Stats for Sampras-Rafter (1997 Davis Cup sf)

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by krosero, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Dec 3, 2006
    Sampras d. Rafter 6-7 (6-8), 6-1, 6-1, 6-4

    By my count:

    Sampras won 130 points overall, Rafter 90.


    Sampras won 78 of 98 points on serve: 57 of 67 on first serve (85%) and 21 of 31 on second (68%).

    Rafter won 70 of 122 points on serve: 50 of 78 on first serve (64%) and 20 of 44 on second (46%).

    Sampras won 15 straight points on serve, including a clean sweep in the second set worth 12 straight.

    Sampras served at 68%, making 67 of 98 first serves. By set:


    Rafter served at 64%, making 78 of 122 first serves. By set:


    Sampras faced no break points and converted 6 of 18 break points himself.

    Rafter made his first serve on 11 of the 18. He was broken 3 times on first serve and 3 times on second.

    Sampras served 14 aces. He had 30 other unreturned serves, 4 of which I judged as service winners.

    Rafter served 7 aces. Like Sampras he had 30 other unreturned serves, 4 of which I judged as service winners.

    Sampras served 1 df, Rafter 2.


    Sampras made 43 clean winners apart from serves: 13 FH, 10 BH, 6 FHV, 10 BHV, 4 overheads.

    Rafter made 21 clean winners apart from serves: 3 FH, 4 BH, 5 FHV, 9 BHV.

    Sampras made 13 return winners (5 off second serve), including 7 FH’s. All were passes. He made 9 other passing shots, including 5 FH’s (one of which was a lob).

    Rafter made 1 BH return pass off a second serve. He made 6 other passing shots, including 3 FH.

    All the above are clean winners, but I also gave each man an additional winner on a judgment call: a FHV by Sampras in the last game, and a FH pass by Rafter.

    By including those and the serves that I judged as service winners, my winner totals line up with ESPN's running counts, and I end up with the total winners in the press: 62 for Sampras and 33 for Rafter.

    Washington Post (Michael Wilbon):

    Also in the Post (Jennifer Frey):

    Boston Globe:

    I do have Sampras winning 78 points on serve, including the tiebreak. And I’ve got him losing 18 points in his service games (and two more points in the tiebreak).

    In those service games I’ve got him making 17 volley/overhead winners, including the judgment call I gave him in his last service game. He had two more volley/overhead winners behind his serve in the tiebreak, and two more in the match as a whole when receiving Rafter’s serve.

    I don't see 20 service winners reported in any source except this one. They appear to be separate from his aces though that is not certain. Whether they're separate or not, there is not enough room for them in the 62 total winners that Sampras has in the other print sources and, apparently, in ESPN's count.
  2. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Dec 3, 2006
    The first set of the match contains some of the most entertaining tennis: two men who knew how to play athletic, allcourt tennis, without holding back. That’s always incredibly fun to watch.

    And it's hard not to be a fan of Rafter, for performances like this. He just fights despite the tremendous tennis he's facing. He made his first serve on the first 7 break points that he faced and saved them all. In the end he got beaten by the better player, but even as he started falling back he was still fighting with gusto. At least in this match, his only obstacles seemed to be external.

    With better returns and ground strokes from him, it would have been more of a contest -- the reverse problem of Agassi who had the great return and groundies but needed better volleys. Sampras shows in matches like this just how complete his arsenal was (as in most matches for which we have stats, his winners are finely balanced between the baseline and the net).
  3. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Jul 18, 2008
    Sounds like it was a really fun match to watch. What I liked about Rafter's matches is that his serve was not overpowering so it was often returned and you can see Rafter's volleying and groundstroke skill.
  4. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

    Jun 16, 2004
    Pete liked snapping Patrick's strings.
  5. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Dec 3, 2006
    It's true, though it meant that Pete often got a piece of the ball. His lead in return winners was 13-1 (in the 2000 W final it was 11-4 by my count), both because he had a tougher serve and a better return.
  6. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

    Aug 15, 2008
    Thanks for this one as well. I always wonder about the first rubber vs. Philippoussis cuz it's always looked over.
  7. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Dec 3, 2006
    One last thing about ESPN's stats.

    With five games to go, ESPN had Sampras at 54 winners and 13 ue, Rafter at 27 winners and 25 ue.

    From there it's easy to see how ESPN would have finished with the same winners and ue's, for both men, that appear in the Post.

    And ESPN gave Sampras no ue's in the second set, the same thing that was reported in the Post.

    All of which suggests that ESPN was a source for at least some of the print media, or that they were all using the same stats from a common source.

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