Roger Federer's (Switzerland) victory last night in the 2012 Olympics men's singles semi-finals over Juan Martin del Potro (Argentina) should go down as one of his more memorable matches. It will certainly be remembered for the duration of the match alone, four hours and 26 minutes.
Federer is certainly no stranger to marathon matches, having won five-set matches in the past, including his 2009 Wimbledon victory over Andy Roddick.
In the same tournament the year before that, however, while Federer still figured in a five-set match, the world number one found himself on the other side of the net as he lost to rival Rafael Nadal (Spain) in what is widely accepted as the greatest tennis match of all time.
While many articles, including a book "Strokes of Genius" by L. Jon Wertheim have already delved into every aspect of the match including the drama and sub-plots, the 2008 Wimbledon Men's Finals remain to be a sporting event worth revisiting.
Below is an infographic by Accept & proceed for Planet K2 breaking down the match statistics:
Designed by Accept & Proceed for Planet K2 Business Coaching
This match showed that Nadal really could call himself a master of all surfaces. It was also the match that brought Federer’s 60-match unbeaten sequence on grass to an end and meant that he wouldn’t be the first man since the 1880’s to win six consecutive Championships at the All England Club. This work is a reminder of the power and speed of that match. Taking a starting point from axonometric shapes of the tennis court, this complex but no less impressive graph breaks the match down into a series of fascinating statistics.
The percentage of successful first serves is shown on the first spike graph with Nadal winning 66% of first serve points but being eclipsed by Federer with 73%. Aces served and average serve speeds are also depicted, whilst the final graph shows that, at the end of 4 hours and 48 minutes of the most memorable tennis, Nadal had secured just five more points than his opponent – 209 in total against Federer’s 204. Several of the smaller graphs are hidden within the larger graphs. - Dexter R. Matilla