Borg d. Connors 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 Borg called this his best big-match performance ever. In some ways that may be true, but he did serve at only 47% (per the New York Times). He served 13 clean aces -- including three straight from love-40 down at 1-4 in the second. And he hit one serve at 117 mph (game point for 4-all in the second). Pat Summerall thought only one serve by Tanner at 119 mph had been faster in the tournament. (In the final Borg served one that CBS measured at 121 mph). Connors said Borg served “extra-special”. Trabert said he couldn’t remember Borg serving with such authority. Borg thought it was the strongest serving he had done since his fifth set against McEnroe at Wimbledon, when he won 19 straight points on serve -- though he achieved the same stat in a fifth set against Tanner two months later. Connors’ fastest serve after 16 games was 101 mph. The match went in straight sets essentially because Borg held from love-40 when Connors had a chance to go up two breaks in the second set; he held again from love-40 when Connors had a chance to go up 3-1 in the third. The first time he did it with three straight aces, as noted above, and four altogether; the second time he did it without any aces. Borg was 25 and seeded second. Connors was 29 and seeded third. I think Connors may have been in better shape later, or at other times, in his career. He was sucking wind fairly noticeably after one point. Newk said that the way for Connors to win was to move Borg around, wait for the short ball, and come in. But he wasn’t doing it, at least not as a plan. Trabert said that Borg played a very smart match, changing speeds against Connors. I think Connors started reading Borg’s serve better in the third set. The match lasted 2 hr. 19 min. CBS announced the first death threat against Borg as soon as the match was over, and then Borg was informed. The second death threat occurred during the final, and Borg was informed right after leaving the court. Borg was broken once in the match, at 1-2 in second. Connors was broken 5 times. My stats: Borg had 13 aces and 2 doubles. Connors had 1 ace and 2 doubles. Borg had 17 winners apart from service: 9 FH, 4 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV, 2 overheads. (I'm missing one point that he won on Connors' serve). Connors had 21 winners apart from service: 7 FH, 2 BH, 7 FHV, 3 BHV, 2 overheads. Borg had 2 FH return winners; one was a pass. He had an additional 5 passes (three BH's). Connors had no winning returns, and 2 FH passes. Stats by CBS: At 3-4 in the third, Borg was serving at 49%, Connors at 79%. At 1-2 in the third, Borg had won 26 of 35 points on first serve, 17 of 37 on "second serves in" (so this stat does not seem to include double-faults). At 3-all in the third, Connors had won 34 of 64 points on the first, 8 of 18 on "second serves in". At 2-3 in the third, Borg had 15 "unforced errors" on the FH, 11 on the BH. Connors had 17 on the FH, 14 on the BH. (I don't know if this stat include volleys or just groundstrokes; obviously, it doesn't include double-faults).

Borg was at the peak of his abilities in 1981. Such a shame. He was killing Connors and this is the guy who won Wimbledon/US Open the next year. Gah.

New stats I have these new stats, and again made minor corrections to the original post. Borg won 109 points overall, Connors 89. Borg had 83% success on first serve (38/46) and 52% on second (28/54). He won all 13 points he played on first serve in the third set, comparable to McEnroe going 10 of 10 in the second set of the 1980 final here. Connors had 58% success on first serve (44/76) and 50% on second (11/22). Borg served at 46%, making 46 of 100 first serves. Connors served at 78%, making 76 of 98 first serves. The winner served more points than the loser, which was not true in any of the other six matches we’ve done for this rivalry (76USO, 77-79 W, 78USO, 81W). Borg’s percentage by set: 12/28 - 42.9% 21/38 - 55.3% 13/34 - 38.2% Connors’ percentage by set: 23/28 - 82.1% 31/39 - 79.5% 22/31 - 71.0% Borg converted 5 of 7 break points, Connors 1 of 12. Borg got his first serve into play on 7 of 12 break points. The only time he was broken it was on second serve. Connors got his first serve into play on 6 of 7 break points. He was broken 4 times on first serve, once on second. Borg drew 24 return errors, Connors 9. Out of those serves I gave Borg 6 service winners, Connors 1. Borg drew 7 return errors with second serve, Connors 2. ERRORS (forced and unforced) Subtracting the winners and aces from the total points won: Borg made 67 total errors. Of those I counted 9 return errors and 2 double-faults. That leaves him making 56 errors in points that had at least a successful service return, that is, in rallies. Connors made 79 total errors. Of those I counted 24 return errors and 2 double-faults. That leaves him making 53 errors in rallies.

Thanks krosero! Impeccable as usual. Any chance of getting a breakdown of the 76 Wimby final? Or is that my job? Be that as it may, I thought the umpire made a dismal job in the first set here -- it might not have made a difference in the end -- but the palpable frustration on Connors behalf at the start did severely break his rythm as well as his mood paving the way for a relaxed Björn. IMO Connors was right on all bad calls in the start. Borg said to Swedish reporters after the match (Grive, Hellberg) that Connors was right in protesting and that definitely colored the first set. Borg said he didn't like winning because of bad luck on the other guy's part -- but he also said that had he involved himself into the conflict it would've broken his concentration. Borg said:"I can't understand why the umpire must be so adamant in a questionable call? Why not just say 'play a let'? There's so much prestige and money and weeks of prep and paying spectators and TV and media -- if they say 'play a let' the situation calms down for everybody involved. I don't understand it quite frankly." Anyone disagree with Borg?

I didn't mention this back when you posted it, BF, but I like these little bits of information -- they add to the story. Thanks for posting them.

Additional stats Success on serve in rallies of 2 or more good shots: Borg 50% on first serve (8/16) and 47% on second (21/45). Connors 53% on first serve (36/68 ) and 50% on second (9/18 ).

Krosero, a question. When you say after rallies of 2 or more shots, what is the first shot? The return of serve or the shot after? Like if Connors hits a return and Borg hits a clean winner off that return. Is that counted in your stats?

The first shot is the serve. So this is a measure of all points in which a serve was successfully returned. It sets aside all aces and double-faults, and all instances in which the returner gets a piece of the racquet on the ball but fails to make a good return.