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View Full Version : Stats for Smith-Nastase (1972 Wimb final)


krosero
03-28-2008, 08:31 PM
Smith d. Nastase 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5

I'd never seen this one before. I actually enjoyed it more than Borg-Gerulaitis -- not for the first four sets, but definitely in the fifth. It's the fifth set of a match that sticks with you, and this one was not just close; I thought the two men raised their level at the start of it and kept bringing it up right to the end.

Maskell called it the greatest tennis match he’d seen since 1933 when Crawdord beat Vines in a five-set Wimbledon final. He added emphatically, “It was the most wonderful match that I shall ever see.”


My stats below.

Smith won 170 points overall, Nastase 166.

WINNERS

Smith hit 54 clean winners apart from service: 10 FH, 11 BH, 15 FHV, 11 BHV, 7 overheads.
Nastase hit 48 clean winners apart from service: 11 FH, 20 BH, 4 FHV, 1 BHV, 12 overheads.

(Note: I'm missing the end of one point won by Nastase).

Smith's winners by set: 10, 11, 8, 8, 17
Nastase's winners by set: 6, 11, 5, 11, 15

They hit 32 winners between them in the fifth set (a better rate than the fifth set of Borg-Gerulaitis).

Nastase's backhand was the winningest stroke of the match, with 20 winners.

In fact he had more winners from ground strokes than from volleys/smashes, even though both men came into net behind first and second serve. In the whole match Nastase put away only one backhand volley cleanly.

Smith had 5 service return winners, including two in the final game of the match. All were passes. In addition he passed Nastase with 7 forehands (including one lob) and 6 backhands. Altogether he passed Nastase 18 times.

Nastase also had 6 service return winners -- four of them with that backhand and all four on Smith's first serve. In addition he passed Smith with 7 forehands (including one lob) and 16 backhands (including 4 lobs). Altogether he passed Smith 29 times.

SERVICE

Smith won 108 of 179 points on his serve.
Nastase won 95 of 157 points on his serve.

Smith had 1 ace and 6 double faults. He made 31 other unreturned serves, of which I judged 3 as service winners.

Nastase had 4 aces [one on 2nd serve] and 5 double faults. He made 30 other unreturned serves, of which I judged 6 as service winners.

Smith served at 64%, making 115 of 179 first serves.
Nastase served at 60%, making 94 of 157 first serves.

Smith's percentages by set: 72, 50, 48, 71, 66
Nastase's percentages by set: 56, 57, 42, 71, 68

Smith put his first serve into play on 13 of 17 break points (76% of the time).
Nastase put his first serve into play on 4 of 13 break points (only 31%).

Smith converted 7 of 13 break points, Nastase 5 of 17.


ERRORS (forced and unforced)

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

Smith made 114 total errors. Of those I counted 30 return errors and 6 double-faults. That leaves him making 78 errors in points that had at least a successful return, that is, in rallies.

Nastase also made 115 total errors. Of those I counted 31 return errors and 5 double-faults. That leaves him making 79 errors in rallies.

hoodjem
03-29-2008, 06:55 PM
I (just barely) remember watching this match.

And I'm still glad that Smith won--beating Nasty. (Proved to me that good, consistent tennis beats cheating and head games anyday.)

BeHappy
03-29-2008, 07:15 PM
you going to put this up on youtube?

There is currently, as far as I know, no video of smith on the internet whatsoever.His being american would probably get you another mention on tennis.com

krosero
03-30-2008, 06:41 AM
you going to put this up on youtube?Perhaps some day if there's time.

krosero
03-30-2008, 06:51 AM
(Proved to me that good, consistent tennis beats cheating and head games anyday.)I'll give you that Stan was calm and collected, perhaps mentally stronger. Nastase was letting little things get to like line calls or noises in the stands. He often threw up his hands and talked to himself, looked around for support. But, that was about the worst he did.

Okay there was an instance where his coach seemed to be talking to him from the player's box. A referee came out and looked like he was trying to get Nastase's attention, as if he was going to remind him not to do that. The officials did not make a big deal out of it. Don't know if the referee reached him; the BBC telecast covered the changeovers and I don't recall him getting talked to.

I've barely seen him play, and I just found it ironic that he gets named as the reason for the 30-second rule, because I've never seen anyone, not even Graf, who moved on so quickly to the next point. He stopped for a few seconds if he didn't like a line call but other than that he was always stepping up to the line so quickly it was actually hard to take his stats without pausing.

Moose Malloy
03-31-2008, 02:23 PM
Smith won 108 of 179 points on his serve.
Nastase won 95 of 157 points on his serve.


has this happened much since you've started this project? I would think its not too common(a player who has to serve that many more points than his opponent, yet still wins the match)

looks like Nastase missed a lot of opportunities.

not for the first four sets, but definitely in the fifth.

did you think the 1st 4 sets had a low quality of play? or just low quality in comparison to the 5th?

I've barely seen him play, and I just found it ironic that he gets named as the reason for the 30-second rule, because I've never seen anyone, not even Graf, who moved on so quickly to the next point.

Yeah, I've only seen a few matches of his, he really didn't mess around. makes roddick & blake look like djokovic or nadal.

I wonder how much 'stalling' he really did when he misbehaved. Maybe it just seemed worse because he normally played so incredibly fast.

In general it seems like all the top players I've seen pre Mac(Laver, Ashe, Smith, Nastase, Rosewall, Newcombe, even young Connors) really didn't waste any times in between points, there was very little of the 'routines' we've seen many player do since the since the 80s(lendl, wilander etc)

I recall a USO match in the mid 80s where Tony Trabert seemed amused by the fist-pumping going on in a women's match(& it wasn't really much fistpumping, certainly not much by today's standards), saying, 'absolutely no one did that stuff in our day.'

I'm curious if some of the really older players(Budge? Hoad?) played even faster than Ashe, Nasty, etc. Nasty seems like he's almost quick serving his opponent at times.

have you seen the '72 USO final? its a partial match, but pretty great shotmaking, was thinking of doing stats for that one. Just got a (partial) copy of the '68 USO final(from Rick) & Okker & Ashe are playing incredibly fast as well.

wish there was more Nastase available on the internet(esp on clay, his best surface, I can only imagine the shots he could come up with on that surface), he was an amazing talent.

Okay there was an instance where his coach seemed to be talking to him from the player's box. A referee came out and looked like he was trying to get Nastase's attention, as if he was going to remind him not to do that

I wonder if there were any actual rules against coaching back then. I watched the '82 Vilas-Connors USO SF recently, & Tony Trabert said it was legal for coaches to give hand signals, just not verbal signals!

I imagine many conduct rules that officials never thought of had to be created when the game went open. And I'm sure those rules were tinkered with over the years.

krosero
03-31-2008, 10:00 PM
has this happened much since you've started this project? I would think its not too common(a player who has to serve that many more points than his opponent, yet still wins the match)The same as with the volley winners in the Gerulaitis thread, I don't have this data in a list form so I'm not sure. Offhand I can't recall it happening.

However this match was extremely close; with a few more points it would have gone to Nastase; so I don't know if it's meaningful that the winner served more points.

I do know that the longest games of the match were on Smith’s serve. Nastase never had to serve more than 10 points in one game. By contrast Smith held at 2-all in the first set after 16 points, and got broken at 4-all after 16 points again. He opened the fourth set with a 14-point game. And at 2-all in the fifth he held after 20 points.

Just looking at the break points, you're right, Nastase missed more opportunities than Smith did.

did you think the 1st 4 sets had a low quality of play? or just low quality in comparison to the 5th?Just in comparison to the fifth.

In general it seems like all the top players I've seen pre Mac(Laver, Ashe, Smith, Nastase, Rosewall, Newcombe, even young Connors) really didn't waste any times in between points, there was very little of the 'routines' we've seen many player do since the since the 80s(lendl, wilander etc)During the '88 USO final, Carillo was talking about how Nastase gave rise to the 30-second rule; then they interviewed Nasty and got his rebuttal (not sure I understood it myself). Anyway she said the irony of the rule was that it made matches longer. And that makes sense; once that rule was introduced, you knew you had 30 seconds. Why not take the time then? Any old tradition about getting on with it would go out the window.

have you seen the '72 USO final? its a partial match, but pretty great shotmaking, was thinking of doing stats for that one. Haven't seen it, the stats would be interesting.

I wonder if there were any actual rules against coaching back then. I watched the '82 Vilas-Connors USO SF recently, & Tony Trabert said it was legal for coaches to give hand signals, just not verbal signals!I don't know but Jack Kramer was calling the match and he said it was illegal; the coach was on camera, talking visibly and openly to Nastase.

krosero
03-31-2008, 10:04 PM
I don't know where I read it, whether in print or on this board, that Nastase never really misbehaved on court when he was playing two players -- Stan Smith and Bjorn Borg -- because neither one reacted in any way to anything extraneous that he did. They just ignored it.

Tennis old man
04-01-2008, 05:37 AM
Thanxs krosero!

slice bh compliment
04-01-2008, 05:41 AM
and both guys end up with an adidas shoe bearing their names (and faces).

Mr. Nastase referred to Smith as Godzilla at times.

krosero
04-02-2008, 10:07 AM
has this happened much since you've started this project? I would think its not too common(a player who has to serve that many more points than his opponent, yet still wins the match)There's one match that just came to mind, the '96 Masters Cup final:

Sampras served 179 points, Becker 165, per the ATP stats.

I didn't notice that at the time, because after '91 the ATP provides such stats and I often just jotted down the percentages without analyzing the numbers. But I did notice at the time that Sampras won fewer points overall than Becker, which made me think to check it now. There may be quite a few more matches we've done where the winner serves more points.

hoodjem
04-02-2008, 10:14 AM
Okay there was an instance where his coach seemed to be talking to him from the player's box.

Was this Tiriac?

krosero
04-02-2008, 10:53 AM
Was this Tiriac?Kramer said it was the captain of the Romanian Davis Cup team. He didn't know his name.

hoodjem
04-02-2008, 01:14 PM
I bet it was. Nastase and Tiriac were Davis Cup doubles partners alot in the late 60s and early 70s. (Often playing against Smith and Erik van Dillen. Indeed, in the Davis Cup world finals of 1972 USA vs. Romania, Tiriac and Nastase lost to Smith and van Dillen.)

Tiriac's one GS title was at the French in 1970 in doubles with Nastase.

Moose Malloy
04-02-2008, 01:24 PM
^It wasn't Tiriac.

krosero
04-02-2008, 01:45 PM
I bet it was. Nastase and Tiriac were Davis Cup doubles partners alot in the late 60s and early 70s. (Often playing against Smith and Erik van Dillen. Indeed, in the Davis Cup world finals of 1972 USA vs. Romania, Tiriac and Nastase lost to Smith and van Dillen.)

Tiriac's one GS title was at the French in 1970 in doubles with Nastase.this guy looked completely different from Tiriac. And Kramer would have recognized Tiriac.

hoodjem
04-02-2008, 02:00 PM
this guy looked completely different from Tiriac. And Kramer would have recognized Tiriac.

True. Tiriac is hard to miss.

Moose Malloy
04-02-2008, 02:36 PM
During the '88 USO final, Carillo was talking about how Nastase gave rise to the 30-second rule; then they interviewed Nasty and got his rebuttal (not sure I understood it myself). Anyway she said the irony of the rule was that it made matches longer. And that makes sense; once that rule was introduced, you knew you had 30 seconds. Why not take the time then? Any old tradition about getting on with it would go out the window.


There is a column by Steve Flink on the TC website that gives a little history on the time violation rules:

"Until 1979, "continuous play" was entirely up to the umpire but that year the 30 second rule was instituted."

krosero
04-02-2008, 07:28 PM
One more note I want to add about this match.

Both Maskell and Kramer used the term "ace" to refer to serves that were touched by the receiver's racquet, not just clean aces. When Maskell referred to a clean ace that Gerulaitis hit in the '77 semis, he used exactly that term: "it's his first clean ace." But "ace" by itself, in '72, could refer to serves touched by the receiver.

It reminds me of something Pancho Gonzales said when calling the Borg-Smith match in Hilton Head in 1974. Borg was drawing some return errors with powerful serves, and Pancho said that some people think that such shots are aces, “but they’re not. They’re forced errors.”

So there was some sort of debate about this back then, showing that there probably was no universally agreed-upon definitions for aces, forced errors, and perhaps later on, service winners (presuming that the last term was not already in use; it may have been).

hoodjem
04-03-2008, 06:57 AM
Both Maskell and Kramer used the term "ace" to refer to serves that were touched by the receiver's racquet, not just clean aces.

So what would happen to the ball on these "unclean aces"? If the receiver did touch the ball with his racquet, would it go awry or into the dirt or ricochet off at some bizarre angle.

Is there a common distinction that one could use to define a "clean ace" from an "unclean ace"?

urban
04-03-2008, 10:19 AM
I once read, that Nastase reacted to coaching gestures of Fred Perry in the Royal Box. Both had made a code of gestures beforehand, because Nastase had asked Perry for help. Problem was, that Perry wasn't in the Royal Box at the beginning of the match. Nasty couldn't find him, and he got nervous, resulting in continually changing rackets.Later Perry arrived, and Nasty got into the match. In the fifth Perry had to go to the BBC box, and Nastase lost it again.

krosero
04-03-2008, 10:20 AM
So what would happen to the ball on these "unclean aces"? If the receiver did touch the ball with his racquet, would it go awry or into the dirt or ricochet off at some bizarre angle.

Is there a common distinction that one could use to define a "clean ace" from an "unclean ace"?Probably the clearest example was at 2-1 in the second set: Nastase serves a ball that Smith puts into the net just below the tape; it’s called out, and Kramer says he thought the ball was an ace.

Earlier in the match, Kramer said that Smith had served only one ace, when he actually hadn't served a clean one and had gotten only two return errors. One return was into the net; the other was a wide return of a second serve as Stan came in.

Nastase served a ball that Smith returned into the ground, and Maskell said that he'd done that all through the championships when facing a break point, "pulled out an ace."

I don't see a common pattern there, unless "ace" covered what we mean today when we use the term "service winner": a kind of service return error that's been forced upon the receiver by a great serve.

The reason all this seemed worth commenting on is that I'd never seen balls into the net called aces. In the mid-80s NBC would sometimes judge as an ace a serve that made contact only with the edge of the receiver's racquet. But it surprises me to see returns into the net called aces.

As for a common distinction, apparently there was debate back then, as I said above in quoting Gonzales.

In recent matches when I do stats the only serves that I see are called aces, or counted as aces, are clean aces.

Moose Malloy
04-03-2008, 11:57 AM
However this match was extremely close; with a few more points it would have gone to Nastase; so I don't know if it's meaningful that the winner served more points.


Found another one, from my thread on the '90 FO final:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=173754

Agassi was 83 of 108 on 1st serves(77%)

Gomez was 77 of 131(59%)

So I think I may be overrrating the importance of a server having to serve more points, I didn't think this match was that close, despite Gomez having to work harder on serve.

Also, going back to our talk of service winners in the other thread, I recall NBC putting Gomez at a noticably higher winner count than I had after the 1st set of that match (when I did that thread I was only counting aces & non-servive winners) so I may take another look at it, to see their definition of service winner back then. I do recall, Edberg saying 'service winner' rather frequently during that set for Gomez's serves.

hoodjem
04-03-2008, 12:12 PM
Probably the clearest example was at 2-1 in the second set: Nastase serves a ball that Smith puts into the net just below the tape; it’s called out, and Kramer says he thought the ball was an ace. This is certainly very peculiar IMHO, to call a ball that the receiver has a play on (and simply misses) an "ace."



The reason all this seemed worth commenting on is that I'd never seen balls into the net called aces. In the mid-80s NBC would sometimes judge as an ace a serve that made contact only with the edge of the receiver's racquet. But it surprises me to see returns into the net called aces.
This situation does seem to correspond with my memory and experience.

krosero
04-03-2008, 12:33 PM
This is certainly very peculiar IMHO, to call a ball that the receiver has a play on (and simply misses) an "ace."I'd have to look at the video again, but Smith had to stretch for it and I think a person could reasonably judge that Smith was just beaten by that serve, with no play on it. Still it's weird, as you say, because it's not one of those service winners we might see that is clearly, unquestionably beyond play.

krosero
04-09-2008, 01:58 PM
Found another one, from my thread on the '90 FO final:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=173754

Agassi was 83 of 108 on 1st serves(77%)

Gomez was 77 of 131(59%)

So I think I may be overrrating the importance of a server having to serve more points, I didn't think this match was that close, despite Gomez having to work harder on serve.Came across another one in my notes today:

ATP stats for the 1999 W final,
Sampras served at 66%, making 76 of 114 first serves.
Agassi served at 44%, making 49 of 109 first serves.

[ETA - these stats are incorrect]

So like you I'm thinking there may be a good number of cases where the winner serves more points than the loser.

I thought this one was worth bringing up because it shows that even in a straight-set victory, the winner can appear to work harder on serve than the loser.

And I have to say "appear" for this case, because Sampras was not broken, while Agassi was broken 3 times. If you serve fewer balls than the winner, but you get broken 3 times while the other guy holds every time, it would be perfectly misleading to say that the winner worked harder on serve.

krosero
04-13-2009, 05:23 PM
It reminds me of something Pancho Gonzales said when calling the Borg-Smith match in Hilton Head in 1974. Borg was drawing some return errors with powerful serves, and Pancho said that some people think that such shots are aces, “but they’re not. They’re forced errors.”

So there was some sort of debate about this back then, showing that there probably was no universally agreed-upon definitions for aces, forced errors, and perhaps later on, service winners (presuming that the last term was not already in use; it may have been).

Probably the clearest example was at 2-1 in the second set: Nastase serves a ball that Smith puts into the net just below the tape; it’s called out, and Kramer says he thought the ball was an ace.

This is certainly very peculiar IMHO, to call a ball that the receiver has a play on (and simply misses) an "ace."

A few days ago I saw highlights of the 1954 Davis Cup Challenge Round. At 5-all, 30-40 in the fourth set of the doubles, Vic Seixas serves a ball that the narrator calls an ace; I can hear Rosewall's racquet thumping the ball offscreen.

True, this is just a narrator calling the shot an "ace." But it's interesting, and it hints that judgment calls in tennis may go back a long way.

The narrator said that in Trabert's victory over Hoad, there were 15 service breaks, with Hoad leading 11-2 in aces.

The score was 6-4, 2-6, 12-10, 6-3.

380pistol
04-13-2009, 09:40 PM
Came across another one in my notes today:

ATP stats for the 1999 W final,
Sampras served at 66%, making 76 of 114 first serves.
Agassi served at 44%, making 49 of 109 first serves.

[ETA - these stats are incorrect]

So like you I'm thinking there may be a good number of cases where the winner serves more points than the loser.

I thought this one was worth bringing up because it shows that even in a straight-set victory, the winner can appear to work harder on serve than the loser.

And I have to say "appear" for this case, because Sampras was not broken, while Agassi was broken 3 times. If you serve fewer balls than the winner, but you get broken 3 times while the other guy holds every time, it would be perfectly misleading to say that the winner worked harder on serve.

Wouldn't a more accurate way be pts served per service game, not total service points?? As on player can serve more games than another.

So it would be ....
Sampras - 114 serves in 16 service games (7.13 a game)
Agassi - 109 serves in 15 service games (7.27 a game)

krosero
04-13-2009, 09:54 PM
Wouldn't a more accurate way be pts served per service game, not total service points?? As on player can serve more games than another.Definitely that's more accurate; this was from a year ago and since then we've been noting whenever someone serves more games than his opponent.

Sampras actually served fewer points than did Agassi (93-98 ), so it's not even a question in this match.

krosero
05-30-2012, 06:22 PM
I've gotten additional stats, and made some slight corrections to the original post.

SUCCESS ON SERVE

Smith won 72 of 115 points on 1st serve (63%) and 36 of 64 on 2nd (56%). He had no long streaks on first serve. In fact his success on first serve was lower than his success on second serve, in both the second set (54% vs 62%) and in the fourth (52% vs 80%).

Nastase won 62 of 94 points on 1st serve (66%) and 33 of 63 on 2nd (52%). He won 12 straight points on 1st serve in the fourth set (which he won). That’s when he was putting everything he had into his serve, per Maskell.

In the first set Nastase had higher success on second serve (79%) than he did on first serve (67%); and he won the set. But in the second set, which he lost, he bottomed out on second serve (25%), going only 3-for-12.

Overall, Nastase did better on first serve than Smith did. Stan's edge, surprisingly, was on second serve. It might be an under-appreciated part of his game (his success on second serve was higher than Newcombe's, in the 1971 final (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=424238)).


RETURN ERRORS

Breaking down the 31 return errors that Smith drew:
- 25 first serves, 6 second serves
- 10 FH, 21 BH

Breaking down the 30 return errors that Nastase drew:
- 22 first serves, 8 second serves
- 9 FH, 21 BH

In the '71 final Smith had made far more BH return errors than Newcombe, but in this match, Smith and Nastase were tied in that category.

That's somewhat surprising, because if you asked anyone who had the better backhand between these two, they would probably say Nastase.

krosero
05-30-2012, 06:23 PM
Smith served on 179 points and 32 serves did not come back: 17.9%
Nastase served on 157 points and 34 serves did not come back: 21.7%

krosero
05-30-2012, 06:24 PM
Success on serve if you just look at the points on which the serve was successfully returned:

Smith 52% on first serve (46/89) and 58% on second (30/52).
Nastase 54% on first serve (37/69) and 49% on second (24/49).

Moose Malloy
06-04-2012, 06:11 PM
here is the complete match

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZezxpCqbI4

kiki
06-05-2012, 03:45 PM
I once read, that Nastase reacted to coaching gestures of Fred Perry in the Royal Box. Both had made a code of gestures beforehand, because Nastase had asked Perry for help. Problem was, that Perry wasn't in the Royal Box at the beginning of the match. Nasty couldn't find him, and he got nervous, resulting in continually changing rackets.Later Perry arrived, and Nasty got into the match. In the fifth Perry had to go to the BBC box, and Nastase lost it again.

Good one.Is it truth? I remember how Vilas and Tiriac created their code after on court coaching was forbidden...