I’m going to analyses the 2014 Australian Open semi-final match between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer; I share my opinion on why Nadal won and what Roger could have done differently.

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Hello and welcome to my match analysis of Federer vs Nadal – Australian Open semi-final 2014. I will share my opinion on why Nadal won and what Roger could have done differently; I’m looking forward to your feedback.

Rafa’s Strategy

  1. Attacking Roger’s backhand with heavy spin groundstrokes and slice on the the serve
  2. Open up the court with short angles to make Roger run and hence for him to commit errors
  3. Make Roger hit as many shots as possible – don’t give him quick points when returning serve

What Nadal Could Have Done Better

  • Better conversion of break points → for example, he missed a makeable passing shot at 3:3 15/40 in the 1st set
  • Rafa only converted 29% of break points (4 of 14)
© by IAAPH

© by IAAPH

Roger’s Strategy

  • Play more topspin backhands – less slice ⇒ backhand return & during rallies
  • Federer comes to the net more – tries to play more aggressive
    • plays serve & volley and tries to come to the net more
    • keeps rallies short if possible
  • Serve more to Rafa’s backhand – especially from deuce-court

What Roger Could Have Done Differently

Roger Federer Gerry Weber Open 2015

Roger Federer

  • Needs to play more short angles, hitting the service boxes lateral corners, to open the court whenever he has a chance.
  • He wasn’t able to get Rafa out wide enough, out of his comfort zone in order to get a short ball to attack or force Rafa to make errors.
  • Most of the time Rafa was able to hit shots within the extensions of the sidelines


Congratulations to Rafael Nadal – he was the better player on this day – and good luck for the final against Wawrinka. Thank you for watching and Auf Wiedersehen!

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