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Match Key Points FO Final

Rafael Nadal (1) defeat Dominic Thiem (8)


and won his 11th Roland Garros.

Discover with numbers how.

First Key of the match: Nadal's Destruction of Thiem's Backhand

• In total, Dominic Thiem made 12 more errors than Rafael Nadal with the Backhand (22 vs 10) and this is the main key explaining the Spanish's Victory. Rafael Nadal played that match as a Retriever and his goal (as most of the time on clay) was to make the Austrian miss with his backhand. For that he used his forehand cross, inside in & his backhand down the line. Surprisingly, this is not with the forehand cross that he got an edge winning only 46% of the points when he played two forehand cross in a row. Rafael Nadal got super effective with the forehand inside in (winning 76% of the rallies when he played that shot) and backhand down the line (winning 66% of the rallies when he played that shot).

This year between Rafael Nadal & Dominic Thiem, the backhand was really the main key. When the Austrian beat Raffa in Madrid earlier this year 7-5/6-3 he made 4 points more (7 vs 3) and 6 errors less (8 vs 14) than him on that side.

Second Key of the match: Dominic Thiem's Forcing Errors with his Forehand

• Then, Rafael Nadal got an edge because of the extra unforced errors from Dominic Thiem with his forehand. Willing to make the difference with that shot, the Austrian made 6 errors more than him (16 vs 10) for only 1 point more (24 vs 23). We notice that Dominic Thiem was really effective on his first forehand attack after the serve (13 points for 3 errors) but then collapsed under Rafael Nadal heavy topspin & defense.

The main key that explained Dominic Thiem's victory over Rafael Nadal in Madrid earlier this year was the forehand. But when we compared the forehand results in the two matches, it was more Raffa that played badly with the forehand in Madrid: 14 points versus 15 errors in Madrid, 23 points versus 10 errors at Roland Garros.

Third & Fourth Key of the match: Nadal's Net Game & Return Consistency

• Besides dominating Dominic Thiem with the backhand & the forehand, Rafael Nadal also got a small edge at the net (5 points / o errors against 3 points / 3 errors for Thiem) & with the return consistency (4 errors less than the Austrian for the same amount of points).

The Match explained by the Rally Lengths

• Rafael Nadal got an edge of only 1 point in the rallies between 1 & 2 shots. Dominic Thiem served better (5 more aces/service winners but 2 more double faults) and Rafael Nadal was more consistent with the return (4 errors less).

• Between 3 & 4 shots, Dominic Thiem was really effective with his first forehand after his serve (13 points for only 3 errors). However, Nadal counterbalanced that with his backhand effectiveness making 7 errors less than the Austrian. In the end, there is only a small advantage for Rafael Nadal (+2).

• Over 5 shots, Rafael Nadal totally dominated Dominic Thiem. As explained previously, this is by making less errors with the backhand & the forehand that he got that edge.

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