PDA

View Full Version : Stats for 1983 W SF(McEnroe-Lendl)


Moose Malloy
01-01-2008, 12:14 AM
Score: 7-6(7-5), 6-4, 6-4

McEnroe had 36 winners: 7 FH, 10 BH, 8 FHV, 7 BHV, 4 smashes

He had 17 aces, 3 doubles, & 32 unreturned serves

Lendl had 30 winners: 7 FH, 5BH, 7 FHV, 9 BHV, 2 smashes

He had 4 aces, 2 doubles, & 34 unreturned serves.

McEnroe was 68 of 99 on 1st serves(69%)

Lendl was 73 of 102(72%)

Mac was 2 of 7 on break points, Lendl 0 of 2.

Mac had 9 return winners(5 BH, 4 FH)

Lendl had 6 return winners(4 BH, 2 FH)

Mac was 24 of 47 at net or 52%

Lendl was 32 of 63 or 51%

Both players were S&Ving on 1st & 2nd serves throughout.

I don't count unreturned serves in the net stats, even though players were
moving forward to volley if necessary on those points.

I have all but one point accounted for from these stats.

By my count there were 201 points. 87 ended on the serve(ace or unreturnable)
And I counted 110 points at net. So that leaves 4 points left over, I counted 5 doubles, so maybe I counted an extra serve at some point.

Sanyi
01-01-2008, 07:07 AM
awesome stats dude
however, you omitted:

bottles of drinks consumed
strings popped
times empire was yelled at
sighs from the crowd due to regular occurances to a tennis player but seems extraordinary to the common viewer for reasons unknown

krosero
01-01-2008, 09:24 AM
Score: 7-6(7-5), 6-4, 6-4

McEnroe had 36 winners: 7 FH, 10 BH, 8 FHV, 7 BHV, 4 smashes

He had 17 aces, 3 doubles, & 32 unreturned serves

Lendl had 30 winners: 7 FH, 5BH, 7 FHV, 9 BHV, 2 smashesFascinating stats. They blow up the stereotypes of both players.

McEnroe had nearly as many winners from ground strokes (17) as he did from volleys and overheads (19). This balance is very Laver-like, and goes against any idea that McEnroe had weak ground strokes.

Lendl had more winners from volleys/overheads (18 ) than he did from ground strokes (12), even though McEnroe was presenting a constant target at net.

You mention that Lendl was coming in on both serves; he was not doing that when he lost to Wilander on grass six months later in Australia.

But it does show that he was serve-and-volleying on grass (and effectively) before he hired Tony Roche.

I have all but one point accounted for from these stats.

By my count there were 201 points. 87 ended on the serve(ace or unreturnable)
And I counted 110 points at net. So that leaves 4 points left over, I counted 5 doubles, so maybe I counted an extra serve at some point.It's theoretically possible (of course) that one point became a rally but ended without either player getting to net, though I also wrote in my notes (several months ago) that Lendl came in behind all his serves.

the green god
01-02-2008, 08:59 AM
Since everyone always talks about the weakness of Mcenroe's ground game, it would be interesting to know the breakdown of points played from the baseline in some of his matches, at least up to 1983, before the change to graphite. I recall John more than holding his own against Borg, Connors, and Lendl in his 79-81 run at the US Open, but he was always going to be more successful playing to his strengths, getting to the net.

krosero
01-03-2009, 07:27 PM
From the New York Times:

McEnroe, second seeded, has been a more complete player in matches here, most noticeably in his two championship finals with Bjorn Borg and in last year's loss to Connors in the final. But it is doubtful that he has ever served more authoritatively than he did against Lendl, who was seeded third. McEnroe powered in 16 aces and held serve throughout, saving break points at 4-all and 5-all in the first set and holding three times from 0-30 in the third set.

Lendl was broken only twice, the first time with a game-ending double fault at 3-all in the second set and again when his first serve faltered at 1-all in the third. In the first set, Lendl powered in 30 of 37 first serves yet still lost the tiebreaker, 7-5, netting one high backhand volley at 3-2 that shifted the momentum.

Over all, Lendl's 73 percent first-serve success rate would have dominated other opponents. But the versatility of McEnroe's southpaw serve has seldom been better. Of the 67 points on McEnroe's first serve, he won 57, at one stage 23 in row.

''You cannot just put the racquet there and hope the ball will stay low, because you have to hit it on grass,'' Lendl said, explaining his problems on returns. ''If you just push it, it never goes in. On other surfaces, you just put the racquet there and block it. But you have to hit the ball on grass.''

McEnroe, who got in 62 percent of his first serves, said mixing sliced and topped serves kept Lendl off balance. ''It was one of the best matches I've served over the whole match,'' he said. ''He didn't know where I was going to hit it. That forced him to guess.'' I did my own count to find out how high McEnroe's success on first serve was, if he really won 23 points in a row on his first serve. But I got only 19 straight, from love-1 in the second set to 3-2 in the third. I can’t see where the Times could have counted 23.

As for 67 points started by McEnroe's first serve, my count agrees with the Times; but in my numbers this works out to a service percentage of 68%, nearly the same as Moose's. Strange that the Times reports that as 62%.

Anyway, my count:

McEnroe won 106 points overall, Lendl 96.

McEnroe won 73 of 99 points on serve, winning 55 of 67 on first serve (or 82%) and 18 of 32 on second (56%).

Lendl won 70 of 103 points on serve, winning 54 of 73 on first (74%) and 16 of 30 on second (53%).

I have McEnroe serving at 67.7%, making 67 of 99 first serves; and Lendl at 71%, making 73 of 103 (including 30 of 37 in the first set).

I had the same break points as Moose, with McEnroe making his first serve on both the break points that he faced, Lendl on 2 of 7.

And like Moose I had Lendl drawing 34 return errors (5 with second serves); but I had McEnroe drawing 33 (9 with second serves).

Incidentally I thought that Lendl was standing in to receive serve a little closer than he would against Cash.

I didn't count winners, aces or doubles.

And for 380Pistol: Lendl hit two aces with second serves.

380pistol
01-03-2009, 11:00 PM
I don't always respond (unless I feel I have something to add), but I do read your posts when you post stats from matches.

As this one was interesting too see Mac (and Lendl's) groundstroke to volley winner ratios.

krosero
01-20-2010, 05:53 PM
I mentioned in the thread on greatest servers Lendl's service percentage against Tanner in '83. This is an excerpt from a report in the NY Times; I think it shows how well Lendl was playing at this Wimbledon.

Everyone knew about Roscoe Tanner’s grass court game and his monstrous southpaw serve. He reached the 1979 Wimbledon singles final before losing to Bjorn Borg and had served his way past Mats Wilander in the third round of this year’s tournament [with 23 aces]. But it was Ivan Lendl’s serve during a marathon 20-point game in the opening set that settled their quarterfinal round match today.

The third-seeded Lendl had just broken Tanner’s serve at 30 for a 6-5 lead on the center court. Tanner opened the 12th game, with a backhand return winner down the line off Lendl’s first serve, an impressive start. However, Lendl followed with two forehand volley winners, and Tanner countered with a backhand cross-court pass to 30-all.

From 30-all, the two players weaved through 7 deuces that saw Lendl hold 5 set points and Tanner 3 break points. ‘‘Only 3 break points?’’ Lendl said afterward. ‘‘It seemed like 25 to me.’’

The quality of the game was remarkable on a number of levels. Lendl got in 17 of his 20 first serves. Yet Tanner saved the first set point with a backhand service-return winner down the line.

When Tanner hit another backhand return winner for his first break point, Lendl answered with an ace. ‘‘He didn’t just put the first one in,’’ Tanner later recalled. ‘‘He hit it.’’ Of the 20 points in the game, 13 were outright winners, and sometimes it became a matter of one player upstaging the other. After Tanner got his second break point with a forehand pass down the line, Lendl saved the break by lashing a forehand cross-court winner.

Faced with his fourth set point, Tanner hit a backhand service return cross-court with more pace than Lendl’s first serve. But then Lendl hit another big first serve that tucked so deeply inside the service box that Tanner thought the serve was long.

‘‘I wasn’t going all-out,’’ Lendl said. ‘‘I just wanted to make sure I got the first serve in with decent speed.’’ ‘‘Not only did he hit it,’’ Tanner added. ‘‘He hit them in the corners. It was demoralizing.’’

On his fifth set point, Lendl faulted his first serve. But still annoyed over the previous serve, Tanner could not get his racquet fully into Lendl’s second serve, and his late return sailed wide.

‘‘He served very well in the big points,’’ Tanner said. Lendl, who won the match, 7-5, 7-6, 6-3, was pleased that he was able to avoid an opening-set tiebreaker. He was especially happy with his first serve, faulting only 11 of 54 first serves in the first set and finishing with a 75 percent match average, a remarkably high figure considering the pace and power of his serve.


Also, Lendl had just defeated Pat Cash in the fourth round. Cash came into their match having dropped his serve only once during the tournament, but Lendl swept him, 6-4, 7-6, 6-1.

Datacipher
01-21-2010, 05:07 PM
Fascinating stats. They blow up the stereotypes of both players.

McEnroe had nearly as many winners from ground strokes (17) as he did from volleys and overheads (19). This balance is very Laver-like, and goes against any idea that McEnroe had weak ground strokes.

.

I hate the myth of Mac having poor groundstrokes...along with Mac had no power, Mac couldn't handle power, and Mac was strictly an SV player.

Anyhow, that is the first thing I noticed as well, a wonderful balance of winners from both players!

It's also almost a bit sad, to see Mac hitting nearly 70% on first serves, with that kind of pace/power. Sadly, later in his career, he was often struggling to find a day where he could reach 60%...and it was often much, much lower....add that to his 2nd serve losing some of it's sting, and it's no suprise how much he struggled later on...

Moose Malloy
02-11-2010, 11:39 AM
here are my stats on Lendl-Tanner

Lendl d Tanner 7-5, 7-6(3), 6-3

Lendl had 36 non service winners: 5 fh, 7 bh, 14 fhv, 9 bhv, 1 ov

He had 11 aces(3 on 2nd serves) 2 doubles

Tanner had 34 non service winners: 9 fh, 12 bh, 6 fhv, 5 bhv, 2 ov

He had 12 aces & 7 doubles

Lendl had 38 unreturned serves, five I judged as service winners
Tanner had 31, six I judged service winners

Lendl was 2 of 5 on break points, Tanner 0 of 10

Lendl made 100 of 132 1st serves(75%)
He won 73 of 100 pts on 1st serve(73%) & 20 of 32 on 2nd(62.5%)

Tanner made 42 of 98 1st serves(43%)
He won 37 of 42 pts on 1st serve(88%) & 28 of 56 on 2nd (50%)
He lost no points on 1st serve in the 2nd set(but only served at 45%)

Lendl was 78 of 116 at net(67%)
Tanner was 48 of 74(65%)
Both player were serve & volleying on every 1st & 2nd serve, so Lendl's higher numbers are just a result having served more total points.

For the match, I have Lendl with 5 unforced errors, Tanner with 8

The NY Times article was right, that 12th game in the 1st set was pretty great stuff.

krosero
02-11-2010, 09:45 PM
Lendl-Tanner really looks like a quality match, with so few ue's, and good serving (though you wonder what Tanner could have pulled off if he'd served higher than 43%).

These stats I found the most interesting:

- Tanner 0 of 10 on break points
- The winner having to serve 132 points, the loser just 98
- Tanner having more groundstroke winners than volleys (21-13). Lendl the complete opposite with more net winners than groundies (24-12).

krosero
02-11-2010, 09:51 PM
Tanner made 42 of 98 1st serves(43%)
He won 37 of 42 pts on 1st serve(88%) & 28 of 56 on 2nd (50%)
He lost no points on 1st serve in the 2nd set(but only served at 45%)That's also a great stat. How many first serves did he make in that set? I'm wondering what his full streak was, since Mac won 19 straight points started on first serve in the semi against Lendl.

Don't know what that record might be, though Borg had 27 straight against Connors at 79W, and Davydenko had at least 27 straight a few weeks ago when he beat Federer in Doha.

Datacipher
02-11-2010, 10:54 PM
Lendl-Tanner really looks like a quality match, with so few ue's, and good serving (though you wonder what Tanner could have pulled off if he'd served higher than 43%).

These stats I found the most interesting:

- Tanner 0 of 10 on break points
- The winner having to serve 132 points, the loser just 98
- Tanner having more groundstroke winners than volleys (21-13). Lendl the complete opposite with more net winners than groundies (24-12).

Yes, Tanner with more FH and BH winners...passes I assume, which makes a bit more sense. Quite interesting.

jrepac
02-12-2010, 07:01 AM
I hate the myth of Mac having poor groundstrokes...along with Mac had no power, Mac couldn't handle power, and Mac was strictly an SV player.

Anyhow, that is the first thing I noticed as well, a wonderful balance of winners from both players!

It's also almost a bit sad, to see Mac hitting nearly 70% on first serves, with that kind of pace/power. Sadly, later in his career, he was often struggling to find a day where he could reach 60%...and it was often much, much lower....add that to his 2nd serve losing some of it's sting, and it's no suprise how much he struggled later on...

The perpetual myth of Mac being poor off-the-ground defies the reality of his results, doesn't it? GS wins over Borg, Connors and Lendl do not come if you don't have some ground-stroking skills :)

I think this myth perpetuates because he did not play a traditional ground game, but rather, one that accentuated his skills with spin and touch. Combined with a strategy of getting to net at all costs. You don't see any of that today, simply because no one plays S&V or has the kind of hands that Mac had.

I often found Mac's game off the ground amazing...the way he countered against the top ground strokers was simply dazzling at times.

I do agree that as his serve began to slip, it got him into trouble..certainly against Lendl, and sometimes Jimmy...but when he was in the zone of 60/70% first serves in, he was pretty hard to touch.

Cosmic Charlie
02-12-2010, 08:25 AM
I remember this match from 27 years ago! And just relying on my memory of the match, it wasn't as close as the stats indicate. I'll have to rewatch this one. I remember McEnroe going through the motions, and sweated just a little more than on Sunday against Chris Lewis.

McEnroe had gained a measure of Lendl's hard hitting game by '83. He ended the 7 match losing streak in Philadelphia '83, and won 8 of the next 10 (the only significant loss being their RG Final of '84). I feel their rivalry swung again in Lendl's favour at the USO '85 (which I didn't see coming, esp. after their successive finals at Stratton Mt and Montreal).

When McEnroe got to the net, his volley kill zone extended almost across the net, from his shoe laces to the overhead. Lendl, on the other had, never looked comfortable up there. All through the eighties, there was something too mechanical about his approaches and net play.

Thanks for the stats, Moose Malloy. I'm going to have to unearth those archives...

krosero
02-12-2010, 09:03 AM
The perpetual myth of Mac being poor off-the-ground defies the reality of his results, doesn't it? GS wins over Borg, Connors and Lendl do not come if you don't have some ground-stroking skills :)

I think this myth perpetuates because he did not play a traditional ground game, but rather, one that accentuated his skills with spin and touch. Combined with a strategy of getting to net at all costs. You don't see any of that today, simply because no one plays S&V or has the kind of hands that Mac had.

I often found Mac's game off the ground amazing...the way he countered against the top ground strokers was simply dazzling at times. Seven months before this Wimbledon, Arthur Ashe said MCenroe was “the most complete, most talented player I’ve ever seen.”

That was right after McEnroe beat the French Davis Cup team on clay (Ashe was the American team captain).

pc1
02-12-2010, 10:28 AM
Seven months before this Wimbledon, Arthur Ashe said MCenroe was “the most complete, most talented player I’ve ever seen.”

That was right after McEnroe beat the French Davis Cup team on clay (Ashe was the American team captain).

I've read and seen Ashe saying that a number of times. That's impressive considering the great players Ashe has seen.

I think I also saw that Ashe in so many words said that McEnroe was the best he had seen when he was "on" his game.

pmerk34
02-12-2010, 01:24 PM
Fascinating stats. They blow up the stereotypes of both players.

McEnroe had nearly as many winners from ground strokes (17) as he did from volleys and overheads (19). This balance is very Laver-like, and goes against any idea that McEnroe had weak ground strokes.

Lendl had more winners from volleys/overheads (18 ) than he did from ground strokes (12), even though McEnroe was presenting a constant target at net.

You mention that Lendl was coming in on both serves; he was not doing that when he lost to Wilander on grass six months later in Australia.

But it does show that he was serve-and-volleying on grass (and effectively) before he hired Tony Roche.

It's theoretically possible (of course) that one point became a rally but ended without either player getting to net, though I also wrote in my notes (several months ago) that Lendl came in behind all his serves.

What stereotypes? Lendl almost always came in grass but on other surfaces he rarely served and volleyed.

Datacipher
02-12-2010, 01:30 PM
The perpetual myth of Mac being poor off-the-ground defies the reality of his results, doesn't it? GS wins over Borg, Connors and Lendl do not come if you don't have some ground-stroking skills :)

I think this myth perpetuates because he did not play a traditional ground game, but rather, one that accentuated his skills with spin and touch. Combined with a strategy of getting to net at all costs. You don't see any of that today, simply because no one plays S&V or has the kind of hands that Mac had.

I often found Mac's game off the ground amazing...the way he countered against the top ground strokers was simply dazzling at times.

I do agree that as his serve began to slip, it got him into trouble..certainly against Lendl, and sometimes Jimmy...but when he was in the zone of 60/70% first serves in, he was pretty hard to touch.

You are right, I think it is nearly impossible for the layman to appreciate Mac's groundgame...I thought I did, until a series of drills a satellite player introduced me to, actually forced me to try playing like him for a while....then I really began to see the beauty of what he did, and against lower level club players, could reproduce it...I couldn't imagine trying to do it against pro pace and heaviness though! What a talent. People today...they see the funny short swings, continental grip, almost looks like's he's pushing at times, and think he had no groundstrokes....the truth is, Mac may have had more feel for the ball, off THE GROUND, then any player ever had. That's not to say he's the best off the ground, but what he was doing out there...it was wonderful.

Moose Malloy
02-12-2010, 01:52 PM
Lendl-Tanner really looks like a quality match, with so few ue's

Wouldn't be surprised if Lendl-Mac had even less ue's.

That's also a great stat. How many first serves did he make in that set? I'm wondering what his full streak was, since Mac won 19 straight points started on first serve in the semi against Lendl.


He was 14/18 in the 1st set, 17/17 in the 2nd, 6/7 in the 3rd

pc1
02-12-2010, 02:02 PM
You are right, I think it is nearly impossible for the layman to appreciate Mac's groundgame...I thought I did, until a series of drills a satellite player introduced me to, actually forced me to try playing like him for a while....then I really began to see the beauty of what he did, and against lower level club players, could reproduce it...I couldn't imagine trying to do it against pro pace and heaviness though! What a talent. People today...they see the funny short swings, continental grip, almost looks like's he's pushing at times, and think he had no groundstrokes....the truth is, Mac may have had more feel for the ball, off THE GROUND, then any player ever had. That's not to say he's the best off the ground, but what he was doing out there...it was wonderful.

I thought McEnroe had very good groundies. If you see some of the rallies for example in the 1984 US Open semi against Connors, the groundstrokes rallies and versatility of McEnroe off the ground is very apparent and of course as you wrote he took short swings and hit the ball on the rise, changing angle and pace. It didn't look as pretty as Connors' or Lendl's groundstrokes but it was extremely effective and fit in perfectly with his ability to rush the net. All of a sudden he hits a little half volley groundstroke and he's in volleying position. One of the best thing about his groundstrokes was his ability to hit the shot the other groundstroker hated and threw them off balance. I think his style off the ground often threw Connors off his game.

jrepac
02-12-2010, 02:25 PM
I thought McEnroe had very good groundies. If you see some of the rallies for example in the 1984 US Open semi against Connors, the groundstrokes rallies and versatility of McEnroe off the ground is very apparent and of course as you wrote he took short swings and hit the ball on the rise, changing angle and pace. It didn't look as pretty as Connors' or Lendl's groundstrokes but it was extremely effective and fit in perfectly with his ability to rush the net. All of a sudden he hits a little half volley groundstroke and he's in volleying position. One of the best thing about his groundstrokes was his ability to hit the shot the other groundstroker hated and threw them off balance. I think his style off the ground often threw Connors off his game.

A lot of his groundies looked like half-volleys...and looked like he was pushing the ball....which is totally not the case. He was just catching the ball very, very early and "deflecting" it almost....which would throw off a baseliner like Connors. Love the '84 semi.....good stuff on both sides, which was often rare in their matchups.

krosero
02-12-2010, 03:19 PM
What stereotypes? Lendl almost always came in grass but on other surfaces he rarely served and volleyed.There are various ideas about Lendl not being able to volley, or that he didn't start volleying until he started working with Roche. And there's a bit of truth to that: when he lost to Connors at 84W (and Wilander at 83AO) he wasn't doing much SV. These matches in at 83W show him coming in behind every serve, before Roche, and doing it well.

Datacipher
02-12-2010, 04:29 PM
I thought McEnroe had very good groundies. If you see some of the rallies for example in the 1984 US Open semi against Connors, the groundstrokes rallies and versatility of McEnroe off the ground is very apparent and of course as you wrote he took short swings and hit the ball on the rise, changing angle and pace. It didn't look as pretty as Connors' or Lendl's groundstrokes but it was extremely effective and fit in perfectly with his ability to rush the net. All of a sudden he hits a little half volley groundstroke and he's in volleying position. One of the best thing about his groundstrokes was his ability to hit the shot the other groundstroker hated and threw them off balance. I think his style off the ground often threw Connors off his game.

Yes. Indeed. That ability to:
1.put out a ball that the other guy didn't really like
2.open up the court with various angles and depth

That's what made him not a pusher. (besides the fact that when he chose to, he could put some sting on the ball himself). So while some of the strokes might have looked like that pusher/hacker at the club, they most certainly were not.

Actually, one thing that made Connors great to, was his ability to do number 1. With his assortment of mild topspin/underspin/sidespin and flat shots, Connors knew how to make it difficult for the other guy to get a consistent strike zone shots also!

But Mcenroe had a fun improvisational quality to his game this way. As if he was looking, exploring, ways to open up the court, so he could work his way in. You never knew how the point would be constructed with Mac. Another somewhat unusual play, (though it's always been in advanced tennis instruction, it's rarely done) is the way Mac would occasionally work his way into the net, when the other guy was already up there, in effect: take the net away from the other guy. Amazing and fun to watch.

Datacipher
02-12-2010, 04:40 PM
There are various ideas about Lendl not being able to volley, or that he didn't start volleying until he started working with Roche. And there's a bit of truth to that: when he lost to Connors at 84W (and Wilander at 83AO) he wasn't doing much SV. These matches in at 83W show him coming in behind every serve, before Roche, and doing it well.

I noticed that as well! I had FORGOTTEN just how much Lendl had experimented with this that early.

You know though, I always wondered if it helped or in the end, hurt, Lendl. I felt that Lendl's later experiments with SV came because he did not believe, (and many thought also) that you COULDN'T win from the baseline on grass. Now, admittedly, against the Beckers/Edbergs/Macs of the world, it's an uphill battle, but there was a period...Agassi ended in 92...where this was really set in stone (although it's always been said to some degree...except NOW!). And maybe Lendl, with his game, could not have won from the baseline, though, he was extremely close anyways. I always wonder if Lendl had TRULY believed he could win from the baseline, if he might not have pulled one off. If you think, I can't REALLY win against the best staying back....AND you're SV, though "competent" (it's actually probably better than Roddicks for exmple), is not great, then really you end up with two B games, neither of which you really believe in!

pmerk34
02-12-2010, 06:49 PM
I noticed that as well! I had FORGOTTEN just how much Lendl had experimented with this that early.

You know though, I always wondered if it helped or in the end, hurt, Lendl. I felt that Lendl's later experiments with SV came because he did not believe, (and many thought also) that you COULDN'T win from the baseline on grass. Now, admittedly, against the Beckers/Edbergs/Macs of the world, it's an uphill battle, but there was a period...Agassi ended in 92...where this was really set in stone (although it's always been said to some degree...except NOW!). And maybe Lendl, with his game, could not have won from the baseline, though, he was extremely close anyways. I always wonder if Lendl had TRULY believed he could win from the baseline, if he might not have pulled one off. If you think, I can't REALLY win against the best staying back....AND you're SV, though "competent" (it's actually probably better than Roddicks for exmple), is not great, then really you end up with two B games, neither of which you really believe in!

Did you watch Lendl in the years he made those finals? It had to be race to the net, Tony Roche's strategy was 100% correct. Lendl on hard courts was death to serve and volley players. It almost was unfair. On grass in those days I saw Lendl almost whiff on some passing shots, lose his footing, have the ball get behind hm, and go through numerous bad bounces. The ball skidded in those days on grass. The footing in general at Wimbledon also hurt him from the back court as well. Agassi was an anomaly with his very short precise two handed backhand and short forehand and freakish return of serve, Lendl has much more long, loopy stroke with a big backswing that required impeccable timing. When he got caught in the back court at Wimbledon against the net rushers the equation changed dramatically. Tim Mayotte, who was on the second level tier of Serve and Volleyer's gave him a tough match at Wimby one year. On hard courts I think Lendl routinely killed Mayotte.

Datacipher
02-12-2010, 07:55 PM
Did you watch Lendl in the years he made those finals? It had to be race to the net, Tony Roche's strategy was 100% correct. Lendl on hard courts was death to serve and volley players. It almost was unfair. On grass in those days I saw Lendl almost whiff on some passing shots, lose his footing, have the ball get behind hm, and go through numerous bad bounces. The ball skidded in those days on grass. The footing in general at Wimbledon also hurt him from the back court as well. Agassi was an anomaly with his very short precise two handed backhand and short forehand and freakish return of serve, Lendl has much more long, loopy stroke with a big backswing that required impeccable timing. When he got caught in the back court at Wimbledon against the net rushers the equation changed dramatically. Tim Mayotte, who was on the second level tier of Serve and Volleyer's gave him a tough match at Wimby one year. On hard courts I think Lendl routinely killed Mayotte.

Yes, but I just don't buy it. As I said, the deck is stacked against SV on grass, but nevertheless a great baseliner always has a chance. Has he a better chance than when he becomes a mediocre SV player? I lean towards the former.

Borg, Connors, Agassi, all showed that baseline play could be a huge component of successful play on grass. Yes, sometimes they came in, but the ratio varies. I am well aware, and have posted about it before, that Lendl's game wasn't as well suited to grass, (though I think the party line: big backswing etc, is not entirely true), nevertheless, I think he probably would have done just as well as he did, and perhaps even better, had he been totally commited to playing power baseline tennis, and resigning himself to the fact, that indeed, he'd have to win or lose from there.

However, it is impossible to know for sure, I am only stating that I think it hurt Lendl psychologically.

I am certain, that had Agassi believed he needed to SV on grass, he would never have won it. In fact, he would probably have done much worse than Lendl. EVEN if he decided to just stay back...you've limited yourself to playing a game that is not yours, or playing your game which you don't think is the right way to play.

Moose Malloy
02-16-2010, 09:01 AM
That's also a great stat. How many first serves did he make in that set? I'm wondering what his full streak was, since Mac won 19 straight points started on first serve in the semi against Lendl.

Don't know what that record might be, though Borg had 27 straight against Connors at 79W, and Davydenko had at least 27 straight a few weeks ago when he beat Federer in Doha.

The full streak for Tanner was 21(17 in the 2nd set, 4 in the 3rd)

jrepac
02-16-2010, 09:21 AM
But Mcenroe had a fun improvisational quality to his game this way. As if he was looking, exploring, ways to open up the court, so he could work his way in. You never knew how the point would be constructed with Mac. Another somewhat unusual play, (though it's always been in advanced tennis instruction, it's rarely done) is the way Mac would occasionally work his way into the net, when the other guy was already up there, in effect: take the net away from the other guy. Amazing and fun to watch.

So true, so true....in the 82 Wimby final w/Connors, more than once he came to the net when Jimmy was already there first. You just never knew what the heck Mac was gonna cook up..he was so unpredictable, which made it tremendous fun to watch. He was a magician, I always said.:)

jrepac
02-16-2010, 09:29 AM
Yes, but I just don't buy it. As I said, the deck is stacked against SV on grass, but nevertheless a great baseliner always has a chance. Has he a better chance than when he becomes a mediocre SV player? I lean towards the former.

Borg, Connors, Agassi, all showed that baseline play could be a huge component of successful play on grass. Yes, sometimes they came in, but the ratio varies. I am well aware, and have posted about it before, that Lendl's game wasn't as well suited to grass, (though I think the party line: big backswing etc, is not entirely true), nevertheless, I think he probably would have done just as well as he did, and perhaps even better, had he been totally commited to playing power baseline tennis, and resigning himself to the fact, that indeed, he'd have to win or lose from there.

However, it is impossible to know for sure, I am only stating that I think it hurt Lendl psychologically.


I always questioned the 100% S&V strategy for Ivan as well...it wasn't that he could not do it, but he always seemed like a fish out of water. His serve was terrific, no problem there...not so sure about this net game, however. Perhaps he gave up the baseline prematurely...but, as others stated, the grass was much faster then and much of Lendl's power came from having a firm footing when he struck that ball. I think against Mac and Connors, for instance, he had less time to react on the fast grass and did not do very well against either one. Even Wilander was much more comfortable on the stuff than Ivan. I simply think part of the conundrum is that his game was not "bad" on grass, just that his opponents' games suited the surface better AND they were more comfortable on it, to boot.

Perhaps it was more psychological than physiological? If he committed 100% to work out the kinks in his ground game on grass, maybe he would've been better off? (as opposed to committing himself 100% to the S&V style which was unnatural for him?). Much like Bjorn at the USO, you can also say that Ivan was just plain unlucky.

pc1
02-16-2010, 02:26 PM
Yes, but I just don't buy it. As I said, the deck is stacked against SV on grass, but nevertheless a great baseliner always has a chance. Has he a better chance than when he becomes a mediocre SV player? I lean towards the former.

Borg, Connors, Agassi, all showed that baseline play could be a huge component of successful play on grass. Yes, sometimes they came in, but the ratio varies. I am well aware, and have posted about it before, that Lendl's game wasn't as well suited to grass, (though I think the party line: big backswing etc, is not entirely true), nevertheless, I think he probably would have done just as well as he did, and perhaps even better, had he been totally commited to playing power baseline tennis, and resigning himself to the fact, that indeed, he'd have to win or lose from there.

However, it is impossible to know for sure, I am only stating that I think it hurt Lendl psychologically.

I am certain, that had Agassi believed he needed to SV on grass, he would never have won it. In fact, he would probably have done much worse than Lendl. EVEN if he decided to just stay back...you've limited yourself to playing a game that is not yours, or playing your game which you don't think is the right way to play.
The psychological aspect you mentioned is interesting. Lendl mentioned a match he lost to Pat Cash before Wimbledon in 1987 and he felt if he defeated Cash in that match that he also would have defeated Cash in the 1987 Wimbledon final. I can't seem to find the match, perhaps it was a legit tournament that wasn't on the ATP or ITF websites. Maybe it was an exhibition. I'm fairly certain it wasn't too long before Wimbledon that year.

I always questioned the 100% S&V strategy for Ivan as well...it wasn't that he could not do it, but he always seemed like a fish out of water. His serve was terrific, no problem there...not so sure about this net game, however. Perhaps he gave up the baseline prematurely...but, as others stated, the grass was much faster then and much of Lendl's power came from having a firm footing when he struck that ball. I think against Mac and Connors, for instance, he had less time to react on the fast grass and did not do very well against either one. Even Wilander was much more comfortable on the stuff than Ivan. I simply think part of the conundrum is that his game was not "bad" on grass, just that his opponents' games suited the surface better AND they were more comfortable on it, to boot.

Perhaps it was more psychological than physiological? If he committed 100% to work out the kinks in his ground game on grass, maybe he would've been better off? (as opposed to committing himself 100% to the S&V style which was unnatural for him?). Much like Bjorn at the USO, you can also say that Ivan was just plain unlucky.

Excellent points. I laughed at one line that Lendl said, it was something like (talking about Wimbledon) "I would five sets against my grandmother!" This was talking about his struggles to win matches at Wimbledon.

I also think Lendl like sure bounces and couldn't handle the uneven bounces on the old grass as well as many.

I think Lendl would have won a few Wimbledons if they had the grass of today when he played.

krosero
02-16-2010, 03:42 PM
The psychological aspect you mentioned is interesting. Lendl mentioned a match he lost to Pat Cash before Wimbledon in 1987 and he felt if he defeated Cash in that match that he also would have defeated Cash in the 1987 Wimbledon final. I can't seem to find the match, perhaps it was a legit tournament that wasn't on the ATP or ITF websites. Maybe it was an exhibition. I'm fairly certain it wasn't too long before Wimbledon that year.I guess losing to Cash for the first time at the 87AO, in a close match, must have had an effect on Lendl (as well as Cash). The day before they met at the 88AO, the press quoted Lendl saying “It hurt me really bad losing here and at Wimbledon against him.”

hoodjem
02-16-2010, 04:33 PM
A lot of his groundies looked like half-volleys...and looked like he was pushing the ball....which is totally not the case. He was just catching the ball very, very early and "deflecting" it almost....which would throw off a baseliner like Connors. Love the '84 semi.....good stuff on both sides, which was often rare in their matchups.
I've always thought Mac's groundstrokes looked odd--like half-volleys. Maybe this explains it.

hoodjem
02-16-2010, 04:36 PM
I think Lendl would have won a few Wimbledons if they had the grass of today when he played.
I think so too.

If Nadal can do it, then Lendl definitely.

Bud
07-23-2010, 08:49 AM
Subscribed

krosero
04-17-2013, 05:38 AM
McEnroe made 3 of 6 first serves in the tiebreak (50%) and won all 3.
Lendl made 4 of 6 first serves in the tiebreak (67%) and won 2 of the 4.