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View Full Version : Stats for 1980 W SF (McEnroe-Connors)


Moose Malloy
01-03-2008, 04:16 PM
Score: 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4

Both players had 36 Winners.

McEnroe: 8 FH, 6 BH, 6 smashes, 16 volleys.
had 14 aces & 37 unreturned serves(12 on 2nd serves) & 4 doubles
had 2 return winners

Connors: 12 FH, 9 BH, 2 smashes, 13 volleys.
had 1 ace, 32 unreturned serves(6 on 2nd serves) & 2 doubles
had 7 return winners

Mac was 41 of 86 at net, 48%
Connors was 32 of 59 at net, 54%(44 of the 59 pts were S&V)

1st serve %:
Mac-74 of 121, 61%
Connors-97 of 145, 67%

Mac was 5 of 24 on break points, Connors 3 of 11

does anyone know what Mac's career high in aces was? I just counted 17 aces in his '83 W match, plus 14 in this one, I'm thinking he may be underrated in this aspect of his game.

just an fyi, this was a match that has a memorable Connors-Mac confrontation near the end of the 1st set that still gets replayed today. Mac had a lengthy argument with the umpire, as he was walking for the changeover, Connors started saying something to him. Couldn't catch all of it, but Mac avoided eyecontact & yelled, "no way!' as walking by him. Connors then continued, standing right in front of Mac, shaking his finger, & finished what he was saying with, "just keep your mouth shut."

Early in the second, Mac again questioned a call, Connors said something to him from across the net, Mac replied, "since when do you start talking to players? lets just play the match."

Connors, pointing with his racquet, "You play the match"

Mac, "Like you've never questioned a call before"

The umpire looked suitably stressed.

At the end of the match, John Barrett, the commentator, said it was "one of the greatest exhibitions of power tennis this court has seen" & that "for sheer sustained aggression ranks along the '77 SF between Borg & Gerulaitis."

Moose Malloy
01-03-2008, 04:26 PM
winners by set:

Mac: 7, 12, 8, 9

Connors: 9, 13, 2, 12

does anyone have a complete copy of the 1980 US SF between these 2?

krosero
01-03-2008, 04:38 PM
does anyone know what Mac's career high in aces was? I just counted 17 aces in his '83 W match, plus 14 in this one, I'm thinking he may be underrated in this aspect of his game.I don't know about a career-high, but he had 19 against Connors in the '82 W final and Lendl in the '83 Dallas WCT final (the long one that went to 7-6 in the fifth). I think he also had 19 against Connors at the '84 USO.

In his two longest Davis Cup matches, he had 21 against Wilander and 17 against Becker.

And 9 clean aces in that short W final over Connors.

krosero
01-03-2008, 04:46 PM
Searched my notes for this, when he played Borg at the Masters in 1981:

"McEnroe had his left thigh in a wrap. He had aggravated it, and suffered nausea, in a close 30-game loss to Gene Mayer the day before (in which McEnroe hit 17 aces)."

That's a better rate than 83W.

Moose Malloy
01-03-2008, 05:04 PM
And 9 clean aces in that short W final over Connors.

I thought you said 11 in your summary?

Searched my notes for this, when he played Borg at the Masters in 1981:

"McEnroe had his left thigh in a wrap. He had aggravated it, and suffered nausea, in a close 30-game loss to Gene Mayer the day before (in which McEnroe hit 17 aces)."


did you see the Borg match? was thinking of ordering it, sounded like a good one.

krosero
01-03-2008, 05:33 PM
I thought you said 11 in your summary?Yes, but I've reverted it to 9 because I'm now counting only clean aces; Connors barely nicked two of them.

This is the only place where I've had to go back and modify a count now that I'm dropping that distinction between most service winners and those that are barely grazed by the receiver's racquet. I really was talking about something rare and not the typical shanks or wild deflections you get on service winners.

did you see the Borg match? was thinking of ordering it, sounded like a good one.I did, and besides the good play it's notable for Borg's protest over a line call; and McEnroe's gifting of a point as redress for what they both thought was a bad call.

krosero
01-03-2008, 06:00 PM
Moose, after I saw the fifth set of 1982 final on YouTube some months ago, I went back to the Connors-Borg semi of 1981, and noticed the change in Connors' serve. In 1982 he was serving mostly flat against McEnroe, following his first serve to net 9 times and his second serve 3 times. In the fifth set against Borg he came in behind his serve only once, and was spinning his first serve in.

I don't suppose he was serving any differently in 1980 than in 1981, but what did you observe on his serve?

Moose Malloy
01-04-2008, 09:19 AM
I did, and besides the good play it's notable for Borg's protest over a line call; and McEnroe's gifting of a point as redress for what they both thought was a bad call.

Is it true that Borg got 2 penalty points? what did he do to earn them? I'm wondering what the standards of the code of conduct were in the early 80s, it doesn't seem that clear.
I'll do stats on this one if I get it. Considering the context of the match(after their 2 epic major finals in '80) the atmosphere must have been electric. Wonder if the Garden was full.

Moose, after I saw the fifth set of 1982 final on YouTube some months ago, I went back to the Connors-Borg semi of 1981, and noticed the change in Connors' serve. In 1982 he was serving mostly flat against McEnroe, following his first serve to net 9 times and his second serve 3 times. In the fifth set against Borg he came in behind his serve only once, and was spinning his first serve in.

I don't suppose he was serving any differently in 1980 than in 1981, but what did you observe on his serve?

He looked to be serving pretty big & flat(by his standards)
I'm thinking that many baseliners S&V more against Mac than they would normally do(like Lendl at '83 W) You even see that today when Federer plays Mirnyi(or Sampras in the exos)
Makes sense to do when you are playing a super-aggressive player like that, otherwise they will be on top of you. Connors probably didn't feel the need to do that vs Borg.
You mentioned how differently Lendl played vs Wilander at '83 AO vs the way he played at '83 W, maybe that wasn't just due to the different grass but also the opponent.
I'm curious to see what the net stats were like when Connors played Lendl at '84 W.

urban
01-04-2008, 09:46 AM
I remember, that Connors in 1982 made a real effort, to tighten up his serve before Wimbledon. He showed it at first at Queens, where he won, if i recall it right. Connors has always a arkward service motion, throwing out the ball too far to the left and hitting the ball too late. He straithened out it serve toss in 1982.

krosero
01-04-2008, 10:33 AM
Is it true that Borg got 2 penalty points? what did he do to earn them? I'm wondering what the standards of the code of conduct were in the early 80s, it doesn't seem that clear.
I'll do stats on this one if I get it. Considering the context of the match(after their 2 epic major finals in '80) the atmosphere must have been electric. Wonder if the Garden was full.He argued for four minutes with the umpire and Grand Prix supervisor (Dick Roberson) and was penalized two points in succession.

It was 3-3 in the second-set tiebreak, and he was four points from the match. His passing shot was called good but overruled by the umpire (Mike Lugg). Borg argued, and though I had read that he did it calmly, I didn't think it was calm. You can see the anger on his face. To me he looked stubborn and determined, like he was trying to win a point on the court.

In the next game he served an ace and Lugg overruled again. Borg argued again, and on the next point Mac intentionally hit a ball out, which won a standing ovation.

I thought I read somewhere that the match drew the largest crowd ever for a tennis match other than Riggs-King.

Don't know if it was NBC that would have covered it, but I only know of the Japanese-language version at Rick's. The video quality is amazing, though, crystal clear.

Connors probably didn't feel the need to do that vs Borg.I thought that might be the reason he was spinning his first serve in. But I guess the only way to judge any change in Connors' service, against McEnroe, is to watch that 1980 match. Particularly I'd be watching to see how much he followed it in as compared to 1982.

Moose Malloy
01-04-2008, 12:25 PM
He argued for four minutes with the umpire and Grand Prix supervisor (Dick Roberson) and was penalized two points in succession.

It was 3-3 in the second-set tiebreak, and he was four points from the match. His passing shot was called good but overruled by the umpire (Mike Lugg). Borg argued, and though I had read that he did it calmly, I didn't think it was calm. You can see the anger on his face. To me he looked stubborn and determined, like he was trying to win a point on the court

ok, that clip needs to be on youtube. it would blow some peoples minds.

do you know the tiebreak scores in this match? it seems odd that the #1 & #2 players in the world would be in the same RR group?

Don't know if it was NBC that would have covered it, but I only know of the Japanese-language version at Rick's. The video quality is amazing, though, crystal clear.


on his site is says "no commentary," I guess that's incorrect. tennis dvds has the japanese version but I was thinking of getting Rick's due to the no commentary, but I guess they both have the same versions, so it doesn't matter. tennis dvds is a little cheaper.

Particularly I'd be watching to see how much he followed it in as compared to 1982

Well I counted 44 SV points from JC in '80. And he got 26 unreturned serves on his 1st serve, most of which he was coming in on. So that's a pretty high % of times he was coming in(when he got his 1st serve in)

You say he SV 12 times in one set vs Mac in '82, he averaged 11 a set in '80, that sounds pretty similar.

krosero
01-04-2008, 12:38 PM
Mac was 5 of 24 on break points, Connors 3 of 11Mac did not have a good day on the break points.

Mac was 41 of 86 at net, 48%
Connors was 32 of 59 at net, 54%(44 of the 59 pts were S&V)Now this seems somewhat low for Mac. I wonder if leaving the unreturned serves out of the net stats brought Mac below 50%.

I did net stats for McEnroe many months ago, but all I did then was to count his forward movement on every serve, including aces. We're agreed that we can't do that; but there must have been points, for instance on second serve, where the return was very makeable, but McEnroe's rushing forward induced an error.

What you have right now is Connors with a higher winning percentage at net than McEnroe, on grass, even though McEnroe won the match in four sets. If Mac is below 50% at net, which is where he spent most of his time, it suggests that he lost the match, or that he somehow made it up by winning more than half of the points where he stayed in the backcourt -- even with Jimmy charging in at a somewhat high rate and with a winning percentage.

It's just not what you'd expect.

Mac would have lost more net points if the unreturned serves were left out, because he got more unreturned serves and came in more than Connors.

McEnroe had a 60% winning rate at the net when he lost to Lendl at RG in '84, and 52% against Connors two months later. 52 is not that much higher than what you have, so we're probably not talking about a big difference; but that was a close match, and 52% at least is a marginally successful strategy.

krosero
01-04-2008, 12:47 PM
ok, that clip needs to be on youtube. it would blow some peoples minds.

Ha, I was just pondering the same thing you were pondering.

Particularly because my copy is such great quality. Need to get a new DVD player, though.

I said Rick's off the top of my head; I must have bought the Japanese commentary from Tennis DVD's.

do you know the tiebreak scores in this match? it seems odd that the #1 & #2 players in the world would be in the same RR group?6-4, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (2). Don't know anything about the round-robin situation, it was quite a mess, with Lendl angling to play Mayer rather than Borg in the semis and all that.

krosero
01-04-2008, 12:48 PM
You say he SV 12 times in one set vs Mac in '82, he averaged 11 a set in '80, that sounds pretty similar.At least from the stats it looks like there was no real difference.

Moose Malloy
01-04-2008, 03:41 PM
Mac did not have a good day on the break points.


In the 2nd set Mac was 0-13 on bps, JC was 1-3. Connors served 63 pts in that set & Mac served 28. Was pretty crazy that Mac lost that set.

Now this seems somewhat low for Mac. I wonder if leaving the unreturned serves out of the net stats brought Mac below 50%.

I did net stats for McEnroe many months ago, but all I did then was to count his forward movement on every serve, including aces. We're agreed that we can't do that; but there must have been points, for instance on second serve, where the return was very makeable, but McEnroe's rushing forward induced an error.

What you have right now is Connors with a higher winning percentage at net than McEnroe, on grass, even though McEnroe won the match in four sets. If Mac is below 50% at net, which is where he spent most of his time, it suggests that he lost the match, or that he somehow made it up by winning more than half of the points where he stayed in the backcourt -- even with Jimmy charging in at a somewhat high rate and with a winning percentage.


Maybe I'll redo one of the sets, taking what you said into account. But on quite a few of the unreturned serves, JC had no chance of getting them back in play, so I wouldn't count those in net stats under any definition.

Throughout the match I was very impressed with how JC returned, Mac had to hit a lot of tough volleys, so maybe the net stats are an accurate reflection of that.

Going by my stats, there were 266 pts played. 90 were won on the serve(ace, unreturnable, double fault), 145 ended at net. That leaves 31 pts, where presumably, both were at the baseline. Don't know if that 31 was the important stat here, since it is a small % of the total.

Another way of looking at it, Mac won 92 pts either at net or off the serve.
JC won 65 pts this way. That sounds like a big margin. And that makes up 59% of all the pts played. The rest are passing shots, volley errors, baseline rallies, double faults, etc I assume.

krosero
01-04-2008, 06:06 PM
Connors served 63 pts in that set & Mac served 28.You're right, that is wild. Good testament to Connors, though.

But on quite a few of the unreturned serves, JC had no chance of getting them back in play, so I wouldn't count those in net stats under any definition.I wouldn't either. I think what we're looking to exclude are aces, certainly, then service winners in the sense of unreturnable serves -- truly unreturnable, not just unreturned. What that leaves is unreturned serves where, in your judgment, there was some kind of play on the ball, but the returner went for too much, took his eye of the ball, whatever -- all those mistakes that can take place when someone is trying to beat the player who's up at net.

I know the category "service winner" has been problematic, but it may be useful here. Maybe that's our category for points that are won, not by unforced carelessness, and not by force or pressure of any kind except the one stroke, the serve. The serve alone is the "winner", hence service winner, if you want to think of it that way.

If I were doing it, I'd count service winners -- not thinking about net rushes or anything complex, just observing the serve and judging it as returnable or unreturnable. And on those points, I don't count the server's forward movement. All other points, I do.

That would probably put Mac somewhere over 50%.

Throughout the match I was very impressed with how JC returned, Mac had to hit a lot of tough volleys, so maybe the net stats are an accurate reflection of that.Connors was such a great returner and passer that it's not hard to believe he kept attacking rates down. We know that he could keep Mac to 52% in a close match. At the 84W, after nine games, McEnroe was at 59%, and that was a wipeout.

But I would remain uncomfortable with net rates that drop below 50% for a great attacking player -- at least in matches that he wins (and perhaps even in most of his losses, but we'll have to see). Because then you wonder why he's an attacking player at all.

krosero
07-16-2008, 10:06 PM
Researching the final I found these stats for the semi, in the Washington Post:

McEnroe put 71 of 120 first serves in court, a much better percentage than Connors. McEnroe served 13 aces, and clusters of service winners, especially from the left court. Whenever he needed a big serve from that side, he seemed able to produce it, either a wide slice deep to Connors' forehand or a hummer down the middle.

When he served for the third set at 5-3, for example, McEnroe was down, 15-40, then smacked four consecutive unreturnable serves. He put 22 of 30 first serves in court in that set, and served six aces -- "which," suggested a New Yorker at courtside who admires McEnroe's brash style and stiletto net game, "is better than a sharp stick in the eyes."

In fact, if McEnroe had returned serve better, he probably would have won in straight sets. He had 13 break points on Connors' serve in the second set -- three in the first game, one in the third, one in the fifth and eight in the marathon seventh game, which lasted 26 points -- and he couldn't convert any of them. On most, he didn't get his return in play.

krosero
07-16-2008, 10:46 PM
does anyone know what Mac's career high in aces was? I just counted 17 aces in his '83 W match, plus 14 in this one, I'm thinking he may be underrated in this aspect of his game.McEnroe’s career-high may be 28 aces in St. Louis against Wilander.

That was in the W. Post, too. They had Mac serving at 57%, Wilander at 82% (with 3 aces).

I think Wilander, whether by design or not, did something that would have helped Borg, which is not to let McEnroe see any second serves.