RAFAEL NADAL

Complete Game Analysis

Last Update : June 2019

23'348 Points Analyzed Manually for this study

Serve

51st

Return

14th

Forehand

1st

Backhand

3rd

Volley

53rd

Forehand - 5 Stars

(Far Above Top100 Average)

Strengths:

* 20% more Points & 20% less Errors with the Forehand than his Rivals on Average

* High Ratio of Points in any Forehand Direction

* Low Ratio of Errors with the Forehand Cross & Inside In

* Wins 69% of the Points when he plays a Forehand Down the Line

* Wins 58% of the Points when he plays two Forehand Cross in a row

* Wins 69% of the Points when he plays a Forehand Inside In

* Wears Rivals' Backhand Down with the Forehand

* Global Forehand Effectiveness in any kind of Rallies (short, medium & long)

* Forehand Drop Shot

* Forehand Touch

* Forehand Pass

Weaknesses:

* None

Backhand - 5 Stars

(Far Above Top100 Average)

Strengths:

* 2 Times less Errors with the Backhand than his Rivals on Average

* Backhand Cross Points/Errors Ratio

* Wins 60% of hte Points when he plays a Backhand Down the Line

* Wins 67% of the Points when he plays two Backhand Cross in a row

* Wins 70% of the Points when he plays a Backhand Slice

* Backhand Effectiveness in any kind of Rallies (short, medium & long)

* Backhand Drop Shot

* Backhand Touch

* Backhand Pass

Weaknesses:

* None

Return - 5 Stars

(Far Above Top100 Average)

Strengths:

* 40% less Errors with the Return than his Rivals on Average

* First Serve Return Won Points (33%)

* Receives 10% less Aces/Service Winners than Average

* Second Serve Return Won Points (56%)

Weaknesses:

* Low Ratio of Points with the Forehand & Backhand Return

Volley - 4 Stars

(Above Top100 Average)

Strengths:

* Percentage of Points Won at the Net (81%)

* 1-2 Punch Approach after the Serve (79% of the points won)

* Baseline Approach (81% of the points won)

* Volley Points/Errors Ratio

Weaknesses:

* 2 Times less Points with the Volley than his Rivals on Average

* Total Points Won at the Net (9%)

* Return Volley (not really played)

Serve - 3 Stars

(In the Top100 Average)

Strengths:

* First Serve Percentage (68%)

* Second Serve Won Points (57%)

* Low Ratio of Double Faults (6%)

Weaknesses:

* 20% less Aces/Service Winners than his Rivals on Average

* Ratio of Aces/Service Winners on First Serve (25%)

* Ratio of Aces/Service Winners on Second Serve (1%)

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Compare his Stats with the ones of the Other Spanish Players here

Rafael Nadal is one of the best at deuce on his return games, check here why!

Rafael Nadal is at the moment the most effective Puncher on the ATP tour. He is capable to hurt his rivals with his topspin forehand in every direction (cross, down the line, inside in & inside out) & at any time in the rallies (short, medium & long). When compared with his opponents, he takes a double edge with the forheand making more points and fewer errors.

Puncher / Very high

Rafael Nadal cannot be regarded as a Server. The only area where he is dominated on average by his rivals  is with the Serve. Nonetheless, when his first serve is in, he still has 25% of chance to make an ace or a service winner.

Server / Medium-low

Rafael Nadal cannot be regarded as an Offensive Player. He still gets a very high percentage of points won when he comes in (81%, above the average of the ATP players) but only 9% of his total points are won at the net (below average).

Offensive / Medium-low

Rafael Nadal is also one of the best Retriever in the history of the game. Capable of defending & also counterpunching with brio, his rivals often have to win twice the points against him. Nonetheless, we note that on clay Rafael is more a dominant Retriever and on hard court a dominant Puncher. He changes his way of playing according to the surface: on clay he wants much more to wear his rivals down than on hard court. 

Retriever / Very high

Even though Rafael Nadal possesses one of the best backhand on the ATP tour, he cannot really be qualified as a Tempo Player. The Punch & the Retrieve take so much place in his game that the rest of the categories represent him less. However, he is capable to play close to his baseline in Tempo especially with the backhand when he needs too. 

Tempo / Medium-low

Rafa's Points Distribution

Understand simply with this Visual how Rafael Nadal wins his points. 

Download this Visual here 

How Rafa Beat Dominic in the FO Final 2019

  1. Retrieving Forehand: in total Rafael Nadal made 2 times fewer errors with the forheand than Dominic Thiem (13 vs 27). It was 100% part of Rafa's game plan to force Thiem into taking more risks with his forehand and as a result missing more on that side

  2. Aces/Service winners: Rafael Nadal is not really known to get an edge with the quality of his serve but in that match he made 2 times more aces/service winners than his opponent (16 vs 8). His first serve percentage remained high (74%) and he got an excellent first serve won points (73%). 

  3. Thiem's Return Errors: Dominic Thiem made 2.5 times more errors with his return than Nadal (3 vs 8). Opting for a return position far away from the baseline, Dominic was forced to push Rafa as far as he could with his return in order not to be attacked and as a consequence made extra errors this way. 

  4. Rafa's Net Game. Nadal made 3 times more points with his volley than Thiem (12 vs 4). He came in 30 times and won 80% of the points (far above average). In total, 21% of his points were won at the net and this is much more than what he used to do (9%). 

  5. Backhand Attacks. Eventually, Rafa made 2.5 times more points than Thiem with his backhand (15 vs 6). He was excellent on that side when he had to counterpunch or attack.

As we can see, Rafael Nadal dominated Dominic Thiem in that FO final with every possible shots. Except with the forehand, he made more points than the Austrian with all his shots. Usually Rafa's main game plan is to wear his rivals down (and as a result making fewer errors than them) but when he is also capable of making more points than his opponents he becomes unstoppable!  

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