Pat Cash's 1987 Wimbledon win

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by sandy mayer, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. sandy mayer

    sandy mayer Rookie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    260
    I remember the 1987 Wimbledon very clearly and I think Pat Cash's performances were out of this world.

    I've heard people say he only won because Becker got knocked out early, but I'm of the view that this kind of talk is unfair.

    Becker was obviously the greater player but Cash was a very worthy Wimbledon champion.
     
    #1
  2. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,064
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    It's Becker fault for losing to Doohan, so I don't see how that argument can be used really. Cash beat the 7 guys in front of him, and dropped just 1 set in total. Becker must be blamed for failing to get past the R64 (Becker's worst Wimbledon result ever), not Cash's achievement questioned because Becker got knocked out early.
     
    #2
  3. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,387
    Becker was not playing very well heading into Wimby; he barely got past Connors at Queens the week before. Cash really played some fine tennis; he beat Wilander, Connors and Lendl, in succession. Not exactly chopped meat there! And, he had lost to Connors just the week before at Queens, so that just tells you how much he stepped up his game. His S&V game was really spot on.

    Update: according to Wiki, Cash beat both Curren and Edberg in straight sets prior to losing to Connors at Queens; clearly he was finding his range.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1987_Stella_Artois_Championships_-_Singles
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
    #3
  4. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    In 1986 Cash beat Wilander to reach the W QF...just 3 WEEKS AFTER HAVING SERIOUS SURGERY¡¡¡
     
    #4
  5. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,863
    You can only beat who's in front of you, but I don't think Cash would've beaten Becker had they met in '87(it would have been in the semis) I thought the Doohan match was pretty high quality, Doohan pretty much played out of his mind.
    Who knows what the result would've been if it was on Center Court instead of Court 1, many are a bit intimidated by that court. The old Court 1 had to be a bit annoying for players, crowd noise from Center often drowned out points played on it(and Lendl was playing an exciting 5 setter at the same time on Center, so the atmosphere on 1 was quite noisy at times)

    I have the Becker-Cash QF from '88 W on dvd, Cash was a great grasscourter but when Becker was on, he was close to unbeatable. So much more power off every shot.

    'not playing very well?' I think that's stretch, he did win Queens, right? was he supposed to double bagel everyone there or something?
    And I've heard many players say Queens played very differently from Wimbledon. I watched that Queens final recently & I don't think I've ever seen Becker stay back on 2nd serve in any match he played in his Wimbledon career as he much as he did in that Connors match.

    Regardless, Becker was a HUGE favorite with the bookies to 3 peat at Wimbledon that year.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
    #5
  6. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,645
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Cash did not stand up straight until the match was over. He was down in the knees-bent volleying position for the entire three sets.

    And it worked!
     
    #6
  7. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,064
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    He certainly was, and the All England Club even made Becker the number 1 seed above Lendl.
     
    #7
  8. sandy mayer

    sandy mayer Rookie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    260
    I did watch the Cash Becker 88 Wimbledon match but don't remember it much at all. What was it that Becker did that gave him superiority? When comparing the two players I think Cash moved significantly better and was definitely the better volleyer (Becker was good but Cash was better). Becker definitely had the better serve.

    becker definitely had the better ground game but I always felt Cash had a good groundstroke game for grass then in that he passed and lobbed very well and knew how to hit approach shots.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
    #8
  9. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,645
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    And Lendl was the world no. 1 at that time, but seeded second (back when surface differences mattered).
     
    #9
  10. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,863
    whether any of that is true is irrelevant. Becker showed a new, brutally efficient way of playing on grass(one that Sampras perfected) - serve big & return big. Stuff like better volleys & better movement really didn't matter as much when you had to face that, this wasn't the 70s anymore(I think Cash would have been a better fit there, he was sort of a throwback, even in 1987)
     
    #10
  11. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,579
    Newcombe picked Lendl over Cash in the final.
     
    #11
  12. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,064
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    Newcombe and Cash don't get on at all.

    From Cash's autobiography:

     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
    #12
  13. Backhanded Compliment

    Backhanded Compliment Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,816
    I watched that match... that year nobody was playing quite as well as Pat Cash during Wimbledon. He was simply better, he didnt succumb to nerves so therefore he won. I didnt want Lendl to win.
     
    #13
  14. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Messages:
    133
    Cashie was brilliant in '87 but injuries really robbed him of greatness. Two classic 5s losses in the AO final to Wilander and Edberg were a bit cruel. He deserved at least one of them. And of course was an absolute legend in Davis Cup competition. He did brilliantly given those injuries and really was exceptional at Wimbledon coming back from injury. I was especially proud of him a few seasons where he fought his way through the qualifying tournament to earn a spot in the main draw. It really meant something to him, competing at Wimbledon.
     
    #14
  15. Stuart S

    Stuart S New User

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    I recall Cash at Wimbledon in 1987 very well (doesn't seem like 25 years ago - now that's scary!!).

    What struck me most about him in that tournament was his semi v. Connors. Cash, from the net, was just amazing. Connors did NOT have a bad game - he just caught Cash on a very good one.

    I recall too, only two weeks previously, Connors had beaten Cash at Queen's Club on grass (7-6, 6-4). Which is why I (a lifelong Connors fan) looked forward to the Wimbledon semi with optimism.

    But on the day, Cash dominated from the net as I had never seen before. Time after time, Connors unleashed what looked for all the world like a winning passing shot. But not only would Cash get to the shot, he'd angle it away for a winner. A truly amazing performance for a 6-4, 6-4, 6-1 victory.

    The final is what everyone seems to recall... a very long opening set (73 minutes), a tense Lendl throwing away 4 set points in the third, Cash's triumphant clamber into the crowd, etc etc. But as I said, it's that semi that sticks most in my mind.
     
    #15
  16. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,192
    Location:
    L. Island, NY
    I bet if you polled the top 100 players in the world at the time 90% of the m would have had the same sentiment.
     
    #16
  17. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,192
    Location:
    L. Island, NY
    That was the first time anyone had ever done that. IT was cool. Too bad it wasn't the last
     
    #17
  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    I agree.But, on old low bouncing, ultra fast grass, I´ll tell you a secret I learned playing in the Royal Windmill Hill tennis courts, near Eastbourne, with pro coaches from Aus&NZ ( of the eraly 80´s): the first think you need to succed on grass, is a feeling with it, not getting upset for bad bounces and, most of all, a feeling of being comfortable on that turf.After you have it, then there is the S&V mechanics ( more important than a mere big serve, which only helped Ivanisevic but nobody else), the dinks and chips, the returns to the feet, so on...but, you need to feel comfortable.

    Do you know, at the very end the difference between Becker and Lendl? as easy as this: Becker grew up playing football in the south of Germany, Lendl never put a foot on anything softer than a street.That is so simple as that.

    Becker was a very ehavy , not fast on legs, erratic footwork guy, yet he succeded so much at Wimbledon .Yes, booming serve, booming returns and whatever but, do you know what really caught me when I first saw Becker on grass ( against Leconte at the 1985 SF) ? easy, how comfortable he felt and how much did he enjoy playing on it.

    The first think that I ever thought of this kid, the first time I saw him was, not his serve, not his gorundies, not his champion´s mind and pride: I told to myself, this guy, even with that body, is born to play on that turf.The moment that idea sank in my mid, I had no doubt he was gonna reign at Wimbledon for so long ( as he did, till Sampras showed up)
     
    #18
  19. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,863
    I really doubt Newcombe would offer his picks as a commentator based on any bias towards a player. Lendl was the favorite with the bookies, Newcombe wasn't going out on a limb.

    He certainly had a lot of good to say about Cash in the '84 USO SF. Newcombe seemed very excited by an Aussie doing well & expected great things from him. Cash always seemed like a strange dude, someone who got ticked off easily(his behavior after losing to Becker in '88 was really odd, Boris did nothing before, during or after the match to get him upset)
    He takes shots at almost everyone in that book, talk about dishing dirt.

    They were pretty upset with Cash & told him never to do it again. My times have changed there, still can't get over the fact they now have on court interviews. This is a tournament that used to disdain the yellow tennis ball for years after it was the norm everywhere else.

    just checked, apparently Becker was 4-6 to win that year. I don't believe Sampras was ever that heavy a favorite at Wimbledon(think Fed was 4-6 in '05 or '06)

    Cash was 14-1 prior to the tournament.

    These were the odds as of the quarterfinals

    Lendl 2-1
    Edberg 3-1(was 12-1 before the tournament)
    Cash 6-1
    Wilander 8-1
    Connors 8-1
    Bobo 12-1
    Leconte 12-1

    Look like Cash was favored over Wilander in the QF based on these odds. And that the winner of Lendl-Edberg was expected to win it all.
     
    #19
  20. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,387
    yes, he won, but not convincingly; as the defending Wimbledon champ and prohibitive favorite, he was on the verge of losing to a 35yr old Connors....not to take anything away from Jimmy, but this is a match Boris should've won in straight sets, if his game was really "on". Doohan did play incredibly well in the Wimbledon match, yes, but I don't think Boris was 100pct sharp. As opposed to Cash, who really looked like he was dominating his opponents.
     
    #20
  21. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,387
    Yes, this is well known; Newk really despised him and had no qualms about saying it to anyone who would listen
     
    #21
  22. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    It´s not just Wimbledon.Cash beat Lendl on grass at the 1986 AO semis.
     
    #22
  23. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,387
    Cash never really let Jimmy get any momentum and yes, he totally swarmed the net. Nothing got by him, and that's high praise when it's Connors on the other side. Jimmy seemed a bit flat that day, but I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that Cash gave him no openings. To me, he seemed like the best of the 4 players in those semis, on that given day (maybe not every day, but right then, the stars aligned in his favor).
     
    #23
  24. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,387
    Cash was better on grass than Lendl was, period.
     
    #24
  25. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,863
    you should probably watch the match(I did a thread on it recently) before deciding how Becker was playing that day. Sampras layed a big egg at Queens consistently before winning Wimbledon. Many of the favorites over the years just used Queens for practice, even if Becker lost early there, he still would have been a big favorite at Wimbledon.

    and what does Connors being 35 have to do with anything? he was the #4 player in the world in 1987, I don't think anyone should be expected to beat him in straight sets anywhere that year.

    Top players used to lose sets all the time, this wasn't 2012.

    You should watch the Edberg-Lendl semi. extremely high quality, was considered the real final by many. I don't believe it was aired in its entirety in the US(like Cash Connors was)

    Rain affected the schedule in the 2nd week, Connors had to play Pernfors(5 sets) & Bobo on consecutive days to get to semis.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
    #25
  26. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,192
    Location:
    L. Island, NY
    Moose ole pal I'm not sure if many posters around here actually saw tennis back then but they sure like to comment on it.
     
    #26
  27. Stuart S

    Stuart S New User

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    Yes, I recall that too. Connors' win over Pernfors has gone down as one of the most eye-popping comebacks ever (he was 1-6, 1-6, 1-4 down, somehow clawed back the third, then was 0-3 down in 4th).

    And the fact that he saw off that 6'6" human battering ram the very next day was truly amazing. Bobo whacked 25 aces, as I recall, but didn't even have a set to show for it. Connors prevailed 7-6, 7-5, 6-2.

    After watching those two matches 25 years ago, I remember thinking, "Jimbo, you're immortal".
     
    #27
  28. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,387
    LOL...I actually watched a LOT of tennis in 1987....but back then, HBO did not always show the entire matches at Wimby. Usually just key parts. I would like to go back and watch the Queens Final again....I did watch that but, again 25yrs ago. I suppose it's not that Boris played badly, but as a 2 time champ, he was not expected to have trouble against Connors. But, as I recall, it was one of those days when Jimmy was playing very, very well. So, on some level, he was making Boris look bad. And, 35, is well, 35. You are not going to bring your A game each and every day. To his credit, at that age Connors was not only the #4 player in the world, but the Top US player at that time, while Mac was off on some mental bender.
     
    #28
  29. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,192
    Location:
    L. Island, NY
    But then the minute Connors loses no one gets any credit because Jimmy was old. maybe jimmy should have gone 0-70 in 1987 to spare everyone the supposed embarrassment
     
    #29
  30. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,387
    I saw much of the Pernfors match and was completely amazed; similar to the '91 comeback against Pat Mac, perhaps even more surprising. That is one of the all time comebacks in tennis history. But, that's Connors for you. I did not see the Bobo match, but was completely shocked that he straight-setted the guy; he was incredibly dangerous. Connors had a very good year in '87, even if it did not materialize any titles for him.
     
    #30
  31. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,387

    I suppose it's relative to who he was playing at the time...i.e. 35yr old Connors can pull off miracles against a Pernfors and appear ageless, but when he is crushed by top ranked Lendl, he is "old"....But, I think 35 is old, regardless if it's a win or a loss. I think the Lendl comparison is always a thorny one because of when he peaked in his career (i.e. a late bloomer), Connors' best days were behind him. Nonetheless, there were a few close ones against Lendl in the late 80's; they were not all blowouts.

    To play that well at that age, well you don't see it all that much in the Open era (particularly when hard surfaces began to dominate--thus, more injuries, less longevity). Only a handful of others were near the top of the game after 30yrs of age. It will be interesting to see how well Fed holds up....
     
    #31
  32. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,064
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    It has to be the best comeback. As you say, Connors not only recovered from 1-6, 1-6, 1-4 down to take the third set, but also recovered from 0-3 down in the fourth set as well and ended up taking the match in 5 sets.

    Wasn't it 6-3 in the third set? My results archive says Connors won 7-6, 7-5, 6-3 against Zivojinovic. An impressive win against a dangerous grass-court player.

    Immortalised as a tennis legend, certainly.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
    #32
  33. Stuart S

    Stuart S New User

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    Yep, Mustard, thanks for the correction. Thanks also for reminding me of "Bobo's" real name! Seems a lot easier to recall his nickname!
     
    #33
  34. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,064
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    I could be wrong, but isn't Bobo short for Slobodan?
     
    #34
  35. Stuart S

    Stuart S New User

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    Yes, I've checked him out. It was indeed 'Slobodan'. He was 6'6" and used his full height and reach on every serve. I recall he was only 22 when he took on Connors in 1987. A massive 12-year age advantage... and Jimbo still saw him off. Amazing.
     
    #35
  36. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    By all means...but Lendl defeated a younger Cash at the 1983 AO...
     
    #36
  37. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    The same Bobo that almost beats Lendl, one year earlier in a very very tough Wimbledon semifinal.if he had reached the final, he´d have meet his close friend and doubles partner Boris Becker ( what a terrific power doubles team¡¡)

    And Zivo, two years earlier, had knocked out from the Australian Open, a peak John mc Enroe, and thus reached hiss econd GS semifinal on grass...
     
    #37
  38. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,387
    good point; what was he, 18 then? Lendl was not a bad grass court player, I just always felt the top guys were far more comfortable than him and the best S&V players could certainly outgun him. I was never keen on his strategy to switch to the S&V game on grass; I thought it was absurd, frankly. He was so solid from the back court it just seemed unnatural for him.
     
    #38
  39. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,387
    He was one big dude; I remember seeing him in person and being intimidated....some people felt he was a real contender at Wimbledon. But, a big server running into Connors on a day when his eye is on the ball and he's returning well makes for a tough day for just about anyone playing S&V tennis.
     
    #39
  40. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,192
    Location:
    L. Island, NY
    He wasn't so solid from the backcourt at Wimbledon. His return game and passing shots there were not good enought to win it.
     
    #40
  41. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,064
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    At 1983 Wimbledon too. Of course, in 1983, Wimbledon took place before the Australian Open, so 1983 Wimbledon was the first of their six meetings in a major.

    1983 Wimbledon R16: Ivan Lendl def. Pat Cash (6-4, 7-6, 6-1)
    1983 Australian Open R16: Ivan Lendl def. Pat Cash (7-6, 6-3, 6-3)
    1984 US Open SF: Ivan Lendl def. Pat Cash (3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 7-6)

    1987 Australian Open SF: Pat Cash def. Ivan Lendl (7-6, 5-7, 7-6, 6-4)
    1987 Wimbledon F: Pat Cash def. Ivan Lendl (7-6, 6-2, 7-5)
    1988 Australian Open SF: Pat Cash def. Ivan Lendl (6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2)
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
    #41
  42. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    Cash was around 19 when Lendl veat him in Melbourne.

    I agree on your comments on Ivan´s mistaking strategy.Borg was even more natural than hin at S&V, and still looked lost at the net...
     
    #42
  43. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    Nice recall on this hot rivalry.They have 3 wins apiece, having played on grass and hard courts...and always in the same 2 events.
     
    #43
  44. Stuart S

    Stuart S New User

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    Yes, for years Wimbledon stuck to the crazy 'white-only' tennis ball policy. I recall watching the 1984 Mac-Connors final and hardly being able to see the white ball in the blinding sunlight.
     
    #44
  45. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    12,716
    Location:
    Carrboro, NC
    For kiki, I did a week at Windmill Hill in 1985, had a great time. It was the week before Wimbledon so the womens tourney at Eastbourne was going on and Hana Mandlikova was practicing at Windmill Hill although i dont think she was in the eastbourne tourney.
     
    #45
  46. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Messages:
    12,883
    Location:
    In the future
    I still can't believe he won that tournament playing with that old aluminum Prince racket that beginner wouldn't touch.:)
     
    #46
  47. SusanDK

    SusanDK Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    613
    I remember Becker had problems with his footing that day, and changed shoes at least once, if not more. He was slipping and went through a couple of his self-destructive outbursts.

    Jimmy almost won that match, and probably should have, but Becker managed to pull himself together and win. It turned on only a couple critical points.
     
    #47
  48. SusanDK

    SusanDK Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    613
    Was this just after he'd had his appendix removed?
     
    #48
  49. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    Great place.I did 2 weeks there, in 1983 and got to the NZ vs Sweden on grass, at Eastbourne.It pitted recent Wimbledon runner up, Chris lewis, against Mats Wilander and Henrik Sundstrom.

    The grass at Windmill was just kept in such a good condition as one expects of a top brit´s club, and even more in the early 80´s...
     
    #49

Share This Page