Dec 15, 2009

Nikolay Davydenko-Juan Martin Del Porto ATP Final Match Analysis

Nikolay Davydenko won his first ATP Finals Championship by beating Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3, 6-4. Davydenko was clearly the more aggressive player and possibly even fresher than Del Potro.

Here are some of the key points of the first set:

1. Davydenko started extremely focused as he didn’t commit an unforced error until the 6th game and still managed to hit 7 winners from the baseline in that period of time.
2. Del Potro on the other hand saved himself twice mostly with first serve winners as 7 of the 8 points needed to win his first two service games came from his service winners. Had Del Potro not served that well, the first set would be over in 20 minutes for Davydenko.
3. Davydenko had one lapse of concentration at 4-2 up where he committed 2 unforced errors and a double fault but stayed aggressive and saved the game with 2 service and 3 forehand winners.
4. Davydenko in the end made 23 points through winners and forcing shots and gave only 6 points to Del Potro through unforced errors. That’s a +17 margin. Del Potro’s first set margin was +5.
5. The stats also showed that Davydenko played 40% of the shots inside the baseline in the first set and Del Potro only 20%.

Second set

1. Del Potro started the second set more aggressively and more focused as he made 7 winners and only 1 unforced error in the first three games but Nikolay was strong enough to hold his serve.
2. Davydenko’s level of play dropped just once in the second set at 2-3 when he made 4 unforced errors but Del Potro was just not aggressive enough since the stats show that Davydenko also made 4 winners / forcing shots in that same game.
3. Davydenko played a perfect game at 4-4 where he broke Del Potro’s serve on 0 by hitting 3 forehand and 1 backhand winner. There were no unforced errors from Del Potro but Juan Martin definitely played too slow and allowed Davydenko to dominate the rallies.
4. Davydenko’s margin in the second set was +13 and Del Potro’s +7. This tells us that Del Potro still played reasonably well as he made more winners than unforced errors but his game was slightly too passive and that allowed Davydenko to control the rallies.

In summary, this was one the best tennis performances by Davydenko that we have ever seen him play and he really deserved to win the tournament.
Juan Martin Del Potro was just “flat” after a tiring semi-final match with Soderling and was just unable to produce the same high level play so quickly after that match.

Credit to tennis thoughts