Stats for 1974 Wimb SF (Rosewall-Smith)

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by krosero, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,624
    This was Rosewall’s famous comeback from match point down: 6-8, 4-6, 9-8 (8-6), 6-1, 6-3.

    There are few complete Rosewall matches on the internet, most of them losses. He was obviously far from his prime here, but I think the second set gives some idea of what he must have been capable of. He was down 1-5, and won three straight games with 11 winners. Smith was hitting deep volleys and I expected Rosewall to return them into the net, but he kept picking them up with control and accuracy and flicking them for winners.

    By the fourth and fifth sets he didn't look especially tired, but I thought his best stuff was in that second set. Smith looked relieved to close out the set on his next attempt.

    Smith did look somewhat tired in the fifth set, but I don't think stamina was an issue in the third when he had his match point. He came back from 0-4 down in the tiebreak to hold the match point at 6-5, but he put two consecutive Rosewall serves into the net to fall back set point.

    Rosewall was 39, Smith 27.

    I thought in the early stages of the match that Smith may have been serving harder than in the 1972 final.

    The following are my own stats. Note: my copy stalls for 11 seconds as Smith is about to serve at double set point in the first set. I’ve credited him with one point, and a first serve, but I didn't mark him down as hitting a winner.


    Rosewall won 179 points overall, Smith 163.

    SERVICE

    Rosewall won 113 of 163 points on his serve (or 69%).
    Smith won 113 of 179 points on his serve (or 63%).

    Smith held 10 consecutive times to open the match. Rosewall held 15 consecutive times to close out the match.

    Rosewall served at 61%, making 99 of 163 first serves.
    Smith served at 71%, making 128 of 179 first serves.

    Rosewall’s percentages by set: 63, 66, 53, 69, 61.
    Smith's percentages by set: 67, 72, 73, 63, 71


    Rosewall had no aces. He made 38 unreturned serves, of which I judged 5 as service winners.

    Smith had 3 aces. He made 44 other unreturned serves, of which I judged 9 as service winners.

    Rosewall committed 9 double-faults (though none in the last two sets). Smith committed 8.


    Rosewall converted 6 of 11 break points. In the first three sets he saw only four break points and converted two of them.

    Smith converted 4 of 7 break points. After breaking Rosewall in the first game of the third set he earned no more break points.

    Rosewall got his first serve into play on 6 of 7 break points (or 86% of the time).

    Smith got his first serve into play on 8 of 11 break points (or 73% of the time).


    WINNERS

    Rosewall hit 57 clean winners apart from service: 12 FH, 8 BH, 12 FHV, 18 BHV, 7 overheads.

    Smith hit 43 clean winners apart from service: 5 FH, 8 BH, 12 FHV, 8 BHV, 10 overheads.

    Rosewall's winners by set: 11, 14, 16, 11, 5
    Smith's winners by set: 14, 9, 8, 3, 9

    Rosewall’s forehand, not his backhand, was the ground stroke with the most winners, between the two men. And his backhand volley was the winningest stroke of the match.

    Rosewall made 4 service return winners, all passes: two from each wing. He had 12 other passing shots, six from each wing -- and one FH lob in addition to those.

    Smith made no service return winners. But he made 10 passing shots – eight from the backhand.


    ERRORS (forced and unforced)

    Subtracting the aces and clean winners from the total points won:

    Rosewall made 117 total errors. Of those I counted 44 return errors and 9 double-faults. That leaves him making 64 errors in points that had at least a successful return, that is, in rallies.

    Smith made 123 total errors. Of those I counted 38 return errors and 8 double-faults. That leaves him making 77 errors in rallies.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
    #1
  2. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,744
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Complete matches? Where?
     
    #2
  3. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,624
    Not uploaded, I meant for sale.
     
    #3
  4. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,624
    Additional stats

    I've gotten new stats, and made slight corrections to the original post.

    Two surprising new stats. Rosewall had very high success on 1st serve points, even stringing together some long streaks on 1st serve. And Ken made a surprisingly high number of BH return errors (none unforced, however).

    Smith made 12 unforced return errors, not necessarily an unexpected stat, but I think a significant one.



    SUCCESS ON SERVE

    Rosewall won 71 of 99 points on 1st serve (72%) and 42 of 64 on 2nd (66%).

    Smith won 87 of 128 points on 1st serve (68%) and 26 of 51 on 2nd (51%).


    In the third set Rosewall won the last 17 points he played on first serve (the last of those was Smith’s match point). He also won 12 straight points on 1st serve during the opening set. Both of these streaks were longer than any by Smith.

    Bill Threlfall, in the BBC booth, said that Smith stopped attacking Rosewall’s second serve after the first two and a half sets.

    And in fact Rosewall’s numbers on second serve in the last two sets are through the roof. In both sets he had greater success on second serve than on first (in the fourth set, 80% vs. 73%; in the fifth, 82% vs. 71%).

    There was one set -- the fifth -- in which Smith had greater success on 2nd serve than on 1st. His success on 2nd serve in that set was 67%, his high for the match.

    On first serve Stan was surprisingly ineffectual by then. He started off the final set making 15 straight first serves, but he was broken during the streak; he seemed to be putting some spin on his first serves.

    (Something similar had happened to him when he lost to Newcombe here in the '71 final.)


    RETURN ERRORS

    Rosewall served on 163 points and 38 serves did not come back: 23.3%
    Smith served on 179 points and 47 serves did not come back: 26.3%

    Breaking down the 38 return errors that Rosewall drew:
    – 22 first serves, 16 second serves
    – 19 FH, 19 BH
    – 12 unforced errors (9 FH), all on second serves

    Breaking down the 44 errors that Smith drew:
    – 33 first serves, 11 second serves
    – 10 FH, 34 BH
    – 0 unforced, 44 forced

    Rosewall made far more BH return errors than Smith did, which is surprising because that wing is Rosewall’s strength and Smith’s weakness. But it is not so surprising considering that the BH was the go-to wing on service. And at least Rosewall’s BH errors were all forced. Three of Smith’s BH return errors were unforced (that is, Ken stayed back on all three serves).

    Smith made significantly more FH return errors than Rosewall did, which again is surprising because that wing is Smith’s strength and Rosewall’s weakness. But Stan’s FH, though dangerous, had little safety; and he had trouble generating pace on that wing. He made 9 unforced errors off second serves that Rosewall directed to his FH without following his serve to net. That was a constant throughout the match; it seemed that Ken knew he could count on getting a point that way, though of course he did not over-play the tactic.

    Rosewall almost made all of his service returns in the fourth set, not including 2 clean aces that went past him. He made only one return error in that set -- and I judged the serve to be a service winner (ie, no play on the ball).

    However it should be noted how poorly Smith served in that set, getting broken in 3 out of 4 service games.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
    #4
  5. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    12,716
    Location:
    Carrboro, NC
    I wonder how Smith would have fared against Connors
     
    #5
  6. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,624
    Success on serve if you just look at points in which the serve was successfully returned:

    Rosewall 64% on first serve (49/77) and 67% on second (26/39).
    Smith 55% on first serve (51/92) and 47% on second (15/32).
     
    #6
  7. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    Might be interesting for you to count how many return errors were framed balls for a few matches from the wooden racquet era, and then to compare that with the graphite racquet era.

    To me, watching these matches, the amount of framed returns was incredible.
     
    #7
  8. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,624
    Smith had just beaten Connors in the grasscourt tuneup at Nottingham. Their H2H coming into Wimbledon was 4-4, and most of their matches had been close: http://www.atpworldtour.com/Players/Head-To-Head.aspx?pId=S060&oId=C044

    Seems strange, but it looks like Connors had never beaten Smith without having to go to a third-set tiebreak.

    If they had met in the Wimbledon final I think Smith would have had a great chance -- but his stamina might have faltered. He looked pretty tired, late in the match against Rosewall.
     
    #8
  9. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,413
    People were looking forward to a Smith/Connors final but the Little Master got in the way again.
     
    #9
  10. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,744
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    1974 was Connors year. He was like a steam-roller that year: lots of youthful energy and confidence.

    But I do think Smith might have done better than Muscles.
     
    #10
  11. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,624
    Rosewall, the ultimate Sleeper candidate :)
     
    #11
  12. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,413
    The stats seem to bear out the playing characteristics of both Rosewall and Smith. While Rosewall didn't have the most overpoweringly serve he made up for it with his fantastic volleying skills. He was extremely quick and very hard to pass. Rosewall was also generally able to handle powerful returns fairly well which may explain his success of second serve in this match.

    Smith while being a very powerful server was not known for being the best returner in the world. And while he was a strong server, one of the best in the world I would think he was probably neutralized by the great Rosewall return, arguably the best return in history. Rosewall wasn't called the Doomsday Stroking Machine for nothing. He was able to return even the most powerful serves. He may not have hit as many winners as perhaps a Connors but in watching both players I would think Rosewall got more returns into play than even the great Connors.

    Great information Krosero.
     
    #12
  13. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,624
    Rosewall did back up his serve with his volleys very well. He produced 18 clean BHV winners, the highest number from any single stroke in the match.

    I think his high success on second serve was due mostly to Smith's 12 unforced return errors, on relatively easy second serves.

    Rosewall's winning streaks on 1st serve are more of a mystery. Smith was unable to attack Rosewall's first serve, for whatever reason (maybe faltering stamina; or Smith's relatively inferior return; or Rosewall's ability to back up his serve; etc.)
     
    #13
  14. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Messages:
    516
    Smith would had a chance against Connors on a good day if his serve was working consistently well, not letting Jimbo take control. The score would have, at least,looked closer, I think, looking at what did happen to Ken. I always thought Stan was slightly wooden and his own return was not the best compared to others. I know Smith beat Connors in Nottingham before Wimbledon, but that's a warm-up event over three sets, not Wimbledon. Jimbo had his own struggles to reach the 74 final and in the end, I think 1974 was just Jimmy's year.
     
    #14
  15. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,624
    Rosewall made 3 of 7 first serves in the tiebreak (43%) and won all 3.
    Smith made 6 of 7 first serves in the tiebreak (86%) and won 4 of the 6.

    Rosewall won the tiebreak because he lost only two points (both on second serve) while Smith lost three (one on first serve and two on second).

    Rosewall had 3 unreturned serves (and 1 df), Smith only 1.

    Rosewall got one of those unreturned serves with a tactic he used throughout the match, sending a slow second serve to Stan's FH and getting an unforced error.
     
    #15

Share This Page