Player DNA: Nadal looking to strike early

  • Game Insight Group

It’s day 11 of Australian Open 2019 and we're down to the last four in the battle for the men's title.

On Thursday evening, world No.2 and former champion Rafael Nadal takes on Greek rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas - Game Insight Group in partnership with Infosys have run the numbers from their opening five matches.

Nadal v Tsitsipas

Nadal

Stat

Tsitsipas

252

Grand Slam main draw wins

10

84%

Forehand as third shot

69%

140cm behind baseline

Rally impact position

110cm behind baseline

11,764KJ

Total work

20,435KJ

Points of interest

  • 252 v 10 Grand Slam wins in Nadal’s favour. Tsitsipas has doubled his tally of main draw wins in Grand Slams at AO 2019.
  • One of the keys to Nadal's progress in the event so far has been how well he’s been using his forehand immediately after the serve. He has found it 84% of the time (vs Tsitsipas, who has relied on it 69% of the time). Watch for his wide serve and forehand to the open court combination to stretch the Greek.
  • Tsitsipas looks to get forward and adopts a more aggressive rallying position from the back court. On rally balls, Tsitsipas is contacting the ball 30cm closer to the baseline than Rafa. Interestingly, throughout the event, Rafa’s has drifted deeper in the court (first two rounds: 105cm behind the baseline vs last two rounds: 155cm behind the baseline). If this continues against Tsitsipas, expect the Greek young gun to seize the opportunity to attack and win the time and space battle.  
  • Nadal is physically fresh entering the semifinals. He has spent 306 minutes less on court (10.25 hrs vs 15.31 hrs), expended 42% less energy and performed 219 fewer sprints and 328 fewer high intensity changes than Tsitsipas.​