Some stats for 1988 RG semi (Wilander-Agassi)

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by krosero, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Score: Wilander d. Agassi 4-6, 6-2, 7-5, 5-7, 6-0

    Wilander had 4 aces and 2 doubles.
    Agassi had 0 aces and 1 double.


    Wilander had 37 clean winners apart from serves: 11 FH, 11 BH, 3 FHV, 7 BHV, 5 overheads.

    Agassi had 65 clean winners apart from serves: 21 FH, 11 BH, 11 FHV, 11 BHV, 11 overheads.

    Curiously, Agassi had 11 winners from every stroke except the FH, from which he got 20. That’s not quite as many as Lendl’s 22 forehand winners against Borg in the 1981 RG final (which was 7 games shorter), but it’s close.

    Wilander himself had 11 winners off both his backhand and forehand.

    Wilander's winners by set: 5, 3, 13, 10, 6
    Agassi's winners by set: 16, 7, 23, 16, 3

    Agassi barely got more winners from volleys and smashes than from ground strokes: 33 to 32.

    Wilander got more of his winners from ground strokes, 22 to 15.

    Wilander had 1 service return winner, a BH; it was not a pass. He did have 15 passing shots (9 FH), including 2 BH lobs.

    Agassi had 4 service return winners (3 FH). One was a pass (BH). Apart from that, he had another 6 passing shots (3 FH), including 4 lobs (2 FH).


    My net stats were incompletely recorded, but what I have roughly suggests that Agassi approached the net twice as much as Wilander. And that is already suggested by Agassi's lead over Wilander in smash/volley winners: 33 to 15.


    Vilas did an interview in 2005 for a TV show called Mar Fondo. The interview is on YouTube. He says that he and Borg really began the era of using topspin on every stroke, but that Agassi added pace. “Agassi le metio velocidad, y quedaba mas lindo.”

    Agassi was playing the kind of inconsistent, low-percentage tennis that Wilander would criticize in Sampras at the 1989 U.S. Open. However I didn’t come across any criticisms of Agassi. In fact Wilander said, “I didn’t know he was this good.” He said that it was the first time he was seeing a player with Agassi’s attitude (meaning his relationship with the public, including his clowning), adding: “It’s good for tennis. It’s not unprofessional; it’s new.”

    In any case, Agassi was not yet playing Brad Gilbert tennis. He was not playing the percentages at all; and in many ways it was his most entertaining tennis.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
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  2. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    that's funny you did this match, I bought this match a few months ago & hadn't got around to seeing it yet. It was one of those matches I had wanted to see for years.

    Do you know any 1st Serve%'s? Wilander only missed 1 or 2 1st serves in the final, was wondering if there was an indication of that in his previous matches.

    also, how many service breaks were there?

    Yeah, Agassi came to net a lot in his early years-'88-'91. And I thought he was pretty solid up there. You never would guess he was the same player that looked so awkward up there in his later years.

    I think a factor in why he came to net so much was also because hitting clean winners off the ground consistently was still not that common in the 80s, coming to net was the way to finish off points. Lendl came in a lot more than people probably are aware of as well.

    Where did you get these quotes? Is your dvd in German(mine is)?

    I have an old World Tennis magazine with a match report on this match, I think it said Agassi won only 4 points in the 5th set? was he cramping?

    Well, compared to Sampras, Agassi was a percentage player back then. He didn't make as many errors as Sampras & engaged in many long rallies. Wilander had issues with guys who would not just make an error or winner on every point, but guys that wouldn't allow him to play. At least Agassi allowed him to play. Sampras didn't.

    Wilander was critical of Becker in '85 as well, saying he didn't think that was the right way to play, and that you couldn't win a lot of matches that way.
     
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  3. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Krosero,

    What do you mean exactly by "playing Brad Gilbert tennis"?

    Thanks,
    Hoodjem
     
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  4. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Sorry I have no service percentages (I haven't counted serves in any of the matches I've done recently), but I do have the breaks.

    There were three breaks in the first set (Wilander doubled to give away the critical break), four in the second, five in the third, five in the fourth, and three in the fifth. Wilander was broken 8 times, Agassi 12 times.

    I saw this match weeks ago, so it's not fresh in my mind, but yeah, Wilander was missing first serves more than in the final.

    I agree with you in general; it was certainly a factor. Expectations of how a point would end were somewhat different then. However it might be that Wilander just extended points and stayed back so Agassi eagerly worked his way in. In the ’89 Davis Cup semifinal round, Becker is taking the net and Agassi is staying back. I remember Agassi staying back when he won Wimbledon, too; and I can’t remember him trying to attack Lendl at the USO in ’88 and ’89 the way he attacked Wilander (but my memories of those two matches with Lendl are very old).

    From the Times report on the match; my DVD is in German, with no stats provided (unless they were spoken in German).

    He won 8 points in the fifth, half of those in the opening game. I did not look closely for cramps but it was not the impression I got; no mention of anything in the Times except tiredness.

    True distinction. Sampras and Agassi, of course, are different players – but maybe their differences were at their smallest in ’88, with Agassi approaching so much. But how much Agassi did this in the late 80s, like I said, I don’t precisely remember.
     
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  5. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Now this is probably confusing. It was meant to refer to what Agassi learned later, particularly starting in '94 with Gilbert coaching him (playing tactical, percentage tennis); I did not mean to say that Agassi later played like Brad (ie, winning ugly, no power, etc.)
     
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  6. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Was looking over my notes just now; I had copied this stat chart from the Times, for the 1988 USO semi between Lendl and Agassi.

    It's one of the few charts available after 1981; formally there aren't supposed to be any in the archive after that year.

    No easy way to dump it from Word into these posts, but here goes:


    Lendl / Stat / Agassi

    48% / First serve / 56%
    9 / Aces / 1
    22 / Service winners / 15
    4 / Double faults / 3
    22 / Placement winners / 20
    32 / Unforced errors / 37
    15 / Service games held / 12
    3 / Service games broken / 7
    113 / Total points won / 93
    16 / Approaches to net / 19
    11 / Points won at net / 9

    So Agassi was not coming in that much, though he did come in more than Lendl.

    As I said, my net stats for Wilander-Agassi were incomplete, but what I have suggests that Agassi's approaches for that match (11 games longer than Lendl-Agassi) were closer to 100.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2007
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  7. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    ah, 'placements' again. Have you figured out what it means yet?

    I just popped in my tape of the '88 FO Womens Final, prior to the match they showed highlights of the Agassi-Wilander match, the commentators said that Agassi came in 110 times! I thought they may be in error, but what you said seems to confirm it. Amazing, who would have ever thought Agassi ever came in that much. I have some of his matches from the '90 French, I wonder if he came in more on clay.

    I found that World Tennis article, here are some excerpts about that match:

    "In 2 years, he will be very tough to beat," predicted Rene Lacoste. "He is another Connors."

    Wilander: "He's got the right attitude. He realizes how good he is. He doesn't act surprised to be in the semis of the French Open, he acts like he belongs. I definitely see him staying in the top 10 for the next 5-10 years."
     
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  8. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Not yet, but I'm asking around.

    In the other semifinal of the day, Wilander beat Darren Cahill in straight sets, and they each had 31 placement winners. Yet Lendl and Agassi had about 20 each. It doesn't quite make sense as a total count of winners, but if I remember correctly, Cahill was an attacking player? Maybe his semifinal had volley winners and passes while Lendl and Agassi just slugged it out for errors.

    Eggsellent, thanks!

    It was actually in watching this match that I though of the similarities between Agassi and Connors. The great return, the big ground strokes, no real reliance on the serve, the willingness to charge forward, the cockiness, the clowning. Even the grunting.

    And maybe they took similar knocks early in their career. Who knows, after a little while Agassi started being criticized a lot; and he lost three Slam finals. In '88 he's playing like he doesn't know what unhappiness means, a little like Connors after his big year in '74 when he seemed so invincible. I've never seen him so relaxed as he was when playing Newk in Australia (even gifting a point), but later I think he changed. Or at least matured, after taking his knocks (and becoming a bit of an alienated figure after all his feuds with the establishment).
     
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  9. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    That was his Dad's biggest mistake. He trained this great player, but he was a terrible Dad and raised a miserable, lonely son. Agassi's rebelling and downhill slide was inevitable. Even today Agassi isn't very enthused when talking about his Dad - he just says that he's happy he taught him tennis.
     
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  10. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Its a shame that Agassi went away from the 'charging forward' aspects he showed earlier in his career, it may have helped him in some big matches later on.

    The 'coming forward' aspect is what makes history remember Connors as an all-courter, while Agassi is considered a baseliner.
     
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  11. pj80

    pj80 Semi-Pro

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  12. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    I have Agassi at 65 winners. My stats match yours, except I had 21 fh winners for him & 16 instead of 15 winners for him in the 4th set.

    I also have 37 winners for Wilander, but have 3 fhv & 7 bhv for him.

    here are serve stats by set:

    Wilander:
    28 of 32 (88%)
    16 of 22 (72%)
    43 of 49 (88%)
    37 of 40 (93%)
    13 of 17 (76%)

    137 of 160 (86%) for the match

    Agassi:
    15 of 30 (50%)
    16 of 24 (67%)
    32 of 42 (76%)
    30 of 39 (77%)
    13 of 15 (87%)

    106 of 150 (71%) for the match

    Wilander was 12 of 21 on break points
    Agassi was 8 of 20

    Agassi had 8 unreturned serves, 1 I judged a service winner
    Wilander had 17, 1 I judged a service winner

    I counted 15 passing shot winners for Wilander(9 fh's), 8 for Agassi(3 fh's)

    Here were my net stats:

    Agassi was 54 of 93
    Wilander was 23 of 38

    My copy is missing the 1st two points of the 3rd game of the 5th set(a Wilander service game - score was 30-0 when it resumed)
     
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  13. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Thanks, Moose, for getting these extra stats. I don't know when or if I would have gone back to this match (though I might have done it just because it's so entertaining).

    This is more than what I got, but when you report the passing shots in a match, are you including lobs? I'm pretty sure you've always included returns.

    My opening post is not that clear, but the numbers I have for "passing shots" don't include returns (Agassi had 1 winner, a BH) or the lobs (2 winners for each player). With all that included, I have Wilander at 15 passes, Agassi at 7.

    Uncanny how close that comes to my count: Agassi at 55 of 89, Wilander 24 of 39.

    I was going to do more work on those stats before posting them (never got around to it) because I wasn't sure how to count approaches that were winners or errors. It's been several months now and I never wrote down precisely how I did my count (it looks just like your method, though). In my notes I just wrote down that NBC must have counted approach winners since their numbers were higher than mine.

    Recently when I did net stats for Agassi-Sampras (92 RG), I decided to write out a method (in case I don't do this for years and one day I want to go back to it). This is what I wrote, tell me what you think:

    My copy's the same. Sometimes when I have missing points I'll take a guess whether to put down first or second serves on them. You didn't mention doing that, so should I put down 310 as the total points played?
     
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  14. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

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    It looks like Agassi was really dictating play.
     
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  15. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    came across the full NY times article:

    thought this was funny, considering the outrage today:

    Guess the Leconte-Svensson SF was shown that day.
     
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  16. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    agassi was gassed in the 5th set. it was this match that caused agassi to hire gil reyes to improve his strength/conditioning. i believe it was later this summer when he and gil hooked up.
     
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  17. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I've just finished making a highlight clip for YT. Your count was right; I noticed that I'd marked one of his BHV winners as a FHV.

    Our winner counts are lining up now (I edited the original post).
     
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  18. krosero

    krosero Legend

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  19. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    this match made me really notice Agassi. I thought No American can be this bold and take Wilander to five sets on slow red Clay. At the time I thought he must be like Leconte with risky strategy and strokes that would be great for a set or so. this match proved there was more here.
     
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