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View Full Version : Some stats for 1988 RG semi (Wilander-Agassi)


krosero
11-27-2007, 10:22 PM
Score: Wilander d. Agassi 4-6, 6-2, 7-5, 5-7, 6-0

Wilander had 4 aces and 2 doubles.
Agassi had 0 aces and 1 double.


Wilander had 37 clean winners apart from serves: 11 FH, 11 BH, 3 FHV, 7 BHV, 5 overheads.

Agassi had 65 clean winners apart from serves: 21 FH, 11 BH, 11 FHV, 11 BHV, 11 overheads.

Curiously, Agassi had 11 winners from every stroke except the FH, from which he got 20. That’s not quite as many as Lendl’s 22 forehand winners against Borg in the 1981 RG final (which was 7 games shorter), but it’s close.

Wilander himself had 11 winners off both his backhand and forehand.

Wilander's winners by set: 5, 3, 13, 10, 6
Agassi's winners by set: 16, 7, 23, 16, 3

Agassi barely got more winners from volleys and smashes than from ground strokes: 33 to 32.

Wilander got more of his winners from ground strokes, 22 to 15.

Wilander had 1 service return winner, a BH; it was not a pass. He did have 15 passing shots (9 FH), including 2 BH lobs.

Agassi had 4 service return winners (3 FH). One was a pass (BH). Apart from that, he had another 6 passing shots (3 FH), including 4 lobs (2 FH).


My net stats were incompletely recorded, but what I have roughly suggests that Agassi approached the net twice as much as Wilander. And that is already suggested by Agassi's lead over Wilander in smash/volley winners: 33 to 15.


Vilas did an interview in 2005 for a TV show called Mar Fondo. The interview is on YouTube. He says that he and Borg really began the era of using topspin on every stroke, but that Agassi added pace. “Agassi le metio velocidad, y quedaba mas lindo.”

Agassi was playing the kind of inconsistent, low-percentage tennis that Wilander would criticize in Sampras at the 1989 U.S. Open. However I didn’t come across any criticisms of Agassi. In fact Wilander said, “I didn’t know he was this good.” He said that it was the first time he was seeing a player with Agassi’s attitude (meaning his relationship with the public, including his clowning), adding: “It’s good for tennis. It’s not unprofessional; it’s new.”

In any case, Agassi was not yet playing Brad Gilbert tennis. He was not playing the percentages at all; and in many ways it was his most entertaining tennis.

Moose Malloy
11-28-2007, 12:29 PM
that's funny you did this match, I bought this match a few months ago & hadn't got around to seeing it yet. It was one of those matches I had wanted to see for years.

Do you know any 1st Serve%'s? Wilander only missed 1 or 2 1st serves in the final, was wondering if there was an indication of that in his previous matches.

also, how many service breaks were there?

My net stats were incompletely recorded, but what I have roughly suggests that Agassi approached the net twice as much as Wilander.

Yeah, Agassi came to net a lot in his early years-'88-'91. And I thought he was pretty solid up there. You never would guess he was the same player that looked so awkward up there in his later years.

I think a factor in why he came to net so much was also because hitting clean winners off the ground consistently was still not that common in the 80s, coming to net was the way to finish off points. Lendl came in a lot more than people probably are aware of as well.

In fact Wilander said, “I didn’t know he was this good.” He said that it was the first time he was seeing a player with Agassi’s attitude (meaning his relationship with the public, including his clowning), adding: “It’s good for tennis. It’s not unprofessional; it’s new.”


Where did you get these quotes? Is your dvd in German(mine is)?

I have an old World Tennis magazine with a match report on this match, I think it said Agassi won only 4 points in the 5th set? was he cramping?

Agassi was playing the kind of inconsistent, low-percentage tennis that Wilander would criticize in Sampras at the 1989 U.S. Open.However I didn’t come across any criticisms of Agassi.

Well, compared to Sampras, Agassi was a percentage player back then. He didn't make as many errors as Sampras & engaged in many long rallies. Wilander had issues with guys who would not just make an error or winner on every point, but guys that wouldn't allow him to play. At least Agassi allowed him to play. Sampras didn't.

Wilander was critical of Becker in '85 as well, saying he didn't think that was the right way to play, and that you couldn't win a lot of matches that way.

hoodjem
11-28-2007, 02:29 PM
Krosero,

What do you mean exactly by "playing Brad Gilbert tennis"?

Thanks,
Hoodjem

krosero
11-28-2007, 06:02 PM
Do you know any 1st Serve%'s? Wilander only missed 1 or 2 1st serves in the final, was wondering if there was an indication of that in his previous matches.

also, how many service breaks were there?Sorry I have no service percentages (I haven't counted serves in any of the matches I've done recently), but I do have the breaks.

There were three breaks in the first set (Wilander doubled to give away the critical break), four in the second, five in the third, five in the fourth, and three in the fifth. Wilander was broken 8 times, Agassi 12 times.

I saw this match weeks ago, so it's not fresh in my mind, but yeah, Wilander was missing first serves more than in the final.

I think a factor in why he came to net so much was also because hitting clean winners off the ground consistently was still not that common in the 80s, coming to net was the way to finish off points. Lendl came in a lot more than people probably are aware of as well.I agree with you in general; it was certainly a factor. Expectations of how a point would end were somewhat different then. However it might be that Wilander just extended points and stayed back so Agassi eagerly worked his way in. In the í89 Davis Cup semifinal round, Becker is taking the net and Agassi is staying back. I remember Agassi staying back when he won Wimbledon, too; and I canít remember him trying to attack Lendl at the USO in í88 and í89 the way he attacked Wilander (but my memories of those two matches with Lendl are very old).

Where did you get these quotes? Is your dvd in German(mine is)?From the Times report on the match; my DVD is in German, with no stats provided (unless they were spoken in German).

I have an old World Tennis magazine with a match report on this match, I think it said Agassi won only 4 points in the 5th set? was he cramping?He won 8 points in the fifth, half of those in the opening game. I did not look closely for cramps but it was not the impression I got; no mention of anything in the Times except tiredness.

Well, compared to Sampras, Agassi was a percentage player back then. He didn't make as many errors as Sampras & engaged in many long rallies. Wilander had issues with guys who would not just make an error or winner on every point, but guys that wouldn't allow him to play. At least Agassi allowed him to play. Sampras didn't.True distinction. Sampras and Agassi, of course, are different players Ė but maybe their differences were at their smallest in í88, with Agassi approaching so much. But how much Agassi did this in the late 80s, like I said, I donít precisely remember.

krosero
11-28-2007, 06:05 PM
Krosero,

What do you mean exactly by "playing Brad Gilbert tennis"?

Thanks,
HoodjemNow this is probably confusing. It was meant to refer to what Agassi learned later, particularly starting in '94 with Gilbert coaching him (playing tactical, percentage tennis); I did not mean to say that Agassi later played like Brad (ie, winning ugly, no power, etc.)

krosero
11-28-2007, 07:30 PM
In the ’89 Davis Cup semifinal round, Becker is taking the net and Agassi is staying back. I remember Agassi staying back when he won Wimbledon, too; and I can’t remember him trying to attack Lendl at the USO in ’88 and ’89 the way he attacked Wilander (but my memories of those two matches with Lendl are very old). Was looking over my notes just now; I had copied this stat chart from the Times, for the 1988 USO semi between Lendl and Agassi.

It's one of the few charts available after 1981; formally there aren't supposed to be any in the archive after that year.

No easy way to dump it from Word into these posts, but here goes:


Lendl / Stat / Agassi

48% / First serve / 56%
9 / Aces / 1
22 / Service winners / 15
4 / Double faults / 3
22 / Placement winners / 20
32 / Unforced errors / 37
15 / Service games held / 12
3 / Service games broken / 7
113 / Total points won / 93
16 / Approaches to net / 19
11 / Points won at net / 9

So Agassi was not coming in that much, though he did come in more than Lendl.

As I said, my net stats for Wilander-Agassi were incomplete, but what I have suggests that Agassi's approaches for that match (11 games longer than Lendl-Agassi) were closer to 100.

Moose Malloy
11-29-2007, 08:24 AM
22 / Placement winners / 20

ah, 'placements' again. Have you figured out what it means yet?

As I said, my net stats for Wilander-Agassi were incomplete, but what I have suggests that Agassi's approaches for that match (11 games longer than Lendl-Agassi) were closer to 100.

I just popped in my tape of the '88 FO Womens Final, prior to the match they showed highlights of the Agassi-Wilander match, the commentators said that Agassi came in 110 times! I thought they may be in error, but what you said seems to confirm it. Amazing, who would have ever thought Agassi ever came in that much. I have some of his matches from the '90 French, I wonder if he came in more on clay.

I found that World Tennis article, here are some excerpts about that match:

"In 2 years, he will be very tough to beat," predicted Rene Lacoste. "He is another Connors."

Wilander: "He's got the right attitude. He realizes how good he is. He doesn't act surprised to be in the semis of the French Open, he acts like he belongs. I definitely see him staying in the top 10 for the next 5-10 years."

krosero
11-29-2007, 08:56 AM
ah, 'placements' again. Have you figured out what it means yet? Not yet, but I'm asking around.

In the other semifinal of the day, Wilander beat Darren Cahill in straight sets, and they each had 31 placement winners. Yet Lendl and Agassi had about 20 each. It doesn't quite make sense as a total count of winners, but if I remember correctly, Cahill was an attacking player? Maybe his semifinal had volley winners and passes while Lendl and Agassi just slugged it out for errors.

I just popped in my tape of the '88 FO Womens Final, prior to the match they showed highlights of the Agassi-Wilander match, the commentators said that Agassi came in 110 times! Eggsellent, thanks!

"In 2 years, he will be very tough to beat," predicted Rene Lacoste. "He is another Connors."

Wilander: "He's got the right attitude. He realizes how good he is. He doesn't act surprised to be in the semis of the French Open, he acts like he belongs. I definitely see him staying in the top 10 for the next 5-10 years."It was actually in watching this match that I though of the similarities between Agassi and Connors. The great return, the big ground strokes, no real reliance on the serve, the willingness to charge forward, the cockiness, the clowning. Even the grunting.

And maybe they took similar knocks early in their career. Who knows, after a little while Agassi started being criticized a lot; and he lost three Slam finals. In '88 he's playing like he doesn't know what unhappiness means, a little like Connors after his big year in '74 when he seemed so invincible. I've never seen him so relaxed as he was when playing Newk in Australia (even gifting a point), but later I think he changed. Or at least matured, after taking his knocks (and becoming a bit of an alienated figure after all his feuds with the establishment).

superman1
11-29-2007, 09:31 AM
That was his Dad's biggest mistake. He trained this great player, but he was a terrible Dad and raised a miserable, lonely son. Agassi's rebelling and downhill slide was inevitable. Even today Agassi isn't very enthused when talking about his Dad - he just says that he's happy he taught him tennis.

Moose Malloy
11-29-2007, 09:44 AM
It was actually in watching this match that I though of the similarities between Agassi and Connors. The great return, the big ground strokes, no real reliance on the serve, the willingness to charge forward

Its a shame that Agassi went away from the 'charging forward' aspects he showed earlier in his career, it may have helped him in some big matches later on.

The 'coming forward' aspect is what makes history remember Connors as an all-courter, while Agassi is considered a baseliner.

pj80
11-29-2007, 10:33 AM
speaking of this match, you can upload it now on megaupload.

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=MTT4QOLX
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=EISJB2Q9
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=RC4MU6FM
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=UVQQYCUC
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=KX7YFBT2

Moose Malloy
11-22-2008, 02:43 PM
Wilander had 37 winners: 11 FH, 11 BH, 4 FHV, 6 BHV, 5 overheads.

Agassi had 64 winners: 20 FH, 11 BH, 11 FHV, 11 BHV, 11 overheads.

Curiously, Agassi had 11 winners from every stroke except the FH, from which he got 20. That’s not quite as many as Lendl’s 22 forehand winners against Borg in the 1981 RG final (which was 7 games shorter), but it’s close.

Wilander himself had 11 winners off both his backhand and forehand.

Wilander's winners by set: 5, 3, 13, 10, 6
Agassi's winners by set: 16, 7, 23, 15, 3


I have Agassi at 65 winners. My stats match yours, except I had 21 fh winners for him & 16 instead of 15 winners for him in the 4th set.

I also have 37 winners for Wilander, but have 3 fhv & 7 bhv for him.

here are serve stats by set:

Wilander:
28 of 32 (88%)
16 of 22 (72%)
43 of 49 (88%)
37 of 40 (93%)
13 of 17 (76%)

137 of 160 (86%) for the match

Agassi:
15 of 30 (50%)
16 of 24 (67%)
32 of 42 (76%)
30 of 39 (77%)
13 of 15 (87%)

106 of 150 (71%) for the match

Wilander was 12 of 21 on break points
Agassi was 8 of 20

Agassi had 8 unreturned serves, 1 I judged a service winner
Wilander had 17, 1 I judged a service winner

Wilander had 13 passing shots (9 FH's).

Agassi had 4 passing shots (3 FH's).

I counted 15 passing shot winners for Wilander(9 fh's), 8 for Agassi(3 fh's)

As I said, my net stats for Wilander-Agassi were incomplete, but what I have suggests that Agassi's approaches for that match (11 games longer than Lendl-Agassi) were closer to 100.

Here were my net stats:

Agassi was 54 of 93
Wilander was 23 of 38

My copy is missing the 1st two points of the 3rd game of the 5th set(a Wilander service game - score was 30-0 when it resumed)

krosero
11-23-2008, 04:45 PM
Thanks, Moose, for getting these extra stats. I don't know when or if I would have gone back to this match (though I might have done it just because it's so entertaining).

I counted 15 passing shot winners for Wilander(9 fh's), 8 for Agassi(3 fh's)This is more than what I got, but when you report the passing shots in a match, are you including lobs? I'm pretty sure you've always included returns.

My opening post is not that clear, but the numbers I have for "passing shots" don't include returns (Agassi had 1 winner, a BH) or the lobs (2 winners for each player). With all that included, I have Wilander at 15 passes, Agassi at 7.

Here were my net stats:

Agassi was 54 of 93
Wilander was 23 of 38 Uncanny how close that comes to my count: Agassi at 55 of 89, Wilander 24 of 39.

I was going to do more work on those stats before posting them (never got around to it) because I wasn't sure how to count approaches that were winners or errors. It's been several months now and I never wrote down precisely how I did my count (it looks just like your method, though). In my notes I just wrote down that NBC must have counted approach winners since their numbers were higher than mine.

Recently when I did net stats for Agassi-Sampras (92 RG), I decided to write out a method (in case I don't do this for years and one day I want to go back to it). This is what I wrote, tell me what you think:

I count a net point as occurring when someone rushes forward behind a serve or approach that the opponent has a play on. The serve or approach cannot be a clean or judged winner (ie, a shot on which the opponent has no play); and of course it canít be an error. If someone hits a ground stroke winner from behind the service line, it is just a winner, not a net point. Even if the player follows their winning shot up to or beyond the service line, it is not a net point if the opponent does not have a play on it.

A net point can also occur, strictly speaking, without an approach. A player might show no intention of coming in, but rush forward to get a short ball. If the ball is still in play by the time he reaches the service line, he should be credited with a net point. He may not even get to it before the second bounce, but if that happens then a winner has been hit on him; it is still a net point. The key is that the player rushing forward has been tested in the net territory (for example, tested on forward-backward movement).

Sometimes a player will hesitate to come in behind a shot that ends up forcing an error. They come in a little late, too late for the opponent to see them coming. In that case the error was made without any pressure at net, and itís just an error, not a net point.

If someone steps into no manís land, itís a judgment call as to whether itís a net point; he may step back and then itís not a net point. If he hits only grounds strokes there, itís not a net point. If he hits volleys but merely looks like he got caught in no-manís land rather than actually trying to get to the net, itís not a net point. If he looks like heís going to the net, itís a net point.

If someone advances to net and is forced back, and the point ends with both players at the baseline, it should be recorded as a net point.


My copy is missing the 1st two points of the 3rd game of the 5th set(a Wilander service game - score was 30-0 when it resumed)My copy's the same. Sometimes when I have missing points I'll take a guess whether to put down first or second serves on them. You didn't mention doing that, so should I put down 310 as the total points played?

anointedone
11-30-2008, 04:39 AM
It looks like Agassi was really dictating play.

Moose Malloy
06-05-2009, 03:56 PM
came across the full NY times article:

Agassi went as far as he could on his teen-aged legs, but did not have the strength needed to dislodge the 24-year-old Wilander, perhaps the game's steadiest player on clay.

A single volley or smash was rarely enough to put a point away against the Swede. Wilander showed great balance and anticipation, replying from his knees with perfectly placed passing shots or wristed lobs that would land near the baseline.

Agassi tried to force the points, driving to the net at the least excuse, and he had plenty of winners from midcourt and even backcourt off his rocketing forehand.

Still, being the great defensive player that he is, Wilander saw to it that Agassi got far less than he deserved for all his furious work.

''He surprised me a lot,'' Wilander said of Agassi. ''I didn't think he was this good. It was the best match I've played so far.''

What had Agassi learned from his sojourn here and from only the third five-set match of his career?

''I've learned that if I ever want to win a tournament like this, I have to physically be a lot stronger and that should definitely come with time because I'm still growing,'' said the 5-foot-10-inch, 150-pound player.

Agassi, with his long mane of frosted hair, brought great showmanship and joie de vivre to the court. He grunted and groaned with each effort, reminiscent of Jimmy Connors, and he announced his most forceful approach shots with a Tarzan-like yell.

During one spate of misty rain, he borrowed a spectator's umbrella, carrying it over his head onto the court, provoking laughter from the crowd. After a prolonged 12-point game in the crucial fourth set, Agassi feigned exhaustion, collapsing into a linesman's chair for a moment's rest.

''To me,'' said Wilander, who stood by silently through Agassi's antics, ''it's the first time I ever saw a tennis player having that attitude. It's great for the game. I don't think it's unprofessional; it's new.''

The players had traded service breaks twice in that fourth set, and the score stood at 5-5 with Wilander serving. At deuce a linesman called out a Wilander first serve. The Swede, who rarely questions line calls, disputed this one, but the linesman pointed resolutely to the mark in the clay and said the ball was definitely out.

Agassi, who is from Las Vegas, Nev., added a bit of clowning to the scene, offering his hand to the linesman and putting his fist in his pocket as if to pay him off for the call. Wilander then double-faulted on his second serve.

To break Wilander, Agassi drove a tremendous return of serve into a back corner for the ad point and took the game on another backhand drive accompanied by a Tarzan scream.

Agassi held serve and claimed the set on a drop shot followed up by yet another blistering forehand drive into a back corner. The French crowd rose to its feet and cheered him.

But Wilander was by no means ready to give in.

Against two Agassi break points, the two-time French Open champion held serve to start the fifth set and then broke the teen-ager with a series of backhand winners down the line. Agassi had no reply, for he had expended all his energy in the previous three and a half


thought this was funny, considering the outrage today:

PARIS, June 3 (AP) - Tennis fans in the United States were prevented from seeing live coverage of the Agassi-Wilander semifinal match on ESPN today because of a contract between the French Tennis Federation and NBC, which televises the matches only on the weekends.

Officials said NBC had the right to a semifinal blackout so it could hold a match on tape to fill airtime in case either or both of the singles championship matches were rained out.


Guess the Leconte-Svensson SF was shown that day.

rod99
06-06-2009, 09:04 AM
agassi was gassed in the 5th set. it was this match that caused agassi to hire gil reyes to improve his strength/conditioning. i believe it was later this summer when he and gil hooked up.

krosero
05-25-2010, 11:22 AM
I also have 37 winners for Wilander, but have 3 fhv & 7 bhv for him.I've just finished making a highlight clip for YT. Your count was right; I noticed that I'd marked one of his BHV winners as a FHV.

Our winner counts are lining up now (I edited the original post).

krosero
05-25-2010, 11:23 AM
Here is the highlight clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSs3OMtK2fc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoFgPzHk92c

BTURNER
05-25-2010, 12:38 PM
this match made me really notice Agassi. I thought No American can be this bold and take Wilander to five sets on slow red Clay. At the time I thought he must be like Leconte with risky strategy and strokes that would be great for a set or so. this match proved there was more here.