once saying that in recent Nadal Djokovic matches Nadal always struggles early on as he relies on fitness. I then showed a stat showing in his 6 recent wins against Djokovic, in 6 out of those 6 Nadal has not only won the first set but broke early (ie within first few service games) in 5 of the 6 times (the 6th one was Rome 2012 where he broke late at 5-5).

Tenez wrote:
if Nadal had some obvious talent, he would be part of that list of players I support....
Your argument here is basically that your judgement should be trusted because you've made an earlier judgement. I don't think you need a logic degree to see how ridiculous that is.
And that's not actually what I'm arguing in this thread, I am talking about the disparity between Nadal on break points and normal points.

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by DECIMA on Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:37 pm

thankyou LS

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by Tenez on Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:23 pm

Julia Santamaria wrote:
A response to my reponse- maybe?
But as usual you won't; let me give a prime example- I remember you once saying that in recent Nadal Djokovic matches Nadal always struggles early on as he relies on fitness. I then showed a stat showing in his 6 recent wins against Djokovic, in 6 out of those 6 Nadal has not only won the first set but broke early (ie within first few service games) in 5 of the 6 times (the 6th one was Rome 2012 where he broke late at 5-5).  
Wrong I said that of Nadal when he plays against everybody else...but Djoko! This is why I cannot and do not wish to argue with you...too much. You distort and misuse words to confuse. Have you looked at the word pilpul yet?

Your argument here is basically that your judgement should be trusted because you've made an earlier judgement. I don't think you need a logic degree to see how ridiculous that is. And that's not actually what I'm arguing in this thread, I am talking about the disparity between Nadal on break points and normal points.

You see logic and talent have not much to do in common. That is why there is no degree for talented artists either. There is no logic in saying that Kate Moss appeals more physically than Kuznetsova...It's just a fact...even if not shared my everybody. So once again you mix things up. Nadal is not as talented as those I mentioned, it's a fact....even if not shared by all.

And you discussion is based on a single match....what does that mean? I answered thoroughly why I think so and still believe it to be the best explanation out there (sorry for everybody else!).

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by DECIMA on Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:16 pm

I can't remember you ever saying 'but Djokovic'… but ok, let's say you did and I didn't see it, why do you think Nadal beats Djokovic?
The argument 'Nadal waits for Djokovic to get tired before he wins' doesn't cut it.

Secondly you've definitely said so with Nadal vs Federer, and I did some research into that too, and Nadal won the majority of first sets.

Thirdly, this thread was to do with the disparity between Nadal on normal points and break points. It is impossible to play your best tennis all the way throughout the match, so in my eyes playing best in the biggest points is one of the key indicators of mental strength.
And I didn't just base it on FO 2007, the aggregate increase was 8% overall.

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by DECIMA on Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:18 pm

And don't forget too Tenez, the clip I really wanted to use was the last set against Djokovic in FO 2013,  but unfortunately I couldn't as the French Federation have not allowed any youtube clips of the French Open. I have got the match recorded on v+, and as I said on the day, Nadal had nearly twice the winners of Djokovic (you can find these stats on the FO website), but also hit the lines with winners at 3x the rate.

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by summerblues on Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:57 am

Julia Santamaria wrote:
summerblues wrote:He played 2232 return points, and won 878 (39%)
He generated 228 break points, and won 97 (43%)

His opponents played 2330 return points, and won 862 (37%)
They generated 212 break points, and won 69 (33%)
SB, 4% on each game- so 8% aggregate- in a game where fine margins make such a big difference such as tennis- that can make a big difference.
The way the math works out it is actually not the same as 8% but that is not all that relevant.  I am not saying fine margins cannot make a big difference in the outcome, I am just saying that they can be a result of random luck.  And the numbers above are not sufficiently far from what you would expect to get at random to indicate very strongly that they are not just random.

That said, in sports we often "cheat" a bit and give more credence to numbers than one could give in say a scientific study.  If, say, the H2H between two players is 8:4, we like to read into it quite a lot and will not simply shrug it off as quite possibly just a coincidence.  To that extent, yes, it is reasonably ok to say that Rafa is good at pressure situations, but we should still keep at the back of our mind that the numbers are not strong enough to come up with any overly conclusive claims.

Julia Santamaria wrote:
summerblues wrote:But it is interesting nonetheless, no?  If the whole thing is strictly due to mental pressure, you could argue that Rafa's stats should shoot up similarly on both his and Roger's break points.
What that indicates to me, and back to the Fedal rivalry and French Open 2007, is that the stat shows it is more to do with Nadal than Federer.
That is one possible interpretation, but there are other reasonable ones too.  As a piece of evidence, if anything, this does go against your line of argument.  You may then go and try to explain it further, but it is at best inconclusive.

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by DECIMA on Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:04 am

It is possible that the percentage each way is random, although in my eyes it is more likely explained as Nadal playing slightly better on the bigger points.

Do you also believe the 1/17, and 1/13 from the article are possibly random?

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by summerblues on Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:14 am

Julia Santamaria wrote:It is possible that the percentage each way is random, although in my eyes it is more likely explained as Nadal playing slightly better on the bigger points.

Do you also believe the 1/17, and 1/13 from the article are possibly random?
You cannot be quite sure but 1/17 is pretty strongly suggesting non-random nature.  That said, 1/17 is also not selected entirely arbitrarily - it is picked because that is the worst one that Roger did against Rafa, and that makes it somewhat more possible it is random.  Sort of like when you toss a coin 18 times, you are not likely to get 17 heads.  But if you toss a coin 18 times each on a number of independent occasions, and then you pick the one where you had most heads, it does make it more likely that you could get to 17 at random.

In any event, I obviously agree that Roger is worse at break points against Rafa than the other way around, but I think trying to use it to conclusively determine that Rafa is more mentally tough is not quite doable - there are too many additional variables that could impact the numbers.

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by DECIMA on Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:18 am

SB, I did clarify that 1/17 was not the norm. However the trend of Nadal doing better break points down does occur in most Fedal matches... and could have had a big impact even though the stat was not as glaringly obvious as the ones in Wimbleon 2008 and French Open 2007.

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by summerblues on Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:29 am

Yes, that is all true, I just think at the end of the day you will find you are short of evidence to prove beyond shadow of the doubt that it is all due to Rafa's superior mental strength.

But I think that is just the nature of the beast - in sporting debates we hardly ever have enough evidence to properly prove our statements.  Data samples are too small, plenty of additional variables pollute our statistics etc.

That is why, while I do enjoy discussions on these topics, as well as arguments people give pro and con, I am not too keen on the crusades that attempt to prove a certain point.  These things are not really provable in the end anyway.

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Re: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Stats

Post by DECIMA on Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:38 am

Yes, unless we can actually tap into player's minds it is very difficult to 'prove' or 'disprove' mental strength.
As far as we know even players we think as chokers (Verdasco?) may actually be good mentally and just really unlucky in the big moments.

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