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Old 11-08-2012, 04:42 PM   #4
krosero
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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Neil Amdur in the New York Times:
Yesterday, when Connors was asked how he could handle the demanding load of matches against the hard-serving Tanner, McEnroe and Borg on successive days, the 27-year-old American replied, “I’ll either be in great shape or dead.”

If Connors can pull off this feat, it would undoubtedly rank as the highlight of his already brilliant career. In McEnroe, however, he will face a far superior serve-and-volley executioner than the fifth-seeded Tanner, who at times today resembled a blacksmith trying to drive nails through concrete.

Tanner, a five-set loser to Borg in last year s final, served 16 aces and had numerous other service winners. But the most revealing statistic in an otherwise routine 2-hour-36-minute match was the shockingly poor percentage of first serves that were good – 60 of 140, or 43%. For a player whose game is almost solely constructed around his left-handed serve, the low percentage is akin to a fastball pitcher who strikes out five batters and walks 10.

In dropping the fourth set, for example, Tanner faulted 20 of 27 first serves. When Connors finally broke for a 4-2 lead in the fifth set, it came on his fifth break point -- a backhand return down the line that he had played from inside the baseline. On the four previous break points, Connors had netted backhand returns, leaning into them late from behind the baseline, in deference to Tanner’s serving power.

Last edited by krosero : 11-09-2012 at 03:32 PM.
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