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krosero 11-18-2007 05:36 PM

Some stats for 1981 Wimbledon SF (Borg-Connors)
 
Here are the winners for this match. I didn't have the time -- at least for now -- to go through this match for the net stats. So here are just the winners, aces and doubles, and some fifth-set stats I did a few months ago.


Borg d. Connors 0-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-0, 6-4

Borg had 16 aces and 4 doubles.
Connors had 1 ace and 2 doubles.


Borg made 30 winners: 5 forehands, 6 backhands, 8 forehand volleys, 8 backhand volleys, and 3 smashes.

Connors made 48 winners:
14 forehands, 9 backhands, 9 forehand volleys, 9 backhand volleys, and 7 smashes.


Borg's winners by set: 4, 8, 4, 8, 6.
Connors' winners by set: 7, 14, 4, 9, 14.


Connors leads in winners by a ratio of 1.6 to 1. That is better from Borg’s perspective than the ratio of their Forest Hills final, which was 2.8 to 1.

Connors’ lead in ground-stroke winners, 23 to 11, again is better than the lead of 29 to 11 that Connors had at Forest Hills.

Connors’ total falls short of the 54 he had in the Forest Hills final, which was one tiebreak longer than this Wimbledon match. But his total is still impressive – higher than the 40 he got against Newcombe on Australian grass in 1975, a match three games longer than this one.

In each set -- even the fourth -- Connors equaled or led Borg in winners.

Borg had one service return winner, a forehand that died off the netcord. On top of this he had 8 passing shots (3 were FH's) and no lobs.

Connors had no service return winners. He had 12 passing shots (8 were FH's). In addition he made 2 lob winners, both off the backhand and in succession, at 1-2 in the fifth with Borg serving.


Both men were baseliners, but each got more winners from volleys/smashes than ground strokes. At Forest Hills on clay, they had each had a slight edge in ground strokes.

In the marathon 24-point game at 4-3 in the second set, Borg had 3 winners. Connors, who lost the game, had no aces, 1 double, and 5 winners. That compares favorably with the 34-point tiebreak from 1980, in which Borg had 3 winners and McEnroe 10.

krosero 11-18-2007 05:41 PM

Some fifth-set stats
 
BORG

Borg served five aces and 1 double fault in the fifth set.

He made 22 of 42 first serves (or 52%).

He stayed back on all of his second serves and on 7 of his first serves that Connors touched; he also hit 3 aces in which he looked like he was staying back.

He came to net a total of 19 times and won 11 of these approaches (or 58%); of these he won 2 of 4 in Connors’ service games.


CONNORS

Connors made 28 of 34 first serves in the fifth set (or 82%). He did not miss a first serve until falling behind love-40 for the first time.

He made one ace – wrong footing Borg with a second serve – and no double faults.

He followed his serve to net just once (and lost the point).

He came to net 15 times (5 times on Borg’s serve) and won 11 of these (or 73%).

Moose Malloy 11-19-2007 10:03 AM

krosero, I'm going to post my match stats for the '77 W Final here(since we're the only ones who probably care about this, figured there wouldn't be a point in making another thread)

Score:3-6 6-2 6-1 5-7 6-4

Match time:3:12

Commentators said it was an unusually hot day, both players took more than time than they normally do in between points.

Connors had an injury that almost forced him out of W that year.

Connors had 62 winners-18 in the 1st,11 in the 2nd ,2 in the 3rd,14 in the 4th,17 in the 5th

Borg had 30 winners-5 in the 1st,7 in the 2nd,4 in the 3rd,6 in the 4th,8 in the 5th

Borg had 8 aces, 2 doubles

Connors had 2 aces, 2 doubles

will post more details later.

this is my first attempt at match stats, so there may be errors.

krosero 11-19-2007 10:52 AM

Thanks so much for those. So for a little comparison:

Connors in 1977 -- 46 games -- 62 winners (vs. Borg at W)
McEnroe in 1981 -- 46 games -- 65 winners (vs. Borg at W)
Connors in 1976 -- 42 games -- 54 winners (vs. Borg on USO clay)
Laver in 1969 -- 42 games -- 54 winners (vs. Newcombe at W)
Connors in 1975 -- 44 games -- 40 winners (vs. Newcombe on AO grass)
Connors in 1981 -- 41 games -- 48 winners (vs. Borg at W)

krosero 11-19-2007 11:07 AM

MooseMalloy, I forgot -- did you include service winners as part of Connors' count? (My stats did not).

Moose Malloy 11-19-2007 01:07 PM

No, I didn't. Here is the breakdown.

Borg's winners-7 forehands, 11 backhands, 9 volleys, 3 overheads

Connors-16 forehands, 18 backhands, 22 volleys, 6 overheads

Borg was 9 of 19 on break points.

Connors was 6 of 14.

In the last 2 sets Borg had 8 unreturned serves, Connors 3.

Connors had several net-cord winners(some at very crucial stages, including a long game in which he saved several break points in the 4th & another in which he broke Borg to get to 4-4 in the 5th), Borg had none.

Borg had 2 break points to get to 5-4 in the 4th including a 2nd serve.

He also had BP's to go up 5-0 in the 5th. Connors hit many winners during a 4 game run in the 5th(was down 4-0) He hit his only double fault of the 5th at 4-4.

Borg held at love in the last game of the match, making 3 1st serves. He actually pumped his fist after hitting a service winner to get to 40-0.

do you have any nytimes articles on this match?

krosero 11-19-2007 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moose Malloy (Post 1890060)
do you have any nytimes articles on this match?

I looked it up; I was looking particular for a stat box, but it doesn't look like they provided one that year.

The archives are free now; try here.

I remember a book, a collection of New York Times reports on big tennis matches throughout the 20th century, ending in 1978 with the Wimbledon final. It had the original reports on big Slam matches but also things like Lenglen-Wills, Kings-Riggs, Connors-Laver. The 1977 final is in that book too.

I think this was it: Tennis -- The New York Times Encyclopedia of Sports, vol. 6.

I discovered that book in my high school library when I started tennis in 1985. I spent long hours there reading about great matches. One piece of writing that has stayed in my memory since then is Danzig's report on the Tilden-Johnston final at the U.S. Championships in 1920. That is a fine piece of writing, more dramatic a style than anything you would find today, but great nonetheless.

Moose Malloy 11-19-2007 02:53 PM

1st serve %'s:

Borg: 77 of 132, 58%

Connors: 108 of 154, 70%

Seems like it was a struggle for Connors to hold serve in comparison to Borg.

By set:

Borg was 43,68,50,53,72

Connors was 61,79,76,73,66

Quote:

The archives are free now; try
are you sure? doesn't appear to be. It says 'Home Delivery & Times Reader subscribers are entitled to monthly free archive access'
am I looking at the right place?

Quote:

I discovered that book in my high school library when I started tennis in 1985.
thanks, sounds like a great book, will check it out. so, how did you get to be a Borg fan? If you got into tennis in '85, he was already gone by then.

krosero 11-19-2007 03:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moose Malloy (Post 1890307)
are you sure? doesn't appear to be. It says 'Home Delivery & Times Reader subscribers are entitled to monthly free archive access'
am I looking at the right place?

You know what, sorry, I was thinking that they made everything free, but some things are still paid for.

This was the announcement in the paper:

Quote:

In addition to opening the entire site to all readers, The Times will also make available its archives from 1987 to the present without charge, as well as those from 1851 to 1922, which are in the public domain. There will be charges for some material from the period 1923 to 1986, and some will be free.

krosero 11-19-2007 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moose Malloy (Post 1890307)
thanks, sounds like a great book, will check it out. so, how did you get to be a Borg fan? If you got into tennis in '85, he was already gone by then.

Well it was the strangest thing. I got into tennis by watching the Wimbledon finals. I saw Becker win, and have been a big Becker fan ever since. But during that summer while there was very little tennis to watch until the Open, basically the only thing I had was printed material. And that book ended with Borg as the dominant player, so maybe he caught my imagination that way. And then I looked up his records and, well, it just stands out quite a bit when a name repeats itself five times in a row. An impressionable 15-year-old can look at that and just go, "Wow."

And there was the mystique of his being gone. It felt like I was getting into a sport that had just lost someone very valuable, so I felt like I had to know who this person was.

It was a few years before I actually saw a Borg match. During a rain delay they showed the 1980 Open final, and I loved what I saw, though I noticed instantly that the players were not retrieving balls as well, or hitting quite as smoothly, as Lendl, Becker and Wilander were doing in the late 80s.

krosero 11-19-2007 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moose Malloy (Post 1890060)
Borg's winners-7 forehands, 11 backhands, 9 volleys, 3 overheads

Connors-16 forehands, 18 backhands, 22 volleys, 6 overheads

One thing this suggests is that Borg by 1981 was attacking more -- or more effectively.

In '77 he had 18 ground stroke winners, and 12 from volleys/smashes.

In '81 it's almost reversed: 11 ground strokes, 19 volleys/smashes.

There's not so much difference for Connors. He's slightly ahead in ground strokes in the '77 final and slightly ahead in volleys/smashes in '81.

Moose Malloy 11-19-2007 03:49 PM

Quote:

though I noticed instantly that the players were not retrieving balls as well, or hitting quite as smoothly, as Lendl, Becker and Wilander were doing in the late 80s.
do you chalk that up to equipment or something else? there seemed to be many more players with 'unusual' technique in the 70s as opposed to 80s & I think the challenge of dealing with small, wood racquets was the main reason.

Its pretty impressive that you are putting such effort into compiling data on Borg's matches since you never saw him live. I had assumed you saw a lot of him in his prime due to your many posts on him.
He was before my time as well, I'm even younger than you.

Quote:

One thing this suggests is that Borg by 1981 was attacking more -- or more effectively.
Well opponents were a factor. He probably S&Ved more in his first W final(vs Nasatase) than in any other W final. Maybe I'll do stats on that one(right now I'm looking at the '78 final)

I also have his '73 W QF with Taylor on dvd, & 17 year old Borg was coming in on most 2nd serves as well!

krosero 11-19-2007 03:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moose Malloy (Post 1890432)
do you chalk that up to equipment or something else? there seemed to be many more players with 'unusual' technique in the 70s as opposed to 80s & I think the challenge of dealing with small, wood racquets was the main reason.

At the time I just didn't know, though I may have guessed that it was the change from smaller wooden racquets. I'm trying to remember if I started playing with a wood racquet, and I don't really remember -- but I will say that I have no clear memory of ever hitting with a wooden racquet.

Yeah, when I look at it today I think the issue is the size of the racquet. Borg and McEnroe often hit balls just as hard as Lendl and Wilander (though not Becker), but the difference is that when such a fast-paced ball arrived at your small racquet, you might shank, or else just not put the ball back in play the way that Wilander was doing so well.

Borg's long, loopy swing might be a factor too.

krosero 11-19-2007 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moose Malloy (Post 1890432)
He was before my time as well, I'm even younger than you.

When did you start watching/playing tennis?

Moose Malloy 11-19-2007 04:03 PM

Quote:

the difference is that when such a fast-paced ball arrived at your small racquet, you might shank, or else just not put the ball back in play the way that Wilander was doing so well.
Yeah, exactly. So many talk about how the equipment has allowed players to hit bigger, heavier balls, with less errors, but they seem to ignore the fact that it allows players to play defense better than ever as well. I often see players today hit a hacking, forehand slice when they are on the run to get the ball back in play. I can't imagine that shot would work even 1 out of 10 times with a wood frame.

Moose Malloy 11-19-2007 04:27 PM

Quote:

When did you start watching/playing tennis?
I started playing tennis a lot more than watching it when I was a kid(parents played so I was kinda forced into it)

My dad sawed the handle down on a wood racquet when I was quite young so I could play. That was the last time I played with a wood racquet until I fished a few out of the atic to hit with in high school. The ball certainly stays on the strings longer than with graphite.

It took me a while to get to be a fan of watching tennis(must have had a short attention span)

Becker's W wins were what got me to be a more avid watcher, but Pat Cash's W final was probably the first match I watched in its entirety.

Its funny, I also was curious about Borg the way you were(it was unavoidable, it literally seemed like every televised match in the 80s made mention of him at some point, he really cast a spell on the tennisworld that lasted years after he retired)

And my dad was a big Mac fan(he played S&V) & would constantly tell me that Borg was boring, overrated, etc. Mac became my favorite player as well, but I didn't quite buy what my dad said, since Mac seemed so in awe of him so many years later, how could he not be great?

I think the first chance I got to see Borg was during a rain delay at '90 W, they replayed part of the the '80 final. And I been seeking out his matches ever since. The internet has sure made it easier.

krosero 11-19-2007 05:18 PM

Like you I was more interested in playing, like 6 hours a day. I actually thought that most tennis on TV was dull; maybe being a teenager had something to do with it. Not that I didn't enjoy the big matches, like Becker's wins -- or Cash's, which is one of the best memories I have of 80s tennis (my introduction to truly great volleys).

You're so right about Borg's spell in the 80s. And my high school tennis partner was a McEnroe fan, so he was not under the spell. In some ways, I'm not anymore, but I remain a fan.

CyBorg 11-19-2007 05:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by krosero (Post 1888377)
Connors leads in winners by a ratio of 1.6 to 1. That is better from Borgís perspective than the ratio of their Forest Hills final, which was 2.8 to 1.

What Forrest Hills final?

krosero 11-19-2007 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moose Malloy (Post 1890470)
I often see players today hit a hacking, forehand slice when they are on the run to get the ball back in play. I can't imagine that shot would work even 1 out of 10 times with a wood frame.

I hit this shot just on Saturday night, and I knew instantly that this was not the kind of shot I ever hit when I played in the 80s and early 90s. There was some bad communication and I expected my partner at the net to take a shot which he didn't, and I sort of just lunged to the right and took that shot, and got it back in the court. That's just something I didn't do 20 years ago. Back then I couldn't just arm a ball like that back into the court.

krosero 11-19-2007 05:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CyBorg (Post 1890644)
What Forrest Hills final?

The one in '76.


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