Some stats for 1979 Wimbledon final (Borg-Tanner)

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by krosero, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,579
    Again, just winners for now, plus aces and doubles. Note: I’m missing Borg’s first service point of the match and the beginning of the next one (he won both).


    Score: Borg d. Tanner 6-7 (4), 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4


    Tanner served 15 aces and just 4 doubles.
    Borg served 4 aces and 3 doubles.


    Borg made 54 winners: 23 forehands, 18 backhands, 6 forehand volleys, and 7 backhand volleys.

    Tanner made 54 winners: 10 forehands, 5 backhands, 17 forehand volleys, 19 backhand volleys, and 3 overheads.


    Borg’s total of 54 was probably his highest in a Wimbledon final. The following year he would have 53 against McEnroe, but that final had 55 games (one of which was an unnaturally long tiebreak) compared to the 48 played against Tanner. So in that sense, 1979 was his best Wimbledon final.

    At any rate, his 54 winners barely exceed the 53 struck by Laver in the 1969 final. If you do the math and reduce Borg’s winners to match the 42 games of that final, Borg ends up with about 47 winners (his performance in 1980 reduces to about 38 ). That compares favorably with Laver, and a next interesting step might be to compare their unforced errors -- and for one person to do it so that the definition of unforced errors does not vary.


    Borg’s winners by set: 10, 7, 16, 7, 14.
    Tanner’s winners by set: 17, 6, 10, 7, 14.

    The third set was strange in that Borg led in winners, 16 to 10, but lost the set, 3-6.


    The disparity in their strengths was immense: 41-15 for Borg in ground strokes, 39-13 for Tanner in volleys/smashes.


    Tanner’s 39 volley/overhead winners exceed Laver's 27 in 1969 and McEnroe’s 32 in 1980, though not McEnroe's 45 in 1981 (these are all raw totals, unadjusted for number of games).

    But with 15 ground stroke winners he stands behind McEnroe’s 22 in 1980 and 19 in 1981 (and Laver’s 26).


    13 of Borg’s winners were service returns: 8 FH's and 5 BH's. All were passes. Only two were taken on first serve.

    3 of Tanner’s winners were service returns. One was a FH off a second serve, not a pass. The others were BH passes off first serve.


    25 of Borg’s winners were passing shots, apart from returns: 13 FH's and 12 BH's.

    4 of Tanner’s winners were passing shots, apart from returns: 3 FH’s and 1 BH.


    Additionally, Borg hit one winning BH lob. Tanner had a winning FH lob.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
    #1
  2. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,579
    Some fifth-set stats

    Borg served 0 aces and 1 double.

    Tanner served 4 aces (one on the second serve) and 1 double.

    Borg drew 12 return errors out of a possible 38. Tanner drew 7 return errors out of a possible 36.

    Borg made 30 of 38 first serves, or 79%. That was a better percentage than he would have in his fifth set against McEnroe.

    Tanner made 16 of 36 first serves, only 44%.

    Borg won 23 of 30 first-serve points, or 77%. He won only 2 of 8 points started on second serve, an astonishingly low 25%.

    Tanner won 11 of 16 first-serve points, a somewhat low 69%. He won 11 of 20 points started on second serve, or 55%, a figure normally high enough to win a match.

    Each man made 14 winners.

    Borg came in behind only 10 of 30 first serves, with an 8-2 winning record. He was forced to come forward when one of his second serves was returned short; he won that point. He got into net 5 other times (with a 3-2 record), all of them in his own service games. He never approached the net during Tanner's service games.

    Tanner came in behind all 35 of his serves (not including his df), with a 23-12 winning record. He was sometimes forced back and usually made it to the net again. He also approached the net 15 times in Borg’s service games, with a 9-6 record.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
    #2
  3. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,658
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    I remember watching this match. These statistics are surprising, given that Tanner was a super hard server--sort of the Roddick of his day. Also, like Roddick, my recollection was that he didn't have much to back it up if he didn't get an ace or unplayable serve.

    I guess memories are lovely but fallible.
     
    #3
  4. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,579
    I have found the same thing to be true. Sometimes the most interesting part of re-watching a match you saw years ago is comparing against your memories and impressions; and half the motivation for collecting stats is to compare them with what you think about the matches or the players.
     
    #4
  5. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,658
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Right on Krosero. Touche. Too often what we conclude and remember ain't exactly the truth.
     
    #5
  6. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,864
    This article says that Borg had "32 clean passing shot winners." Wonder what their definition of 'clean' was.

    http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1095143/2/index.htm
     
    #6
  7. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,579
    Maskell once used the term to mean no contact on a serve (a "clean ace"), and that's probably what it always means.

    Passing shots are tricky. Sometimes both players are up at the net, working with half-volleys and sharp angles. I'll count a winner as a passing shot in that case, so long as it's taken on the bounce. But does everyone count that way? I don't know.

    This was one of the first matches I did, and I can't even remember how I did it then, exactly.

    (And as one of the first I did, it's also more likely to contain errors on my part).
     
    #7
  8. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,579
    Per the Washington Post, Tanner made 91 of 167 first serves, or 54%.
     
    #8
  9. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,579
    New stats

    I have these new stats, and I've made minor corrections to the original two posts.


    Borg won 167 points overall, Tanner 152.

    Borg won 74% of points on first serve (73/99), and 62% on second (33/53).
    Tanner won 79% on first (70/89), and 46% on second (36/78 ).


    Borg served at 65%, making 99 of 152 first serves. By set:

    25/41 - 60.98%
    14/20 - 70.00%
    14/27 - 51.85%
    16/26 - 61.54%
    30/38 - 78.95%

    Tanner served at 53%, making 89 of 167 first serves. By set:

    25/43 - 58.14%
    7/18 - 38.89%
    23/44 - 52.27%
    18/26 - 69.23%
    16/36 - 44.44%

    The NY Times had Borg at 62%, Tanner at 57%. The Washington Post has Tanner making 91 of 167 first serves, or 54.5%.


    Borg converted 4 of 15 break points, Tanner 1 of 9.

    Borg got his first serve into play on 7 of 9 break points (78%). The only time he was broken it was on second serve.

    Tanner got his first serve into play on 9 of 15 break points (60%). He was broken twice on first and twice on second.


    Borg drew 47 return errors, Tanner 37. Out of those serves I gave Borg 3 service winners, Tanner 7.

    Borg drew 14 return errors with a second serve, Tanner 9. Tanner drew some of those because he was coming in and forcing Borg to do something with the return. On the other hand, Borg drew some errors on second serve because Tanner was trying himself to do something with the return, trying to chip and charge.


    Errors (forced and unforced)

    Subtracting the winners and aces from the Total Points Won:

    Borg made 83 total errors. Of those I counted 37 return errors and 3 double-faults. That leaves him making 43 errors in exchanges that had at least a successful service return, that is, in rallies.

    Tanner made 109 total errors. Of those I counted 47 return errors and 4 double-faults. That leaves him making 58 errors in rallies.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
    #9
  10. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,579
    1976 semi

    Borg d. Tanner 6-4, 9-8 (7-1), 6-4

    I haven't seen this one, just reading up on it.

    Per Fred Tupper in the NY Times, Borg never lost his serve over 110 minutes. Tanner had 10 aces, Borg 8 aces and 8 double-faults.

    Tanner said, “I played differently than I did against Connors. That was probably my mistake. I tried to chip and go in which is not my style, and he served much better than I thought, every single second serve to my backhand.”

    Tupper wrote that Borg’s plan was “to serve every ball to Tanner’s backhand and, what’s more, to hit every possible stroke there, too.”

    That's interesting because SI, in Moose's post, wrote in '79 that Tanner could now come over the ball with top on his BH. It held up reasonably well but that side was still where Borg drew more errors. For example, Borg served out the second set at love, with 3 serves drawing BH errors.

    Tanner also made BH errors with some regularity in the rallies, including famously on match point.
     
    #10
  11. Borgforever

    Borgforever Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,564
    Great work! Really appreciated this. The W 79-final is one of my favorites for sure. Tanner playing great (that lob on set-point in the first that Borg lunges for in futility!) and Borg once again with his steely resolve never seizes to astound me. I would argue that the windy conditions was a lot more debilitating for Borg (and his serve) than the famous night-lights at the US Open later that year. A classic in my mind this match...
     
    #11
  12. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,715
    That was probably the high point of Tanner's career, even in defeat.
     
    #12
  13. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,579
    Additional stats

    Success on serve in rallies of 2 or more good shots:

    Borg 58% on first serve (36/62) and 53% on second (19/36).
    Tanner 60% on first serve (28/47) and 41% on second (26/64).

    In the '80 final Borg had a better than even chance of winning the point if he could return McEnroe's first serve, but that was not the case at all with Tanner's.
     
    #13
  14. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,347
    Was Tanner attacking the third ball more aggressively in your opinion than McEnroe in the 1980? Borg wrote that Tanner would often take unbelieveable risks.
     
    #14
  15. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,864
    The 3rd ball in basically all points on Mac's & Tanner's serve in both matches were presumably volleys(since Mac & Tanner were S&Ving on 1st & 2nd serves in these matches)

    Based on these stats I guess Mac made more volley errors in '80 than Tanner in '79. or Borg was making better returns vs Mac.
     
    #15
  16. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,347
    Thanks Moose.
     
    #16
  17. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,579
    The second assumption is reasonable, since Borg got 7 clean return winners off Mac's first serve, but could only manage 2 against Tanner's.

    As for the errors that is also possible. If we're just looking at points where serves were returned (rallies), Mac did make more errors than Tanner did: 80-58 (these are forced and unforced errors, made as server and as receiver), though I don't know how many of those errors were volleys.

    Part of the reason that Mac has more errors than Tanner, is that his match was longer (376 points vs. 319). But even with a shorter match Tanner had more clean volley winners than Mac, 39-32 (on all serves, by both players).

    So PC1, Tanner could very well have been more efficiently aggressive with his first volleys than McEnroe was. It's not certain, but at least it's possible, given the numbers we have.

    But if it was the case you'd have to take into account that you can be more successful with your first volleys if you're coming in behind a stronger serve. McEnroe surely had better volleys than Tanner, so if Tanner has some edge here on 1st-serve points, the reason must have been the potency of his first serve.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
    #17
  18. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,579
    Another thing to keep in mind is that we've been speaking strictly of 1st serve points. McEnroe, when he had his 2nd serve returned, was still winning 49% of the time. Tanner was at 41%.

    So on 2nd serve you'd just reverse Moose's suggestions above: it's possible that Tanner was making more volley errors than Mac, and/or that Borg was making better returns against Tanner's 2nd serve than he was against Mac's 2nd.

    Independently of any stats I would have said that McEnroe's second serve was better than Tanner's. But the stats illustrate it. For example McEnroe drew 20 return errors with his second serve. Tanner drew just 9, despite serving more second serves than Mac did (78-67).
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
    #18
  19. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    That's an amazingly low number of aces for Tanner.
     
    #19

Share This Page