Roger had Rafa's number: The Match in Africa … all the stats

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in action during the Match in Africa at Cape Town Stadium on Friday, February 7.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in action during the Match in Africa at Cape Town Stadium on Friday, February 7.
Image: Anton Geyser/Gallo Images

The Match in Africa 6 brought Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to South Africa, saw the two tennis greats compete on African soil for the first time, and had plenty of entertainment and thrills for the packed Cape Town Stadium crowd to enjoy.

In the end “home” Swiss Federer – who has a South  African connection as his mother, Lynnette was born in the country – triumphed 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in front of 51,954 people, a record number crowd for any tennis match.

More than $3-million was also raised by the charity event for the Roger Federer Foundation, which partly supports education for children in Africa.

Here are some crucial statistics on why Federer triumphed against Nadal – all the stats and graphics provided by Sports Analytics and Insight:

Aces and Break Points

Federer out-served Nadal in the ace department by far. He also won every break point offered to him. 

Graphic on Aces and break points
Graphic on Aces and break points
Image: Sports Analytics and Insight

Serve Placement

Federer used the angles better – he served majority to wide areas of the court.

Nadal tried to attack Federe's backhand on his first serve – but not to great success on the deuce side.

Nadal's second serves were kept more to the middle of the court with his greatest success being to Federer's forehand on the advantage side.

Graphic on first serve placement and efficiency
Graphic on first serve placement and efficiency
Image: Sports Analytics and Insight
Graphic on second serve placement and efficiency
Graphic on second serve placement and efficiency
Image: Sports Analytics and Insight

Return Placement

On the Advantage side in particular, Federer made Nadal move and used the whole court. He pulled him to his forehand side often – but not excessively so.

Nadal did not use the court as well, rather returning the majority of the Advantage first serves to the middle of the court, setting up longer rallies and points.

Graphic on second serve return placement and efficiency
Graphic on second serve return placement and efficiency
Image: Sports Analytics and Insight

Match Differentials

Nadaal actually won more points than Federer, but Federer won the more strategic or important points that counted.

Federer had more winners – but also more errors.

Graphic on match differentials
Graphic on match differentials
Image: Sports Analytics and Insight

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