Which Player Creates The Worst Matchups Ever

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by TMF, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. SusanDK

    SusanDK Semi-Pro

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    Thanks so much for the link! I see from the caption that it was a "miserably cold windy night" and mentioned the unbearable noise of airplanes. I remember Edberg used to hate playing in wind, and was never fond of the USO atmosphere. The cold, miserable weather could explain the sparse crowds as well.

    EDITED: Ok, I just watched a bit of it (some of part 1/4 and 4/4). Connors and Edberg are two of my all-time favorite players, but this was hard to watch due to just how 'off' Stefan was. I don't think I've ever seen a match where Edberg stayed so much on the baseline, and when he did come in, he missed so many volleys (usually long) that he would normally stick.

    I would love to know what Connors said to chair umpire Richard Ing at the conclusion of the match.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
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  2. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I watched it too, Edberg was off no question, but Jimmy senses these weaknesses like a shark senses a paper cut. He played the wind and moved very well for 37. Kept the ball deep, returned as he used to and put lots of pace behind those passes.
     
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  3. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    #53
  4. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I've wondered about Borg and Connors, how their games matched up. Connors' BH went to Borg's FH: strength to strength. Borg's serve went to the Connors' return, again strength to strength. Borg with his great return might have been able to do damage to the Connors serve, but for the most part Connors was just starting the point with his serve while Borg was trying to start a rally.

    So in terms of how their strokes matched up, I'm not sure there was a bad matchup either way. You make a good point about Borg's topspin, though. Connors had such a low clearance over the net that anyone who could force him to hit the ball again and again would be likely eventually to get an error.

    On the other hand, Connors' flat strokes, when he was on, could really mess with Borg's timing. That was certainly true when Borg was young, but even in '81, in those first two sets that Connors took from him at Wimbledon, I recall Maskell observing that Connors' pace and length of shot were really disturbing Borg.

    (Nadal has had some trouble with flat hitters too.)

    So again I'm not sure there was a bad matchup in terms of strokes. Maybe there was, but I think the way that rivalry progressed, from Connors dominating to Borg dominating, had more to do with other factors such as Borg's maturing as a player and adding some things like a slice approach shot.
     
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  5. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    In 1980-1981, Lendl beated Vilas 8 times consecutively, that's true. But in 1982, Vilas beated 2 times Lendl in great tournaments, Monte-Carlo and Madrid.
     
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  6. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    I see your point. Your are right, Borg is a bad match up to almost everyone. As for Mats, maybe a "bad match up" is a wrong choice of words. However, I still feel like Connors would rather play an Agassi or Lendl type of player (Guys who he could really feed off their pace) and/or an Edberg (as mentioned by KiKi) then Mats.
     
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  7. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    Yeah, Borg did, but I would disagree about Mats. Too me, when Mats played Connors he didn't give him that much pace to work with. He hit a lot of high topspin balls deep but without a lot of pace. The major difference between Borg and Mats when playing Connors was that Borg gave him a little more pace while Wilander hit the ball a little deeper. Borg hit short quite often against Connors, this gave Connors the chance to attack the net a lot more then when he played Mats. The end result, Borg had to hit a lot more passing shots (which he did very well) then Mats had too.
     
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  8. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    You made some good points. I remember hearing how Borg early on in their rivalry felt he couldn't beat Connors cause he didn't feel he could out hit Connors. Later on n the rivalry Borg said he gained confidence that with his top spin strokes he could out last Connors instead of trying to out hit him.
     
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  9. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I'm wondering if we're all defining bad matchups the same way. The way I think of it, I can't see how any one player can be a bad matchup for everybody -- not if there's variety on the tour. One player has a certain set of strengths and weaknesses, configured in a particular way. That configuration is going to be more difficult for some players than for others.

    Concrete example. I always thought McEnroe was a bad matchup for Borg because Bjorn stood so far back behind the baseline. That's going to make him vulnerable to any net-rusher, but particularly vulnerable to a net-rusher with great touch, who can drop volleys well out of his reach, or put them away with sharp angles. McEnroe and Panatta had those qualities.

    I remember a quote from McEnroe, I wish I had preserved it because it was directly related to this issue. He had just started playing Borg, and he said something to the effect that he could read Borg's shots, or that he could read them more easily than he had expected. Something like that. Can't get more detailed about it without finding the quote, but I read it as McEnroe expressing his confidence in how well his game matched up against Borg's.

    Also McEnroe's wide lefty serve was difficult for Borg's two-hander.
     
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  10. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Can't disagree with that but I was thinking more about the late 1970's when Borg was truly a bad matchup for everyone. It really doesn't matter because the comment was intended as an offhand joke considering how many one sided w-l records Borg had against many individuals.

    It's hard to define what is a bad matchup. Are we talking about a how some players have some individual strokes that bother another player's individual strokes? I believe that what TMF meant when he started the thread.

    For a while I believe Frank Kovacs was a bad matchup for Jack Kramer winning 14 out of 17 according to McCauley's book. I think it was because Kovacs' return of serve was so good and he could hit really sharp backhand crosscourt that could pass Kramer on the net. Kramer was the superior player but Kovacs used to beat him. Eventually Kramer I believe started winning regularly against Kovacs but I am not 100% certain of that.

    I forget who it was but Kramer in his book claimed he had a 55-0 record with one tie against one opponent who I believe was a fairly strong player. That's not bad.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
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  11. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    To the part in bold, yes that's basically how I was thinking of it. How the facets of two players' games line up against each other.

    Kovacs-Kramer is a good example. Kramer also said he had difficulty serve-and-volleying against Budge because of Budge's return -- at least according to Vines. I think Vines quotes Kramer saying that he had to stay back against Budge and work his way into net in the rallies.

    I wouldn't conclude from that single aspect of their matches, that Budge was a bad matchup for Kramer, because the whole matchup, everything, has to be looked at. But Budge's return took Kramer out of his normal game plan, we know that at least.
     
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  12. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    From what I have read, I got the feeling Kramer won the huge majority of the matches between him and Budge. But Budge was older than Kramer so that may not be fair. The big match between the two was I think (could be wrong about the year) the 1948 US Pro in which Kramer won in five sets. Budge won only one point in the entire fifth set according to accounts.

    It's very possible that despite the priestige of the Budge Grand Slam in 1938, that Kramer may have been an overall better player when both were at their peaks. Steve Flink wrote that in one of his books.
     
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  13. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Good post...as proven by Mats record against Connors compared to Borg against Connors
     
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  14. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    And this was, at the end reason why Mac had a clear HtoH advantage over Borg.Mc lost only a major final vs Borg (Wimbly 1980), while beating him at Dallas 79, and Wimbly 81, USO 1980 and 1981.He owned Borg when it mattered and the swede had no answer.
     
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  15. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I saw that awful vision of Lendl destroying Vilas in 1980-81...not nice to see..
     
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  16. WCT

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    Hold your horses. You are making it sound like it's abudantly clear which is better, that Mac has his number. Their head to head ended 7-7. What about the Masters? Can't count Dallas and not count the Masters. Borg beat him in the semis in 1980 and 1981. 1981 was in the round robin, but it was also the match that eliminated Mac.

    Far as I'm concerned, Mac beat him decisively once, the 81 Open. Not creamed him, but pretty clearly although Borg was up 4-2 in the 3rd. 81 Wimbledon was 2 tiebreakers. it's a couple points here are there. That isn't having someone's number. 80 Wimbledon and US Open is the same way. The margin between the 2 players is razor thin.

    This is without even getting into the fact that they never played on Borg's surface. How do you think that would have gone? It wasn't Borg's fault that Mac and Connors culd never get far enough in the French to face him.
    Mind you, I think Mac had passed Borg in 81. I just think it could have been a fluid situation where the tide could have turned the other way again. The matches were still very competitive.

    Here is an example of how the tide can turn and turn again. Over a 2 year period Lendl beat Mac at the French, twice at the Masters, Dallas, and the French Open, and he was beating Mac a lot worse than Mac was beating Borg. We then saw how the tide turned again in 83-84. Then turned again although I think Mac had clearly declined when that happened.

    Noone will ever convince me that Borg quit solely because he was convinced he couldn't beat Mac anymore. I think it was a combination of things, burnout a major part of it. My main point is that I don't agree with the degree to which you think Mac had his number in big matches. Pains me to say it, but Borg wound up owning Connors. I don't think we had nearly enough evidence to draw that same conclusion with Borg and Mac.
     
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  17. WCT

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    One of the major factors in the turnaround in the Borg/Connors rivalry was how Borg increased the depth on his groundies. Charting those matches it is so clear. As far as pace is concerned, early on Borg sliced a lot more backhands.
    As he started dominating Connors, he stopped doing it. From the back of the court I mean. Obviously, when really stretched he might do it, but not as a deliberate strategy as so many others tried. As he had earlier tried.

    Lendl, on the other hand, hit basically nothing but backhand slices unless he was trying to pass Connors. As Lendl came to dominate Connors that was probably 75-80% of their backcourt rallies. Lendl chipping crosscourt low to the Connors forehand.
     
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  18. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    The Borg-McEnroe rivalry was 7-7 played only on hard, indoor, and grass courts. Then, look at 1980-1981. In 1980, McEnroe did have the WCT Finals win over Borg. Yet, the Masters was the fourth biggest tournament, both in Jan. 1980 and Jan. 1981. It was the YEC, with the 8 best players playing for big money, in New York, indoors, at the fabled Madison Square Garden. Borg and McEnroe played to a crowd of 19,000+. From 1980 and 1981, Borg won 5 of those 8 biggest tournaments, and lost in 3 finals. He made the F or won all 8 of them. He lost in two US Open finals and one W final ('81). Meanwhile, He won the Masters in Jan. 80, the FO in '80, W in '80, Masters in Jan. 81 and the FO in '81. McEnroe was nowhere near Borg on red clay in the meantime. That is not a clear head to head advantage to McEnroe. Then, of course, Connors overtook McEnroe in 1982 for #1. In addition, Borg did better than McEnroe versus Lendl through 1981 as well. Meanwhile Borg had been dominating Connors from 1979-1981, including the 1981 US Open on hard courts.

    See Borg and McEnroe at the Masters played in Jan. 1980 (1979 YEC) , indoors.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhbIcGwqk8s

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCAS3FjJvFI&feature=related
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
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  19. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I never meant that Borg was an easy dish for Mac.I just said that IN THE BIG FINALs, NOT IN RR OR MINOR EVENTS, Mac´s record proves he was beating Borg.I don´t say Mac was a better player; he just had the eprfect combination of talent, menthal strength and attacking capabilities ( wide sliced serve off the BH, Vollye,Overhead, touch), and a tremendous will to surprass Borg, that made him the perfect mismatch for the swede.Borg retired because of tiredness and the idea of having to come back to hard work to strengthen his game and squander off that new ****** (JMac) was, just too match for his mind, at that time of his life.

    So, Mac was passively determinant in Borg´s retirement.It is not that Borg was not able to beat him; it is just that the idea of having to go through hard work to make his game unbeatable for John was just more than he could bear.
     
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  20. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Agreed 100%.Connors dominated Lendl cause he fed up off Lendl´s pace and rythim, while Borg eneded up owning Connors because of a heavy top spin, deeper than in their early matches, that prevented Connors to attacking it, just the way he had done before.Look at their 1976 USO F and their 1979 Miami Exo match: both events on the same surface; at Forest Hills, Connors was able to come in after deep approaches and won the match basically at the net...he tried to do the very same thing in their 1979 match and got passed by Borg almost 90% of the time ( and soundly defeated).

    Borg got a way to break off Connors dominance; Connors never found a way to break off Borg´s dominance.

    Mac got a way to break off Borg´s dominance.Borg never found a way to break off Mac´s dominance by 1980-1981.
     
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  21. dannykl

    dannykl Rookie

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    Hingis is a bad matchup to Seles. Seles just couldn't read Hingis' shots while Hingis could read Seles' shots very well.

    Seles' power and the ability to find angles seems nothing to Hingis.
    Hingis can always read where Seles was going to hit and responded Seles attacks. Seles looked like a outside top 200 player when facing Hingis. She was just toyed by Hingis many times.
     
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  22. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    What a great player and a great mind Hingis was¡¡¡
     
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  23. WCT

    WCT Rookie

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    Sorry if I wasn't clear. I didn't take it that you thought he owned Borg period, but I took it as big tournaments. I didn't think you can differentiate between Master finals and semis, though. It's part of a big tournament. Mac beat Connors at the US Open 3 times. I don't diminish the wins, as far as their head to head, because they weren't finals. Just as the round robin match in the 81 Masters is a very big match because it eliminated Mac. I give that match more weight than I do Mac beating him in the 81 Milan final because of the respective prestige of each tourney.

    NO argument that Mac had a style that gave Borg trouble. I just think it;s still very close. No mistake, Mac has passed him in 81. I just think it was still close enough that I didn't look at it as Borg having his number in the big spots. To each his own. Like most subjects here it's a subjective thing.
    I read your posts and know that you really know your stuff, really know the players and their games. We just don't quite agree here.

    FYI, believe it or not, Connors was 31 for 53 at the net in that 79 Grand Slam final. Those were my stats, at least. While good, it was lower than, for example, the 76 US Open where krosero(I think it was his stats( had him 64 for 86. Borg did make some great passes, in that 79 match, though. I'll tell ya, even his strengths got improved as he got more confident against Connors. As he started beating him regularly he would pass even better. When Connors came in which wasn't as much sometimes.
     
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  24. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    true enough, but really odd as Monica's two-handers were notoriously hard to read by most accounts. Undoubtedly some really fine scouting reports and pattern research must have been involved. if you can predict her and move well enough and mix things up, I guess her game ceases to be that difficult.
     
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  25. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Seles found all of Hingis, Davenport, Venusa, and Serena nightmare matchups for her. One reason her post stabbing career was so weak.
     
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  26. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    In 79 Borg was peaking and completely dominated Connors.Beat him roundly in Vegas,Tokyo,Masters,Wimbledon and all exos they played.In 1980, 1981, at least Connors won an exo here or there, but in 1979, he didn´t.The only guy consistently beating Borg was John Mc Enroe ( and, on the ocassion, Lendl or Tanner ).
     
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  27. WCT

    WCT Rookie

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    79 was the only year he beat him like a drum. 80 and 81, they played 4 times in major events. 3 were very close matches. Borg was definitely better, but I never felt he owned Connors to the degree he did someone like Vilas. I mean over a sustained, several year, period. And I remember the 81 World Team Cup Vilas win. Before that, over 4-5 years, how many times was he ever close to beating Borg?

    Tanner agree 100%. Gave him some trouble most of the time. Look at the 78 French. Borg destroyed everyone, except Tanner. It was still straight sets, but with scores like 7-5 and 6-4, not three 6-1s. And it was more than just the serve. Tanner would win some sets easily. You don't do that with just a serve.

    Tanner had very powerful groundstrokes. Erratic, but if he was on he could hurt you. I remember watching the 78 US Pro Indoor. Never seen it since, so this is only memory. Connors won in straight sets, but Tanner was running him all over the court on a lot of points. The reason I think it left such an impression was just that. It was so unusual to see Connors do so much of the running in rallies.

    Back then, with all the discussion about how much trouble Tanners serve gave Borg, I always thought Mcenroe's gave him more trouble. This is only a small sample, I know, but the 79-81 Wimbledon finals stats confirm that. Mcenroe had more unreturned serves. Not to say that Tanner didn't have plenty because he did. Just not as many as Mcenroe.

    I just did the stats for the 81 Masters with Connors and Borg. Connors had 7 free points in a 6-4 6-7 6-3 match. One of the reasons Borg wound up owning him, IMO.
     
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  28. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    would love to see your stats
     
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  29. WCT

    WCT Rookie

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    Sure. Just a reminder that my stats are not nearly as comprehensive as the ones that you and Krosero provide. I also do net stats different than you, I believe. I have 2 numbers. The first is points that ended with the player at the net where the opponent had a shot at a passing shot. If the approach shot was a winner or was missed, it's the second number. I view them as shots where that player intended to be at the net. A third category is serve/volley free points. I list them separately as well. I'm guessing you count them as net points. Honestly, not sure why I don't. They are just approaching the net with their serve instead of a groundstroke. Free points includes everything. A point that ended with the serve whether the player was serving and volleying or not.

    Here are the stats. Total points Borg 116 Connors 105. Net points Borg 32/3 Connors 42/25. Connors missed a bunch of approach shots. Borg served and volleyed 17 times where there was a return and had 10 serve/volley free points. Connors had none of each. Free points Borg 23 Connors 7. Double faults Borg 2 Connors 0.

    UNBELIEVABLE! Just typing these out I realize that I didn't write down the net % stats. I did them, but I didn't write them down. I mean on the paper where I have all the matches. The scrap paper I used when I watched the match I threw out. I've done that once or twice before with a stat. Hate that. Now, to gt the stat I have to do it over again. I do remember that Connors was low. In the 50s. 22 of 42 maybe? Borg's wasn't that hot either.

    To illustrate the serving advantage I mentioned, here are some other Connors
    Borg match stats with free points. 78 Masters Borg 17-9. 78 Wimbledon Borg 24-8. 79 Wimbledon Borg 25-8. 81 Wimbledon Borg 33-19. 78 US Open another match I forgot to write the stat down. 76 US Open Borg 19-7. 79 Pepsi Grand Slam Borg 15-6. 77 Pepsi Grand Slam Borg 13-12. 78 Pepsi Grand Slam(15 games +tiebreaker) Borg 9-6. 77 Wimbledon Borg 41-9(that is what I have written down, anyway.). 79 Las Vegas missing a couple games Borg 7-2.
     
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  30. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    came across some of the '86 WCT Finals(Jarryd d Becker 6-7, 6-1, 6-1, 6-4)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKGrk8iZWiI&list=WL8E0C8FF0FD58A930&index=33&feature=plpp_video

     
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  31. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Jarry could be very dangerous if not seriously taken.His only real match up was Lendl, whom he never beat.But he defeated Becker,Edberg,Wilander,JMac,Mecir...great return of serve, specially from the bh, solid net game, good attacking top spin forehand ( probably his greatest shot) and very movile and dynamic over the court.His doubles talent was amazing and almost any good player (Fitzgerald,Jarryd,Nystrom;Smid ) that teamed with him, won a bunch of tournaments.
     
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  32. sandy mayer

    sandy mayer Rookie

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    With the Connors and Borg rivalry, I don't agree with the often said statement that Borg owned Connors after 1978.

    Borg definitely owned Connors in 1979 which was easily Connors worst year in his best years 1974 to 1984. I personally think Connors got a little distracted by getting married that year, something which often happens to tennis players.

    In 80 to 81 Connors and Borg had several very close matches, even if Borg won them all. And in 82 to 83 Connors dominated Borg. This is so often forgotten. I know these matches at the moment don't count in the ATP count, but these matches were not as meaningless as some say. They were invitational tournaments, which were seen as events players tried in, not one off exhibitions (where players didn't try in e.g. McEnroe admits going easy on Borg in some of these when Borg was past his best).

    I suspect strongly a major factor in why Borg decided to retire in 83 was he knew Connors had overtaken him, due to Borg declining and Connors improving.

    Look at it this way, if Borg really thought he could whip Connors any time he wanted, in 82 when he saw Mac toppled and Connors as number one, why didn't he think to himself if Connors can win Wimbledon and the US Open, then it will be easy for him to do the same.

    Borg had lost motivation and he didn't have the motivation to work hard to try catch up and overtake Connors, McEnroe and possibly Lendl. As John Lloyd said in a biography in 1984, Borg didn't want to settle for being number 2 or 3.

    I don't think Borg was thinking in 82-83, "all I have to do is turn up and I'll take Connors!"

    My point in all of this is that Connors was never (apart from 79) an easy match up for Borg as was the case with players Borg truly dominated.
     
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  33. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    You may be right.Connors was never an easy meat for anybody and Borg knew that.But I don´t think Borg´s retirement had nothing to do with Connors great year in 1982.Not even with Borg feeling he could never suprass John Mc Enroe, who was the guy he feared the most ( he really was never afraid of Connors and Lendl)

    Borg simply was spejnt menthally and emotionally and didn´t want to put the effort to try being nº 1 again.4 or 5 exos a year, yes, but the regular routine impossed on himself during may years, he clearly didn´t want that back in his life.
     
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  34. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Wilander´s ownage of Connors is also a case of bad matchup.
     
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  35. dannykl

    dannykl Rookie

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    Seles is a bad match up to Sanchez and Martinez.
    Hingis and the Williams are bad match ups to Seles.
     
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  36. sandy mayer

    sandy mayer Rookie

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    There was a massive age gap.
     
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  37. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yeah, there's no way you can compare the two players when they are 12 years apart. I don't think kiki is aware of this. It's like having an old Sampras getting kill by a 28 yr old player and call it a bad matchup. LOL
     
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  38. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    What I am aware of, which of course you are not since you never watched GE tennis, is that Connors was losing to Wilander at the same time he was scoring big wins over Lendl, just sayin.
     
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  39. SusanDK

    SusanDK Semi-Pro

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    I've seen that youtube video and it is, unfortunately, a poor clip from the match. I had the entire match on VHS in the 80's, but tossed my collection when moving abroad. :(

    He actually beat Lendl in straight sets in 1984 to take the Sydney Indoor tournament title, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, one of his 8 singles titles. But true, otherwise, he had a very poor record against Lendl, rarely even taking a set.
     
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  40. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I didn´t recall that win.Sydney Indoors was a pretty big event those days and Jarryd a great indoors player.Nice to see he beat Ivan so handily.What´s his record vs Jimmy Connors? Did they ever meet?
     
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  41. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Connors was 0-17 against Lendl stretching from 1984-1992. If you believe Wilander vs Connors is a valid comparison to weigh in match up issue, then Lendl is even worse match up for Connors. Obviously the comparison is still flaw because Lendl is nearly 8 years younger than Connors.

    Please stop, just stop it.
     
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  42. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    My point, end of question is: Connors won many many matches against Lendl, even as far as 1984.He beat Ivan at the Wimbledon semis and the very prestigious Tokyo Super Seiko event, one of the largest indoor events ever.I think he even baggeled Lendl in the last set of that final.

    Of course, he also lost a few ones, like Rotterdam and Forest Hills ( a double baggel).But he did win some.

    That was never the case of Mats: Wilander kept beating and beating Connors non stop, at least in official events.And, yes, Connors was not at his prime but he wasn´t either when he beat Lendl in 1984 or even in 1983 (US Open,South Africa).reson is Wilander was a bad amtch up for Connors, much worse than Lendl was.Wilander borke his rythym while Lendl fed Connors with the pace and angles he so much loved.In fact, Lendl just began to beat regularly Connors when he fed him up with slices and middle court shots, and that happened FROM 1985 on ( and, of course, Jimmy was getting older and older )
     
    #92
  43. WCT

    WCT Rookie

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    Connors beat Lendl exactly once after Mats first beat him. Connors never played in a GS final after Mats first beat him. Connors won exactly 1 tournament, Tokyo late 84, over about a 4 year period after Mats first beta him. Let's not make it seem like he was beating prime Connors because he wasn't. Not that they played that much anyway.

    Regarding Connors and Borg, I have no problem with someone saying Borg owned Connors in 80 and 81 as well. The matches are close, he's still winning them. The 60s Celtics always beat the Lakers. Was very close multiple times, but Boston always won.

    82 and 83 I don't think even a Connors fan can claim is the same Borg. Now, I don't think Borg owned Connors lock, stock and barrel the way he once did Vilas, Connors had a real chance in multiple 80-81 matches, but Borg always won in the end. That can fit the term ownership, IMO.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
    #93
  44. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

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    True for Jarryd. He was an aggressive player and tried to move mecir around and set up winners. If I had to pick a player today that is similar to Jarryd, I would go with someone like Fish.
     
    #94
  45. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I am not as much a Wilander fan as I was a Connors fan.But, be honest, Wilander was the worst match up Connors had since Borg...both iced cool swedes, BTW...remember 1984 DC finals?
     
    #95
  46. sandy mayer

    sandy mayer Rookie

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    Wilander didn't face Connors in many big matches. They never met in a slam. I reckon the player who caused the veteran Connors most frustration was Lendl, who beat him in quite a few slam matches. Note, the pre-veteran Connors caused Lendl problems, not vice versa.
     
    #96
  47. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I´d say, Connors vs Lendl best context would be from 1981 to 1984.Before 1981, Lendl was too young and from 1984 onwards, Connors too old ( of course, always in relative terms, since Lendl was already a dangerous player from 1979 and Connors was reaching major semis later than 1984)
     
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  48. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    That's because Lendl was the best player in the world most of that time while Connors was aging and finding it harder to rush and pressurise Lendl as effectively as he once did. Their 1992 US Open match sums it up, although Lendl was no longer world number 1 by this time. For the first set and a half, Connors was like he had been 10 years previously in rushing and pressurising Lendl. After this, Connors then starts to tire and Lendl takes control of the tempo of the match in "bunting the ball" and forcing Connors to do all the physical work. Lendl ended up crushing Connors 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-0.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
    #98
  49. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    That match is actually pretty different from the way they played in the 80s. Connors was rushing the net a lot, even SVing. He did it to keep the points short, which he needed to do at his age. But that was never his natural style. In the 80s he pressured Lendl very differently -- mostly with powerful ground strokes in long rallies, with his return, and with some net play. In the '92 match he was attempting a SV strategy that he would have found difficult to pull off even in his prime.

    Lendl started getting length on the ball and keeping Connors back, and that really was the end of it because Connors at that age just wasn't going to win from the backcourt. Connors did still try to come in but Lendl was putting the ball at his feet, and Connors netted those more frequently (but Connors was never great at handling low balls). By the end he had no real options left.
     
    #99
  50. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Connors was about 40.Lendl, 32
     

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