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Murray vs. Nadal On Grass In RICOH ATP MatchFacts

Grass-Court Numbers

Nadal, Murray© Getty ImagesRafael Nadal has ended Andy Murray's Grand Slam title hopes at Wimbledon in three of the past four years.

Andy Murray has been close to ending his country’s Grand Slam men’s singles title drought before, reaching three Grand Slam finals on hard courts (2008 US Open, 2010-2011 Australian Open). But his most consistent major in his professional career has been Wimbledon, reaching the quarter-finals in 2008 and the semi-finals the past three times he's made the trip to the All England Club.

So why hasn’t he been able to break through at his home Grand Slam event? It’s simple. A man named Rafael Nadal has stood in his way, halting his hopes in three of the last four years. The two possess strikingly similar career RICOH ATP MatchFacts on grass, but when Murray has squared off against the Spaniard at The Championships, his numbers have fallen off in a number of key statistical categories.

In contrast, Nadal has stepped up his game, creating an unfavorable combination for Murray. The two have been drawn in the same half at this year’s Wimbledon, so Murray will likely need to find a way to reverse his fortunes against the Mallorcan if he wants to end his country’s 76-year wait for a champion.

Starting with the one shot a player can control, the serve, Murray is higher in first serve points won on grass (79% to 76%), while Nadal has the edge on second serve (59% to 55%) and service games won (90% to 88%). When the two have collided on Centre Court, their numbers have turned in opposite directions. Murray is down in first serve points won (-6.2%), second serve points won (-6.4%) and service games won (-13.3%), whereas Nadal is up in all three (6.4%, 6.4% and 6.2 % respectively).

Murray's Grass-Court Service Numbers (Nadal Clashes vs. Career)

MatchFactsvs. Nadal (Avg. Of 3) CareerDifferential
1st Serve % 56.2% 57% -0.8%
1st Serve Points Won 72.8% 79% -6.2%
2nd Serve Points Won 48.6% 55% -6.4%
Break Points Saved 40.8% 66% -25.2%
Service Games Won 74.2% 88% -13.3%

Nadal's Grass-Court Service Numbers (Murray Clashes vs. Career)

MatchFactsvs. Murray (Avg. Of 3) CareerDifferential
1st Serve % 66.7% 69% -2.3%
1st Serve Points Won 82.4% 76% +6.4%
2nd Serve Points Won 65.4% 59% +6.4%
Break Points Saved 47.2% 67% -19.8%
Service Games Won 96.2% 90% +6.2%

Switching gears, each are considered to be two of the sport's premier returners, and Murray has slightly better numbers in their career grass-court numbers. Murray is ahead in first serve return points won (30% to 27%), break points converted (42% to 40%) and return games won (25% to 23%). They are even in second serve return points won at 54 per cent.

Again, when Nadal has been across the net, Murray’s numbers have taken a hit, more substantial here than on serve. The two most telling stats are break points converted and return games won. Murray has converted just 29.2 per cent of his break point chances against Nadal (-12.8%), while Nadal has been successful 59.2 per cent of the time (+19.2%) on Murray’s serve. The Dunblane native is also winning far fewer return games (-21.2%), whilst Nadal is taking more (+2.3%).

Murray's Grass-Court Return Numbers (Nadal Clashes vs. Career)

MatchFactsvs. Nadal (Avg. Of 3) CareerDifferential
1st Serve Return Points Won 17.6% 30% -12.4%
2nd Serve Return Points Won 34.6% 54% -19.4%
Break Points Converted 29.2% 42% -12.8%
Return Games Won 3.8% 25% -21.2%

Nadal's Grass-Court Return Numbers (Murray Clashes vs. Career)

MatchFactsvs. Murray (Avg. Of 3) CareerDifferential
1st Serve Return Points Won 27.2% 27% +0.2%
2nd Serve Return Points Won 51.4% 54% -2.6%
Break Points Converted 59.2% 40% +19.2%
Return Games Won 25.3% 23% +2.3%

Note: Nadal missed Wimbledon in 2009 with a knee injury, so there was no opportunity for the two to face off. Murray lost to Andy Roddick.

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Related Topics:

RICOH, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray

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