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krosero 11-07-2007 09:49 AM

Some stats for 1975 Australian Open final
 
Newcombe d. Connors 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (9-7)


Newcombe had 17 aces and 7 doubles.

Connors had 4 aces and 1 double (an intentional double-fault, to make up in part for an ace he got on a controversial call).


Newcombe made 35 clean winners: 7 forehands, 6 backhands, 8 forehand volleys, 6 backhand volleys, and 8 smashes.

Connors made 44 clean winners: 2 forehands, 15 backhands, 11 forehand volleys, 10 backhand volleys, and 6 smashes.


The difference between them was clearly the serve -- even given Connors' greater return of service. They each hit 8 return winners.

krosero 11-07-2007 10:02 AM

And Newcombe's endurance really deserves separate mention.

He played 6 matches, and got just one day of rest -- in between his first and second matches.

Round 1 -- straight sets
Round 2 -- five sets (50 games) over Rolf Gehring (a 19-year-old)
Round 3 -- straight sets
QF -- five sets (56 games) over Geoff Masters
SF -- five sets (58 games) over Tony Roche

He saved a match point against Roche (his doubles partner), and won that match 11-9 in the fifth.

Newcombe was 30, Connors 22.

Connors lost just one set on the way to the final.

And Newcombe did not look visibly exhausted during the final. He was stretching out his thighs a lot at the end, but he looked fit, and he even jumped over the net at the end.

Geezer Guy 11-07-2007 10:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by krosero (Post 1862116)
... Connors had 4 aces and 1 double (an intentional double-fault, to make up in part for an ace he got on a controversial call). ...

Connors did???

krosero 11-07-2007 10:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Geezer Guy (Post 1862147)
Connors did???

At 2-3 in the third he got a service winner and an ace on two controversial calls, so he double-faulted intentionally on the next point. That brought the score to 40-30 -- and he ended losing his serve and the set.

Moose Malloy 11-07-2007 10:34 AM

Quote:

Connors did???
Yeah, its interesting that Connors & Mac are considered such jerks, yet I saw them both display some sportsmanship that would be unfathomable by anyone today. When Borg played Mac at the 1980 masters, he got a bad call that got he complained about(extremely out of character for Borg) During the next point, Mac intentionally hit a ball into the crowd to give Borg a point!

Who knows if these sort of 'make up calls' by players was common back then, but it does show that Mac & Connors were capable of more than fair play.

But it is worth noting the generally amateurish nature of linesman back then, they weren't trained like they are today, basically they were just members of the local club. Borg, Vilas, John Lloyd have remarked that bad linecalls were very common at events in the 70s. So in a way you can understand the rage of mac & connors, they were playing for millions of dollars with officials who really didn't have a clue. It took a while for tennis to get more professional(have touring umpires, etc)

Quote:

And Newcombe's endurance really deserves separate mention.

He played 6 matches, and got just one day of rest -- in between his first and second matches.
Its been a while since I've watched this, I assume the commentators mentioned this? I wonder what the schedule of slams was like in the 70s, as I watch more old matches, I see that it was different, & maybe not just cause of the weather. It seems like Wimbledon didn't have finals on Sunday until the mid-70s, I wonder if it was always a 2 week event? urban?

Was watching Rosewall-Smith '74 W SF, the commentators were talking about Rosewall having to play so many long matches in such a short amount of time that week. After your post, I wonder how many other crazy schedules players had to endure in the early open era. Kinda puts the criticism of the US Open & Super Saturday into perspective.

Geezer Guy 11-07-2007 10:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by krosero (Post 1862151)
At 2-3 in the third he got a service winner and an ace on two controversial calls, so he double-faulted intentionally on the next point. That brought the score to 40-30 -- and he ended losing his serve and the set.

As they say, no good deed goes unpunished.

Moose Malloy 11-07-2007 10:43 AM

krosero, I had a question about your match stats, are you counting service winners(not aces, which are a separate stat)?

In todays stats, service winners are counted in the winner column. Often it is a judgement call, but I imagine Newcombe had quite a few as well. Service winners are shots that Connors just barely got a racket on, etc, etc.

krosero 11-07-2007 10:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moose Malloy (Post 1862216)
Yeah, its interesting that Connors & Mac are considered such jerks, yet I saw them both display some sportsmanship that would be unfathomable by anyone today.

Connors was really what you might call a good sport in this match. He was chumming it up with Newcombe (not exactly reciprocated, was my impression) and the linesmen; the announcers said that all week long he'd won many friends in Australia. It was almost weird for me, seeing Connors this jovial. Newcombe was much more serious -- at least on the surface.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moose Malloy (Post 1862216)
Its been a while since I've watched this, I assume the commentators mentioned this? I wonder what the schedule of slams was like in the 70s, as I watch more old matches, I see that it was different, & maybe not just cause of the weather. It seems like Wimbledon didn't have finals on Sunday until the mid-70s, I wonder if it was always a 2 week event? urban?

The announcers said that Newk had just played two five-setters in two days, so I went to the Times archives to look at the whole tournament (since Wikipedia makes it look like just a five-round tournament, starting with the second round and marking it incorrectly as "First Round").

The final took place on New Year’s Day, a Wednesday. Connors and Newcombe played their first-round matches on December 26, a Thursday. (All of these are the dates in Australia, not the day that it was reported in the States). Newk had Friday off but played all the other days.

krosero 11-07-2007 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moose Malloy (Post 1862239)
krosero, I had a question about your match stats, are you counting service winners(not aces, which are a separate stat)?

In todays stats, service winners are counted in the winner column. Often it is a judgement call, but I imagine Newcombe had quite a few as well. Service winners are shots that Connors just barely got a racket on, etc, etc.

All my aces are balls that went entirely untouched. If a guy got the frame or the strings on the ball but failed to return, I regard that as service winner, but did not count those.

In any case, the announcers' count of the aces was the same as mine -- 17 for Newcombe. They stayed the same for Connors as well, until the controversial ace in the third set, which they just didn't count afterward. They kept saying he had 3 aces, but he definitely got the fourth one (and they saw it as a good serve; it was the previous service winner that they thought was a bad call).

Moose Malloy 11-07-2007 11:26 AM

Quote:

The final took place on New Year’s Day, a Wednesday. Connors and Newcombe played their first-round matches on December 26, a Thursday.
do you know if rain delayed the start of the tournament? if not, its absurd that players were expected to play 6 best of 5 matches in 7 days. Wonder how many other slams had this format back then. The atp site says the event started on 12/21/74, wouldn't be the first time they're wrong.
Interesting that the year end masters for '74 was played 12/10-12/15 in Melbourne, surprised more top players(Borg, Vilas, Nastase, Orantes) didn't stick around for the '75 Australian Open held just a few weeks later.

Quote:

All my aces are balls that went entirely untouched. If a guy got the frame or the strings on the ball but failed to return, I regard that as service winner, but did not count those.
thanks. so the winner counts on these matches should be a bit higher. I tried doing stats on the Roddick-Federer USO Final last year & compared to the us open website, a lot of service winners for Roddick. My stats didn't match up exactly with theirs, but was close. Not all unreturned serves count as service winners, it is a judgement call as to whether the player should have returned it, usually they have to be moving, lunging for the return for it to count as a service winner. I did a set by set comparison & re-watched one of the sets, I think I can make a reasonable guess what it takes to be called a service winner from a statistician's perspective.

krosero 11-07-2007 11:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moose Malloy (Post 1862342)
do you know if rain delayed the start of the tournament? if not, its absurd that players were expected to play 6 best of 5 matches in 7 days. Wonder how many other slams had this format back then. The atp site says the event started on 12/21/74, wouldn't be the first time they're wrong.

The announcers didn't mention rain. I don't know why this weird schedule came about.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moose Malloy (Post 1862342)
thanks. so the winner counts on these matches should be a bit higher.

Definitely, in order to compare with today's stats you'd have to count service winners.

What was Roddick's count, do you still have it?

Moose Malloy 01-09-2008 02:22 PM

Just read this on the Tennis Channel website:

It was on New Year's Day in 1975 on the grass courts of Kooyong that Newcombe secured his last major singles title, toppling Jimmy Connors 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7) in a stunning final round display. Connors had won three of the four major titles in 1974 and had lost only four matches that entire season, celebrating the greatest year of his illustrious career. He had seemed on the edge of invincibility as he headed into Melbourne, but then the wily and resourceful Newcombe cut him down methodically on the grass.

As Newcombe recalls, "Of all the Slams that I won, that was by far the most physical endurance that I had to encounter. Normally for a Slam I would be preparing for a couple of months whereas I had ten days to prepare for that tournament. I hadn't played for a month. I wasn't playing. I was stopping. But then I found out ten days before the tournament that Jimmy was coming, and that was when I decided to enter the event. I only entered for one reason: I wanted [to beat] Jimmy."

The reason Newcombe was so determined to take on Connors was because he had finished No. 2 in the world behind the American in 1974, and yet they had never met head-to-head the whole season. Newcombe, who had ousted Connors on his way to capturing the 1973 U.S. Open championship in their only previous meeting, had been the dominant player on the prestigious WCT circuit in the winter and spring of 1974 before Connors took over at the majors.

"I thought," Newcombe recollects, "that I had not done myself justice in 1974 at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open [he lost to Rosewall in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon and the semifinals of the Open].So I wanted to play Jimmy, but I had a hard time getting to the final of that 75' Australian. On the last three days, I beat Geoff Masters 10-8 in the fifth set on Monday and then played a doubles match after that. On Tuesday, I beat Tony Roche 11-9 in the fifth from 5-2 down and four match points, and then I had to default the doubles because I was so exhausted. I had no memory of the last 45 minutes of my match with Tony. I had to play Jimmy on the Wednesday. If I had lost the fourth set tie-break to Jimmy in the final, maybe I would have been a spent force for the fifth. I was into a lot of uncharted territory."

Was that victory over Connors--- after all Newcombe had endured, after such an arduous set of circumstances--- his most rewarding ever at a Grand Slam event? Newcombe answers, " I think my real coming of age was when I beat Muscles [Rosewall] in the 1970 Wimbledon final because that meant I was up there with Ken and Laver. With the Connors match at the 1975 Australian Open, that whole match was a story in itself. When I thought back on it a few days later I was proud of myself for what I had been able to put myself through physically to attain my goal that I had mentally. I had gone into areas of my body I had never been into before so it was a fascinating experience. I had read in books about people enduring things physically and going beyond the capacity that they think they have, and getting into an area where you just keep going, where you are past exhaustion and you are into some inner reserve inside your body. That was a great feeling for me to achieve that right at the end of my career."

http://www.tennischannel.com/news/ne...px?newsid=3617

krosero 01-10-2008 09:49 AM

A most interesting read. Watching this match was a surprise for me, since I knew little about it; I had no expectations, and it turned out to be a great match. It has one of the exciting finishes that I have seen in Slam finals. And that makes sense, because on one side you had Connors, always an intense competitor, and on the other you had this great intense desire in Newcombe -- who his record shows was an extremely tough competitor too.

krosero 12-03-2008 07:58 AM

New stats
 
I've taken these new stats, and edited the original post: I had missed 4 winners (!) by Connors.

Note: I’m missing two points on Newk’s serve at love-3 in the second set; I gave him 1 point won on first serve and 1 lost on second. I’m also missing a serve by Connors at 3-4 in the fourth set, on a point that he lost; I gave him a first serve.


Newcombe won 140 points overall, Connors 135.

SERVICE

Newcombe won 80% of points started on first serve (67/84) and 45% on second (23/51).

Connors won 64% on first (63/99) and 66% on second (27/41).

So Newk's success on first serve is just slightly higher than the 79% that Tanner had in the '79 Wimbledon final (Borg reached 89% against Connors in a straight-set blowout at the '79W).

One of the impressive things about Connors in this match is how well he played on second serve, sometimes staying back and gaining the initiative (the announcers remarked how confident he was staying back on second serves) and sometimes coming in behind it and volleying; it was rarely a clean winner but he usually knew how to get the last shot in.

Newk on the other hand, had less to back up the second serve and was doing the right thing always coming in behind it (the announcers said that he was hitting it remarkably hard, enough to expect a few doubles), but it meant that he was going directly against Connors' return. Newk's first serve always put him in charge of the point, particularly the wide serve to Connors' BH; his second usually resulted in an exchange that Connors often won with a clean pass or forcing shot.


Newcombe served at 62.2%, making 84 of 135 first serves.
Connors served at 70.7%, making 99 of 140 first serves.

Newk by set:

21/34 - 62%
15/27 - 56%
18/29 - 62%
30/45 - 67%


Connors by set:

29/42 - 69%
17/28 - 61%
25/32 - 78%
28/38 - 74%

Newcombe made his last 12 first serves of the match, including all 8 in the tiebreak.

Connors missed just one serve in the tiebreak himself (and won the point).


Newcombe converted 4 of 8 break points, Connors 3 of 10.

Newcombe made his first serve on 5 of 10 break points. He was broken once on first serve and twice on second.

Connors made his first serve on 7 of 8 break points. All four times he was broken it was on first serve.


Newcombe drew 27 return errors, Connors 35. Out of all those serves I gave Newk 4 service winners, Jimmy 7.

Newcombe drew 8 of 27 return errors with second serves, Connors 9 of 35.

Connors drew a lot of return errors here, comparable to the number he drew in a match of similar length against McEnroe at Wimbledon in 1980. He often drew errors from Newcombe’s BH return.


WINNERS

Just extra info I got.

Newcombe's winners by set: 7, 4, 11, 13
Connors' winners by set: 9, 12, 9, 14

Newcombe made 8 return winners (5 BH’s). Only one return, a FH, knocked off a second serve. All the returns were passes. In addition Newk made 1 passing shot from each wing, and a FH lob winner.

Connors made 8 return winners (7 BH’s). All the returns were off second serves except for 2 BH’s. And all the returns were passes. In addition Connors made 6 passing shots (5 BH) and 1 BH lob winner.


ERRORS (forced and unforced)

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

Newcombe made 87 total errors (forced and unforced). I counted 35 return errors and 7 double-faults by Newcombe, so that leaves him making 45 errors in points that had at least a successful return, that is, in rallies.

Connors made 88 total errors (forced and unforced). I counted 27 return errors and 1 double-fault (intentional) by Connors, so he made 60 errors in rallies.

Since their total errors were nearly equal, and Connors was ahead by 9 non-service winners, Newcombe pulled ahead overall with his aces.

Borgforever 12-03-2008 08:55 AM

This thread is quite simply one of the best I've ever read. Thanks Kros, Moose and others for fascinating posts.

Yes, this match is one of the best ever IMO. An absolute classic! What endurance from Newk who was great also in 1974. Borg-like endurance... Maybe even more... Sounds insane...

Newk maybe was the best player on the planet in 1974? Newk was a king. What a satisfying stunner...

Borgforever 12-03-2008 10:15 AM

Your clips of this match on Youtube kros -- is perhaps IMO the best highlight-reels of tennis that exist on the net. A perfect compilation of unfathomable tennis all the while catching the lovely atmosphere of "old" Kooyong and maintaining every beat and fascinating telling detail. Absolute pro work on one of the GOAT-matches.

Swedes love old Kooyong grass -- Wilander speaks highly of it, loves it he says, Edberg too, Nyström, Pernfors you name them. Swedes love super hot weather. It's paradise for us since we live in such a dark, cold, drab environment ourselves for 10 months of the year. Too bad the Swedes lost the two fantastic DC-finals there at Kooyong -- though it really didn't matter in the end because those bouts were great and Pat Cash was just golden at crunch-time in both battles...

I loved watching these finals -- starting here in Sweden at 2 AM on the December 26th. Sitting there watching in the middle of the night, seeing the thick white snow glistening everywhere outside the murky windows and this glowing TV-screen showing spectacular tennis in a colorful, sun-baked paradise half a world away. Irresistible!

Wow what a match Newk makes here. Yeah! His BH was supposed to be his weakest shot but he just slams them over and over here for clean winners. Look at that set point in Connors serve in third -- whammm!

Newk was untouchable here. A General. Fourth Degree. And he mixes it up so beautifully too. Really slicing and dicing Jimbo only to whack a cannonball for good measure once in a while. He really paved the way here, on New Years Day (!), for the way to beat Jimbo -- if you were good enough to pull it off as supremely as Newk does here.

Simply in awe of Newk...

Borgforever 12-03-2008 10:17 AM

I also became a big Pat Cash fan at this time. As tough as they come!

krosero 12-03-2008 10:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Borgforever (Post 2908117)
Your clips of this match on Youtube kros -- is perhaps IMO the best highlight-reels of tennis that exist on the net. A perfect compilation of unfathomable tennis all the while catching the lovely atmosphere of "old" Kooyong and maintaining every beat and fascinating telling detail. Absolute pro work on one of the GOAT-matches.

Swedes love old Kooyong grass -- Wilander speaks highly of it, loves it he says, Edberg too, Nyström, Pernfors you name them. Swedes love super hot weather. It's paradise for us since we live in such a dark, cold, drab environment ourselves for 10 months of the year. Too bad the Swedes lost the two fantastic DC-finals there at Kooyong -- though it really didn't matter in the end because those bouts were great and Pat Cash was just golden at crunch-time in both battles...

I loved watching these finals -- starting here in Sweden at 2 AM on the December 26th. Sitting there watching in the middle of the night, seeing the thick white snow glistening everywhere outside the murky windows and this glowing TV-screen showing spectacular tennis in a colorful, sun-baked paradise half a world away. Irresistible!

I remember putting in some hard work on that 3-part clip but I never really knew it was making such an impression. What I see in my clips is not often the final result as fresh eyes would see it; I mostly remember the steps in putting it together. So, you're welcome.

Pat Cash is also one of my favorite players. We seem to be on the same wavelength because the Pernfors match was the next match I was going back to, for the service stats. I didn't see it until a year ago when I counted the winners, but I had always wondered about it. Fantastic match.

Borgforever 12-03-2008 11:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by krosero (Post 2908193)
I remember putting in some hard work on that 3-part clip but I never really knew it was making such an impression. What I see in my clips is not often the final result as fresh eyes would see it; I mostly remember the steps in putting it together. So, you're welcome.

Pat Cash is also one of my favorite players. We seem to be on the same wavelength because the Pernfors match was the next match I was going back to, for the service stats. I didn't see it until a year ago when I counted the winners, but I had always wondered about it. Fantastic match.

Yes, it surely was. Instant classic. Pernfors career best. He's just a champion in the first two sets making EVERYBODY believe that it's over and then the lion awoke that was Pat Cash -- ferocious, sparks flying and Cash just getting better and better and better -- whammm! He wins!

The Swedes cheered this too like you wouldn't believe. Such fantastic skill and fightning spirit is irresistable. It was crystal clear by everyone when the smoke cleared that as great as Pernfors played -- Cash was the greater, the better player -- just in the zone -- doing honor to the great Australians that we all will never forget...

And he just whacked Nyström in 1983 too -- fantastic grass-court play! Hats off -- and under such pressure too...

And yes, kros, I think your work and your posts here are incredible. You have such amazing insight, do such a university-class precision-like work here on this site that I wonder if I must pay you somehow. What newspaper/magazine offer such in-depth high-quality re-evaluation work so consistently I wonder ironically?!

And yes your Youtube work is sensational. Make no mistake about that. I actually sneaked on your stuff before i did my own posts -- going similar for crucial points, character, fairness, atmosphere, beats and so forth...

My only serious complaints are the AKAI-posts which I rushed in editing and picture enhancing... It took ages and I wanted to get them out as soon as possible and time was short...

I basically stole ideas and tried to improve smoothness...:-)

My only problem with you kros, and its a biggie, you must post more videos!!! Your making my day brighter by your work and presence! Please keep it up if you can! And do more...:-)

Borgforever 12-06-2008 09:02 AM

I really have a problem with getting this unforgettable match out of my mind. It keeps coming back to me what a true sensation this fight was/is.

Great to see that Kooyong got one of the GOAT-finals of the 70s when they had such tough and sad time of attracting top talent to their marvelous championship and paradise-like courts...

And the absolute Greyhound-ability of John Newcombe! That must be, arguably, the absolute No. 1 of endurance tests in Open Era tennis, bar none.

* Just ten days of prep for Newk!

* Six matches in just seven days!

* Three of them -- some of the most grueling, five-setters imaginable being match-points down!

* Taking on and completely outclassing one of the Open Eras most dominant players of a single year. A dramatic, highly entertaining and crystal clear deserved victory by The Lion Called Newk -- filled to the brim with amazing rallies!

* All under the baking hot Aussie-summer!

The only endurance test that compares was IMO Borg's Wimby-win of 1977. Grueling WTT-schedule prep in the spring and early summer and then three of the toughest, classic five-setters against inspired opponents. But Borg had two weeks. And WTT-schedule or not -- it's still way better than just ten days prep which is, lets face it, nothing. No, Newk's Master Victory of Australian Open on New Year's Day 1975 gets IMO the Open Era Gold Medal for greatest endurance.

I knew it already. John Newcombe is a genius...


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