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Old 10-02-2012, 06:01 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,532
Default First Serves Under Pressure

Borg made his first serve on 12 of 13 break points in the 1980 Wimbledon final against McEnroe.

That stat is probably the most impressive that Moose and I have come across, in the category of first serves made when facing break points.

Del Potro replicated it recently at the Olympics, making his first serve on 12 of 13 break points against Federer.

On all 13 break points, Del Potro directed his serve to Federerís backhand. Twelve times in a row he made his first serve, and Federer stabbed at the ball to get it back, if he could get it back at all. Only once in that stretch was Federer able to get the serve back and convert a break point: that was at 9-all in the third. But Federer got broken back at love, so the match continued for several more games. Del Potro kept saving break points with his first serve.

Finally on the 13th break point, Del Potro missed his first serve. He directed his second serve to the backhand, but Federer was able to run around it and play a forehand. They got into a tense rally in which Federer hit 5 forehands and only one BH; and Federer converted it. That was the decisive break, and Federer served out the match 3-6, 7-6, 19-17.

Some other standout performances in this category:

Isner in a 2012 Davis Cup match vs Federer, made his 1st serve on 11 of 12 break points
Lendl in a 1983 W semifinal vs Tanner, on 9 of 10
Borg in the 1977 W final vs Connors, on 12 of 14
Smith in the 1971 W final vs Newcombe, on 11 of 13
Borg in the 1976 W final vs Nastase, on 10 of 12
Borg in the 1979 Masters semis vs McEnroe, on 10 of 12
Federer at the 2001 W, R16, vs Sampras, on 9 of 11
Djokovic in a 2012 RG quarterfinal vs Tsonga, on 9 of 11
Rosewall in the 1970 USO final vs Roche, on 12 of 15
McEnroe in the 1981 W final vs Borg, on 12 of 15
McEnroe at the 1990 USO vs Sanchez, on 12 of 15
Roche in the 1970 USO final vs Rosewall, on 8 of 10
Kuerten in a 2000 Masters Cup semi vs Sampras, on 8 of 10
Roddick in a 2012 Miami match vs Federer, on 8 of 10
Smith in the 1972 W final vs Nastase, on 13 of 17
Pancho Gonzalez at the 1969 W, R128 vs Pasarell, on 8 of 11 in the last 3 sets
Borg at the 1980 Wimbledon, R128 vs El Shafei, on 7 of 7
Lendl in a 1987 USO semi vs Connors, on 6 of 6
Kuerten in the 2000 Masters Cup final vs Agassi, on 6 of 7
McEnroe in the 1979 Masters semis vs Borg, on 5 of 6
Borg in the 1979 W final vs Tanner, on 7 of 9
Newcombe in the 1971 W final, on 6 of 8
Laver in the 1969 W final vs Newcombe, on 5 of 7
Sampras in the 1999 W final vs Agassi, on 4 of 4

And from less big servers (or servers who used heavy spin):

Connors in the 1981 W semis vs Borg, on 20 of 22
Nadal in the 2006 Rome final vs Federer, on 9 of 10
Chang in the 1989 RG final vs Edberg, on 22 of 25
Lewis in the 1983 W semis vs Curren, on 13 of 15
Nadal in the 2007 RG final vs Federer, on 14 of 17
Agassi in a 1995 W semi vs Becker, on 13 of 16
Edberg in the 1989 Davis Cup final vs Becker, on 9 of 11
Connors in the 1975 W final vs Ashe, on 17 of 21
Nadal in a 2012 AO semi vs Federer, on 8 of 10
Rosewall in the 1974 W semis vs Smith, on 6 of 7
Nadal in the 2011 W final vs Djokovic, on 5 of 6
Wilander in the 1988 RG final vs Leconte, on 4 of 4

And some poor performances:

Ashe in the 1978 Masters final vs McEnroe, on 0 of 6
Becker in the 1989 W semis vs Lendl, on 0 of 6
Wilander in the 1983 AO final vs Lendl, on 0 of 4
Becker in a 1993 W semi vs Sampras, on 0 of 4
Lendl in the 1984 USO semis vs Cash, on 2 of 10
Lendl in the 1988 USO final vs Wilander, on 2 of 10
Becker in the 1989 W final vs Edberg, on 1 of 5
Pernfors in the 1986 Davis Cup final vs Cash, on 2 of 9
Agassi in the 1999 W final vs Sampras, on 2 of 9
Kriek in the 1981 AO final vs Denton, on 2 of 8
Noah in the 1983 RG quarters vs Lendl, on 2 of 8
Nadal in a 2007 Masters Cup semifinal vs Federer, on 1 of 4
Lendl in a 1983 W semi vs McEnroe, on 2 of 7

Last edited by krosero; 05-09-2014 at 09:53 AM.
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