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Nadal vs. Wawrinka Preview Analysis

Melbourne, Australia

Nadal, Wawrinka© Getty ImagesRafael Nadal and Stanislas Wawrinka first met in the 2007 Australian Open third round. Seven years later, they battle for the title.

When Stanislas Wawrinka enters Rod Laver Arena on Sunday, the soon-to-be No. 1 Swiss will face his greatest challenge in top seed Rafael Nadal. Wawrinka will look to overcome not only Nadal’s dominance on the Grand Slam final stage, with the Spaniard posting a 13-5 record in title matches, but a personal 0-12 FedEx ATP Head2Head winless mark against the World No. 1.

Wawrinka’s recipe for success is no secret. A strong serving performance, building on his 81 per cent first serve points won for the tournament, coupled with a highly aggressive baseline approach will yield dividends. With 249 total winners through his semi-final win over Tomas Berdych, along with 75 per cent net points won, taking the ball on the rise from the back of the court and keeping the points short by attacking the net will be crucial to success.

For Nadal, his gameplan involves executing his deep topspin forehand in rallies to force Wawrinka well behind the baseline, as well as protecting his second serve, which he has done exceptionally well thus far in Melbourne, winning 62 per cent of such points.

Here are some more tactical highlights for both competitors:

Nadal Highlights:
• "70-70 Club" on serve - 70% 1st serves in play - 75% 1st serve points won - winning 62% on 2nd serves as well - saved 19 of the 27 break points faced
• Solid returning - especially against 2nd serves (56% won) - won 30% of return games
• Big forehand weapon - 87 forehand winners

Wawrinka Highlights:
• Huge 1st serve - 62 aces - 81% 1st serve points won - top speed 221 kmh (137 mph)
• Very effective when he can attack the net (75% won), but less so when he finishes the point from the baseline (49% won)
• Forehand has been his dominant shot from the backcourt (91 winners) - backhand, while spectacular at times, has not been quite so steady (47 winners but 92 unforced errors).

For additional insight, visit www.ibm.com/sports.


Rafael Nadal Stanislas Wawrinka
32 Aces 62
11 Double Faults 17
30% Unreturned Serves 34%
70% 1st Serve % 58%
75% 1st Serve Points 81%
62% 2nd Serve Points 53%
8 Broken 8
27 Break Points Faced 21
83 Games Served 92
90% Service Games Held 91%
205 kmh/127 mph Broken 221 kmh/137 mph
77% Returns in Play 72%
34% 1st Return Points Won 29%
56% 2nd Return Points Won 48%
25 Breaks of Serve 18
56 Break Points 45
45% Pct. Converted 40%
84 Return Games Played 92
30% Return Games Won % 20%
87 Forehand Winners 91
78 Forehand Unforced Errors 90
31 Backhand Winners 47
48 Backhand Unforced Errors 92
179 Winners 249
142 Unforced Errors 203
70 of 97
Net Points Won 87 of 116
72% Net Points Won 75%
54% Baseline Points Won 49%
67 Games Lost 84
1 Sets Lost 4
 5 of 13 (39%)
 Challenges Won
 5 of 24 (21%)
13:56 Time on Court 13:46

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