First Serves Under Pressure

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by krosero, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Lendl converted only 1 of 16 break chances (6.3%) in that Dallas match, a very poor performance for him.

    It would be interesting to find out how many first serves McEnroe made on those break points. Was it a case of McEnroe saving them, or Lendl failing to convert break chances the way he normally did?

    Again there's a parallel with the '81 Wimbledon final: McEnroe and Borg each converted only 2 of 15 break points. There was no real failing there on Borg's part, because McEnroe made 12 of 15 first serves on break points.
     
    #51
  2. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    did they mention 1st serve %'s for either player during the match?
     
    #52
  3. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    They gave service percentages for each set.

    Set 1 - Lendl 51, Mac 60
    Set 2 - Lendl 51, Mac 69
    Set 3 - Lendl 39, Mac 55
    Set 4 - Lendl 77, Mac 41 (after 7 games)

    I think they have mac's wrong in set 2, because they also said that after two sets he was serving at 51% for the whole match. And they said he had 3 df's in total at that point, but they had already given him 5 df's in the first set.

    Some confusion there in set statistics and match statistics.

    Lendl's numbers look ok.
     
    #53
  4. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Similar match at 1988 RG
    Lendl d. Mac 6-7 (3), 7-6 (7), 6-4, 6-4

    Lendl made 5 of 10 first serves in the tiebreaks (50%). By tiebreak:

    1 of 5
    4 of 5 (he missed one first serve, and then made it, when the point was replayed)

    McEnroe made 4 of 10 first serves in the tiebreaks (40%). By tiebreak:

    1 of 5
    3 of 5

    In that opening tiebreak each player lost the only point on which he made his first serve; they lived on their second serves entirely. Lendl won only 1 of 4 points on second serve; McEnroe won 3 of 4.

    In the next tiebreak each man lost 1 point on first serve so again the difference was in the second serve. Lendl won his only second serve point; McEnroe lost both of his.


    ESPN's service percentages in each set:
    Set 1 - Lendl 47, Mac 55
    Set 2 -Lendl 63, Mac 69
    Set 3 - Lendl 60, Mac 52
    Set 4 - Lendl 95, Mac 67
     
    #54
  5. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Another outstanding performance was when Courier went up two sets on Sampras at the '95 AO.

    Sampras won 6-7 (4), 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-4, 6-3


    Courier made 8 of 10 first serves in the tiebreaks (80%). By tiebreak:

    4 of 5 (no mini-breaks of any kind)
    4 of 5 (no mini-breaks of any kind)

    Sampras made 5 of 11 first serves in the tiebreaks (45%). By tiebreak:

    3 of 6 (he won all 3)
    2 of 5 (he lost both)
     
    #55
  6. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Another great one: Federer d. Djokovic, 2007 USO final,
    7-6 (4), 7-6 (2), 6-4

    Federer made 7 of 9 first serves in the tiebreaks (78%). By tiebreak:

    3 of 5 (winning 2 of the 3)
    4 of 4

    So Federer won 6 of 7 points started on his first serve: on all 6 he forced a BH return error from Djokovic (4 times with serves I judged as service winners).

    From 15-40 in his last service game of the second set Federer had made every first serve and won every service point: he ended with 9 straight first serves and 13 straight points won on serve.

    Djokovic made 6 of 11 first serves in the tiebreaks (55%) . By tiebreak:

    2 of 6 (winning 1 of the 2)
    4 of 5 (winning 2 of the 4)
     
    #56
  7. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    1993 Wimbledon final
    Sampras d. Courier
    7-6 (3), 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 6-3

    Sampras made 5 of 12 first serves in the tiebreaks (41.7%). By tiebreak:

    4 of 5 (no mini-breaks of any kind)
    1 of 7

    Courier made 5 of 12 first serves in the tiebreaks (41.7%). By tiebreak:

    2 of 5 (he won 1 of the 2), missing his last three
    3 of 7 (he won all 3)

    In that second-set tiebreak Sampras played only one point on first serve, and won it, but he got by almost entirely on second serve, winning 5 of 6 such points. Three of his second serves were unreturned, and one was an ace.

    So Sampras lost only 1 service point in that tiebreak, and it was just enough, since Courier lost two -- both on second serve.
     
    #57
  8. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    1994 Wimbledon final
    Sampras d. Ivanisevic
    7-6 (2), 7-6 (5), 6-0

    Sampras made 7 of 11 first serves in the tiebreaks (63.6%). By tiebreak:

    3 of 5 (no mini-breaks of any kind)
    4 of 6 (he won all 4)

    Ivanisevic made 5 of 10 first serves in the tiebreaks (50%). By tiebreak:

    1 of 4
    4 of 6 (he won 3 of the 4)

    So Sampras won 7 of 7 points when he made his first serve in the tiebreaks.

    Ivanisevic won 4 of 5 points when he made his first serve. The only one he lost was on the final point of the second tiebreak, putting him down two sets to love.
     
    #58
  9. Jeffrey573639

    Jeffrey573639 Semi-Pro

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    Just wondering how did Fed go in that 07 Wimbledon final?
     
    #59
  10. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    2009 USO final
    Del Potro d. Federer
    3-6, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2

    Del Potro made 6 of 12 first serves in the tiebreaks (50%). By tiebreak:

    3 of 6 (no mini-breaks of any kind)
    3 of 6 (no mini-breaks of any kind)

    Federer made 6 of 11 first serves in the tiebreaks (54.5%). By tiebreak:

    3 of 6 (the only mini-break was on a first serve)
    3 of 5 (the only mini-break was on a second serve)
     
    #60
  11. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    2003 Wimbledon final
    Federer d. Philippoussis
    7-6 (5), 6-2, 7-6 (3)

    Federer made 4 of 11 first serves in the tiebreaks (36%). By tiebreak:

    1 of 6 (he lost only one service point, on a second serve)
    3 of 5 (he lost only one service point, in a first serve)

    Philippoussis made 8 of 11 first serves in the tiebreaks (73%). By tiebreak:

    5 of 6 (he lost one first serve and one second serve)
    3 of 5 (he lost two on first and one on second)

    So Federer won 3 of the 4 points on which he made his first serve, but he really won on his second serve, winning 6 of 7 such points (85.7%)

    Philippoussis made, in my judgment, the only UE’s in the tiebreaks: 4 in the first tiebreak and 3 in the last. He had 5 unreturned serves (4 in the first tiebreak), compared to 4 for Federer.
     
    #61
  12. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    2004 Wimbledon
    Federer d. Roddick
    4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (3), 6-4

    In the tiebreak:

    Federer made 4 of 5 first serves (winning 3 of the 4).
    Roddick made 4 of 5 first serves (winning 2 of the 4), missing only on set point.

    Federer lost only 1 service point, on a first serve. Roddick lost his last three service points, two on first serve.

    There were 4 unreturned serves in the tiebreak, all on the first four points, split between the two players.
     
    #62
  13. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    2005 Wimbledon
    Federer d. Roddick
    6-2, 7-6 (2), 6-4

    In the tiebreak:

    Federer made 2 of 5 first serves (losing 1 point on first and 1 on second)
    Roddick made 2 of 4 first serves (he lost all his service points).

    There were no unreturned serves in this tiebreak.
     
    #63
  14. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    2006 Wimbledon final
    Federer d. Nadal
    6-0, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (2), 6-3

    Federer made 6 of 10 first serves in the tiebreaks (60%). By tiebreak:

    3 of 6 (winning 2 of those 3)
    3 of 4 (winning 1 of the 3)

    Nadal made 9 of 11 first serves in the tiebreaks (82%). By tiebreak:

    6 of 6 (winning 4)
    3 of 5 (his only mini-break was on a first serve)
     
    #64
  15. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    2007 Wimbledon final
    Federer d. Nadal
    7-6 (9-7), 4-6, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-2

    Federer made 9 of 13 first serves in the tiebreaks (69%). By tiebreak:

    6 of 8 (he won all 6)
    3 of 5 (he won all 3)

    Nadal made 8 of 13 first serves in the tiebreaks (62%). By tiebreak:

    5 of 8 (he won only 2 of the 5)
    3 of 5 (he won 2 of the 3)

    So Federer won all 9 points in which he made his first serve.
     
    #65
  16. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    2008 Wimbledon final
    Nadal d. Federer
    6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (8-10), 9-7

    Nadal made 12 of 15 first serves in the tiebreaks (80%). By tiebreak:

    5 of 6 (he won 4 of the 5)
    7 of 9 (he won only 3 of the 7)

    Federer made 11 of 15 first serves in the tiebreaks (73%). By tiebreak:

    6 of 6 (he won 5, including 4 aces)
    5 of 9 (he won 4 of the 5)

    This year Federer won 10 of 11 points in which he made his first serve (90.9%).
     
    #66
  17. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    2009 Wimbledon final
    Federer d. Roddick
    5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14

    Federer made 8 of 13 first serves in the tiebreaks (62%). By tiebreak:

    4 of 7 (he won all 4)
    4 of 6 (his only mini-break was on a first serve)

    Roddick made 9 of 13 first serves in the tiebreaks (69%). By tiebreak:

    5 of 7 (he made 5 in a row through the first set point then made no more)
    4 of 6 (he won 3 of the 4)

    This year Federer won 7 of the 8 points in which he made his first serve (88%). Roddick won 7 of 9 (78%).
     
    #67
  18. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    In his Wimbledon finals, Federer has won 11 of 12 tiebreaks, losing only one to Nadal in ’06.
     
    #68
  19. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    it was a double fault, if I might add ....
     
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  20. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    on break points
    Federer made 6 of 14 first serves
    Roddick made 6 of 10
     
    #70
  21. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Maybe a sign of nerves on Federer's part.
     
    #71
  22. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Bartoli made 7 of 8 1st serves when down break points today
     
    #72
  23. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I've found another one: Federer made all of his first serves over the course of two tiebreaks in defeating Djokovic at 2011 RG.

    Score: 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5)

    Federer made 12 of 12 first serves in the tiebreaks (100%). By tiebreak:

    6 of 6 (one mini-break)
    6 of 6 (one mini-break)

    Djokovic made 7 of 12 first serves in the tiebreaks (58%). By tiebreak:

    4 of 6 (two mini-breaks, both on first serve)
    3 of 6 (two mini-breaks, one on first serve)

    Each man made 5 UE's over the course of the two tiebreaks, but Federer's edge in winners was 7-3 (including a 3-1 lead in aces).
     
    #73
  24. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Bruguera made 5 of 5 first serves in the tiebreak he won against Sampras at 1996 RG, winning 4 of the 5.

    Sampras made 3 of 4 first serves (winning 2 of the 3).
     
    #74
  25. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    In his loss to Ferrer at Bercy a few days ago, Nadal made his first serve on 7 of 8 break points. He missed only on his last service point of the match, at 5-all in the second.
     
    #75
  26. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    I don't know whether this has been mentioned, and I know it's slightly off topic because it's not about serves under pressure, but in the 1988 US Open final, Wilander had a 100% first serve record until about halfway through the second set!
     
    #76
  27. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    ^^ That's true, he made 37 straight first serves. We posted a list somewhere, can't recall the thread. These are the highest streaks we've counted or have heard of:

    44 by Borg against Pecci in 1979 French Open final
    37 by Wilander against Lendl in 1988 USO final (and another 20 later in the match)
    33 by Pancho Gonzalez against Pasarell at 1969 Wimbledon, R128 (25 to start the fifth set)
    29 by Wilander against Leconte in 1988 French Open final
    27 at least by Davydenko to open his 2010 Doha win over Federer
    25 by Benneteau against Federer in 2009 Paris Masters, second round
    22 by Navratilova against Mandlikova in 1986 Wimbledon final
    22 by S. Williams against Hingis in a 2001 USO semifinal
    20 by Smith against Newcombe in the 1971 Wimbledon final
    19 by Wilander against McEnroe in a 1982 Davis Cup quarterfinal
    16 by Ivanisevic in the fifth set against Agassi, 1992 Wimbledon final
    16 by Zvereva against Graf in the 1988 French Open final
    16 by Connors against Borg in a 1981 Wimbledon semifinal
    15 by Lendl against McEnroe in a 1988 French Open match
    15 by Smith in a semifinal against Rosewall at 1974 Wimbledon
    15 by Connors against Ashe in the 1975 Wimbledon final
    15 by Connors against Borg in a 1981 USO semifinal

    Consecutive first serves are a form of good serving under pressure, if it's a big match -- and if you're not taking too much off the first serve just to get it in. Some streaks by Connors, to take just one example, would fall into the latter category.
     
    #77
  28. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Nobody missed a first serve yesterday in the 7-2 tiebreak that Federer won over Del Potro at WTF.

    Federer went 5 for 5 (and lost no service points), Delpo 4 for 4.

    Between them they served 3 aces, I think.

    They were nearly as good in their Basel final a few weeks ago. Delpo won the first-set tiebreak 7-3. Nobody missed a first serve until Federer did, on the last point.

    These two are definitely among the best at making first serves under pressure.
     
    #78
  29. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I think this is everything we have for Sampras:

    1992 RG QF, lost to Agassi
    Sampras made his first serve on 5 of 10 break points (50%). When facing break point, he won 3 of 5 on first serve (60%) and 1 of 5 on second (20%).

    1993 Wimbledon QF, d. Agassi
    Sampras made his first serve on 7 of 11 break points (64%). When facing break point, he won 5 of 7 on first serve (71%) and 2 of 4 on second (50%).

    1993 Wimbledon final, d. Courier
    Sampras made his first serve on 1 of 2 break points (50%). When facing break point, he won 0 of 1 on first serve (0%) and 0 of 1 on second (0%).

    1993 USO final, d. Pioline
    Sampras made his first serve on 1 of 3 first serves (33%). When facing break point, he won 0 of 1 on first serve (0%) and 1 of 2 on second (50%).

    1995 AO final, lost to Agassi
    Sampras made his first serve on 7 of 21 break points (33%). When facing break point, he won 5 of 7 on first serve (71%) and 11 of 14 on second (79%).

    1995 USO final, d. Agassi
    Sampras made his first serve on 5 of 6 break points (83%). When facing break point, he won 3 of 5 on first serve (60%) and 1 of 1 on second (100%).

    1995 Davis Cup final, d. Chesnokov
    Sampras made his first serve on 3 of 10 break points (30%). When facing break point, he won 2 of 3 on first serve (67%) and 3 of 7 on second serve (43%).

    1995 Davis Cup final, d. Kafelnikov
    Sampras made his first serve on 5 of 7 break points (71%). When facing break point, he won 3 of 5 on first serve (60%) and 2 of 2 on second (100%).

    1996 AO R32, lost to Philippoussis
    Sampras made his first serve on 2 of 6 break points (33%). When facing break point, he won 1 of 2 on first serve (50%) and 4 of 4 on second (100%).

    1996 RG SF, lost to Kafelnikov
    Sampras made his first serve on 8 of 13 break points (62%). When facing break point, he won 5 of 8 on first serve (63%) and 3 of 5 on second (60%).

    1996 Wimbledon QF, lost to Krajicek
    Sampras made his first serve on 2 of 5 break points (40%). When facing break point, he won 1 of 2 on first serve (50%) and 2 of 3 on second (67%).

    1996 Stuttgart final, lost to Becker
    Sampras made his first serve on 9 of 14 break points (64%). When facing break point, he won 8 of 9 on first serve (89%) and 2 of 5 on second (40%).

    1996 Masters Cup RR, lost to Becker
    Sampras made his first serve on 2 of 3 break points (67%). When facing break point, he won 1 of 2 on first serve (50%) and 1 of 1 on second (100%).

    1996 Masters Cup final, d. Becker
    Sampras made his first serve on 3 of 5 break points (60%). When facing break point, he won 3 of 3 on first serve (100%) and 1 of 2 on second (50%).

    1998 USO SF, lost to Rafter
    Sampras made his first serve on 4 of 6 break points (67%). When facing break point, he won 2 of 4 on first serve (50%) and 0 of 2 on second (0%).

    2001 AO SF, lost to Agassi
    Sampras made his first serve on 10 of 13 break points (77%). When facing break point, he won 9 of 10 on first serve (90%) and 1 of 3 on second (33%).

    2001 Wimbledon R16, lost to Federer
    Sampras made his first serve on 10 of 14 break points (71%). When facing break point, he won 8 of 10 on first serve (80%) and 3 of 4 on second (75%).

    2001 USO final, lost to Hewitt
    Sampras made his first serve on 7 of 13 break points (54%). When facing break point, he won 5 of 7 on first serve (71%) and 2 of 6 on second (33%).

    2002 USO final, d. Agassi
    Sampras made his first serve on 6 of 12 break points (50%). When facing break point, he won 6 of 6 on first serve (100%) and 4 of 6 on second (67%).


    All break points saved:

    1990 USO final, d. Agassi
    Sampras made his first serve on 1 of 3 break points (33%).

    1993 Wimbledon SF, d. Becker
    Sampras made his first serve on 4 of 6 break points (67%).

    1994 Wimbledon final, d. Ivanisevic
    Sampras made his first serve on 2 of 2 break points (100%).

    1997 Wimbledon final, d. Pioline
    Sampras made his first serve on 0 of 1 break point.

    1997 Grand Slam Cup final, d. Rafter
    Sampras made his first serve on the only break point he faced.

    1999 Wimbledon final, d. Agassi
    Sampras made his first serve on 4 of 4 break points (100%).

    2000 Wimbledon final, d. Rafter
    Sampras made his first serve on 1 of 2 break points (50%).

    2001 USO QF, d. Agassi
    Sampras made his first serve on 2 of 3 break points (67%).

    Outstanding stat for Sampras at '95 AO.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
    #79
  30. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    just came across this, I wonder if there is a place to see how all the top male players have done in this stat during the AO


    http://www.si.com/tennis/2015/01/30/mailbag-sharapova-serena-murray-berdych
     
    #80
  31. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I've found more from Segura, in an interview he gave in August '57. It was in the November '57 edition of World Tennis:

    The touring pros were interviewed at Vittel by a sportswriter from L’Equipe, who asked each player in turn his most pleasant and his worst experience in tennis. Lew Hoad said his best memory was of the 1956 Wimbledon final when he trailed Rosewall 1-4 in the fourth set, then took five consecutive games and allowed Ken only three points to win the title. His most unpleasant memory was his match against Ham Richardson at Forest Hills when he pulled out a deficit of two sets to none, 5-1 and 40-0, and then was beaten in five sets. Rosewall said his best experience was over Hoad at Forest Hills in 1956. His most unpleasant experience was facing Gonzales across the net. Pancho Segura remembers the recent professional tournament in Australia where he won the biggest prize money ever to be offered in a tournament by beating Rosewall, Sedgman and Gonzales. His least pleasurable experiences in tennis were the leads he had on Gonzales’ serve—only to be aced.
     
    #81
  32. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Wawrinka made 7 of 10 1st serves when down break point today. His most impressive game was making 5 straight 1st serves and winning 5 straight points when down 0-40, 3-4 in the 4th.

    I was trying to remember other famous 0-40 comebacks in major finals, so far I can only come up with Becker vs Lendl at '86 Wimbledon(0-40, 4-5 down in 3rd set), any others?

    came across one - Woodforde was 0 for 13 vs Philippoussis at '99 Wimbledon, per the ATP site.
     
    #82
  33. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Not sure if this is what you meant as it is not pertinent to the OP on first serves. It is responsive to the question in bold.

    Evert came back from a 0-40 deficit at either 5-5 or 5-4 in the third set of the 85 RG final vs Navratilova to win 7-5. If I recall, she got a cheap error, hit an ace , reached a drop shot , and went on to win the game.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2015
    #83
  34. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I wonder if anyone knows how many first serves he made in the quarters against Federer; he saved all 4 break points he faced.
     
    #84
  35. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Stan did it last year in the AO final, serving out the first set from love-40.

    A few months earlier in the USO final Nadal escaped love-40 in the third set, in that game where he tripped and fell.

    McEnroe held from love-40 twice in the fifth set against Borg, 1980 Wimb (not sure if you were speaking only of players who won the match).

    Possibly an interesting stat to study. Might be a strong correlation between doing this and going on to win the match.

    It certainly strikes a psychological blow.

    Yep, at 5-all in the third. Next year in the rematch Evert held from love-40 to serve out the second set.
     
    #85
  36. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    thanks

    do you remember which games this happened in? I'm gonna start a new thread.
     
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