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krosero
03-26-2008, 06:33 PM
Borg d. Gerulaitis 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 8-6

This match gets so many accolades as one of the best played at Wimbledon, it's a kind of standard.

Dan Maskell called it one of the greatest if not the greatest match he'd ever seen there.

Between them, Borg and Gerulaitis hit 132 clean winners (apart from service).

Borg hit 58 winners: 15 FH, 22 BH, 10 FHV, 6 BHV, 5 overheads.

Gerulaitis hit 74 winners: 13 FH, 11 BH, 24 FHV, 17 BHV, 9 overheads.

Gerulaitis may have hit more winners than any other man that Borg defeated in his five-year run at Wimbledon. His rate of winners per game (1.45) is higher than Connors would have in the final on Sunday (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=1889703&postcount=3).

It's even slightly higher than McEnroe's rate in the 1981 final (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=165964) over Borg (though McEnroe pulls ahead if aces are included).

It's just barely lower than Mecir's rate of winners when he lost to Edberg in that five-set semifinal in 1988 (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=1926705&postcount=41).

From Neil Amdur's report in the New York Times:

No two players on the pro tour move with the quickness and agility of Borg and Gerulaitis. They covered the court today like squirrels scampering to store nuts, anticipated each other’s shots and moves and splattered the chalk for winners sometimes two and three times a game. They tracked down lobs, passed each other off the ground as if they were playing on slower clay, not grass, and brought beauty and spontaneity to a surface known for its formality and programmed patterns. In one game, with Gerulaitis serving at 1-2 in the second set, 14 of the 22 points were outright winners.That game actually was at 1-2 in the third set. Gerulaitis held after 5 break points and 8 deuces. I counted 13 non-service winners, and there was also an ace -- a weird one that took place when Borg could not get out of the way of a serve and it hit his body rather than his racquet.

Amdur mentions the players' speed, and that was one factor in how many rallies they had, though I'm not sure it explains why so many rallies ended with winners. He mentions their anticipation; I don't know if the two had started practicing with each other yet or become best friends.

(Borg did not yet own Gerulaitis. Their two previous matches had gone to ultimate third sets. After this meeting, they met in four Slams, and every one of those matches went in straight sets to Borg).

Maskell, more than once after a great rally, lamented what he said were widespread complaints about serve-and-volley tennis on grass not producing great rallies.

He listed both service and return as particularly high in quality in this match. Both men were returning well, which may be a key to their high numbers of non-service winners.

Borg came in behind a lot of his second serves but not all. He stayed back only occasionally on first serve. Gerulaitis followed everything in.

So they got into a lot of rallies, but it was not because they were both staying at the baseline; usually one or the other was at net, sometimes both of them. When Borg played Connors in the 1981 semis (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=167445), by contrast, there was more mutual rallying from the baseline, which makes it harder for the point to end in a winner. Borg and Gerulaitis gave each other a target at net, which meant at least the possibility of more winners, either in the form of volleys or passing shots. And they pulled off the shots.

Borg’s winners came about 2-to-1 from ground strokes as opposed to volleys/smashes. Gerulaitis’ winners came 2-to-1 from the opposite direction.

Borg hit 5 winners off Gerulaitis’ second serve and 2 off his first. All of these returns were passes. In addition he passed Gerulaitis with 11 forehands (including one lob) and 18 backhands (including three lobs). Including the service returns, then, Borg passed Gerulaitis a total of 36 times.

Gerulaitis hit 2 winners off Borg’s second serve and 3 off his first. All of these returns were passes. In addition he passed Borg with 8 backhands (including one lob) and 8 forehands. Altogether he passed Borg 21 times.

Borg hit 3 aces, Gerulaitis 4.

Borg got a service return error from Gerulaitis 35 times – of which I judged 1 as a service winner.
Gerulaitis got a service return error from Borg 40 times – of which I judged 5 as service winners.

Borg had 3 double-faults. Gerulaitis served 9 – but none in the last two sets.

Borg served at 57%, making 93 of 163 first serves.
Gerulaitis served at 49%, making 93 of 190 first serves.

Gerulaitis had a harder time holding serve than Borg did – until the fifth set. In each of the first four sets, Gerulaitis had to serve out more points than Borg – but in the fifth Borg served 51 points, Gerulaitis only 39.

Borg won 177 points overall, Gerulaitis 176.

Borg won 8 of the last 9 points, holding at love then breaking at 15.

Borg converted 5 of 20 break points. In the last two sets he saw only two break points and won them both.

Gerulaitis converted 4 of 11 break points.

Borg got his first serve into play on 7 of the 11 break points he faced (a rate of 64%, somewhat higher than his overall percentage).

Gerulaitis got his first serve into play on 7 of the 20 break points he faced (only 35%).

hoodjem
03-26-2008, 07:08 PM
Amazing set of statistics: Gerulaitis hit 74 winners; Borg won 177 points overall, Gerulaitis 176.

I always felt kind of sorry for Gerulaitis against Borg. Both were incredibly fast players, but it seemed that Vitas could never beat his pal. (I think Vitas admired Borg too much.)

And Gerulaitis was such an excellent all-court (mostly S&V) player, with wonderful touch and an elegant flowing style. (I think he played with a Wilson Kramer Autograph.) I'm really glad he got that one GS win in 1977 at the December AO.

Plus a great NY sense of humor. What was that great joke: "Nobody, I mean nobody . . . beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row."

(Let's not get into a debate about who it was a response to.)

krosero
03-26-2008, 07:38 PM
Didn't realize it before, but the total number of errors can be calculated from the stats above.

Subtracting the aces and clean winners from the total points won:

Borg made 98 total errors (forced and unforced). Of those I counted 40 return errors and 3 double-faults. That leaves him making 55 errors in points that had at least a successful return, that is, in rallies.

Gerulaitis made 116 total errors (forced and unforced). Of those I counted 35 return errors and 9 double-faults. That leaves him making 72 errors in rallies.

krosero
03-26-2008, 07:44 PM
Both were incredibly fast players, but it seemed that Vitas could never beat his pal. (I think Vitas admired Borg too much.)And this was the closest he ever got to beating him -- partly because Borg became a dominating player after 1977.

He led in games here just once in the match, when he broke at 2-all in the fifth; but he got somewhat cautious then and was broken right back.

Rabbit
03-26-2008, 09:14 PM
I purchased this DVD from TW. It is just plain awesome. The match held my attention then and now. It is simply one of the single best matches I've ever watched.

Moose Malloy
03-27-2008, 10:01 AM
I don't know if the two had started practicing with each other yet or become best friends.


I got a book from the library last year called Tennis Book(I think) that had a collection of articles from various sources over the years.

They had an article on Borg written in Summer '77. Very interesting stuff, they had interviews with many players, Vitas being one of them, & they all said they didn't know Borg at all & that he almost never said a word to anyone.

Was a bit surprised by this, wonder when Borg started getting friendly with other players, while he was a good sportsman on the court that was respected by the other players, it also seems like he kept himself isolated from the other players off the court(at least up to that point in his career)

Certainly nothing like, say, Federer or Nadal today who are 'one of the guys.'

Borg's approach sounded more like Sampras'.

(Let's not get into a debate about who it was a response to.)


heh, I can't resist. I just came across an old World Tennis magazine(mid 80s), where Mike Lupica reflects on some of his most memorable moments in tennis.

He said he was the one that asked Vitas the question(after a win over Connors at the masters) that produced that famous quote.

hoodjem
03-27-2008, 12:08 PM
after a win over Connors at the masters

Was that indoors at MSG?

hoodjem
03-27-2008, 12:10 PM
but he got somewhat cautious then and was broken right back.

That's a RULE I learned the hard way: in tennis never play cautious!

Moose Malloy
03-27-2008, 05:36 PM
Borg hit 3 aces, Gerulaitis 4.

Borg got a service return error from Gerulaitis 34 times – of which I judged 4 as service winners.

Gerulaitis got a service return error from Borg 40 times – of which I judged 6 as service winners

Bit surprised by this, since Borg's serve was much better(& bigger) than Vitas'

Was that indoors at MSG?

Yes.

krosero
03-27-2008, 09:55 PM
Bit surprised by this, since Borg's serve was much better(& bigger) than Vitas'I was too.

I think one reason is that Gerulaitis served more points than Borg: 190 vs. 163.

So Gerulaitis got either an ace or a return error on 23.2% of his serves, Borg on 22.7%. Just about even.

That's still not quite what you'd expect, given that Borg had not only the better serve but a better return.

Another factor is that Vitas was coming in behind his serves more than Borg; he needed to do more with his serves, and Borg also needed to do more with the returns. All that would increase the chances of a return error by Borg.

There were not very many, but still a good number of points (I did not count them) when Borg stayed back -- mostly on second serve but sometimes on first serve too. On those points he often didn't do very much with his serves; and Vitas sometimes took those to approach the net himself, making sure to get his return in.

When Borg brought out the big one, it always struck me as much bigger than his average speed, while the speed of Gerulaitis' serves looked more even. In short I don't think Borg was serving at his hardest except when he needed it; and Gerulaitis was returning (and serving) on this day probably to his fullest abilities.

jeffreyneave
03-30-2008, 10:08 AM
I saw this match on tv at the time and was always convinced this was the first really great match i had seen. Borg later on regarded this as the highest quality match he had been invoved on at Wimbledon

The reason for the long rallies was the success of the lob. borg was very reluctant to smash and only took on easy ones where he did not have to go back more then one step. Borg's lobbying was superb and so was his speed; Gerulaitis took on the smashes but did not have the service power to put them away without a really great angle.

I regarded Gerulaitis vollying display as the best I'd ever seen and still regard it as best in the wooden racket era. The stats seem to back that up.

jeffrey

Moose Malloy
03-31-2008, 02:36 PM
I regarded Gerulaitis vollying display as the best I'd ever seen and still regard it as best in the wooden racket era

I watched the '81 Masters Final recently(Vitas vs Lendl), it may have been the most agressive display of S&V/chip & charge I've seen, Vitas was coming in on everything, he just ran out of steam(& this was the infamous match where Lendl nailed him in the head. Contrary to what some say about this match today, I don't think Lendl intended to hit him, Vitas sort of moved one way at the same time Lendl hit the ball & got caught) He seems a bit underrated today when discussing the best S&V players, the guy was pretty amazing up there.

Gerulaitis hit 74 winners: 13 FH, 11 BH, 24 FHV, 17 BHV, 9 overheads.


Is that the most volley winners in any match you've counted so far?

krosero
03-31-2008, 10:42 PM
Is that the most volley winners in any match you've counted so far?I'm not sure, because I haven't made a list of performances according to number of volley winners. Some of McEnroe's matches have very high numbers. Here I counted 50 volley/smash winners by Gerulaitis over 51 games. In the 1981 final McEnroe had 45 over 46 games. Practically the same rate.

However there's no exact way to do this with our data, because in counting smash winners I've never marked down whether they were actually taken in the air, or on the bounce. I would think that a record for number of "volley winners" has meaning in that it refers to balls taken out of the air, which is the common meaning of a "volley." As I said I never distinguished what kind of smashes were hit, and I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't either.

You could just keep smashes out of it and go for forehand and backhand volleys, but that just takes too many important strokes out of the picture. And doing that would introduce another subjective factor, namely the difference between a smash and a forehand volley (or even a backhand volley); I know you've said yourself that it's not always clear.

Moose Malloy
11-25-2010, 11:03 PM
here are my stats on their 1981 Wimbledon meeting

Borg d Gerulaitis 76(4), 75, 76(6)

Borg served at 62% (68 of 109)
Vitas served at 60% (75 of 126)

Borg won 57 of 68 pts on 1st serve(84%)
He won 24 of 41 on 2nd(59%)

Vitas won 55 of 75 pts on 1st serve(73%)
He won 26 of 51 on 2nd(51%)

Borg had 45 non service winners: 14 fh, 7 bh, 7 fhv, 13 bhv, 4 ov
Vitas had 35: 7 fh, 4 bh, 14 fhv, 8 bhv, 2 ov

Borg had 19 passing shot winners: 14 fh, 5 bh
Vitas had 7: 3 fh, 4 bh

Borg had 7 aces, 2 df's
Vitas had 4 aces, 2 df's

Borg had 21 unreturned serves, 4 I judged service winners
Vitas had 26 unreturned serves, 2 I judged service winners

Borg was 2 of 7 on break points
Vitas was 1 of 4

Borg won 126 pts, Vitas 109

net pts

Borg 59/79(75%)
Vitas 71/110(65%)

serve & volley pts

Borg 46/57(81%)
Vitas 49/73(67%)

gavna
11-25-2010, 11:29 PM
And this was the closest he ever got to beating him -- partly because Borg became a dominating player after 1977.

He led in games here just once in the match, when he broke at 2-all in the fifth; but he got somewhat cautious then and was broken right back.

Biggest problem for Vitas was he really didn't have a "killer" shot - his speed was what set him apart as he was so fast but his serve could go south on him and his 2nd serve could be really stink - But he sure had some classics - My favorite was the 6 hr battle at the Italian Open vs Vilas -

hoodjem
11-26-2010, 06:34 AM
Remember that famous (and hilarious) quotation from Vitas: "No one, and I mean no one beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row."

Who was it about Connors or Borg?

According to the ATP website, the H2H with Borg is 16-0 for Borg. (But Vitas is listed as a winner once: 1978 Dallas WCT TX, U.S.A.CarpetS Gerulaitis, Vitas W/O.)

According to the ATP website, the H2H with Connors is is 6-15 for Connors, with Vitas's victories interspersed after a maximum of 9 Connors wins.

Does it make any sense that Vitas would make this great statement about Connors, whom he beat six times?

BashTheMashIsBack
11-26-2010, 10:39 AM
pure classic!

Mustard
11-26-2010, 10:41 AM
Gerulaitis had his chance at 3-2 up in the fifth set, having just broken an angry Borg to love, but Borg then broke straight back in the next game.

It was an amazing match to watch.

Mustard
11-26-2010, 10:43 AM
Remember that famous (and hilarious) quotation from Vitas: "No one, and I mean no one beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row."

Who was it about Connors or Borg?

According to the ATP website, the H2H with Borg is 16-0 for Borg. (But Vitas is listed as a winner once: 1978 Dallas WCT TX, U.S.A.CarpetS Gerulaitis, Vitas W/O.)

According to the ATP website, the H2H with Connors is is 6-15 for Connors, with Vitas's victories interspersed after a maximum of 9 Connors wins.

Does it make any sense that Vitas would make this great statement about Connors, whom he beat six times?

It was about Connors in January 1980 after their Masters semi final. Connors beat Gerulaitis in their first 15/16(?) matches in a row. Gerulaitis finally beat Connors in January 1980 at the Masters. What's strange is that after Connors won all those matches in a row against Gerulaitis, Gerulaitis then won 4 in a row, including at the semi finals of the French Open in 1980.

Gerulaitis beat Connors 4 times, not 6, because the other 2 matches were walkovers and thus don't count on head-to-head or win-loss records.

The quote of Gerulaitis' is 17 times in a row, but I have Connors at 15-0 going into that Masters semi final in January 1980, so I don't know where the one extra match came from.

Mustard
11-26-2010, 11:13 AM
Here's the Connors vs. Gerulaitis head-to-head as far as I can see:

Jimmy Connors 17-4 Vitas Gerulaitis
1974 Roanoke SF: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-4, 6-4)
1974 Little Rock SF: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-2, 6-1)
1974 Salt Lake City F: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (4-6, 7-6, 6-3)
1975 Salisbury F: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (5-7, 7-5, 6-1, 3-6, 6-0)
1975 Hamilton, Bermuda F: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-1, 6-4)
1976 US Open R16: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-4, 6-3, 6-1)
1976 WCT Challenge Cup SF: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 6-1)
1978 Pepsi Grand Slam SF: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-2, 6-4)
1978 WCT Rotterdam SF: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (4-6, 6-4, 6-4)
1978 Wimbledon SF: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (9-7, 6-2, 6-1)
1979 Birmingham, Alabama SF: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (7-6, 6-2)
1979 WCT Dorado Beach RR: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-0, 6-4)
1979 WCT Dorado Beach F: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-5, 6-0, 6-4)
1979 Memphis SF: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (3-6, 6-3, 6-2)
1979 Tokyo Indoor SF: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-7, 6-2, 6-3)
1980 Masters SF: Vitas Gerulaitis def. Jimmy Connors (7-5, 6-2)
1980 French Open SF: Vitas Gerulaitis def. Jimmy Connors (6-1, 3-6, 6-7, 6-2, 6-4)
1981 Cincinnati R16: Vitas Gerulaitis def. Jimmy Connors (7-5, 7-6)
1982 Brussels SF: Vitas Gerulaitis def. Jimmy Connors (6-2, 7-5)
1983 Wembley QF: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-4, 6-2)
1985 Montreal R16: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-4, 6-2)

Walkover matches
1975 New York F: Vitas Gerulaitis def. Jimmy Connors (Walkover)
1982 Toronto SF: Vitas Gerulaitis def. Jimmy Connors (Walkover)

PrinceMoron
11-26-2010, 01:05 PM
My uncle had tickets but gave them away. He will never ever ever do that again.

krosero
11-26-2010, 01:18 PM
The quote was after a victory over Connors at the Masters. As Moose says above, it was at MSG, and Mike Lupica claimed to be the journalist who asked Gerulaitis the question prompting the quip.

Sports Illustrated, January 21, 1980:

On Sunday, for instance, who would have thought that Borg would have such an easy time of it after what Gerulaitis had done in the previous 36 hours? Namely, defeat McEnroe -- after having lost their last three tournament meetings by a combined score in sets of 0-7. And then defeat Connors after having lost 16 straight matches to him. "Nobody beats me 17 straight," Gerulaitis said.

But Borg is Borg, and on the last day the stoic champion made a meatball out of his practice partner.

On the ATP and ITF websites Connors has only 13 straight victories by the time of the Masters loss in January 1980, but this is one of those cases where some matches from the early Open Era are not "officially" counted today (for example, the 1970 Dunlop tourney in which Laver beat Rosewall).

According to the ATP website, the H2H with Borg is 16-0 for Borg. The ITF website includes their Davis Cup meeting in 1978, so they have 17-0. But even this is incomplete, because the press reported Borg getting his 17th win over Gerulaitis in Las Vegas, April 1980: before they had even played at the 1980 RG and 1981 W.

Gerulaitis never beat Borg, and the record may stand as high as 20-0.

Los Angeles Times just before they met at '81 Wimby:

And how does Borg do against Gerulaitis? He's 19-0 in official tournaments. The more the once near-great Vitas practices with Borg, the worse he gets smoked. "I must get a new practice partner for one day," said Borg, who has won 38 straight matches here.

pc1
11-26-2010, 01:31 PM
Which brings up an interesting question, which is the most impressive very one sided matchup in tennis history? Is it Borg/Gerulaitis? Is it Laver/Ashe? Is it Federer/Roddick? I think Rosewall had some one sided matchups with Stolle and Olmedo. Maybe it's Federer/Soderling.

I think Jack Kramer in his book claimed to have a 55-0-1 record against one top player but I forgot who.

I think Laver was 22-3 against Ashe. Laver beat Ashe even in 1975 when Ashe was number one. Here's the ITF website head to head which is far from complete.

LAVER, Rod (AUS)

Versus Arthur ASHE (USA)
Year Tournament Round Surface Winner Score
1968 Wimbledon SF Grass (O) R.LAVER 7-5 6-2 6-4
1969 Wimbledon SF Grass (O) R.LAVER 2-6 6-2 9-7 6-0
1969 U.S. Open SF Grass (O) R.LAVER 8-6 6-3 14-12
1970 Los Angeles SF () R.LAVER 6-0 6-3
1970 Masters Singles Carpet (I) R.LAVER 6-3 6-2
1971 WCT Philadelphia SF () R.LAVER 6-3 7-6 3-6 6-1
1971 Rome SF Clay (O) R.LAVER 6-3 6-2 6-1
1971 WCT Bristol SF Grass (O) NP
1971 WCT Bologna FR () R.LAVER 6-3 6-4 6-4
1971 WCT Finals SF () R.LAVER 6-3 1-6 6-3 6-3
1972 WCT Richmond SF () R.LAVER 6-2 7-6
1974 WCT Philadelphia FR () R.LAVER 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-4
1974 WCT Palm Desert SF () R.LAVER 6-7 7-6 6-2
1975 WCT Puerto Rico FR () R.LAVER 6-3 7-5
1976 WCT Rotterdam SF () A.ASHE 7-5 5-7 2-6

krosero
11-26-2010, 02:14 PM
Didn't tennis channel have a Best of 5 "Pigeons" the other day? Lendl-Gilbert was #5, I think, and Federer-Roddick was up next. So what were the top 3?

pc1
11-26-2010, 03:29 PM
Didn't tennis channel have a Best of 5 "Pigeons" the other day? Lendl-Gilbert was #5, I think, and Federer-Roddick was up next. So what were the top 3?

You right. I think they did. I have no idea who the top three were.

BashTheMashIsBack
11-27-2010, 10:45 AM
RIP Vitas! :cry:

Mustard
11-27-2010, 11:19 AM
RIP Vitas! :cry:

Aye. Such a bizarre and tragic death in September 1994 from carbon monoxide poisoning at the age of 40. He had recently coached Sampras to the 1994 Rome title during Tim Gullikson's vacation, and Vitas had also commentated for the USA network at the 1994 US Open, in what turned out to be the last time. He was dead a week after the 1994 US Open.

krosero
11-30-2010, 07:09 PM
here are my stats on their 1981 Wimbledon meeting

Borg d Gerulaitis 76(4), 75, 76(6)

Borg served at 62% (68 of 109)
Vitas served at 60% (75 of 126)

Borg won 57 of 68 pts on 1st serve(84%)
He won 24 of 41 on 2nd(59%)

Vitas won 55 of 75 pts on 1st serve(73%)
He won 26 of 51 on 2nd(51%)

Borg had 45 non service winners: 14 fh, 7 bh, 7 fhv, 13 bhv, 4 ov
Vitas had 35: 7 fh, 4 bh, 14 fhv, 8 bhv, 2 ov

Borg had 19 passing shot winners: 14 fh, 5 bh
Vitas had 7: 3 fh, 4 bh

Borg had 7 aces, 2 df's
Vitas had 4 aces, 2 df's

Borg had 21 unreturned serves, 4 I judged service winners
Vitas had 26 unreturned serves, 2 I judged service winners

Borg was 2 of 7 on break points
Vitas was 1 of 4

Borg won 126 pts, Vitas 109

net pts

Borg 59/79(75%)
Vitas 71/110(65%)

serve & volley pts

Borg 46/57(81%)
Vitas 49/73(67%)The serving seems to have been better in this meeting than in the '77 semifinal, statistically. The service percentages are higher (much more so in the case of Vitas who was just at 49% in '77). And yet they served more aces than in '77 -- even though this was just a 3-set match.

And Gerulaitis, this time, is keeping his df's down (he had 9 in '77).

Plus you've got Borg at 84% success on first serve which is one of the highest we have for him.

(Nice to see that last stat since I didn't have it in the '77 match; I can't remember if either of us was getting that stat back then).


As far as winners:

1977 semifinal -- 39.4% of the points ended with clean winners/aces
1981 match - 38.7% did

So the quality was about the same, as far as winners.

TMF
11-30-2010, 07:13 PM
Is this match is as good as borg v. mac in 1980 Wimbledon final?

I have a hard time believing any old school matches that can rival this one.

Mustard
11-30-2010, 07:26 PM
Is this match is as good as borg v. mac in 1980 Wimbledon final?

I have a hard time believing any old school matches that can rival this one.

The Borg vs. Gerulaitis match from 1977 Wimbledon is certainly better tennis. It's played at a very fast pace for a 1970s match, too.

WCT
11-30-2010, 08:05 PM
here are my stats on their 1981 Wimbledon meeting

Borg d Gerulaitis 76(4), 75, 76(6)

Borg served at 62% (68 of 109)
Vitas served at 60% (75 of 126)

Borg won 57 of 68 pts on 1st serve(84%)
He won 24 of 41 on 2nd(59%)

Vitas won 55 of 75 pts on 1st serve(73%)
He won 26 of 51 on 2nd(51%)

Borg had 45 non service winners: 14 fh, 7 bh, 7 fhv, 13 bhv, 4 ov
Vitas had 35: 7 fh, 4 bh, 14 fhv, 8 bhv, 2 ov

Borg had 19 passing shot winners: 14 fh, 5 bh
Vitas had 7: 3 fh, 4 bh

Borg had 7 aces, 2 df's
Vitas had 4 aces, 2 df's

Borg had 21 unreturned serves, 4 I judged service winners
Vitas had 26 unreturned serves, 2 I judged service winners

Borg was 2 of 7 on break points
Vitas was 1 of 4

Borg won 126 pts, Vitas 109

net pts

Borg 59/79(75%)
Vitas 71/110(65%)

serve & volley pts

Borg 46/57(81%)
Vitas 49/73(67%)

Look at those net stats for Borg. Granted, Gerulaitis wasn't known for a great return, but 80% on serve and volley.

I never saw this match. Back then, HBO wasn't showing the live matches. Most of the time it was an hour highlight show at night although they did show the entire Borg/Connors semi on tape delay. Borg made some brilliant low backhand volleys in that match.

He volleyed very well in the finals as well. He only was broken once, maybe twice, I think.

krosero
11-30-2010, 08:07 PM
Is this match is as good as borg v. mac in 1980 Wimbledon final?

I have a hard time believing any old school matches that can rival this one.The '77 semi is better continuous tennis for 5 sets. That's how the match was often referred to even after 1980 -- as one of the best Wimbledon matches in history for all 5 sets, maybe the best. The '80 final had that 6-1 first set.

It depends somewhat on what you consider great tennis, though. I think the serving is a good deal better in the '80 match, in terms of aces, service percentages, streaks won on serve, everything.

Plus, the basic drama of the tiebreak and the match points in the '80 final.

krosero
11-30-2010, 09:08 PM
Look at those net stats for Borg. Granted, Gerulaitis wasn't known for a great return, but 80% on serve and volley.And Borg has more winners from volleys/overheads than from groundstrokes (that wasn't true in the '77 match).

He volleyed very well in the finals as well. He only was broken once, maybe twice, I think.He was broken just twice; so was Mac.

pc1
12-01-2010, 06:23 AM
Is this match is as good as borg v. mac in 1980 Wimbledon final?

I have a hard time believing any old school matches that can rival this one.

My subjective opinion is that the 1977 Wimbledon match against Gerulaitis is a better match than the more famous 1980 Wimbledon match. Gerulaitis may have played the best match of his life and lost!

One major factor in my opinion is that Borg was healthy for this match and he wasn't healthy for the 1980 Wimbledon match against McEnroe. I've read accounts that Borg had a torn stomach muscle for the 1980 Wimbledon match.

When I saw Borg play matches in the 1978 and 1979 Wimbledon, his power was notably greater on serve and groundstrokes.

And Borg has more winners from volleys/overheads than from groundstrokes (that wasn't true in the '77 match).

He was broken just twice; so was Mac.

When you look at the stats and just looking at Borg matches in general during his prime, you realize that it's a myth that Borg hardly ever approached the net. I've read accounts in which noted tennis experts would write things like "Borg would only go to the net to pick up his winner's check at Wimbledon" or at least something like this. Borg had a pretty effective net game on any surface in my opinion.

borg number one
12-01-2010, 06:57 AM
Thanks for this great thread Krosero. Great job, again! Here's the DVD, Bjorn Borg - Legends of Wimbledon. See the very end of Part 2 and the beginning of Part 3 below in particular. Borg barely escaped here and went on to win Wimbledon title #2 against Connors in ANOTHER five setter. He viewed this title as validation of the fact that he was a "good" grass court player in his words. This time, he defended the title and beat Connors in the final, so there was little doubt of that after 1977.

Bjorn Borg-Legends of Wimbledon (Wimbledon DVD Collection)

(Part 1)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1694076/5681964

(Part 2)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1694418/5686082

(Part 3)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1694791/5681794

(Part 4)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1695359/5682850

(Part 5)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1695735/5683378

(Part 6)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1702965/5702564

(Part 7)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1695987/5684466

http://www.ustashop.com/v/vspfiles/photos/VHD32-2T.jpg

http://theselvedgeyard.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/31mcenroe.jpg?w=600&h=356

krosero
12-06-2010, 06:33 PM
A few days ago Tennis Channel repeated its Best of Five "Pigeons," and poor Gerulaitis, they've got him at #1 twice.

5) Lendl-Gilbert
4) Federer-Roddick
3) Henin-Kuznetsova
2) Seles-Sanchez Vicario
1) Borg-Gerulaitis and Connors-Gerulaitis

And of course they talked about the famous quip, "Nobody beats me 17 straight." Steve Flink was interviewed; he talked a little bit about the press conference at MSG in which Gerulaitis made the quip after beating Connors. And he called it one of the most misreported lines in tennis, because he said years later everyone remembers it was about Borg.

Others who were interviewed mentioned different numbers for the streak (we did this a while ago in another thread: if you Google the quip, it comes up as several numbers: 16, 17, 19, etc.) Flink says it was 16 straight losses to Connors; and he says that Borg never lost to Gerulaitis.

One note on the stats: the program has Connors beating Gerulaitis 16 times in a row, so we know they're using stats from the time period; you can't get that number if you go by the current ATP/ITF websites. But for Borg-Gerulaitis they go with the current information on the ATP website: 16-0 lifetime (not the ITF's 17-0), instead of the records of the time period which have Borg beating Gerulaitis as many as 20 times.

I guess they did it that way because at the end they say that Borg never did get a chance to beat Vitas Gerualitis 17 times in a row. In fact Borg did just that, only a few months after Vitas made his famous quip.

pc1
12-06-2010, 06:54 PM
A few days ago Tennis Channel repeated its Best of Five "Pigeons," and poor Gerulaitis, they've got him at #1 twice.

5) Lendl-Gilbert
4) Federer-Roddick
3) Henin-Kuznetsova
2) Seles-Sanchez Vicario
1) Borg-Gerulaitis and Connors-Gerulaitis

And of course they talked about the famous quip, "Nobody beats me 17 straight." Steve Flink was interviewed; he talked a little bit about the press conference at MSG in which Gerulaitis made the quip after beating Connors. And he called it one of the most misreported lines in tennis, because whenever people remember it the number of victories always changes.

We did this a while ago in another thread: if you Google the quip, it comes up as several numbers: 16, 17, 19, etc.

And the opponent is often mentioned as Borg, and Flink said everyone thinks of that rivalry because Borg dominated Gerulaitis so famously that he actually never lost to him.

One note on the stats: the program has Connors beating Gerulaitis 16 times in a row, so we know they're using stats from the time period; you can't get that number if you go by the current ATP/ITF websites. But for Borg-Gerulaitis they go with the current information on the ATP website: 16-0 lifetime (not the ITF's 17-0), instead of the records of the time period which have Borg beating Gerulaitis as many as 20 times.

I guess they did it that way because at the end they say that Borg never did get a chance to beat Vitas Gerualitis 17 times in a row. In fact Borg did just that, only a few months after Vitas made his famous quip.

I'm trying to find the quote in which Jack Kramer mentioned that he beat someone by some obscene one sided number without losing to him but I haven't had the time to check his book out.

Vines beat Cochet every time that met and Nusslein beat Cochet every set they played.

Cochet was still pretty good when Vines was beating him but I think he may have been over the hill when Nusslein beat him.

So Cochet was a pigeon for two players.

Incidentally I've been watching some of the 1977 Borg/Gerulaitis Wimbledon match when I have some spare time over the last couple of days. What rallies.

krosero
12-06-2010, 07:03 PM
I'm trying to find the quote in which Jack Kramer mentioned that he beat someone by some obscene one sided number without losing to him but I haven't had the time to check his book out.

Vines beat Cochet every time that met and Nusslein beat Cochet every set they played.

Cochet was still pretty good when Vines was beating him but I think he may have been over the hill when Nusslein beat him.

So Cochet was a pigeon for two players.So Cochet's case is actually worse than Gerualitis, who got a few victories over Connors (79 Masters, 80 RG).

And Cochet's a great player, but they mention in Best of 5, how you can be a great player and still find yourself dominated by someone else, at least for a time period.

In fact they gave Nadal-Federer an Honorable Mention (the program was made just before Federer's recent win).

And throughout the program they showed images of players like Chris and Martina, Graf and Sabatini, etc.

krosero
12-06-2010, 07:29 PM
Which brings up an interesting question, which is the most impressive very one sided matchup in tennis history? Is it Borg/Gerulaitis? Is it Laver/Ashe? Is it Federer/Roddick? I think Rosewall had some one sided matchups with Stolle and Olmedo. Maybe it's Federer/Soderling.

I think Jack Kramer in his book claimed to have a 55-0-1 record against one top player but I forgot who.

I think Laver was 22-3 against Ashe. Laver beat Ashe even in 1975 when Ashe was number one. Here's the ITF website head to head which is far from complete.

LAVER, Rod (AUS)

Versus Arthur ASHE (USA)
Year Tournament Round Surface Winner Score
1968 Wimbledon SF Grass (O) R.LAVER 7-5 6-2 6-4
1969 Wimbledon SF Grass (O) R.LAVER 2-6 6-2 9-7 6-0
1969 U.S. Open SF Grass (O) R.LAVER 8-6 6-3 14-12
1970 Los Angeles SF () R.LAVER 6-0 6-3
1970 Masters Singles Carpet (I) R.LAVER 6-3 6-2
1971 WCT Philadelphia SF () R.LAVER 6-3 7-6 3-6 6-1
1971 Rome SF Clay (O) R.LAVER 6-3 6-2 6-1
1971 WCT Bristol SF Grass (O) NP
1971 WCT Bologna FR () R.LAVER 6-3 6-4 6-4
1971 WCT Finals SF () R.LAVER 6-3 1-6 6-3 6-3
1972 WCT Richmond SF () R.LAVER 6-2 7-6
1974 WCT Philadelphia FR () R.LAVER 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-4
1974 WCT Palm Desert SF () R.LAVER 6-7 7-6 6-2
1975 WCT Puerto Rico FR () R.LAVER 6-3 7-5
1976 WCT Rotterdam SF () A.ASHE 7-5 5-7 2-6Laver-Ashe looks similar to Fed-Roddick. Ashe and Roddick have 2 or 3 victories, but no major wins.

And Ashe and Roddick are very different players, but they're both big servers who have been faulted for their tactical games (until Ashe's tactics matured later in his career). Neither Laver nor Federer had problems with that kind of player.

In the long list of one-sided rivalries there are so many. Tilden-Johnston. Wills-Jacobs. Too many.

pc1
12-06-2010, 09:46 PM
Laver-Ashe looks similar to Fed-Roddick. Ashe and Roddick have 2 or 3 victories, but no major wins.

And Ashe and Roddick are very different players, but they're both big servers who have been faulted for their tactical games (until Ashe's tactics matured later in his career). Neither Laver nor Federer had problems with that kind of player.

In the long list of one-sided rivalries there are so many. Tilden-Johnston. Wills-Jacobs. Too many.

Jack Kramer claimed his record against Danny Pails was 55 wins 0 losses and 1 tie. We may have a winner here or in Pails' case, a loser.

BashTheMashIsBack
12-07-2010, 01:08 AM
10 chars. s. s.

borg number one
12-07-2010, 07:49 AM
What I loved about the match was that deep down there was a close friendship between the two men. (moment where gerulaitis releases an extra ball 'into play'!)

You are right about that. Borg says that he got a call from Vitas the very next morning, asking him if he'd like to practice before the Connors final. Borg says that from that day on, "they were best friends" and that "they helped each other a lot". Borg practiced with Vitas after this epic semifinal, and then went on to play Connors in another five setter to take his second Wimbledon title.

kiki
12-07-2010, 11:35 AM
Borg d. Gerulaitis 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 8-6

This match gets so many accolades as one of the best played at Wimbledon, it's a kind of standard.

Dan Maskell called it one of the greatest if not the greatest match he'd ever seen there.

Between them, Borg and Gerulaitis hit 132 clean winners (apart from service).

Borg hit 58 winners: 15 FH, 22 BH, 10 FHV, 6 BHV, 5 overheads.

Gerulaitis hit 74 winners: 13 FH, 11 BH, 24 FHV, 17 BHV, 9 overheads.

Gerulaitis may have hit more winners than any other man that Borg defeated in his five-year run at Wimbledon. His rate of winners per game (1.45) is higher than Connors would have in the final on Sunday (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=1889703&postcount=3).

It's even slightly higher than McEnroe's rate in the 1981 final (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=165964) over Borg (though McEnroe pulls ahead if aces are included).

It's just barely lower than Mecir's rate of winners when he lost to Edberg in that five-set semifinal in 1988 (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=1926705&postcount=41).

From Neil Amdur's report in the New York Times:

That game actually was at 1-2 in the third set. Gerulaitis held after 5 break points and 8 deuces. I counted 13 non-service winners, and there was also an ace -- a weird one that took place when Borg could not get out of the way of a serve and it hit his body rather than his racquet.

Amdur mentions the players' speed, and that was one factor in how many rallies they had, though I'm not sure it explains why so many rallies ended with winners. He mentions their anticipation; I don't know if the two had started practicing with each other yet or become best friends.

(Borg did not yet own Gerulaitis. Their two previous matches had gone to ultimate third sets. After this meeting, they met in four Slams, and every one of those matches went in straight sets to Borg).

Maskell, more than once after a great rally, lamented what he said were widespread complaints about serve-and-volley tennis on grass not producing great rallies.

He listed both service and return as particularly high in quality in this match. Both men were returning well, which may be a key to their high numbers of non-service winners.

Borg came in behind a lot of his second serves but not all. He stayed back only occasionally on first serve. Gerulaitis followed everything in.

So they got into a lot of rallies, but it was not because they were both staying at the baseline; usually one or the other was at net, sometimes both of them. When Borg played Connors in the 1981 semis (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=167445), by contrast, there was more mutual rallying from the baseline, which makes it harder for the point to end in a winner. Borg and Gerulaitis gave each other a target at net, which meant at least the possibility of more winners, either in the form of volleys or passing shots. And they pulled off the shots.

Borg’s winners came about 2-to-1 from ground strokes as opposed to volleys/smashes. Gerulaitis’ winners came 2-to-1 from the opposite direction.

Borg hit 5 winners off Gerulaitis’ second serve and 2 off his first. All of these returns were passes. In addition he passed Gerulaitis with 11 forehands (including one lob) and 18 backhands (including three lobs). Including the service returns, then, Borg passed Gerulaitis a total of 36 times.

(Lendl passed Wilander 38 times over the same number of games in the 1988 U.S. Open final).

Gerulaitis hit 2 winners off Borg’s second serve and 3 off his first. All of these returns were passes. In addition he passed Borg with 8 backhands (including one lob) and 8 forehands. Altogether he passed Borg 21 times.

Borg hit 3 aces, Gerulaitis 4.

Borg got a service return error from Gerulaitis 34 times – of which I judged 4 as service winners.

Gerulaitis got a service return error from Borg 40 times – of which I judged 6 as service winners.

Borg had 3 double-faults. Gerulaitis served 9 – but none in the last two sets.

Borg served at 57%, making 93 of 163 first serves. Gerulaitis served at 49%, making 93 of 190 first serves.

Gerulaitis had a harder time holding serve than Borg did – until the fifth set. In each of the first four sets, Gerulaitis had to serve out more points than Borg – but in the fifth Borg served 51 points, Gerulaitis only 39.

Borg won 177 points overall, Gerulaitis 176. Borg won 8 of the last 9 points, holding at love then breaking at 15.

Borg won 5 of 20 break points. In the last two sets he saw only two break points and won them both.

Gerulaitis won 4 of 11 break points.

Borg got his first serve into play on 7 of the 11 break points he faced (a rate of 64%, somewhat higher than his overall percentage).

Gerulaitis got his first serve into play on 7 of the 20 break points he faced (only 35%).

woow¡¡ many rate this match as one of the greatest all time, lining up with the 1972 WCT Finals.

kiki
12-07-2010, 11:36 AM
Amazing set of statistics: Gerulaitis hit 74 winners; Borg won 177 points overall, Gerulaitis 176.

I always felt kind of sorry for Gerulaitis against Borg. Both were incredibly fast players, but it seemed that Vitas could never beat his pal. (I think Vitas admired Borg too much.)

And Gerulaitis was such an excellent all-court (mostly S&V) player, with wonderful touch and an elegant flowing style. (I think he played with a Wilson Kramer Autograph.) I'm really glad he got that one GS win in 1977 at the December AO.

Plus a great NY sense of humor. What was that great joke: "Nobody, I mean nobody . . . beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row."

(Let's not get into a debate about who it was a response to.)

a true charachter in an era full of them.Borg,Connors,Mac,Vilas and a few others.He also won WCT Finals, which also was a big event, probably more prestigious than the AO at that time.

kiki
12-07-2010, 11:37 AM
And this was the closest he ever got to beating him -- partly because Borg became a dominating player after 1977.

He led in games here just once in the match, when he broke at 2-all in the fifth; but he got somewhat cautious then and was broken right back.

Same as the 1981 Masters Finals vs lendl...Remember?

kiki
12-07-2010, 11:40 AM
Was that indoors at MSG?

Sure, it could be it.But, Vitas also beat Connors at the 1980 FO, before playing Borg in the finals, so this could also be said in that particularly tournament.

kiki
12-07-2010, 11:47 AM
Biggest problem for Vitas was he really didn't have a "killer" shot - his speed was what set him apart as he was so fast but his serve could go south on him and his 2nd serve could be really stink - But he sure had some classics - My favorite was the 6 hr battle at the Italian Open vs Vilas -

I agree.He lacked a bit of a winning shot, an upgrade or two either in the serve or backstrokes.If that had happened, he´d have been, IMO, a superchampion and a multiple slam winner ( also, if he had the menthal strength required, which he did not show at the big events)

He had speed,tactics,stamina, played very well on any surface, be it clay , grass, indoor, hard.He beat quite a few times all his major opponents, except Borg.And was one of the flashier players to watch and a truly nice, funny guy.A real simbol of that golden era.

kiki
12-07-2010, 11:51 AM
The quote was after a victory over Connors at the Masters. As Moose says above, it was at MSG, and Mike Lupica claimed to be the journalist who asked Gerulaitis the question prompting the quip.

Sports Illustrated, January 21, 1980:




On the ATP and ITF websites Connors has only 13 straight victories by the time of the Masters loss in January 1980, but this is one of those cases where some matches from the early Open Era are not "officially" counted today (for example, the 1970 Dunlop tourney in which Laver beat Rosewall).

The ITF website includes their Davis Cup meeting in 1978, so they have 17-0. But even this is incomplete, because the press reported Borg getting his 17th win over Gerulaitis in Las Vegas, April 1980: before they had even played at the 1980 RG and 1981 W.

Gerulaitis never beat Borg, and the record may stand as high as 20-0.

Los Angeles Times just before they met at '81 Wimby:

If you count exhibitions, Vitas beat Bjorn in the 1981 Montreal Challenge.Of course, an exhibition but we all know Borg hated losing even in non official events so, at least for Gerulaitis this win must have been one of the sweetest for him¡¡

kiki
12-07-2010, 11:55 AM
Is this match is as good as borg v. mac in 1980 Wimbledon final?

I have a hard time believing any old school matches that can rival this one.

There are a lot of matches just as good or even better.The reason it is so famous, is because it was their first Wimbledon final and, of course, the most famous and breathtaking one that has ever been played.

But, even Bjorn and Mac have had better matches between them in terms of stroking brilliance.

kiki
12-07-2010, 11:57 AM
My subjective opinion is that the 1977 Wimbledon match against Gerulaitis is a better match than the more famous 1980 Wimbledon match. Gerulaitis may have played the best match of his life and lost!

One major factor in my opinion is that Borg was healthy for this match and he wasn't healthy for the 1980 Wimbledon match against McEnroe. I've read accounts that Borg had a torn stomach muscle for the 1980 Wimbledon match.

When I saw Borg play matches in the 1978 and 1979 Wimbledon, his power was notably greater on serve and groundstrokes.



When you look at the stats and just looking at Borg matches in general during his prime, you realize that it's a myth that Borg hardly ever approached the net. I've read accounts in which noted tennis experts would write things like "Borg would only go to the net to pick up his winner's check at Wimbledon" or at least something like this. Borg had a pretty effective net game on any surface in my opinion.

True.Borg has gone to the net quite many more times than Federer , the best volleyer today, ever has...and Borg retired at 25 while Federer is still playing at 29....

kiki
12-07-2010, 12:00 PM
Thanks for this great thread Krosero. Great job, again! Here's the DVD, Bjorn Borg - Legends of Wimbledon. See the very end of Part 2 and the beginning of Part 3 below in particular. Borg barely escaped here and went on to win Wimbledon title #2 against Connors in ANOTHER five setter. He viewed this title as validation of the fact that he was a "good" grass court player in his words. This time, he defended the title and beat Connors in the final, so there was little doubt of that after 1977.

Bjorn Borg-Legends of Wimbledon (Wimbledon DVD Collection)

(Part 1)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1694076/5681964

(Part 2)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1694418/5686082

(Part 3)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1694791/5681794

(Part 4)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1695359/5682850

(Part 5)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1695735/5683378

(Part 6)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1702965/5702564

(Part 7)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1695987/5684466

http://www.ustashop.com/v/vspfiles/photos/VHD32-2T.jpg

http://theselvedgeyard.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/31mcenroe.jpg?w=600&h=356

This is a gem, Borg Nº1...It still amazes me how Borg moved around the court, like dancing and floating.I call him the Nureyev of tennis and I cannot think of any player I´ve seen to move so graciously.

Moose Malloy
12-07-2010, 05:51 PM
5) Lendl-Gilbert
4) Federer-Roddick
3) Henin-Kuznetsova
2) Seles-Sanchez Vicario
1) Borg-Gerulaitis and Connors-Gerulaitis


strange choices for the women. a 16-2 edge for Henin & 20-3 for Seles really aren't close to being the most lopsided rivalry in womens tennis. Navratilova was 33-1 vs Garrison. 39-3 vs Shriver.

WCT
12-07-2010, 07:14 PM
And Borg has more winners from volleys/overheads than from groundstrokes (that wasn't true in the '77 match).


True, but he did serve and volley quite a bit in the 77 final, just a bit less than 81. The 79 semi was the Wimbledon match versus Connors where Borg didn't serve and volley as much.


He was broken just twice; so was Mac.

That's right. There as another break.
Borg was up a break in the third, 4-1 IIRC, it ended in a tiebreaker. That means Mac broke him twice. Still, twice in 4 sets with 2 tiebreakers isn't much.

Borg versus Federer. On occasion, I have seen Federer come in about as much as Borg would indoors or on a hard court. But I don't think he does it as much as he used to.

Someone brought up Connors/Gerulaitis, and it's true that after the 80s Masters match Gerulaitis beat him multiple times. Almost like that was a breakthrough match for him.

krosero
12-07-2010, 08:01 PM
strange choices for the women. a 16-2 edge for Henin & 20-3 for Seles really aren't close to being the most lopsided rivalry in womens tennis. Navratilova was 33-1 vs Garrison. 39-3 vs Shriver.I think they just wanted some newer faces. Those numbers by Garrison and Shriver are practically approaching Kramer-Pails territory. You could throw Evert-Shriver in there too.

kiki
12-09-2010, 01:33 PM
Which brings up an interesting question, which is the most impressive very one sided matchup in tennis history? Is it Borg/Gerulaitis? Is it Laver/Ashe? Is it Federer/Roddick? I think Rosewall had some one sided matchups with Stolle and Olmedo. Maybe it's Federer/Soderling.

I think Jack Kramer in his book claimed to have a 55-0-1 record against one top player but I forgot who.

I think Laver was 22-3 against Ashe. Laver beat Ashe even in 1975 when Ashe was number one. Here's the ITF website head to head which is far from complete.

LAVER, Rod (AUS)

Versus Arthur ASHE (USA)
Year Tournament Round Surface Winner Score
1968 Wimbledon SF Grass (O) R.LAVER 7-5 6-2 6-4
1969 Wimbledon SF Grass (O) R.LAVER 2-6 6-2 9-7 6-0
1969 U.S. Open SF Grass (O) R.LAVER 8-6 6-3 14-12
1970 Los Angeles SF () R.LAVER 6-0 6-3
1970 Masters Singles Carpet (I) R.LAVER 6-3 6-2
1971 WCT Philadelphia SF () R.LAVER 6-3 7-6 3-6 6-1
1971 Rome SF Clay (O) R.LAVER 6-3 6-2 6-1
1971 WCT Bristol SF Grass (O) NP
1971 WCT Bologna FR () R.LAVER 6-3 6-4 6-4
1971 WCT Finals SF () R.LAVER 6-3 1-6 6-3 6-3
1972 WCT Richmond SF () R.LAVER 6-2 7-6
1974 WCT Philadelphia FR () R.LAVER 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-4
1974 WCT Palm Desert SF () R.LAVER 6-7 7-6 6-2
1975 WCT Puerto Rico FR () R.LAVER 6-3 7-5
1976 WCT Rotterdam SF () A.ASHE 7-5 5-7 2-6

Connors vs Lendl during the late 70´s - early 80´s.I think Lendl had to wait till their 11 th match to beat Connors.By that time, he had already beaten Borg in 5 sets, and was clearly owing Mac Enroe,Vilas....

krosero
12-27-2010, 11:37 PM
here are my stats on their 1981 Wimbledon meeting

Borg d Gerulaitis 76(4), 75, 76(6)

Borg served at 62% (68 of 109)
Vitas served at 60% (75 of 126)

Borg won 57 of 68 pts on 1st serve(84%)
He won 24 of 41 on 2nd(59%)

Vitas won 55 of 75 pts on 1st serve(73%)
He won 26 of 51 on 2nd(51%)

Borg had 45 non service winners: 14 fh, 7 bh, 7 fhv, 13 bhv, 4 ov
Vitas had 35: 7 fh, 4 bh, 14 fhv, 8 bhv, 2 ov

Borg had 19 passing shot winners: 14 fh, 5 bh
Vitas had 7: 3 fh, 4 bh

Borg had 7 aces, 2 df's
Vitas had 4 aces, 2 df's

Borg had 21 unreturned serves, 4 I judged service winners
Vitas had 26 unreturned serves, 2 I judged service winners

Borg was 2 of 7 on break points
Vitas was 1 of 4

Borg won 126 pts, Vitas 109

net pts

Borg 59/79(75%)
Vitas 71/110(65%)

serve & volley pts

Borg 46/57(81%)
Vitas 49/73(67%)I saw this match a few days ago, and I don't think there were as many great rallies as in the '77 semifinal. The rate at which points ended with winners was more or less the same, going by our stats, but the rallies didn't seem as long in '81. Just a first impression.

Also I noticed Gerulaitis staying back on almost all his second serves. He did try to work his way in if he got a chance later in the rally, but in '77 he was going to net directly behind all of his serves.

So that might be one reason he kept his double-faults down in the '81 match: he wasn't following his second serves in and didn't need to take risks with them.

He served just two double-faults and they came in the tiebreaks, so they were due to nerves.

Anyway this '81 match is a little unusual because every other time we've done stats for Gerulaitis (77W, 79USO, 80RG), he's got a lot of double-faults and few aces, if any.

krosero
01-10-2011, 11:01 PM
Here's the Connors vs. Gerulaitis head-to-head as far as I can see:

Jimmy Connors 17-4 Vitas Gerulaitis
1974 Roanoke SF: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-4, 6-4)
1974 Little Rock SF: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-2, 6-1)
1974 Salt Lake City F: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (4-6, 7-6, 6-3)
1975 Salisbury F: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (5-7, 7-5, 6-1, 3-6, 6-0)
1975 Hamilton, Bermuda F: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-1, 6-4)
1976 US Open R16: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-4, 6-3, 6-1)
1976 WCT Challenge Cup SF: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 6-1)
1978 Pepsi Grand Slam SF: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-2, 6-4)
1978 WCT Rotterdam SF: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (4-6, 6-4, 6-4)
1978 Wimbledon SF: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (9-7, 6-2, 6-1)
1979 Birmingham, Alabama SF: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (7-6, 6-2)
1979 WCT Dorado Beach RR: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-0, 6-4)
1979 WCT Dorado Beach F: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-5, 6-0, 6-4)
1979 Memphis SF: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (3-6, 6-3, 6-2)
1979 Tokyo Indoor SF: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-7, 6-2, 6-3)
1980 Masters SF: Vitas Gerulaitis def. Jimmy Connors (7-5, 6-2)
1980 French Open SF: Vitas Gerulaitis def. Jimmy Connors (6-1, 3-6, 6-7, 6-2, 6-4)
1981 Cincinnati R16: Vitas Gerulaitis def. Jimmy Connors (7-5, 7-6)
1982 Brussels SF: Vitas Gerulaitis def. Jimmy Connors (6-2, 7-5)
1983 Wembley QF: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-4, 6-2)
1985 Montreal R16: Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-4, 6-2)

Walkover matches
1975 New York F: Vitas Gerulaitis def. Jimmy Connors (Walkover)
1982 Toronto SF: Vitas Gerulaitis def. Jimmy Connors (Walkover)I was looking for your list, since we were talking about this rivalry in the other thread. You're right, one Connors victory is missing, which would make 16 wins in a row.

And their very first match was a Gerulaitis win, in December 1972 at the Clean Air Classic in New York (6-4, 4-6, 6-3).

When Vitas finally beat Connors again at the Masters, the AP and New York Times reported that it put him up 2-16 lifetime in the H2H, not including a victory by default in 1975.

That Masters tournament in Jan. 80 was really something of a breakthrough for Vitas. He lost to Borg again but beat McEnroe for the first time ever, and Connors for the first time in seven years.

In the calendar year 1980, Gerulaitis went 2-0 against Connors and 3-1 against McEnroe -- but 0-5 against Borg.

krosero
03-09-2013, 07:55 PM
Borg won 70 of 93 points on 1st serve (75%) and 34 of 70 on 2nd (49%).
Gerulaitis won 70 of 93 points on 1st serve (75%) and 47 of 97 on 2nd (48%).

Remarkably, each man won 70 of 93 points on first serve.

Borg won 9 straight first-serve points toward the end of the match: ie, he won 14 of his last 16 points played on first serve. It might not be an exaggeration to say that his first serve pulled him through in the end.

Gerulaitis won 13 straight first-serve points to end the fourth set and start the fifth. He had also won 11 straight to end the first set and start the second.

Borg’s longest overall streak on serve was 7 straight points, early in the second set.

Gerulaitis’ longest overall streak on serve was 8 straight points, closing the second set.

During one stretch in the third set the two men won 14 straight points on serve between them, starting with the last 3 points of that marathon 22-point game served by Gerulaitis.


These are the numbers for success on serve when serves were successfully returned (ie, in rallies):

Borg 62% on first serve (38/61) and 46% on second (28/61).
Gerulaitis 64% on first serve (41/64) and 44% on second (32/73).


Borg served on 163 points and 38 serves did not come back: 23.3%
Gerulaitis served on 190 points and 44 serves did not come back: 23.2%


Borg drew return errors with 29 first serves, 6 second serves.
Gerulaitis drew return errors with 26 first serves, 14 second serves.

Gerulaitis drew more return errors than Borg did on second serve, partly because Vitas went to second serve 97 times in the match compared to Bjorn’s 70. Nevertheless, even with that factor taken into account Gerulaitis was more likely than Borg to draw return errors with second serves. That was due to two things: Borg stayed behind on most second serves while Vitas almost invariably came in; and the Gerulaitis second serve was just more potent than Borg’s, in my opinion.

But both men came in behind first serves, and Borg drew slightly more return errors from first serves than Gerulaitis did. Both men put 93 first serves into the box.


Borg drew 29 FH and 9 BH return errors.
Gerulaitis drew 19 FH and 21 BH return errors.

Gerulaitis came close to making all his BH returns in the second set. But he slapped FH returns long throughout the match, hitting them too flat or even apparently with underspin.


Gerulaitis followed all his serves in, with a few exceptions on second serve. Probably the most important was in the fifth set; serving up a break at 3-2, 40-30, he stayed back and came in on a later shot but was passed.

Moose Malloy
03-11-2013, 07:53 AM
and the Gerulaitis second serve was just more potent than Borg’s, in my opinion.


now that's interesting(considering the reputation Vitas' 2nd serve has)

Goosehead
03-11-2013, 09:41 AM
borg sf here was the 2nd one looking at the shadows on court..and the finals back then were still on saturday so.....:)

..was borg's sf on thurs or friday evening if the final was saturday at 2pm.

borg number one
03-11-2013, 09:58 AM
borg sf here was the 2nd one looking at the shadows on court..and the finals back then were still on saturday so.....:)

..was borg's sf on thurs or friday evening if the final was saturday at 2pm.

It was on a Thursday Goosehead after looking on Google. Borg mentioned during an interview that he got a call from Vitas at his hotel the next morning asking if he wanted to practice and Borg was very happy that he did. Nice gesture given that Vitas had just lost that close match.

http://www.tennis.com/players/2012/06/this-date-in-wimbledon-history-june-30/36940/#.UT4Ma9aTxVk (includes a video link to the match)

Legends of Wimbledon: Bjorn Borg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoB9KnKn-vA

Goosehead
03-11-2013, 10:14 AM
It was on a Thursday Goosehead after looking on Google. Borg mentioned during an interview that he got a call from Vitas at his hotel the next morning asking if he wanted to practice and Borg was very happy that he did. Nice gesture given that Vitas had just lost that close match.

http://www.tennis.com/players/2012/06/this-date-in-wimbledon-history-june-30/36940/#.UT4Ma9aTxVk (includes a video link to the match)

Legends of Wimbledon: Bjorn Borg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoB9KnKn-vA

thanks :)a bit different to nowadays..thats a good quality vid too,
and good old dan maskell and his minimalist commentary (andrew castle take note)..so thurs evening 5 sets then sat afty 5 sets..more evidence of borgs amazing stamina,

i know you know this but i didnt..noticed borg came from 2 sets down v mark edmudson in 2nd round :shock:)..still had a bit of RG clay in his shoes.

MUST WATCH ledgends of borg wimbledon vid..

v/o patrick allen did v/o for scary uk govt nuclear war 'Protect and Survive' public info films from early 80s..
"In the event of a nuclear attack, you and your family must take cover"..etc..but enough of cold war video nastys.

borg number one
03-11-2013, 10:25 AM
You're welcome and thanks Goosehead. Yes, love the commentary in the video. That Legends video is very cool. You'd enjoy it if you haven't seen it before. It gives you a real window into the placid enigma that is Bjorn Borg. That's a good point about the turnaround from the French Open to Wimbledon, but in 1977 Borg couldn't play the French Open due to his participation in WTT. It was a strange rule, but the Tour was turbulent in those days. Vilas took the '77 FO, but Borg won the 1978 FO with the loss of just 32 games total, beating Vilas handily in that final. Then, he went on to blitz Connors in the 1978 Wimbledon final in 3 sets, cementing his place as the top guy in the world and as the champ at both Wimbledon and the French Open.