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Old 11-18-2008, 08:23 AM   #25
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,447
Default Additional stats for '81 SF

I've gone back to get more stats; and I've made some minor corrections to my original work in the first two posts.

Borg won 142 points overall, Connors 138.

That’s a total of 280 points – exactly the same as their ’76 USO final, and just six points short of their ’77 W final.


Borg won 82 of 138 points on serve (59%). He won 47 of 68 on first serve (69%) and 35 of 70 on second (50%).

Connors won 82 of 142 points on serve (58%). He won 71 of 119 on first serve (60%) and 11 of 23 on second (48%).

Borg served at 49%, making 68 of 138 first serves.
Connors served at 84%, making 119 of 142 first serves.

Borg’s service percentage by set:
10/23 (43%)
13/30 (43%)
13/25 (52%)
10/18 (56%)
22/42 (52%)

Connors’ service percentage by set:
16/18 (89%)
41/48 (85%)
19/22 (86%)
15/20 (75%)
28/34 (82%)

I have Connors making 22 of 24 first serves in the marathon game in the second set, when he was broken for the first time (so SI got that one right, not the Post).

Borg converted 7 of 22 break points, Connors 6 of 12.

Borg got his first serve into play on 5 of 12 break points, or 42%. He was broken twice on first serve and four times on second.

Connors got his first serve into play on 20 of 22 break points, or 91%. Every time he was broken it was on first serve.

Borg drew 17 return errors, Connors 14. Out of all those serves I judged just one (by Borg) a service winner.

ERRORS (forced and unforced)

Subtracting the winners and aces from the total points won:

Borg made 89 total errors. Of those I counted 14 return errors and 4 double-faults. That leaves him making 71 errors in exchanges with at least a successful return, ie, in rallies.

Connors made 96 total errors. Of those I counted 17 return errors and 2 double-faults. That leaves him making 77 errors in rallies.

And SI's report:

Meanwhile, out on Centre Court, Connors, having rallied from two sets behind against Amritraj in the quarters, was roaring about the greensward and belting the daylights out of the ball and Borg, too. Soon it was 6-0, 4-2 Connors. In Set 2, Game 8 the old adversaries played some of the more amazing tennis in Wimbledon memory, rivaling last year's Borg-McEnroe tiebreak. The game lasted 24 points and 19 minutes, Connors wasting six points to hold serve for 5-3, Borg needing five break points to hurtle back into the match at 4-all. Though Connors took the set 6-4, he was hardly the same player thereafter. Borg swept the next two sets 3 and love and kept serving aces (16 altogether) before he and Connors put on the best theater of the tournament in the fifth. "It was great," said an interested third party, McEnroe. "Clay-court tennis on grass." Connors, still the most exciting player in the game, has never played better before in defeat. He seldom has played as well in victory.

Game 3: Connors held from 0-40. Game 4: Connors had two break points for 3-1, but Borg boomed two aces to Jumbo's forehand corner in the ad court. Game 5: Connors held from 0-40 once more. Game 7: Connors, at 0-40 yet again, saved once, twice. Then Borg knifed a medium-pace backhand return cross-court. Connors prepared to come over the ball for a forehand kill, but he changed his mind in mid-swing, let up and sailed the ball deep: 4-3 for Borg. He then held twice to take the set 6-4.

"Pride in extending him? That's crap," said Connors. "You win or you don't." But Connors also said, "He had to play his best stuff to beat me." Borg was to admit later, "Me and Jimmy had an unbelievable match."
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