Laver d. Roche 7-9, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 The match that won the Grand Slam. Laver was 31, Roche 24. Laver went to spiked shoes after failing to serve out the first set at 5-4. He had an agreement with Mike Gibson, the referee, that he could do so if the court was slippery. Roche’s level of play fell after the first set. He'd beaten Newcombe 8-6 in the fifth the day before in the semis, so perhaps he simply got tired at that point. Laver thought Roche was not at his best and not digging in as usual. Roche had beaten Laver in 5 of their last 7 meetings, per the New York Times. The match was called by Jack Kramer and Bud Collins. Collins said that Laver’s winning streak was 29 matches, going back to a loss in June at Queens Club to Newcombe. He said the streak included 6 tournaments, not including the USO. Laver’s wife was about to give birth; she was three days’ overdue. My counts below. Laver won 138 points overall, Roche 110. SERVICE Laver won 78 of 122 points on his serve (or 64%). Roche won 66 of 126 points on his serve (or 52%). Laver won 16 straight points on serve, from his first service game of the second to his first of the third. Laver served 6 aces, Roche none. Laver served 5 double-faults (all in the first set). Roche also served 5 (two in the first set). Laver got 28 return errors from Roche, of which I judged 5 as service winners. Roche got 33 return errors from Laver, of which I judged 7 as service winners. Laver served at 53%, making 65 of 122 first serves. His percentages by set: 54, 40, 60, 57. Roche served at 67%, making 84 of 126 first serves. His percentages by set: 60, 67, 78, 68. Laver won 9 of 13 break points. Roche won 4 of 11 break points. Laver was unbroken in the last three sets, and in that time he faced only one break point – right after Roche took the first set. Laver got his first serve into play on 7 of the 11 break points he faced (or 64% of the time, higher than his overall percentage). Roche got his first serve into play on 8 of the 13 break points he faced (or 62% of the time, lower than his overall percentage). WINNERS Laver hit 50 winners apart from service: 7 FH, 17 BH, 9 FHV, 10 BHV, 7 overheads. Roche hit 30 winners apart from service: 6 FH, 8 BH, 5 FHV, 6 BHV, 5 overheads. Both Laver and Roche have nearly as many winners from ground strokes as from volleys/smashes. The big stroke of the match was Laver’s backhand: 17 winners. Roche is known for his backhand volley: he had slightly more winners from that side than his forehand side. Laver had 5 service return winners, all backhand passes. He hit 17 other passing shots, a dozen from the backhand. In fact he broke at 3-4 in the first set with four backhand passes. Roche had 6 service return winners (none after the first game of the second set), four from the FH. All of these returns were passes. And he hit 6 other passing shots (none in the fourth set and only one in the third), including five backhands. Neither man had a lob winner. Errors (forced and unforced) Subtracting the aces and clean winners from the total points won: Laver made 80 total errors. Of those I counted 33 return errors and 5 double-faults. That leaves him making 42 errors in points that had at least a successful return, that is, in rallies. Roche made 82 total errors. Of those I counted 28 return errors and 5 double-faults. That leaves him making 49 errors in rallies.