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theagassiman
04-28-2009, 08:46 PM
I was just watching the Agassi v Wilander 1988 French Open Semi-Final, and I was really suprised to see how many times both players came to the net, especially Wilander.

Compared to players like Edberg, Becker, Lendl, Agassi, Sampras, e.t.c, where would you rank Wilander's volleys?

380pistol
04-28-2009, 10:22 PM
I was just watching the Agassi v Wilander 1988 French Open Semi-Final, and I was really suprised to see how many times both players came to the net, especially Wilander.

Compared to players like Edberg, Becker, Lendl, Agassi, Sampras, e.t.c, where would you rank Wilander's volleys?

Ahead of Lendl and Agassi, but behind Edberg, Sampras and Becker.

theagassiman
04-29-2009, 01:01 AM
Ahead of Lendl and Agassi, but behind Edberg, Sampras and Becker.

Are you sure about Becker?
I don't think his volleys were that great.

pc1
04-29-2009, 07:28 AM
Are you sure about Becker?
I don't think his volleys were that great.

I think Becker was a better volleyer than Wilander. Mats didn't have a bad volley but I thought Becker's volleys were more penetrating.

That's why Mats was so good, at his best he didn't have a weakness you could focus on and he was a very smart player who could change his game if necessary.

bluetrain4
04-29-2009, 01:40 PM
Wilander was a very good volleyer, and he came to net much more than I remembered.

I always remember him as a steady, smart, baseliner (which he certainly was), but he also had a flair for coming into net at the appropriate times. He knew how to end points at the net. He did, after all, win Slams on grass at the AO. I know the Kooyong grass was not as fast as Wimbledon, but it still required (as did the hardcourts at the USO) that Wilander change his game somewhat from his claycourt game.

I believe he has a Wimbledon doubles title.

Moose Malloy
04-29-2009, 03:41 PM
I was just watching the Agassi v Wilander 1988 French Open Semi-Final, and I was really suprised to see how many times both players came to the net, especially Wilander.


krosero & I did stats on this match

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=168798

what most shocked both of us was how much Agassi came to net that day(NBC said he came in 110 times!), not Wilander(he 'only' came to net around 40 times that day)

But Wilander in general came in a lot throughout his career(really almost everyone in the 80s did to some degree, it was a very different game from the 90s, clean winners from the baseline outside of passing shots were still not that common, esp on clay. it says a lot about wilander's retrieving ability that agassi had to hit so many volleys that day - he simply couldn't get the ball past him)

one of my favorite stats: wilander came to net 131 times vs lendl in the '88 USO final(krosero did stats on this as well)

that's more than stepanek or any so called 'serve & volleyer' comes in today(fed came to net only 75 times vs nadal in last year's w final)

it makes sense, mats had very little power, how else was he going to hit winners vs other baseliners back then? jusy relying completely on your opponents making ue's is a tough way to win.

here were stats I took on the '84 Wilander-Curren AO Final:

Wilander had 47 non service winners: 16 FH, 8 BH, 3 FHV, 15 BHV, 5 OV


as you can see almost half his winners came at the net.

my stats on the '85 Wilander-Lendl FO Final:

Wilander had 39 winners: 5 fh, 7 bh, 9 fhv, 11 bhv, 7 ov


27 of his 39 winners were at net! on clay!

It's interesting how certain players are remembered, often inaccurately(even by former players/media. I wonder what mats would say if someone told him he came to net more than stepanek does, he probably wouldn't believe you)

The definition of 'all courter' & 'serve & volleyer' has changed so much over the years(like Fed being known as an 'all courter' even though he came to net less on grass - even in the sampras match - when compared to Ivan Lendl!)

By the stats I took(& my own observations) Mats certainly qualifies as an allcourter, maybe more than anyone today does(he probably volleys better too)

Borgforever
04-29-2009, 03:56 PM
IMO an absolutely great post by Moose Malloy!

I sincerely tip my hat and bow before the scalpel-like intelligence in your above written observations.

Rabbit
04-29-2009, 04:59 PM
Wilander was a very good volleyer, and he came to net much more than I remembered.

I believe he has a Wimbledon doubles title.

Yes, he does. And if you ask him which Major title he thinks is his greatest, he'll tell you that Wimbledon doubles title. He also will tell you his partner for that title, Nystrom, had the best return of serve of anyone. Wilander was emphatic on that point, even when I asked him about Connors and Agassi.


one of my favorite stats: wilander came to net 131 times vs lendl in the '88 USO final(krosero did stats on this as well)


Yeah, I still remember that match. Late in the 4th set and throughout the 5th, Wilander didn't sit down. One of the commentators said it was because he was trying to show Lendl how fit he was and the other reasoned that it was probably because he was afraid of cramps and not being able to get up. He went on to say that Wilander's pressed attack in that match, his trips to the net, were on the rise due to that fact as well.

Whatever it was, I remember Wilander pressing the attack at any opportunity. He definetly had it over on Lendl in that match. :) Great post, as usual, Moose.

hoodjem
04-29-2009, 07:25 PM
Yes, he does. And if you ask him which Major title he thinks is his greatest, he'll tell you that Wimbledon doubles title. He also will tell you his partner for that title, Nystrom, had the best return of serve of anyone. Wilander was emphatic on that point, even when I asked him about Connors and Agassi.
I saw Wilander and Nystrom play doubles against Becker and American Mike Leach at Wimbledon in 1985. The Swedes won, but could not believe Becker's power.

pc1
04-29-2009, 08:33 PM
I saw Wilander and Nystrom play doubles against Becker and American Mike Leach at Wimbledon in 1985. The Swedes won, but could not believe Becker's power.

One of the most enjoyable doubles matches I've ever seen was the match Yannick Noah and LeConte played against Becker and Bobo Zivojinovic at the U.S. Open that same year in 1985. Great volleys, great serving power by all. LeConte may have been the best player in the match. It was to fun. The crowd loved it. Team France reached the final and lost that infamous match to Seguso and Flach. I wonder if there has ever been two doubles teams that had such awesome servers playing. All four of them had to be among the most powerful servers in tennis.

Fedace
04-29-2009, 08:34 PM
DEAD LAST in my opinion. He has worse volleys than Nadal..

pc1
04-29-2009, 08:40 PM
krosero & I did stats on this match

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=168798



But Wilander in general came in a lot throughout his career(really almost everyone in the 80s did to some degree, it was a very different game from the 90s, clean winners from the baseline outside of passing shots were still not that common, esp on clay. it says a lot about wilander's retrieving ability that agassi had to hit so many volleys that day - he simply couldn't get the ball past him)

one of my favorite stats: wilander came to net 131 times vs lendl in the '88 USO final(krosero did stats on this as well)

that's more than stepanek or any so called 'serve & volleyer' comes in today(fed came to net only 75 times vs nadal in last year's w final)


Moose, I have that 1988 U.S. Open match and I think it's a fun match to watch. I didn't realize Mats went to the net that often in that match.

theagassiman
04-30-2009, 12:41 AM
krosero & I did stats on this match

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=168798

what most shocked both of us was how much Agassi came to net that day(NBC said he came in 110 times!), not Wilander(he 'only' came to net around 40 times that day)

But Wilander in general came in a lot throughout his career(really almost everyone in the 80s did to some degree, it was a very different game from the 90s, clean winners from the baseline outside of passing shots were still not that common, esp on clay. it says a lot about wilander's retrieving ability that agassi had to hit so many volleys that day - he simply couldn't get the ball past him)

one of my favorite stats: wilander came to net 131 times vs lendl in the '88 USO final(krosero did stats on this as well)

that's more than stepanek or any so called 'serve & volleyer' comes in today(fed came to net only 75 times vs nadal in last year's w final)

it makes sense, mats had very little power, how else was he going to hit winners vs other baseliners back then? jusy relying completely on your opponents making ue's is a tough way to win.

here were stats I took on the '84 Wilander-Curren AO Final:



as you can see almost half his winners came at the net.

my stats on the '85 Wilander-Lendl FO Final:



27 of his 39 winners were at net! on clay!

It's interesting how certain players are remembered, often inaccurately(even by former players/media. I wonder what mats would say if someone told him he came to net more than stepanek does, he probably wouldn't believe you)

The definition of 'all courter' & 'serve & volleyer' has changed so much over the years(like Fed being known as an 'all courter' even though he came to net less on grass - even in the sampras match - when compared to Ivan Lendl!)

By the stats I took(& my own observations) Mats certainly qualifies as an allcourter, maybe more than anyone today does(he probably volleys better too)

What I mean is , yes Agassi may have come to the net more times than Wilander, but Wilander was supposed to be the more defensive player, the guy who tried to outlast everyone, that is why I was more suprised to see him come to the net than Agassi.