2014 Australian Open men’s singles final analysis

I haven’t tracked tennis players at the level I do now for sake of this blog, but I have never seen one player thoroughly dominate another in head to head action at the top level. So it is with Rafael Nadal and Stanislas Wawrinka, meeting for the 3rd time in a Grand Slam event, and 15\3th overall. Rafa is 12-0, and it appears he’s won every set, plus each tiebreak.

What I will do here is examine the stats in their matchups, and see if there are holes in Rafa’s game that can be exploited.
The following stats are from matchstat.com
1st serve %: Rafa ranges from 58 to 76%. Stan: 47-61% Rafa has lead in this category all 12 times and is totally on another level here.
Points from aces/double-faults:
Nadal: -2 to +5. Stan: -1 to 6. Stan leads here 8 times. Hm…why hasn’t this stat translated to wins?

1st service points won:
Rafa: 64-84%. Stan: 56-80%. Rafa was only outpointed twice here.

2nd service points won:
Rafa: 39-73% Stan: 33-59%. Only once did Stan score better here.

Break points won:
Rafa: 8-64%. Stan: 0-100%. Rafa again has done better here, 8 of 12 matches.

Return points won:
Rafa: 35-53% Stan: 16-42% Stan did better here only in their most recent meeting.

Net approaches:
Rafa: 73-81% Stan: 53-62%

Here’s another breakdown based on stats from the ATP website:
From a 6 match sample they have average 56 minutes a set.

Break points saved:
Rafa: 0-100% Stan: 36-91%
Both players are split on this stat
1st service return points won:
Rafa: 20-42% Stan: 15-34%
Another split between the two. Stan would have to do better than his best, 35% to have any chance.
2nd service return points won:
Rafa: 50-67% Stan: 34-61%
Rafa has a near perfect edge in this category. Stan would need to be in the 60% range.

Service points won:
Rafa: 64-72%
Stan: 46-68%
Stan must be near 70% to have any chance.

Return points won:
Rafa: 31-53%
Stan: 27-35%
Rafa dominates here also.

Truly in summary, Nadal leads in every category. Here are the benchmarks Stan will need:
76% 1st serves won
50% 2nd service points won
36% return points won
36% break points saved
50% 2nd service return points won
68% service points won

Nadal’s strength is certainly present here, as well as his mental faculties. His overall athletic ability is on the rise and at just the right time. His drive is a bit on the negative side but it’s increasing a bit. He might make some poor decisions along the way but those will be at a minimum.

Wawrinka’s stats are all on the increase but it’s a real uphill climb. He’s bottomed out physically days prior but otherwise his mental game is very sharp. He’ll have to rely on that mental game to keep from getting shut out yet again.
With this combo, there’s really no way I can predict other than a dominant Nadal straight-set victory, like in previous matchups.

2013 Australian Open men’s round of 16 (lower half)

Jeremy Chardy 

Brief triple high is over, on an emotional critical day, still under effect of mental critical. Not a good look. Going to lose some shots and challenges but his game is pretty strong otherwise.

#21 Andreas Seppi

You can’t get into any better situation than this one. Triple high with all cycles on the up and up. 
Straight set win for Seppi

#14 Gilles Simon

Absolutely weak here, challenges lost and errors by the dozen. Will have to rely on heart. 

#3 Andy Murray

Cycles are mixed, improving in all phases of the game, with triple high in 2 days. 
Murray in straight sets. 
#7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

See Andy Murray’s cycles. Few errors, few double faults, brainpower at peak. 

#9 Richard Gasquet

Pure athletic ability very strong, might get a lift from the crowd but not terribly responsive. 
Best matchup of the 4 today. Tsonga in 5 sets. 
#13 Milos Raonic

General weakness here along with a looming physical critical day. Should have enough athletical ability to match shot for shot, even if stamina isn’t there. 

#2 Roger Federer  

 Physical critical day today, of all days. Blood on the court? Medical timeouts? For sure. Coming out of triple high, it will be at a minimum. Overall game still very strong, will surely out think his opponent. 
Federer in straight sets.  

2013 Australian Open women’s round of 16 (upper half)

Went 1-for-4 in my projections, so I can only improve from here! Here’s a look at today’s 4 matches: 

#! Victoria Azarenka

Athletic ability at a pure low here, but has a lot of heart. 

Elena Vesnina  

Very brief triple high, quite willing to see this match through.
Vesnina in 2 sets. This is the best of the 4 matches on the women’s side today.
#10 Caroline Wozniacki

Things looking positive again from earlier days, but a long way to climb. 

Svetlana Kuznetsova

She seems almost ready to quit but her strength is increasing.  
 Both have to outthink the other..there’ll be a lot of errors on each side. Wozniacki 2 upward-pointing cycles give a very slight edge.  She’ll prevail in 3. 

#3 Serena Williams

Cycles pointing down to a triple low in 4 days. She might do well but feeling much weaker with each further match.  

#14 Maria Kirilenko

Kirilenko in better spirits, just out of a triple low but very weak physically still. 
Another ugly match, with Kirilenko to prevail in 3. 
Bojana Jovanovski

Bojana with good athletic strength but not feeling the audience’s love today.

#29 Sloane Stephens 

Cycles are pretty decent but just coming out of triple low will make her share of errors. Not a great match this one. Jovanovski in 3 

Back later with the remaining men’s singles matches of the round of 16. 

2013 Australian Open women’s round of 16 (lower half)

Now to see the rest of the matches for 1/20, Day 7, using biorhythms: 

#5 Angelique Kerber

#19 Ekaterina Makarova

Good matchup, this one. I give the edge to Kerber in a 2-set fight. She’s got 2 strong cycles near their peak and rising. Makarova is staring at an unfortunate double-critical day, the time where can be accident prone, maybe even meltdown prone. No doubt as to her passion and drive tho.  

Kirsten Flipkens

#2 Maria Sharapova  

Well, well. Very good match on tap here. Both are in great pure athletic form, yet is is Sharapova with all 3 cycles strongly higher; Maria has to be careful of her emotions, as this is a critical day for her.  Sharapova in 3 sets. 

#13 Ana Ivanovic

#4 Agnieszka Radwanska  

Decent match here as well that may go 3. Radwanka with the triple high that will end after today. Emotional level is positive but a bit lacking.  Ivanovic has to rely on sheer power which is on the wane. Further, she’s got a critical mental day ahead, suggesting a lot of unforced errors, won’t really understand her own strength and could get down on herself quite easily.  Ivanovic in 3. 

#6 Na Li 

#18 Julia Goerges 

2 ladies coming out of tough cycle periods, both with weak strokes. They will have to rely on their brain power and use the entire court. Na Li comes out of a brief triple low period and residual critical days but still fuzzy mentally today.  Goerges had double critical day yesterday and likewise still feels that effect.  Ugly match this one, Narrow edge to Goerges in 3. 
As for the trends through the week: both Sharapova and Kerber should meet in the QF with declining cycles; Sharapova with the edge here. I predict Radwanska to combat Goerges, who is now strongly on the upswing and may prove to be the best of the 8 ladies by the time the semifinals are done. 

2013 Australian Open men’s round of 16 (upper half)

Giving you a look at the 8 players in the upper half of the Men’s round of 16 via the magic of biorhythms. 

#1 Novak Djokovic:

#15 Stanislas Wawrinka:  

Both sides really weak, a match that should go 4, maybe even 5, but I see Djokovic avoiding an upset from the Swiss, making much more intelligent shots and fewer unforced errors. Ugly game to watch. 

Kevin Anderson:

#5 Tomas Berdych:

All Tomas really has is sheer power. He’s just awful at making proper decisions on court and rather mediocre in the rest of his game currently. Anderson on critical day emotionally…so watch out for a meltdownfeeling terribly sure of himself, maybe overconfident in comparison to Berdych.  All the same, this should be a straight set winner for Anderson, giving the unseeded Czech a spot against the Djokovic/Wawrinka winner.   

#4  David Ferrer:

#16 Kei Nishikori:  

Looking forward to this one! Both players in top physical form. Nishikori has the strength and focus to win here. However, all of Ferrer’s cycles are pointing up, starting to feel more assured of himself. I see Nishikori winning a thrilling 5-setter.

#10 Nicholas Almagro

#8 Janko Tipsaveric 

Almagro’s cycles sharply heading down, sucking the life out of his game. He’s got some strength remaining tho.  Tipsaveric not much better, frankly lacking enough passion to see this through.  Both players really weak. Another ugly match should result in a straight set win for Tipsaveric, as at least he’s starting to feel the strength coming back to him.   

In the quarters I currently see Anderson prevailing over the defending champion, and Nishikori likewise over Tipsaveric, the latter having played a ton of games in this event. Nishikori is the strongest of the 8 players remaining in this upper half. 

Back a bit later with the women’s lower half of the round of 16.