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Old 07-26-2012, 07:35 PM   #55
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,536

Originally Posted by Nadal_Power View Post
Not sure how slow it was but points were very quick. Average number of shots in points per set in 2nd, 3rd and 4th was 4, 4,5 and 2,9
This is always an interesting stat, glad you did this.

I'm sure you've seen my posts upthread where I got that stat for other Sampras-Agassi matches, but I'll re-post them so we can do a quick compare.

Originally Posted by krosero View Post
The New York Times said that in 2000 the Rebound Ace court was playing "quicker than usual." Patrick McEnroe said that the balls were pumped with air in such a way as to make them very fast. He added that conditions were “about as similar to a grass court as you could have.”

That got me curious enough to count the average length of points in the third set, which Sampras won 7-6 (7-0). I did the same for the third set at their '99 W final (which Sampras won 7-5) and the third set of their '01 USO quarterfinal (also won by Sampras, 7-6).

1999 - average point lasted 2.85 hits
2000 - 3.12
2001 - 3.25

I counted everything in a point up through and including any error that may have ended it. Double-faults are counted as 1 hit.

The Times reported that this was a career-high for Sampras and that 4 of his aces were on second serve.
Originally Posted by krosero View Post
One thing I think I did wrong here is counting double-faults, because the ball never goes into play. If I ever do this stat again I won't count the df's. You could have a player make a rash of them and it would make the average rally seem shorter.

Agassi and Sampras were making very few df's in these samples so no problem there.

The figure I got in the AO match might go down even further in the fourth set because Sampras started serving a tidal wave of aces. I didn't count them myself but going by ESPN's running count, it looks like he hit 18 aces in that set -- after serving 17 in the first three sets combined.
So the rallies in their 1995 AO final were perhaps short, but for the most part they were longer than the average rally in those later matches.

Big difference is that Sampras was SVing on all his serves, in those 1999-01 matches. At the AO in '95 he was staying back a lot. I'll re-post this quote from The Age:
From the first few points it was clear that Sampras, the best serve-volleyer in the business, would only occasionally be attacking at the net. He said later that this was because of the quality of Agassi's returns, "the best in the world by far". But his unwillingess to volley left him trying to out-rally Agassi playing him at his own game.
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