Stats for 1974 USO Final (Connors-Rosewall)

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Moose Malloy, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Score 6-1,6-0,6-1

    Connors had 31 winners: 9 FH, 8 BH, 3 FHV, 8 BHV, 3 smashes

    Rosewall had 8 winners: 3 FH, 1 BH, 3 BHV, 1 smash

    Connors had 2 aces, no doubles.

    Rosewall had no aces & 5 doubles.

    Connors made 48 of 70 first serves(69%)

    Rosewall made 32 of 54 first serves(59%)

    Connors had 5 return winners(4 on the BH)

    Rosewall had 3 return winners(all FH)

    Connors had 18 unreturned serves(5 second serves) Tony Trabert was remarking on how much kick Connors was getting on his 2nd serves. CBS had good low camera angles, unlike the BBC Wimbledon matches.

    Rosewall had 3 unreturned serves(1 on a 2nd serve)

    Connors was 8 of 12 on break points, Rosewall 0 for 3.

    During the trophy presentation, the crowd gave Connors muted applause, & he yelled, "C'mon for pete's sake," though I don't think he meant for it to be picked up on the microphone. Who would have thought there was ever a time when Connors wasn't popular with the NY crowd.
     
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  2. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    It wasn't until 1978 when Connors won and told the crowd "You may not like me, but I like you" that NYC really adopted Connors. What helped the transition was the ascension of one John McEnroe who pretty much took Connors brat act and made it an art form. McEnroe did more to turn the crowd against him than Connors did to win them over.

    The Connors/Rosewall matches were complete and utter routes. Connors pretty much played in '74 like McEnroe did ten years later in '84.
     
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  3. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Connors' rate of winners per game is 1.55. Among matches that we've counted the winners ourselves, only Lendl in the 1988 USO final is higher, with 1.57.

    The two matches, remarkably, have similar length of games: 6.2 points per game on average in 1974, and 6.4 in 1988. The 1988 match was long and close, but many of its games went by quickly as I recently confirmed when counting the points in the last two sets.

    The two matches are wildly different: one was an excruciating blowout, the other extremely close; different tournaments, surfaces, equipment; and 14 years apart. But for what it's worth, Connors and Lendl had nearly identical rates of ending points with winners.
     
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  4. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I hope early in this new year to get a list of all the matches and stats posted.
     
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  5. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Interesting, considering the length of this match. Would you say both players were taking an inordinate amount of time in between points? Was a bit shocked of how quickly Lendl was playing in '83, very different to his stalling of the late 80s.

    Wilander is also playing quickly in the '84 AO final I'm watching.
     
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  6. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Just note that I already have stats for the 1983 final, in case you were considering doing those.

    They were definitely deliberate in 1988. More than in 1987, I don't know. But Mats was warned by the umpire for taking too long; and I thought that if anything, Lendl was taking even more time.
     
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  7. Gasquetrules

    Gasquetrules Semi-Pro

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    Utter blowout... absolute rout!!!

    The '74 US Open final was about the most one-side GS final I've ever seen. Rosewall truly looked like a relic from a bygone era in this match. It was painful to watch. Rosewall was so embarassed. You can tell that he wants nothing so badly as to get it over and get off the court.

    The match also made a very strong case for new racquet technology. Connors Wilson T-2000 did give him a remarkable power advantage. I've got a couple of these frames, and despite the small head you can generate pretty good pop on the ball.
     
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  8. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I had a T-2000, and IMO it was the worst racquet of all time: no control, no feel, no touch, no balance.

    Connors was amazing that he played and won with it.
     
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  9. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Times stats

    A stat I found in the New York Times report.

    Rosewall won 12 points in the first set, and 12 in the second.
     
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  10. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    So how about this, we knew that there would be more matches, even in straight sets, where the winner served more points than the loser. But I would not have expected it in such a dominating match, one of the most dominating in history.

    I think this stat -- total points served -- can still indicate when one player is struggling more than the other. The best example I can think of is Cash-Lendl, where one was breezing through his games and the other was laboring all the way. In this match, Rosewall was not struggling through long service games, but that's because he was just getting broken so swiftly.

    Jimmy's big weapon was his return and often I noticed Rosewall either having trouble with it or staying back. When Connors served, that big weapon was taken out of the picture and, strangely, the games were longer.

    I'm just seeing their W and USO finals now. I didn't take stats for either one, but I thought in the W match that Connors was serving more points than Rosewall -- and that was before I noticed your stat here.
     
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  11. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    Thanks for add!
     
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  12. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Connors' net play

    This is from Ellsworth Vines' book, Tennis Myth and Method (1978 ):

    Despite his many achievements, Connors still has something to learn before he realizes the full potential of his game. He doesn't have the serve of a Budge, Kramer or a Hoad to get himself out of trouble. They didn't have to worry about a change of tactics; Connors is now finding out that he does. But in one aspect of his game, Jimbo is already perfect: he knows when to follow in a serve.

    On serve, when it comes to playing net, Connors follows the Budge policy; he picks his spots, depending on the game style of his opponent. In the Forest Hills finals of 1974 he followed in his serve more than usual, taking advantage of trampled-down grass. A tired Rosewall was serving poorly, so Connors went in on his return of serve. He reasoned correctly that once he had the jump on Kenny it was an excellent idea to rush him off his feet, before he could get his groundstrokes grooved. His own serve was zinging, and the poor condition of the court made his strategy pay off.
     
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  13. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Probably the most one-sided slam final ever in men's singles. Connors looked set to dominate tennis for years at the time. As for the T-2000, it fitted Connors like a glove, whereas everyone else seemed to think it was the worst racquet ever invented.

    When Connors won 3 more slams in 1982-1983, the most noted change in his game was a big improvement in his serve compared to 1979-1981 when he failed to reach a slam final.
     
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  14. WCT

    WCT Rookie

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    Far be it for me to argue with Vines who probbly forgot more tennis than I'll ever know, but I'll live dangerously and do it here.

    Connors actually serves and volleys in this match at about the same rate as Wimbledon 74. Also, I would think that Rosewall would have been more tired at Wimbledon because his semi there was 5 sets. As for how the court played, not arguing that and it had rained enough to delay the final to Monday.
    I do think Connors served big that day.
    Big by his standards. IMO, bigger than he served at Wimbledon 1982.

    Fact is, Connors just never served and volleyed as much after Segura stopped coaching him. Judging by the 74/75 matches I have. I really didn't start watching tennis until the beginning of 1975.

    Even if you were watching, there was so much less coverage. You couldn't tell how someone was playing match to match at Wimbledon. I mean living in the US. The only complete match you saw was the finals. The US Open had a bit more, but nothing like today. In 1975 and 76, CBS didn't show one complete mens semi even.

    But going by what I've seen, Connors grass court s/v is pretty consistent.
    The 1975 Australian is the same. He mixed it up. Even indoors, he is s/v on 1/2 his first serves in the challenge matches against Newcombe and Laver.
    3-4 years later you'd never see him do that.

    How he played then is consistent with some of the theories Segura put forth in that book I keep referencing. He didn't think smaller players like Connors should serve and volley all the time. He didn't think bigger, less agile bigger players, the Smiths, the Graebners should consistently serve and volley against players with excellent returns. That they should wait for a short ball to come in.

    I've read differing things on Budge. That he serve volleyed all the time and that he was someone, like Connors, who came in behind very penetrating approach shots. In the 1975 US Open final telecast, Bill Talbert was in the booth. At one point, he compared Connors to Budge in this respect.
     
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  15. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Budge was like Connors, he rarely served and volleyed but he did, from what everyone wrote and said about him, come in on very penetrating approach shots.

    Vines, in the book Krosero mentioned apparently was a big fan of Connors. He used Connors as an example that the big serve and volley game wasn't necessary to be a great player.

    From what I understand and I didn't see much of Connors until 1973, Connors used to serve and volley quite often in his earlier pro days. I am not sure if this is true or not. I was always under the impression that Segura convinced him NOT to serve and volley so much. Maybe it was because Connors' serve was never the most penetrating.
     
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  16. WCT

    WCT Rookie

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    Well, Segura was his coach from the start of his pro career. I have 50 minutes of the 1972 Masters against Nastase. He serves and volleys on most first serves and some seconds. Just like Borg in his 73 matches with Ashe and Roger Taylor is serving and volleying on both serves.

    Segura wanted him to mix it up, so they didn't know what was coming. It's why he was never a prototypical serve/volleyer, but he still did it a lot.
    A lot more than he did it after Segura became less involved.

    Segura was a big proponent of coming to the net, but on the right shot. Connors not serve/volleying on every point didn't mean stay back and rally, it meant stay back and rally until you get the right ball to come in on.

    Budge rarely served and volleyed? I thought it was more often than that. Again, I've read different things.
     
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  17. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Return errors

    Just counted the return errors. By my count Rosewall actually served 5 unreturned serves (2 on second serves).

    Connors did not miss any returns in the third set (and was not aced).

    Jimmy made his last 22 BH returns (missing none in the last two sets). His last return error was in the opening game of the second set; from there he made his last 27 returns (10 FH, 17 BH).

    In the last two sets Connors took 12 serves on his FH and 19 on his BH. It may be possible that Rosewall served too much to the Connors BH.
     
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