Stats for Ashe-Connors (1975 W final)

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by krosero, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,644
    Ashe d. Connors 6-1, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4

    Ashe actually has a higher rate of winners here than in the '69 match where he and Laver were ripping the ball. Of course, power is not the only way to produce winners, but I was still surprised at how much power Ashe produced in this match.

    I'm just seeing the match for the first time, partly because from everything I've read about it, I had the impression that it was mainly about junkballing from Ashe and errors from Connors. The match was actually more complex than that.

    Steve Flink included it as one of the 20 greatest matches of the century. He said that previously Ashe had been a low-percentage player, going for big shots at ill-advised moments. Against Connors, I thought he was still often going for the big winner, but he never seemed to do it when he was out of position or the opening wasn't there. He was playing the percentages, in other words. Sometimes to create an opening he would need some touch and finesse, and then he would go for the big shot; sometimes he didn't need it and would just do classical Big Game serve-and-volley.

    He just always seemed to know when he could go for it. When he did, I sometimes expected Connors to react well, since Jimmy liked pace; but then he'd be already out of position, or off balance, or just didn't have his strokes in groove. Ashe wasn't letting him get in a groove. He wasn't moonballing Jimmy or junkballing his way through the match; he was mixing it up.


    The following are my counts.

    Ashe won 135 points overall, Connors 101.

    SERVICE

    Ashe won 69 of 105 points on his serve (or 66%); Connors 65 of 131 (or 49.6%).

    Ashe served at 73%, making 77 of 105 first serves.
    Connors served at 75%, making 98 of 131 first serves.

    Ashe's percentages by set: 69, 71, 74, 77.
    Connors' percentages by set: 70, 55, 77, 86

    Ashe had 4 aces, 30 other unreturned serves (of which I judged 2 as service winners), and 2 double-faults.

    Connors had 1 ace, 27 other unreturned serves (of which I judged 6 as service winners), and 3 double-faults.

    Ashe converted 8 of 21 break points.

    Connors converted 3 of 4 break points. He did not earn a break point until the last game of the second set.

    Ashe put his first serve into play on 3 of the 4 break points he faced.

    Connors put his first serve into play on 17 of the 21 break points he faced (or 81% of the time). After serving a second serve on break point in the first game of the third set, he faced break point 13 more times and put his first serve into play every time, though he was still broken 3 times in that span.


    WINNERS

    Ashe made 31 clean winners apart from service: 3 FH, 8 BH, 13 FHV, 3 BHV, 4 smashes.

    Connors made 38 clean winners part from service: 14 FH, 8 BH, 5 FHV, 5 BHV, 6 smashes.

    Ashe's winners by set: 7, 8, 8, 8
    Connors' winners by set: 3, 6, 19, 10

    The real surprise here is Ashe’s forehand volley, the stroke known as his weakness: it was his most destructive stroke, with 13 winners. The only stroke in the match that exceeded it was Connors’ forehand, again a mild surprise because that shot often failed Jimmy throughout his career – especially on the low approach. Ashe gave him the low forehand and Connors missed it at times, but it wasn’t what lost him the match. Maskell thought it was actually Connors’ backhand approach that was costing him the match; no question his approach from that side was often short or missed.

    Both players are known for having stronger backhands than forehands, but neither one dominated here from the backhand. That shows that Ashe was successfully keeping the ball away from Connors’ backhand; and that Ashe was not driving his own backhand as much as he might have usually done. It was on passing shots that Ashe most often chose to dink, slice or lob.

    The only other Ashe match for which we have stats (by Urban) is that semifinal against Laver at the '69 Wimbledon. Ashe had 7 aces and the following winners: 6 FH, 14 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV, and 3 overheads. That match was only two games longer than this one, so it’s a nice comparison (although Ashe lost that one).

    Against Laver, Ashe was really pumping the first serve, and sometimes serving consecutive aces, as I recall; against Connors he took some speed off. He had very few winners at the net against Laver – largely because his forehand volley was not as successful then. (His backhand volley winners against Laver and Connors were nearly the same). And against Laver he had almost twice as many ground stroke winners as he did against Connors – partly because Laver presented constant target at net, and Ashe just went for his passing shots then.

    By contrast, there was one time in the third set here when Connors was at net and Ashe just tried to power the backhand past him. Jimmy cut it off and wagged his finger at Arthur, as if to say that he couldn't put it past him. He was comfortable with pace and he got a little more of it in the third set; he even went all the way up to 3-love in the fourth.

    Ashe had two service return winners, both backhands off Jimmy’s first serve. Both were passes. He had six other passing shot winners – four from the backhand (including a pair of lobs).

    Connors had 10 service return winners, including 6 forehands off Ashe’s second serve. The remaining return winners were all off Ashe’s first serve, split evenly between forehand and backhand. Ashe was coming in on all the return winners. In addition, Connors had 10 passing shots, including 6 from the forehand. One of his backhands was a lob.


    Errors (forced and unforced)

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

    Ashe made 62 total errors. Of those I counted 27 return errors and 2 double-faults. That leaves him making 33 errors in points that had at least a successful return, that is, in rallies.

    Connors made 100 total errors. Of those I counted 30 return errors and 3 double-faults. That leaves him making 67 errors in rallies.

    Ashe’s margin over Connors in the “rally” points is 34 – the same margin by which Ashe won the match.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
    #1
  2. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,644
    Done with the 70s, for now. Back to the future for me.
     
    #2
  3. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,924
    You beat me to another one:)

    Surprised that Connors still managed to hit more winners, even in a somewhat lopsided loss.

    guess this is the ket stat here:

    Wow, that's impressive, I wonder how often major finals have had both players serve at 70%?


    and here was some more from flink on this match in an article on TTC website recently:

    http://www.tennischannel.com/news/NewsDetails.aspx?newsid=3838
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2008
    #3
  4. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,924
    I assume some of those return errors were caused by someone coming forward, so wouldn't the forced error counts really be higher if that was factored in?

    In that Edberg match I did recently, I wouldn't call most of Lendl's unreturned serves as 'return errors' but as forced errors.
     
    #4
  5. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,644
    Yes, the total forced error count would be higher if return errors were added. In a match like this, with good servers and aggressive net players, most return errors are forced.

    Return errors are usually forced but Levin said that sometimes a return of a second serve can be an unforced error (if the server is not at net). He also wrote that doubles can technically be called unforced errors. That's why I've usually written, "Apart from return errors and doubles, so-and-so made X number of forced and unforced errors." I'm just trying to separate all the errors, so you get a sense of how many were made on returns, how many in rallies, and how many by double-faulting.

    That's what I'm trying to do, though of course it's different from most stats out there. Typically, published stats don't break down errors into return or non-return; nor do they give you any way to calculate the total errors, forced and unforced. Usually you only get unforced errors (without an indication of how many might have occurred on service returns), double-faults, and a few forced errors in the form of service winners (if those are even reported explicitly).
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2008
    #5
  6. bluegrasser

    bluegrasser Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Messages:
    2,342
    It was so much tougher then with the low bounce thus causing more errors IMHO - now the grass with the higher bounce is more favorable to the baseline bashers of today's game. ..yawn The high risk tennis of the past was more entertaining, except for that Becker/Stich final.
     
    #6
  7. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,644
    Since the topic of Ashe's game plan came up in another thread, I'm quoting a little from Fred Tupper's report in the NY Times, to go with Flink's quote above:

    I think Tupper is highlighting what Arthur did differently, so he talks about the off-pace shots. I'm sure he doesn't mean that Ashe threw nothing but junk at Connors. His regular power game was still there, it was just mixed in with the offpace stuff.

    In his book on the greatest matches of the 20th century, Flink wrote that during the third set Ashe started gunning his first serves, in the same way that had gotten him into trouble in previous matches against Connors. Flink said that Connors started ramming returns back.

    On my stat sheet I have Connors hitting a series of outright winners off Arthur's first serve, starting in the last game of the second set (when he earned his first break point) and running through early in the fourth set (when he went up 3-love). Apart from that stretch, he didn't have any outright winners off first serves, or get a service break, so Flink is probably on to something when he says that Arthur temporarily went back to the old habit of gunning the first serve.

    May be interesting to check it next time I see the match.
     
    #7
  8. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,608
    Location:
    OREGON
    YOU promised!!!!!!!Look in 3 to four weeks you said. Back to the future!!!! Waht happened to 1987!
     
    #8
  9. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,644
    Well, I said in the next weeks, though I never committed to 3 or 4. But you're being good natured about it, and I don't mean to get all serious either. I will definitely get to it; I didn't forget about it at all.
     
    #9
  10. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    4,003
    Location:
    Windsor, England
    So even Ashe admits he was lucky. He clearly was. Connors hit too many unforced errors to win that match. It wasn't Ashe playing well, it was Connors playing badly (apart from his serve).

    By the way, great work Krosero, just pick a match that Connors wins next time eh:)
     
    #10
  11. sspihawaii

    sspihawaii New User

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    I don't think Ashe said that at all. He certainly didn't say he was "lucky." He said that he was playing amazingly well, and was in the zone.

    Connors was an amazing player, in that for roughly 11 years (1974-84), he virtually always played at almost exactly the same level, match in, match out. That meant that he very, very rarely was upset by lesser players, esp. at the slams, but lost a lot of matches to other top players. If he was playing a McEnroe, Borg, Ashe, Newcombe, etc. who was playing at his peak, Connors had almost no chance, because he really didn't have the ability to elevate his game. But on the other hand, if another top player wasn't playing all that well, Connors would almost always win, because his game rarely fell beyond a certain level.
     
    #11
  12. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    Arthur Ashe mentioned in a book that his serving strategy was to try to pull Connors as far out of court as possible to open up the court for volleys, and that "meant more slice and spin serves than flat ones". He also mentions being aware that Tanner had blasted serves at Connors in the semi's and not won many games. While he did say that he wanted to make Connors generate his own pace, and prevent him from opening up the court, by hitting short and down the middle underspin, he also mentions that he planned to go for big shots IF a clear opening was there.

    He also mentioned planning to lob over Connors 2 handed backhand should he attack the net.
     
    #12
  13. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    4,003
    Location:
    Windsor, England
    Ashe said he didn't know how he played so well, so I would say he was lucky.

    Your point about Connors overall consistency was partly true. But he could also raise his game. Connors at his peak would always beat Ashe and Newcombe at their best. I'd have to agree with Borg and McEnroe though, when they were at the top of their game they could beat anyone.
     
    #13
  14. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,770
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    I remember watching that Wimby final, and being surprised that "ole man Ashe" could defeat the youthful power, brashness, and hunger of Connors.

    I don't remember details, but it did seem that that Ashe picked Connors apart, sliced and diced him, dissected him. I went away thinking that Ashe had played a strategically brilliant match to neutralize the power of Connors.
     
    #14
  15. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Messages:
    15,850
    Location:
    VA Beach
    #15
  16. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,391
    Connors could certainly raise his game at times; Ashe was a fine player who came up w/an interesting strategy and executed it perfectly in that '75 final. As it was, Jimmy was coming back at him and Arthur was wavering a bit from his plan. At his best, Jimmy was better than Arthur and Newk...Borg and Mac could play tennis at a stratospheric level when they were "on", so tough for Jimmy to touch them. But, if they were just a tad off their games, lookout.
     
    #16
  17. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,471
    Generally I agree with about everything you stated. Perhaps Newcombe could have been better on average than Connors on grass but even that is debatable despite the fact Newcombe beat him twice in majors on grass.

    In a way the Ashe-Connors Wimbledon final is the exact opposite of matches today. Ashe played a match that would give Connors the most chance to make errors unlike today where everyone hits topspin and goes for winners. Ashe broke up Connors' game. No one does that anyone without the exception a bit when Federer does it when he hits his soft crosscourt sliced backhand.
     
    #17
  18. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Messages:
    15,850
    Location:
    VA Beach
    Watching Ashe's play reminded me a lot of what Santoro used to do with the different spins and slices to throw guys off their games. It was very unlike Ashe's usual gameplan, but it worked to damn near perfection in throwing Connors out of sorts.
     
    #18
  19. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    4,379
    Connor's problem on grass was his serve, which could be attacked very well. Even Rosewall made 2 breaks out of the 6 games he won in 1974. So i think, that Newk and Ashe would beat Connors on grass more than they would lose. Ashe was breaking him at will, and his own wide slice serve to the dh backhand was working well. Ashe like Evonne could get nervous, when leading, and that got to him in the 3rd set, after butchering Connors in the first 2 sets. When he regrouped in the 4th, it was over for Connors.
     
    #19
  20. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,391
    This match just speaks to the ability of some of the greats to change up their game, when needed. Even Connors figured that out in his later years, adding more S&V to the mix, I think! But, nowadays, it seems most guys are incapable of doing that. They've got one style....pound away!
     
    #20
  21. WCT

    WCT Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2010
    Messages:
    217
    I'm willing to concede that it's arguable that prime Newcombe deserves the edge on grass versus Connors. Not Ashe, though. I need more than one victory(the only time he ever beat Connors). Roscoe Tanner once beat Connors in straight sets at Wimbledon. Doesn't mean I'd bet on him if they met again back during that day. Difference is we have some proof there. The other 2 times they played at Wimbledon.

    Connors played like crap that day. Ashe himself said it. Listed all he did to win and added that Jimmy choked.

    I'm certainly not going to argue that Connors had a big serve, although I thought it was slightly bigger in 74, but is Rosewall a very good example? Had one of the greatest returns of serve in history. It's sort of like disparaging someone's serve when they got broken by Connors. These guys could break your serve when you were serving well.
     
    #21
  22. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Ashe learned from Newcombe's win over connors at the AO the year before in which Newcombe dinked, sliced, chopped and angled Connors to death. Ashe basically did the same thing. He knew he couldn't out hit Connors, so he basically gave him nothing to hit except a ton of dinks and short angles. And it succeeded in drawing out an inordinate amount of UE from Connors. Ashe came out of it looking like the master of maturity and patience, and Connors the student.
     
    #22
  23. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,212
    Location:
    L. Island, NY
    Connors never liked slices and softball "junk" thrown at him. Lendl beat him 17 times in a row by not trying to overpower him but but chipping everything to the Connor's forehand. With the equipment then it was easier to pull off. I read somewhere where Rosewall (I think) also prevented Lew Hoad from the grand slam at one of the majors by slicing and dicing him to defeat.

    At the elite pro level now junk balling can be used occasionally as a change of pace. It isn't going to beat a world champion over 5 sets.
     
    #23
  24. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,391
    I'm not sure how equipment would make a difference...Jimmy & Ivan were playing w/Midsize graphite frames for most of those matches....Ivan just smartened up and figured it was better to take pace off the ball against Jimmy, rather than trying to outhit him; when Connors was "on", trying to outhit him was not a good strategy. I think that would apply to a player today who feeds off of pace....
     
    #24
  25. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Messages:
    15,850
    Location:
    VA Beach
    Interesting how Connors reacted to Lendl's tactics, in short - he didn't like them. :D

    Here's a note from something Connors said during their 92 USO match.

    And here it is right from his mouth.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgqI5yjlhLY#t=5m10s
     
    #25
  26. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    Messages:
    506
    Krosero.. Arthur won 135 points and Jimmy 101

    Per sets :

    27-12
    30-18
    44-44
    34-27
     
    #26
  27. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,471
    I've seen Lendl use that tactic numerous times against Connors with success. However I might add that I believe Connors was on the downside (still winning against most) of his career and from my observation had lost a few steps and his reflexes were a bit slower. I'm not sure if that tactic would have worked as well against a peak Connors. Orantes used that tactic well against a peak Connors but Orantes was a magician with the racquet when he was "on" his game and his touch remarkable. He could even use the touch game well against Nastase, Borg and Vilas.

    Borg tried the off pace tactics against Connors in the 1976 US Open and lost in four sets.
     
    #27
  28. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,212
    Location:
    L. Island, NY
    Good point. jimmy was brilliant that match.
     
    #28
  29. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,644
    Thanks for this, I updated the opening post. I got the same set-by-set figures but added them incorrectly.

    Jimmy just squeezed by with the third set.

    Other than that it was not really close. For the match as a whole, Connors won less than 50% of points on his own serve, which is usually a sign of a rout.
     
    #29
  30. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,471
    It didn't help that Connors was probably hurt but at the same time he did destroy Tanner in the semi.

    Always wondered what would have happened if, assuming Connors was truly injured what would have happened in that match. Personally I think it would have been close because Ashe did have a great game for grass.
     
    #30
  31. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Nice to know you aknowledge Orantes.
     
    #31
  32. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    Messages:
    506
    Yeah, his first serve brought him nothing in this match

    And he was inferior even in longer points, if we can call points with 5-8 strokes longer :)


    Points by lenght of rallys

    1-4 (171) : 95-76
    5-8 (60) : 37-23
    9-12 (4) : 2-2
    13+ (1) : 1-0

    And what do you think about that situation when Jimmy had point for 4-1 in fourth set, maybe that could turned the match in his favour?
     
    #32
  33. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,471
    I was at the 1975 US Open and observed many Orantes matches during that tournament including the famous semi that year against Vilas in which Vilas led two sets to love and 2-0 in the third. Orantes hit one of his incredible, what I call touch streaks in which he had the ball on a string in the third (I don't think Vilas was playing at a lower level than earlier) and won the next six games of the third. Vilas proceeded to win the first five games of the third and had several match points in the sixth game. It was at that point I left my seat to move closer to the portal anticipating that the match would be over soon. Boy was I wrong!! Orantes saved the match points and won the next seven games in what seemed to me like an instant. The fifth set was won by Orantes in an incredible comeback.

    Most experts thought Jimmy Connors (at his peak) would win the final especially considering Orantes played late into the night. My thought was that Orantes was, when he was "on" was playing at a higher level than anyone else. Orantes beat Connors in straight sets and I honestly don't think it was really an upset considering the level of play of Orantes during the tournament. Orantes also beat Nastase fairly easily earlier in the tournament and Nastase was still Nastase at that point.

    Orantes was one of my favorite players to watch.
     
    #33
  34. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    So good so far
    He was considered a notch below Borg,Connors,Nastase or Vilas since he was a modest guy and the best sportman in the game
    He was hurt so often that he seldom reached ful potential which he showed at 18 when he was the best junior in the world and almost beat Roy Emerson at Brisbane in DCfinal...whem Emmo was the best amateur and right in his prime

    Orantes matches involved drama and some of the greatest comebacks in modern tennis had him either winning them like Vilas at FH, Fibak at the prestigious Masters finala and a DCmatch vs British N1 Roger Taylor and another match at the prestigious German Open against peak Dibbs...or losing them like the most surprising major final of the decade when 18 yrs old Borg won his first RG title being down two sets to nil and taking next three sets while losing only two games
    With Manolo every possibility was there
     
    #34
  35. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,644
    Yep, Connors was broken 8 times, and in three of those games he got broken despite making all his first serves.

    In the last game of the opening set he made 5 of 5 first serves and got broken at 15. In his last service game of the match he made 5 of 5 again and got broken.

    In fact he made his last 15 first serves of the match, and 18 of his last 19, but still got broken twice in that stretch.

    Do you have success on 1st and 2nd serve?

    So Ashe won 56% of the shortest points, and 62% of rallies that went 5-8 shots. So yeah, that's a surprise, because Ashe had small leads over Connors in aces (1-shot rallies) and in drawing return errors (2-shot rallies). Yet when the rallies went past 5 shots he was even more likely to win the point.

    Interesting stuff, these rally counts. Do you have a lot of those?

    Well I haven't seen the match in 3 years, but upthread I wrote about how Ashe returned to his old power tactics in the third set, which he lost. He got burned by some return winners from Connors, including early in the fourth set when Connors took a lead. But then Ashe returned to the gameplan he had started with, and the match started going again the way it had in the first two sets.

    So yes Connors got within a point of a 4-1 lead in the fourth, but I don't think his chances of turning the match around were very good so long as Ashe kept to his gameplan. The one time he sank his teeth into the match was during the third set and early in the fourth; but he was getting a little more pace from Ashe during that stretch. Without pace he looked much less confident, even confused.
     
    #35
  36. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,644
    Connors' unreturned serves

    Just over 21% of Connors' serves did not come back, ie, Ashe failed to touch them or to put them back in play. That's a fairly high number for Connors.

    Jimmy's best unreturned rates, in all our counts, were against Rosewall at 1974 USO (no surprise) and Newcombe at 1975 AO.

    His worst rates were all against Borg.


    AGAINST BORG
    (listed from Jimmy's lowest rate to his highest)

    1978 W
    Connors served on 97 points, and 7 serves did not come back: 7.2%
    Borg served on 85 points, and 24 serves did not come back: 28.2%

    1979 W
    Connors served on 94 points, and 9 serves did not come back: 9.6%
    Borg served on 73 points, and 25 serves did not come back: 34.2%

    1981 USO
    Connors served on 98 points, and 10 serves did not come back: 10.2%
    Borg served on 100 points, and 37 serves did not come back: 37.0%

    1981 W
    Connors served on 142 points, and 15 serves did not come back: 10.6%
    Borg served on 138 points, and 33 serves did not come back: 23.9%

    1978 USO
    Connors served on 79 points, and 13 serves did not come back: 16.4%
    Borg served on 104 points, and 18 serves did not come back: 17.3%


    AGAINST MCENROE
    (listed from Jimmy's lowest rate to his highest)

    1984 USO
    Connors served on 160 points, and 25 serves did not come back: 15.6%
    McEnroe served on 157 points, and 51 serves did not come back: 32.4%

    1982 W
    Connors served on 186 points, and 33 serves did not come back: 17.7%
    McEnroe served on 160 points, and 55 serves did not come back: 34.4%

    1984 RG
    Connors served on 83 points, and 15 serves did not come back: 18.1%
    McEnroe served on 92 points, and 29 serves did not come back: 31.5%

    1980 W
    Connors served on 145 points, and 33 serves did not come back: 22.8%
    McEnroe served on 121 points, and 51 serves did not come back: 42.1%

    1984 W
    Connors served on 70 points, and 17 serves did not come back: 24.3%
    McEnroe served on 55 points, and 26 serves did not come back: 47.3%


    AGAINST LENDL
    (listed from Jimmy's lowest rate to his highest)

    1982 USO
    Connors served on 118 points, and 22 serves did not come back: 18.6%
    Lendl served on 129 points, and 33 serves did not come back: 25.6%

    1984 Tokyo Indoor
    Connors served on 75 points, and 15 serves did not come back: 20.0%
    Lendl served on 77 points, and 8 serves did not come back: 10.4%

    1992 USO
    Connors served on 106 points, and 22 serves did not come back: 20.8%
    Lendl served on 85 points, and 29 serves did not come back: 34.1%

    1984 W
    Connors served on 126 points, and 31 serves did not come back: 24.6%
    Lendl served on 144 points, and 39 serves did not come back: 27.1%

    1983 USO
    Connors served on 117 points, and 29 serves did not come back: 24.8%
    Lendl served on 154 points, and 31 serves did not come back: 20.1%


    AGAINST ROSEWALL
    (listed from Jimmy's lowest rate to his highest)

    1974 W
    Connors served on 92 points, and 21 serves did not come back: 22.8%
    Rosewall served on 80 points, and 14 serves did not come back: 17.5%

    1974 USO
    Connors served on 70 points, and 20 serves did not come back: 28.6%
    Rosewall served on 54 points, and 5 serves did not come back: 9.3%


    AGAINST VARIOUS OTHER OPPONENTS
    (listed from Jimmy's lowest rate to his highest)

    1987 Queens Club
    Connors served on 96 points, and 14 serves did not come back: 14.6%
    Becker served on 105 points, and 31 serves did not come back: 29.5%

    1991 USO
    Connors served on 171 points (per ATP), and 27 serves did not come back: 15.8%
    Krickstein served on 203 points (per ATP), and (at least) 43 serves did not come back: 21.2%

    1987 W
    Connors served on 81 points, and 14 serves did not come back: 17.3%
    Cash served on 71 points, and 25 serves did not come back: 35.2%

    1975 W
    Connors served on 131 points and 28 serves did not come back: 21.4%
    Ashe served on 105 points and 34 serves did not come back: 32.4%

    1985 W
    Connors served on 80 points, and 20 serves did not come back: 25.0%
    Curren served on 66 points, and 38 serves did not come back: 57.6%

    1980 W
    Connors served on 121 points and 32 serves did not come back: 26.4%
    Tanner served on 140 points and 47 serves did not come back: 33.6%

    1975 AO
    Connors served on 140 points and 39 serves did not come back: 27.9%
    Newcombe served on 135 points and 44 serves did not come back: 32.6%
     
    #36
  37. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,644
    32% of Ashe's serves did not come back against Connors -- very nearly the same unreturned rate that Newk achieved against Connors in their AO final.

    Some others for Ashe:

    1978 Masters final
    Ashe served on 93 points, and 33 serves did not come back: 35.4%
    McEnroe served on 122 points, and 43 serves did not come back: 35.2%

    1969 W semi
    Ashe served on 117 points, and 31 serves did not come back: 26.5%
    Laver served on 92 points, and (at least) 30 serves did not come back: 32.6%
     
    #37
  38. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    4,379
    Ashe could serve harder in his early years, but he had developed a nasty serve wide to Connors' doublehander from the right court in 1975. That gave him many easy volleys, if the ball came back alltogether.
     
    #38
  39. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    Messages:
    506
    O.k, my stats for this match. Service winners are all points that server won just with one shot, so aces or unreturned services. Its hard to split forced and unforced errors in match with such a quick and short points, but I give my best.

    I set :

    Code:
    Arthur Ashe                                        Jimmy Connors
    
    27/39       Total points won                       12/39 
    16/11/5     Services (total/first/second)          23/16/7
    9/11        Points won on first serve              5/16
    3/5         Points won on second serve             3/7
    15/23       Return points won                      4/16
    17/23       Returned services                      13/16
    7/10        Wing of serve return (fh/bh)           9/4
    7           Winners                                4
    3           Service winners                        5
    2           Unforced Errors                        11                    
    /           Double faults                          1 
    3/3         Break points                           /    
    1           Service games without lost point       /
    18          Rallies 1-4 (28)                       10
    9           Rallies 5-8 (11)                       2 
                Rallies 9-12 (/)                       
                           
    Average number of shots in points in first set : 3,58 
    Average number of shots in points in first set on Ashe's serve   : 3,37 
    Average number of shots in points in first set on Connor's serve : 3,73
    II set :

    Code:
    Arthur Ashe                                        Jimmy Connors
    
    30/48       Total points won                       18/48
    28/20/8     Services (total/first/second)          20/11/9
    14/20       Points won on first serve              5/11
    5/8         Points won on second serve             4/9
    11/20       Return points won                      9/28
    18/20       Returned services                      18/28
    11/7        Wing of serve return (fh/bh)           10/8
    8           Winners                                8
    9           Service winners                        2
    6           Unforced Errors                        7                    
    1           Double faults                          / 
    2/4         Break points                           0/1    
    /           Service games without lost point       /
    20          Rallies 1-4 (32)                       12
    8           Rallies 5-8 (12)                       4 
    2           Rallies 9-12 (4)                       2
                           
    Average number of shots in points in second set : 4 
    Average number of shots in points in second set on Ashe's serve    : 3 
    Average number of shots in points in second set on Connors's serve : 5,4
    III set :

    Code:
    Arthur Ashe                                        Jimmy Connors
    
    44/88       Total points won                       44/88
    35/26/9     Services (total/first/second)          53/41/12
    17/26       Points won on first serve              22/41
    4/9         Points won on second serve             8/12
    23/53       Return points won                      14/35
    42/53       Returned services                      22/35
    17/25       Wing of serve return (fh/bh)           10/12
    9           Winners                                21
    12          Service winners                        10
    10          Unforced Errors                        14                    
    1           Double faults                          1 
    1/9         Break points                           2/2    
    /           Service games without lost point       /
    31          Rallies 1-4 (62)                       31
    12          Rallies 5-8 (25)                       13 
    /           Rallies 9-12 (/)                       /
    1           Rallies 13+ (1)                        /
                           
    Average number of shots in points in third set : 3,54
    Average number of shots in points in third set on Ashe's serve    : 2,85 
    Average number of shots in points in third set on Connors's serve : 4
    IV set :

    Code:
    Arthur Ashe                                        Jimmy Connors
    
    34/61       Total points won                       27/61
    26/20/6     Services (total/first/second)          35/30/5
    14/20       Points won on first serve              15/30
    3/6         Points won on second serve             3/5
    17/35       Return points won                      9/26
    24/35       Returned services                      16/26
    5/19        Wing of serve return (fh/bh)           9/7
    9           Winners                                10
    10          Service winners                        10
    3           Unforced Errors                        6                   
    /           Double faults                          1
    2/5         Break points                           1/1 
    /           Service games without lost point       /
    26          Rallies 1-4 (49)                       23
    8           Rallies 5-8 (12)                       4
    /           Rallies 9-12 (/)                       /
                                                 
    Average number of shots in points in fourth set : 3,26
    Average number of shots in points in fourth set on Ashe's serve  : 2,92 
    Average number of shots in points in fourth set on Connors's serve  : 3,51
    Match stats :

    Code:
    Arthur Ashe                                        Jimmy Connors
    
    135/236     Total points won                       101/236
    105/77/28   Services (total/first/second)          131/98/33
    54/77       Points won on first serve              47/98
    15/28       Points won on second serve             18/33
    66/131      Return points won                      36/105
    101/131     Returned services                      69/105
    40/61       Wing of serve return (fh/bh)           38/31
    33          Winners                                43
    34          Service winners                        27
    21          Unforced Errors                        38                  
    2           Double faults                          3
    8/21        Break points                           3/4
    1           Service games without lost point       /
    95          Rallies 1-4 (171)                      76 
    37          Rallies 5-8 (60)                       23
    2           Rallies 9-12 (4)                       2
    1           Rallies +13 (1)                        /  
                                                 
    Average number of shots in points in match : 3,58 
    Average number of shots in points in match on Ashe's serve  : 3 
    Average number of shots in points in match on Connors's serve  : 4
     
    #39
  40. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,644
    I guess you could say the wide slice serve was one way in which Ashe took his game beyond power. Yet it's different from the "junk" that we think of when we talk about the change in Ashe's game. We usually think of the off-pace shots that he threw at Jimmy. But the wide serve was a weapon that Ashe probably would have used against Connors on a grasscourt regardless of any plan to use off-pace "junk". It's just an effective weapon against any two-hander.

    Borg had a lot of success with that serve against Connors in the '78 final.

    I would love to see a breakdown like statisticians do today, where you would see how many points Ashe won or lost with his wide serve, and how he did serving to other locations.
     
    #40
  41. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,644
    Well this is an incredible level of detail, and very interesting. I'll have a closer look at everything, but a few things stand out.

    Connors, again, had lower success on first serve (48%) than on second (55%). We see that in a lot of his matches. It was true also when he lost to Newk in Australia.

    These stats were simply not available at the time, and I wonder what, if anything, Connors would have done if he or someone in his circle had realized that he had matches like this, in which his first serve was not working for him the way it should.

    On this board we see such numbers and we don't necessarily know the reason that someone's numbers might turn out this way, but I'm sure that experts and analysts of the time would have had some ideas about it.

    Ashe's numbers look solid: 70% on first serve and 54% on second.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
    #41
  42. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,644
    Nadal_Power, a couple of other observations about your stats.

    Connors made most of his successful returns with his forehand -- just slightly more than he made with his backhand. (And that was true in each of the sets individually -- except the third set.) That might mean that his FH return was better than his BH return, though we can't say that without a breakdown of his return errors by wing. Perhaps Ashe served more often to his FH wing, which would have allowed Connors to amass a large number of successful FH returns.

    Ashe's return numbers are simpler: a solid majority of his successful returns were backhands. He was known for a great backhand, so no surprise there. However, as above, there's always the possibility that these numbers result from the direction that the server was choosing. That is, Connors may have been serving more often to the BH.

    In the third set Connors had only 2 chances to break Ashe, while Ashe had 9 chances. Yet Connors took the set, because he converted both his chances, while managing to fight off nearly all the break points he faced.

    I saw no discrepancies with my stats, except that I have 28 service winners of every kind by Connors. I counted 6 in the opening set: 3 in Jimmy's first service game, two more in his second and one more in his last.

    Question: do your unforced errors include the double-faults?
     
    #42
  43. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    Messages:
    506
    I probably should but no, double faults are not in unforced errors

    In his second service game of first set Jimmy made only one service winner (3rd point of the game), other 7 services Arthur returned well

    Yeah, 3rd set was a real steal, Jimmy was again below 50% on his first serve
     
    #43
  44. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,644
    Jimmy made that service winner, and on the next point he has another when Arthur's return is called out. The call is not loud, and Connors just drills the next shot crosscourt, apparently getting a letcord winner. Confusing moment, and the commentators say nothing. But it's the same linesman's voice on Jimmy's opening service point of the second set.

    I think double-faults are included in UE totals today, but that has not always been true. I was just curious how you were doing it.

    So 41 unforced errors by Connors, compared to only 23 by Ashe. Has to be considered one of the keys to the match, glad you did that stat.

    One other question about your UE, do you ever judge a service return as unforced? Or do you just list all failed returns as service winners?

    Basically what I'm asking is whether your totals for UE and service winners are entirely separate, or whether there's some overlap.
     
    #44
  45. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    Messages:
    506
    You are right, but the judge was really not loud enough :) I will fix that

    No, they are just service winners and not UE.. I saw a lot of bad easy returns in this and in 1981. final but I just put them in service winners and not in unforced errors

    I have stats for 1999. final too, maybe I can post them in thread about that match
     
    #45
  46. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,644
    Okay thanks, so the unforced errors might tick up a little higher. I guess those additional UE's errors would be Ashe's, because Connors' serve was not overwhelming and Jimmy was not always coming in behind it. Yesterday when I rewatched the first set I saw Arthur make at least one easy return error.

    Ashe's serves by contrast were more forcing; and he was coming in behind all of them. So I'm guessing none of Connors' return errors are going to be UE's.

    '99 final is here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=185518

    You referring to the '81 Wimbledon final? Do you have a complete copy? The BBC copy that everyone has is incomplete, with service faults cut out: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=214455.
     
    #46
  47. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,115
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    Wow, that's strange. I never noticed that. Good spot.
     
    #47
  48. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    The 1981 Wimbledon semi is one of the most exhilarating matches ever played at Wimbledon and a true hommage to the greatness of both players
     
    #48
  49. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    Messages:
    506
    Yeah, in point description I always put some remark about bad return but mu English is not great so I can't translate the full match analysis point by point

    O.k, maybe today I will post stats in that thread.. hope they will be o.k :)

    No I don't have it m8 and I read that thread about problems with first serves cut out.. I just done stats with few sources I found, but not all points are recorded and many first serves are out.. its so frustrating
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
    #49
  50. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,644
    In his new book Jimmy has talked about the injury we've mentioned (and debated) here before.

    The article below mentions a long silence being broken, but actually Connors told the press in July '75 that he had been injured against Ashe: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=lw40AAAAIBAJ&sjid=SyMIAAAAIBAJ&pg=2742,476479

    and here: http://news.google.com/newspapers?i...she connors injured wimbledon&pg=3218,3350505


    *****************​

    Memories of a Wimbledon Upset
    By JOHN MARTIN

    WIMBLEDON, England — In the rash of upsets leading to this year’s men’s final on Sunday, most losers accepted the blame or praised the victors for their skill and determination.

    Rafael Nadal refused to discuss whether an aggravated knee injury might have led to his defeat by Steve Darcis. Roger Federer praised the serve-and-volley skills of Sergiy Stakhovsky.

    Two months ago, Jimmy Connors published an account of his 6-1, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 loss to Arthur Ashe in their epic 1975 Wimbledon final. It was a portrayal at odds with descriptions by many who witnessed the match at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

    In “The Outsider” — his autobiography — Connors cast his shocking defeat largely as the result of injury. At 22, Connors was the defending Wimbledon champion, yet Ashe, nearly 32, prevailed in four sets, gaining wide acclaim for his brilliant shot-making.


    “This was more than just a tennis match; it was one of the finest exhibitions of tactical awareness I have ever seen,” said John Barrett, a respected former player and tennis historian.

    “By keeping the ball short and low to the vulnerable Connors forehand, Ashe broke down that shot completely on his approaches to the net,” Barrett wrote in “Wimbledon: The Official History of the Championships,” published in May. “It had been a tennis masterclass,”

    But Connors, ending a 38-year silence, identified an injured knee and a pair of hairline shin fractures as key components of his defeat.

    In his first-round match on Centre Court, Connors wrote, “I slipped and hyper-extended my knee.” Nursing his injury with painkillers and making secret daily visits to a physiotherapist at the Chelsea Football Club, Connors said, he made his way to the final without losing a set.

    “But 24 hours before my showdown with Ashe,” Connors wrote, “the physio warned me once again to take it easy; he was afraid the fractures were getting worse.”

    Connors did credite Ashe with a masterful performance in the final: “Arthur’s game was flawless that day; he had figured out the way to play me.”

    Donald Dell, Ashe’s friend and coach, professed surprise at Connors’s depiction of himself as injured. “I never heard that,” said Dell, who later worked as Connors’s manager for eight years.

    Dell said in a telephone interview that he watched the 1975 final from a courtside box and later viewed videotapes without detecting any sign that Connors was in pain or disabled.

    Rob Castorri, a teaching pro who witnessed the match as a young college student, said he was mildly surprised when he saw Connors unable to retrieve some shots.

    “I think it’s quite possible he was hampered,” said Castorri, executive director of the Ivan Lendl Junior Tennis Academy in Hilton Head, S.C. Even so, he said, “I don’t recall Connors taking a break from playing after that match for any significant length of time.”

    Over the years, Connors steadfastly refused to discuss the match. In 2010, on the third day of the United States Open, a reporter approached Connors as he walked down a corridor inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

    “Jimmy,” the reporter said, “can I ask you a few questions about your famous match against Arthur Ashe in the 1975 Wimbledon final?”

    “Famous for who?” Connors said. “Not famous for me.”

    As he walked away toward a bank of elevators leading to the broadcast booths, Connors turned his head to be heard over his shoulder. “That was so long ago,” he said, “I can’t remember it.”

    In an interview broadcast in May by NBC News, Connors told Harry Smith: “It was painful writing this book. I had amnesia for so long.”​

    http://straightsets.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/memories-of-a-wimbledon-upset/
     
    #50

Share This Page