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Old 01-07-2013, 05:26 AM   #39
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 9,243

Originally Posted by krosero View Post
You know, that's my favorite match, yet in all this talk about aggressive play I had actually forgotten about Wilander's net rushes. We typically think of aggression as hitting winners, but in past eras "aggressive" meant rushing the net! Absolutely right.

Wilander had, I think, 131 approaches, Lendl 77. Lendl was aggressive, too, by that measure -- more than most players today. But Wilander was twice as willing to come forward.

That was part of the reason that Lendl hit so many more winners: Wilander forced him to hit a ton of passing shots.

You ask if we can take passing shot errors into account. Rushing the net and forcing your opponent into errors is certainly an aggressive play. The AM, strictly speaking, does not count net rushes, so it doesn't award players just for rushing the net. But the statisticians scoring the match, when they see a player make an error while attempting a passing shot, will score the error as forced. So when you calculate the Aggressive Margin, his opponent will be rewarded for forcing all those errors.

For AM purposes it doesn't matter whether a player was aggressive by rushing the net or by doing something else, like hitting a powerful forehand from the opposite baseline. As long as the resulting error is scored as forced, the player is rewarded and will generate a higher Aggressive Margin.
It's funny, that could be my favorite match too along with the 1984 Connors/McEnroe US Open semi and a couple of others. I play the 1988 US Open final as background video often on the TV or computer monitor when I'm doing some paperwork.
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