Stats for 1982-83 USO finals (Connors-Lendl)

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by krosero, May 11, 2008.

  1. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    1982 - Connors d. Lendl 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4

    Connors was 30 and seeded second. Lendl was 22 and seeded third.

    They came into the match with Connors leading their rivalry 8-1. Connors had not lost a set to Lendl until their most recent meeting, which Lendl took by the score of 6-1, 6-1, in a semifinal in Cincinnati on hard court. John Newcombe said that in that match, Lendl had been able to penetrate Connors’ forehand with slices.

    In this match, Connors drove the ball crosscourt to Lendl’s forehand and broke it down.

    Trabert said that Lendl had played with abandon in previous matches but was playing scared against Connors.

    It’s almost painful watching a man looking so beaten on the tennis court. And with Connors making it a spectator sport, it feels very much like the gladiator pounding a hapless victim in the Roman Coliseum.

    This was the match where a fan told Lendl, late in the third set, to go home. He was booed down, and a woman replied by telling Ivan to stay right here.

    Lendl had swept the top seed, McEnroe, in a straight-set semifinal without losing his serve. Connors defeated Vilas in a four-set semifinal that left him cramping.

    Newk, not surprisingly, picked Lendl to win. He said during the final that McEnroe (unlike Connors) had been afraid to go to Lendl's forehand.

    The final lasted 3 hours 9 minutes.

    Connors was broken 4 times, Lendl 7 times.


    My stats:

    Connors had 3 aces and 2 doubles.
    Lendl had 14 aces and 3 doubles.

    Connors had 36 clean winners apart from service: 7 FH, 10 BH, 10 FHV, 6 BHV, 3 overheads.

    Lendl had 25 clean winners apart from service: 13 FH, 8 BH, 2 FHV, 0 BHV, 2 overheads.

    Connors' winners by set: 7, 5, 13, 11
    Lendl's winners by set: 4, 3, 10, 8

    Connors had one outright return winner, a FH. He had only 1 passing shot, also a FH.

    Lendl had one return winner, a FH. He had 7 passing shots in rallies; all but one were backhands. On top of those he had two lob winners, a BH and FH.


    Stats from CBS:

    With one game left to play, Connors had made 23 unforced errors from the FH and 24 from the BH for what Trabert called a total of 47 (obviously, not including double-faults). Trabert said Lendl was up to 67.

    Lendl had already made 40 unforced errors from the FH as of 1-love in the fourth.

    At 4-3 in the fourth, Connors had won 37 of 61 approaches, Lendl 8 of 15.

    There were several net stats flashed by CBS.

    In the first ten games of the match CBS appears to be counting both winning and missed approaches. My numbers – Lendl winning 0 of 2 approaches, Connors 8 of 12 – go up to the CBS counts of 0/4 and 10/17 if approach errors and winners are counted.

    But in the four games between 1-love and 2-3 in the fourth, CBS and I both credit Lendl with only two approaches (both lost), but CBS apparently is excluding two points in which Lendl hit approach-shot winners (a FH and a BH) that took him into net.

    CBS flashed net counts at 3-2 and 4-3 in the fourth. Between these two graphics, Lendl was credited with 3 approaches. I credited him with two – and on those two points Lendl hits a volley and a smash. I cannot find the third approach; Lendl has his feet firmly planted at the baseline on all the other points in those two games.

    The New York Times had many stats:

     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
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  2. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    1983 - Connors d. Lendl 6-3, 6-7 (2), 7-5, 6-0

    This was Connors’ 8th and last Slam victory; it left him at 8-6 in finals, Lendl at 0-3.

    Connors was 31 and seeded third. Lendl was 23 and seeded second.

    (Lendl had defeated Connors in the Canadian Open, 6-1, 6-3.)

    Connors had a case of diarrhea that forced him to leave the court briefly. He was visibly limping by the third set, due to a sore right toe that he’d aggravated in the semis. Trabert and Newcombe agreed that he was in pain. He looked gassed by the fourth set.

    But Lendl looks fatigued right at the start of the fourth; it looks like much more than emotional discouragement. Newk thought specifically that it was leg fatigue because of the way that he couldn’t hold himself up on certain strokes. Lendl later said he had a stomach ailment.

    Lendl double-faulted away a point for the third set and, infamously, failed to win another game.

    I think Lendl played better in his loss to McEnroe the following year, and that his body language looked slightly better each year at Flushing Meadow. In my opinion if Connors had beaten McEnroe in 1984 he would have lost to Lendl the next day.

    However, one thing I have learned from watching these finals is how well Connors played. Everyone knows that Lendl played below his best, no doubt. But I had somehow assumed that Connors merely played solid tennis, perhaps even unexceptional for his career. You can get that impression from the two match points, which are unremarkable. The truth is that he was on fire both years, running like a madman and already turning the crowd in his favor as he would do so well in later years. He was as mentally tough as I’ve ever seen him.

    The final lasted 3 hours 3 minutes.

    CBS flashed an official temperature at the start of the match of 95 degrees – 10 more than the previous year.


    My stats:

    Connors had 6 clean aces and 4 doubles.
    Lendl had 17 clean aces and 4 doubles.

    Connors hit 27 clean winners apart from service: 9 FH, 10 BH, 5 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 overhead.

    Lendl hit 15 clean winners apart from service: 6 FH, 7 BH, 2 BHV.

    Connors' winners by set: 2, 7, 8, 10
    Lendl's winners by set: 1, 8, 6, 0

    Unlike 1982, Connors did not get many volley/smash winners (see his low net stats below, by CBS).

    Connors had 3 service return winners (two FH's). He had 5 passing shots in rallies (four BH's).

    Lendl had no service return winners. He had 7 passing shots in rallies (four BH's).

    Connors was broken 6 times, Lendl 11 times. Even if you take out the bagel set, this match was somewhat less well played than in 1982, when they were broken 4 and 7 times, respectively. That is partly explained by the stronger wind this year.


    Stats in the media:

    Per CBS, Connors had broken 42 times in his six matches. Lendl had not lost a set on his way to the final and had dropped his serve just 5 times. He’d served at 53%, with 54 aces (the tournament high) and 10 doubles.

    In the final, per the Miami Herald, Connors had only 4 aces, Lendl 16.

    The Herald had Connors at 18 winners, Lendl 13. Those numbers are so low that they can't include service, but even so I counted many more non-service winners than the Herald reported.

    The Herald reported Connors at 51 unforced errors, Lendl at 48. At love-3 in the fourth, CBS had Connors at only 25 unforced errors, Lendl at 33.

    Connors served at 58% in the first two sets, per CBS. Lendl was at 43% several points before the end.

    At 4-love in the fourth, Connors had won 17 of 33 approaches, Lendl 9 of 14.

    Lendl’s approaches and winning rate hardly changed between 1982 and 1983. But Connors was less aggressive. In 1982 Connors had won 37 of 61 approaches, after 34 games. In 1983 he had won 17 of 33 approaches, after 38 games.

    So Connors was approaching in 1983 at about half his previous rate.

    The New York Times again had many stats:

     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
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  3. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    Thanks krosero.

    Lucio.
     
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  4. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Krosero - I like it when you editorialize. Addictively readable stuff.
     
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  5. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Kevin, do you have a fax? I have an issue of Tennis magazine from Nov 1982 which has a detailed 'computer' analysis of the match stroke by stroke, if you are interested. I don't quite get all of the numbers cited in their charts.

    Here are some excerts from the article:

    'Connors successfully approached the net 52 times during the match's 249 points, winning 67 % of those points at net. His forehand approach, considered to be his weakest shot by many experts, was particularly effective as he put 26 of 30 of them into play & won 63.3 % of those points. Once Connors reached the net, he racked up nearly 84 % of the points in which he hit a net shot (volley, overhead, or other)'
     
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  6. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Try contacting me by PM, or at YouTube, and I can give it to you that way.
     
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  7. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Was just watching the '92 USO meeting between these 2, Ted Robinson said after the 1st 7 games of the match that Connors had already came to net more times than he had in the entire '83 final(he said he came in 17 times total in that match)

    wonder where he was getting the numbers from.
     
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  8. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I suppose it's possible that Ted misread the '83 stat. It comes from near the end of the match, with Connors winning 17 of 33 approaches. If he didn't win any more and finished at 17, maybe Ted saw that number and misread it.
     
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  9. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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    Amazing that in the 1983 final Connors had more forehand winners then Lendl. I would never expect that to happen.
     
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  10. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Stats for 1992 USO 2nd Round

    here are my stats for the 1992 meeting between these 2.

    Lendl d Connors 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-0

    Going into this match, Connors was 88-1 at the USO after winning the 1st set

    Lendl had 24 non service winners: 19 fh, 4 bh, 1 fhv
    He had 12 aces, 1 double

    Connors had 22 non service winners: 1 fh, 2 bh, 9 fhv, 9 bhv, 1 ov
    he had 2 aces, 2 doubles

    Lendl had 12 passing shot winners, 8 fh, 4 bh

    After the match (both in the oncourt interview & press conference) Connors said that Lendl just "bunted the ball" & "doesn't play anything like he used to"

    After losing a game in the 3rd set, Connors said to himself "f**** playing a pusher" as he walked to the changeover.

    Later on he yelled "this guy's a bum, for christ's sake"

    Barry McKay, Vitas Gerulaitis, & Ted Robinson did commentary for the match on USA.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2008
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  11. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I've been proofing my counts for the 1982-83 finals, and I made a few minor corrections to the opening two posts.

    I also added excerpts from the New York Times that contain many more stats -- including some that support the argument about Connors improving his serve in '82.

    Looking over the final numbers, I noticed that Connors and Lendl were typically equal in winners, if the aces are included.

    In '82 each man had 39 clean winners/aces.

    In '83 Connors had just a slight edge, 33-32.

    In their '84 Wimbledon semi, done by Moose, they were again nearly tied: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=210703

    But Connors won all those matches. When Lendl won their USO meeting in '92 (per Moose's post above), he was clearly ahead of Connors in winners/aces.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
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  12. pc1

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    Krosero,

    Didn't Connors ace Lendl three consecutive times in one service game in 1983 final? I seem to recall that happening. One Connors ace is unusual but three straight is close to a miracle.
     
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  13. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    In both '82 and '83 he had back-to-back aces, but never three in a row. In the fourth set of the '83 final, by which time Lendl was barely moving, Connors had three aces in one game, but only two in a row.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
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  14. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Maybe the three aces in one game was what I was thinking off. Incidentally the heat near the court had to be over 110 degrees. I had great seats near courtside and it was unbearable. I can't imagine how it would have been for the players. I think the heat could have gotten to Lendl.
     
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  15. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    ^^^^^^All Great stuff:)

    Really good to read this, but anyone got these on DVD please?
     
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  16. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    jimbo333,

    The more I think of it, the more I am impressed by Connors' great performance in the 1983 match because of the incredible tough conditions.

    One thing that I forgot to mention, this match was a great example of how Connors could use the crowd to his advantage. Clearly Lendl was affected by the crowd being so pro Connors and Jimmy really tried to get the crowd into the match. Lendl was really upset.

    It's amazing that just a few years later the US Open would become Lendl's favorite tournament.
     
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  17. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    ^^^^^^I've never seen the whole match:(

    To think that Sampras, and Federer so far, havn't yet beaten Jimmy's 5 US Open wins record, amazing really!

    The crowd seem to make a difference at the US Open more than any other Grand Slam, basically they are noisier (and I suppose by far the largest actual crowd for a Grand Slam tournament). I witnessed it myself last year at the US Open, when the crowd slowly got behind Del Potro, and it just built and built, in the end like a football match!
     
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  18. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    82/38

    Great to read the stats and the recaps....newsflash to all...Connors was a pretty damn good player at the tender age of 30...:twisted:

    It's been some time since I've seen those matches; from '82, I just remember 2 things: the intensity of Connors and his amazing return. He got back stuff that no one else would've or could've touched. I think that threw Ivan off from the get-go. And, Jimmy was all over the net, which the stats do show. Most expected Ivan to win, given he had crushed connors 2 weeks earlier. But, Jimmy had not only pride on the line, but the chance to win the Big W and the USO for the 2nd time in his career.

    '83 was a more ragged affair; it was bloody hot, plus Connors had the runs and a bum toe. What impressed(?) me here was that Ivan played such a s#itty match and that Jimmy hung very tough. It was not the same caliber of the '82 performance, but again, here Ivan was the favorite. And, he could not produce. Not sure what he was expecting? For Jimmy to hand him the trophy? As the match went on, you could feel that Connors was imposing himself upon Ivan. Ivan's utter gag at the end of the 3rd set..well, that was pathetic. And, let's just forget about the 4th set entirely

    IF they had met in the USO '84 final, I still would've picked Connors...but only question would've been fatigue factor...Jimmy was still playing a bit better than Ivan on the big stages at that point (even at 32 yrs of age)...he had just "schooled" him at the Big W and was playing exceptionally well all tournament long. Ivan had not yet turned the tables on Connors...which came later from a combination of Jimmy getting old and Ivan hitting a whole lot of junk...finally realizing that trying to outhit Connors, well maybe not the greatest strategy for him.
     
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  19. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Well just judging from the levels of play in the two US Open semis that year, I would venture to guess that Connors' level of play were higher than Lendl's that year despite the fact that Lendl won and Connors' lost. So it's very possible Connors would have beaten Lendl.
     
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  20. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I think it was last year that Donald Dell revealed that Jimmy didn't have a case of diarrhea in the '83 final. He was in the bathroom getting a painkilling injection for a blood blister between two toes. His prematch injection was wearing off by the time of the third set, when he took the bathroom break.

    It was serious enough that Dell remembers persuading Jimmy not to default.
     
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  21. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    He was up 5-3 in the second set, too, and serving. He reached double set point and then his groundstrokes immediately got shaky. I started casually counting unforced errors, and he made 8 easy errors in a row, all with groundstrokes, starting with the set point. He did get out of it; he pulled that set out in the tiebreak. But then he choked again in the third set with the double-fault, and never recovered from that one.

    I'd still like to pick Lendl over Connors in an '84 meeting, but I'm not so sure anymore because we just had that thread on the Mac-Connors match, and we were talking about how well Connors did with his new racquet. Advantage to Jimmy.

    But then again, Connors was 32 in '84. He would have had, what, 17 hours to recover before the final. And it seems that the one-day turnaround really hurts the 30-year-olds (Sampras in '01). I know Mac and Lendl were stiff and tired when they met in the final, but Jimmy, at that age, would probably have started the final with little in the tank.

    And Lendl had a Slam by then. After beating McEnroe in Paris he said that he'd been working on his physical fitness, too.

    So I don't know. Connors-Lendl in '84 is a tough one to call.
     
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  22. krosero

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    It's strange, because as oppressively hot and humid as it was during the final, Lendl had not dropped a set in his 6 matches -- yet he looks tired. Even before he double-faulted and collapsed mentally. After that, he looks completely wiped out. I'm sure the mental part of it was huge. I'm not sure what his physical conditioning was like in '83. After he won in Paris he said to Bud Collins that he was in a little bit better shape than he had been in his other Slam finals. And to me, in that match in Paris he does look physically stronger.
     
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  23. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Everything was against Lendl that day. The crowd was very much against him, the heat, Connors. The mental and physical strain had to be incredible. I know it was tough for me justing sitting in the seats that day and I was in fairly decent shape in those days. How tough could it have been for Lendl?

    The only situation in which I can think of a player winning in such hostile conditions was Borg in the Italian Open in 1978, but it was a different type of environment.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
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  24. krosero

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    I think surely some Davis Cup matches have presented greater difficulties than what Lendl faced -- for example Stan Smith in Bucharest. It's true, the crowd was surely for Connors. And no doubt many were against Lendl. But even so, there was the incident in the '82 final, when a fan told Ivan to go home, and he was booed down. Followed by a woman telling Ivan to stay right where he was.

    I see this match as something between a rabid Davis Cup match and a neutral USO match where the two opponents are equally liked.

    When Sampras and Agassi faced Becker in Davis Cup matches, I remember virtually no cheering for the Americans, and wild cheering for Becker. All throughout those match, there were wild swings between silence for Becker's lost points and roars for the points he won. These USO finals just didn't seem like that; Lendl's points were cheered. Not the way Jimmy's were: but Jimmy got the greatest roars for retrieving like a mad man and fighting with every ounce of his energy -- something Lendl just didn't do.
     
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  25. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Good points, I didn't think of Davis Cup. I think you're right.
     
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  26. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Additional stats

    Here's an illustration of how well Connors was returning Lendl's serve.

    Lendl's first serve produced 14 aces and 13 other serves that did not come back. Overall Lendl won most of the points that he started with a first serve (59%). But when Connors was able to return Lendl's first serve he often blasted it to the opposite baseline and robbed Lendl of time.

    So take away Lendl's aces and unreturned serves, and he's left winning only 31% of the points started on his first serve. When Connors returned Lendl's first serve successfully, Lendl was far from being on even terms, despite possessing a strong first serve.

    You can look at what happened whenever a serve was successfully returned -- that is, in rallies -- by taking the figures for success on first and second serve and removing all the aces, unreturned serves and double-faults:

    Connors 59% on first serve (34/58 ) and 56% on second (20/36).
    Lendl 31% on first serve (12/39) and 46% on second (25/54).

    In rallies, Lendl was actually less hurt when he had to go to a second serve. The reason seems to be that Connors used the pace of Lendl's first serve against him.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
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  27. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    In '83 it was similar story.

    Lendl had 61% success on first serve overall. His first serve produced 17 aces and 10 other serves that did not come back.

    But these are the figures for both players in actual rallies, when serves were returned successfully:

    Connors 45% on first serve (29/64) and 50% on second (10/20).
    Lendl 37% on first serve (16/44) and 41% on second (31/75).

    Again, when serves started rallies, Lendl was hurt less on second serve than he was on first serve.

    Connors is slightly below 50% in rallies started on his own first serve, but that is less remarkable because Connors' first serve has never been regarded as a weapon.
     
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  28. BeHappy

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    I wish you would put the winners/unforced errors next to each other

    something like:

    winners:17
    Unforced errors: 5

    The 82 McEnroe/Lendl semi final was exceptionally high quality tennis. There were very very few unforced errors in that match.
     
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  29. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I love the 1982 and 1983 US Open finals. Vintage Connors at his best :twisted:
     
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  30. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Fascinating stats re: Lendl's first serve. What I really recall from both years was Jimmy's exceptional ability to get his racket on those bombs from Lendl and send them zinging back at him. It was tremendous stuff. Having watched most of the '83 final on You Tube recently, I felt the same way on that matter, yet was a bit more sympathetic to Lendl in the home stretch. He seemed mentally and physically shot and Connors was just a shark consuming his prey...he got ultra aggressive in those latter stages. Lendl seemed overwhelmed on several fronts. Connors, much like Agassi, was a good front runner who had no qualms about squashing you once he saw you were weakened.
     
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  31. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    how does Agassi compare in some of the stats we've done on his matches?
     
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  32. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    You mean as a returner? I have a few calculated so far. In the '02 USO final he kept Sampras down to 47% success on first serve when he managed to return it successfully. So in that match, if he returned Pete's first serve, he had a slightly better than even chance of winning the point.

    In the '95 USO final he kept Sampras to 57% success in rallies started on first serve.

    I have some others I could calculate, and as I get them I'll post them. But there aren't many because you have to know the overall success on first and second serve, as well as how many aces/unreturned serves were on first or second. There aren't that many matches where we have all that info.

    I'd like to see how this stat turns out for someone like Roddick, or better yet Karlovic, ie, the kind of server where the receiver feels he's on good terms once he gets the serve back.

    We have some Roddick matches, but none for which we have all the necessary info.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
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  33. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    What Connors did with some of those first serves was incredible, I wonder if he's done that to other big servers to the same degree. Maybe Tanner in that famous straight-set win at '75 Wimbledon.
     
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  34. BeHappy

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    Tanner destroyed Connors with his serve that day. I've seen highlights of the match in a Wimbledon official film. Tanner's had one of the big serves of all time, he easily had 20 miles an hour on Lendl's serve.
     
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  35. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Is this their 1975 semi final that Connors won or their 1976 quarter final that Tanner won?
     
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  36. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Must be the 76 QF...since Jimmy won the '75 encounter
     
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  37. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Additional stats

    Lendl won 111 points overall, Connors 80.

    (The ATP, counting aces and double-faults twice, has Lendl leading 125-83 in overall points).

    In one stretch Lendl won 17 straight points on serve.

    Lendl won 32 of 41 points on 1st serve (78%) and 29 of 44 on 2nd serve (66%). He won 19 straight points on first serve, going 10 of 10 in the third set. But in the first set his success on first serve (winning 6 of 10 points) was actually lower than his success on second (7 of 10).

    Connors won 39 of 64 points on 1st serve (61%) and 17 of 42 on 2nd (40%).


    Success on serve counting only points on which serves were successfully returned:

    Lendl 53% on first serve (10/19) and 61% on second (22/36).
    Connors 49% on first serve (24/49) and 29% on second (10/35).


    Lendl made 41 of 85 first serves (48%).
    Connors made 64 of 106 first serves (60%).

    Lendl made his first serve on 4 of 6 break points, Connors on 8 of 12.

    Lendl converted 7 of 12 break points, Connors 2 of 6.


    Apart from aces Lendl had 17 other unreturned serves (10 were first serves), of which I judged 3 as service winners.

    Apart from aces Connors had 20 other unreturned serves (13 were first serves), of which I judged 1 as a service winner.


    Lendl made 20 return errors in all (9 FH, 11 BH). Of those I judged 4 as unforced (2 FH, 2 BH).

    Connors made 17 return errors in all (11 FH, 6 BH). Of those I judged 7 as unforced (6 FH, 1 BH).

    Connors drew 9 return errors in the first set, an impressive number. And imo only one of those errors was unforced.

    (Note: USA's coverage missed one point, won by Lendl. It could be a winner or an unreturned serve, but it was not an ace. I gave Lendl a first serve on it.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
    #37
  38. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    New York Times article

    10 characters
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
    #38
  39. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Gerulaitis said that earlier in the day Connors was a “very angry tennis player” during his practice session. He came out for the match sharp and energetic, and he made few errors. USA had him at 8 winners and 9 ue in the first set (which is pretty good although still a negative differential; Lendl was given 11 winners and only 8 ue, though he lost the set).

    Vitas said during the first set that he had never seen Connors volley better. Barry McKay said that Connors was hitting his low volleys as well as he had ever seen.

    However Lendl was getting a lot of returns at Connors’ feet, and from about the second set onward he was inducing errors or weak volleys. Jimmy put a lot of half-volleys into the net.

    Tony Roche thought the turning point was when Lendl started to move Connors around at the end of the first set, keeping him away from the net (something Gerulaitis also noticed). McKay noticed Lendl getting more balls in play, particularly with the slice, and he thought that put progressively greater pressure on Connors.
     
    #39
  40. krosero

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    One thing about these comments. When they met at the 82-83 USO's and the '84 Wimbledon, Connors hit more winners than Lendl in all of those matches (excluding aces). In this '92 match Lendl was ahead in winners, so it was not exactly clear that Lendl was hitting less aggressively than he did in the past. In fact, apart from the slice, Lendl was hitting the ball forcefully.

    It's true that Lendl was hitting more consistently -- largely due to those crosscourt chips/slices. To Connors the slice was pushing (or bunting). But the practical result was that Connors had to run more and had to play longer points, which increased Lendl's chances. Connors' best chance was always in keeping points short, and staying aggressive. Yet he did not find it easy to be aggressive against Lendl's no-pace chip.
     
    #40
  41. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    ... and Connors defeated Lendl in their 84 Wimbly semifinal...
     
    #41
  42. krosero

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    Since this was his last Open match, his full record is 88-2. The first loss was the ’77 final to Vilas. And that loss was very similar to this one, with Connors winning the first set but eventually getting closed out in a bagel.

    Lendl was 61-1 at the Open after winning the first set, per USA. That record was 61-2 when he retired. The first loss was to McEnroe in 1980. The second was to Borwick in ’93, though he had to retire in that match after splitting two sets.

    This was the last Lendl/Connors meeting. In their previous matches, Lendl was 19-1 after the winning the first set; the one loss was the '84 Wimbledon sf. Connors was 12-2; the two losses, before this one, were the Lipton semifinals in '86 and '87.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
    #42
  43. krosero

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    One more thing I wanted to say about your stats. I don't know how it didn't come up before, but look at Connors' winners: just 3 groundstrokes, but 19 volleys/overheads. Offhand I don't recall any time when Connors had such an overwhelming margin at the net, in our stats.

    When he met Lendl at '82 USO and '84 Wimbledon, he had slightly more winners from the net than he did from the baseline, but nothing like the margin he had in '92. Those numbers make him look like Edberg.

    He did play this '92 match differently from his past meetings with Lendl. Not that he didn't come in a lot before, but his strategy in '92 was obviously to SV and approach as much as possible (that's how he started the match, anyway). That would keep the rallies short, and at age 40 that was probably the best strategy he could have chosen.
     
    #43
  44. jrepac

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    Very true on that; I don't think he ever played quite this way against Lendl before, certainly not on a hard court at least. He was also holding his own against Lendl off the ground in the first set. Only when Lendl started slicing those backhands consistently did Jimmy's game start to break down.....[there's a bit of truth in Connor's rather bitter, bad-mannered commentary]....:twisted:
     
    #44
  45. krosero

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    I agree, but I want to add something. (You know I always do, he he). Connors' game started breaking down in the long rallies, with Lendl alternating from strong forehands to chip backhands and some topspin backhands, moving Jimmy around, etc. But for that baseline war to really take effect, Connors had to be kept off the net. That's why I think the commentators, and Roche, were right to pinpoint Lendl getting greater depth on his groundies and keeping Connors back.

    Also, Lendl started returning many shots at Connors’ feet, and Jimmy began missing half-volleys and volleys. A lifelong SV player, with a strong serve, could counter all that and keep coming in, but for Connors it was just going to be very tough to pull off three sets with a SV strategy. At least on hard court.

    Several years earlier he would not have needed that strategy, and could rely much more on his groundstrokes to win baseline rallies.
     
    #45
  46. krosero

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    Just want to quote this post by Mustard from another thread, because there’s a startling similarity to the Connors/Lendl rivalry.

    Lendl’s first 6 wins over Connors were all in two straight sets. He got his first 3-set win over Connors in January ’85 at the Masters, 7-5, 6-7, 7-5.

    http://www.atpworldtour.com/Players/Head-To-Head.aspx?pId=L018&oId=C044
    http://www.atpworldtour.com/Players/Head-To-Head.aspx?pId=D643&oId=N409
     
    #46
  47. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Lendl´s gaem played straight into Connors strong points.He fed off pace and Lendl´s crosscourt FH played into Connors great counterpunching 2 HBH.Also, Connors read very well the Lendl´s first serve, and was able to put pressure mixing up things, coming in on Lendl´s 2 serve and changing placement so often, Lendl was caught on the wrong foot in a very subtle manner.
     
    #47
  48. krosero

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    Yes it was something of a bad matchup for Lendl, who lost their first 8 matches.

    Connors had a similar record against Nastase, losing their first 8 matches according to the ATP: http://www.atpworldtour.com/Players/Head-To-Head.aspx?pId=C044&oId=N008
     
    #48
  49. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Which is not surprising, considering that Nastase got pretty well inside Jimmy´s head and he had the perfect game to dirve Connors crazy, mixing up spins, paces, heights, bounces and tactics.I think, the best Nastase ever could beat no matter which player any time
     
    #49
  50. krosero

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    I have not seen any Nastase-Connors match but I bet you're right, since that is more or less what Ashe did to beat Connors at Wimbledon (not the part about getting into Jimmy's head, but the other stuff).

    Nastase beat Connors in April '77 as part of the WCT Challenge Cup, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4, 7-5. The New York Times said that he won because of a strong serve, aggressive play and his “usual strategy of mixing speeds as much as possible against Connors’s power.”

    Nastase had a 15-5 lifetime edge over Connors, according to some press reports earlier that year.

    Their H2H is somewhat uncertain because the ATP doesn't count all their matches. The Times reported that Nastase went 5-1 against Connors in '76, one of Jimmy's best years (even though Ilie turned 30 that year).
     
    #50

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