Duel Match Stats/Reports - Edberg vs Noah & Edberg vs Connors, Memphis final & semi-final, 1985


Hall of Fame
Stefan Edberg beat Yannick Noah 6-1, 6-0 in the Memphis Indoor final, 1985 on carpet

Edberg was 19 and this was his second career title. He had beaten defending champion Jimmy Connors in the semi-final and would go on to win the Australian Open at the end of the year

Edberg won 63 points, Noah 33

Edberg serve-volleyed off all but 3 first serves and about half the time off seconds. Noah serve-volleyed regularly off first serves and occasionally off seconds

(Note: I'm missing 1 Edberg service point won by Edberg. Commentary suggests it was an ace. I've included as such and a 1st serve point. 1 Noah service point is missing serve direction and corresponding return type info)

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (28/41) 68%
- 1st serve points won (22/28) 79%
- 2nd serve points won (9/13) 69%
- Aces 6 (1 not clean), Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (13/41) 32%

- 1st serve percentage (29/55) 53%
- 1st serve points won (18/29) 62%
- 2nd serve points won (7/26) 27%
- Aces 1, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (5/55) 9%

Serve Patterns
Edberg served...
- to FH 26%
- to BH 72%
- to Body 3%

Noah served...
- to FH 60%
- to BH 30%
- to Body 9%

Return Stats
Edberg made...
- 49 (30 FH, 18 BH, 1 ??), including 2 runaround FHs & 1 return-approach
- 2 Winners (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 3 Errors, all forced...
- 3 Forced (3 FH)
- Return Rate (49/54) 91%

Noah made...
- 27 (9 FH, 18 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 2 Winners (2 FH)
- 6 Errors, all forced...
- 6 Forced (2 FH, 4 BH)
- Return Rate (27/40) 68%

Break Points
Edberg 5/9 (5 games)
Noah 0/1

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Edberg 28 (4 FH, 5 BH, 12 FHV, 1FH1/2V, 6 BHV)
Noah 12 (3 FH, 4 BH, 5 BHV)

Edberg had 12 from serve-volley points
- 10 first volleys (7 FHV, 3 BHV)…. 2 FHVs and 1 BHV being stops
- 2 second volleys (1 FHV, 1 BHV)… the FHV being a drop

- 1 BHV from his sole return-approach

- FHs - 1 cc pass, 1 dtl, 1 longline return pass (that Noah left) and 1 lob
- BHs - 1 cc pass, 1 inside-out pass, 1 inside-in return pass, 1 dtl/inside-out pass and 1 running-down-drop-shot at net

Noah had 4 BHVs from serve-volley points - 1 first volley and 3 second volleys

- FHs - 2 dtl (1 return pass) and 1 inside-out pass
- BHs - 3 dtl passes and 1 lob at net (not clean)

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Edberg 15
- 3 Unforced (1 FH, 1 BH, 1 FHV)
- 12 Forced (2 FH, 6 BH, 2 FH1/2V, 2 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.7

Noah 21
- 10 Unforced (6 FH, 2 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 11 Forced (2 FH, 6 BH, 2 BHV, 1 BHOH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 49

(Note 1: All 1/2 volleys refer to such shots played at net. 1/2 volleys played from other parts of the court are included within relevant groundstroke numbers)

(Note 2: the Unforced Error Forcefulness Index is an indicator of how aggressive the average UE was. The numbers presented for these two matches are keyed on 4 categories - 20 defensive, 40 neutral, 50 attacking and 60 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Edberg was...
- 33/45 (73%) at net, including...
- 19/25 (76%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 13/18 (72%) off 1st serve and..
- 6/7 (86%) off 2nd serve
- 1/1 return-approaching

Noah was...
- 16/32 (50%) at net, including...
- 12/24 (50%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 10/17 (59%) off 1st serve and..
- 2/7 (29%) off 2nd serve

Match Report
Fast court, powerful young Edberg and a hobbled Noah make for a one sided, almost farcical match

Noah had apparently injured his ankle in the quarter-final but managed to win his semi-final to reach this title match. Injury must have gotten worse since then... I can't imagine him beating anyone moving the way he does in this match. He limps slightly when walking, runs slowly and always with a grimace. "Hobbled" is probably too weak a word to describe his status.

One can say he was brave to play, but I think its just a token gesture and he'd have been better off defaulting rather than putting on such a poor show

Given his condition, how might Noah have approached the match?

Try to serve aces every point - its a fast court and conducive to big serving - and charge the net to swipe away anything float returned. Charge net every chance or swing for the fences, maybe

Instead, he plays fairly normally, just limited by injury. Even his serving is affected. For all that, he hits some good passes - a couple of BH dtls are particularly solid. Touch on the volley isn't bad either - though his movement to the ball and ability to bend down for volleys is down

Edberg serves more aggressively than I'm used to seeing. Both in terms of power (his first serve is on par with Noah's) and in placement (he aims for lines). I guess Noah doesn't return too badly in that context, holding Edberg to 32% unreturned serves

Some good BH dtl passes from Edberg and the shot of the match is running, on the stretch and from well behind the baseline FH lob winner. Noah also hits an excellent net-to-net lob which he has to run forward to and a leaping Edberg can just get a thin touch on the ball

Edberg volleys as crisply as ever. Even throws in a few stop and drop volleys. Volleying is helped with the knowledge that Noah isn't going to be running balls down... but he'd have struggled to do so even if he was healthy. Swish, and away goes volleys for winners

Edberg ends up 28 clean winners, which comes to 2.15 per game - the highest we have recorded for a match. This is helped by a 22 point Noah service game where Edberg hits 5 of his winners. That's the 3rd game of the second set, with Edberg up a break. Despite its length, Edberg only has 3 break points in it. Noah's best chance to win a game in it was when he missed an easy first FHV of a serve-volley point

Some but not much baseline stuff going on. Not much scope to see anything out of the ordinary with Noah in the state he's in. The Frenchman usually makes UEs in this situation. Edberg is quick to come in against any floating balls

Note Noah serving 60% to the FH. Wonder what the thinking was behind it... 60% is high enough that it surely didn't happen by accident

Against hobbled opponent or not, good job to get 91% returns in play by Edberg

Summing up, a clean showing by Edberg - fast and smooth in covering the court and swishing away volleys with style and power, but Noah being injured to the point of not being able to play properly is the story of the match. Pity, Edberg looked to be in good nick... match had good potential on this quick court
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Hall of Fame
Edberg beat Jimmy Connors 6-1, 6-4 in the semi-final

The two had played the week before in Philadelphia on the same surface, with Connors winning. It was Edberg’s first win over Connors

Edberg won 60 points, Connors 42

Edberg serve-volleyed most of the time

(Note: I’m missing serve direction and corresponding return data for 1 point
Partial missing point - Set 2, Game 1, Point 1 - deduced to have been a first serve. Ending of the point has been recorded)

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (36/56) 64%
- 1st serve points won (29/36) 81%
- 2nd serve points won (9/20) 45%
- Aces 5
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (19/56) 34%

- 1st serve percentage (36/46) 78%
- 1st serve points won (20/36) 56%
- 2nd serve points won (4/10) 40%
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (6/46) 13%

Serve Patterns
Edberg served...
- to FH 68%
- to BH 29%
- to Body 4%

Connors served...
- to FH 16%
- to BH 79%
- to Body 5%

Return Stats
Edberg made...
- 38 (9 FH, 28 BH, 1 ??), including 1 runaround FH & 2 return-approaches
- 1 Winner (1 FH), a runaround FH
- 6 Errors, comprising...
- 3 Unforced (3 BH)
- 3 Forced (3 BH)
- Return Rate (38/44) 86%

Connors made...
- 37 (25 FH, 12 BH), including 2 runaround BHs
- 5 Winners (5 FH)
- 14 Errors, comprising...
- 2 Unforced (2 FH)
- 12 Forced (7 FH, 5 BH)
- Return Rate (37/56) 66%

Break Points
Edberg 4/4
Connors 1/2 (2 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Edberg 21 (4 FH, 2 BH, 4 FHV, 6 BHV, 5 OH)
Connors 11 (10 FH, FHV)

Edberg had 12 from serve-volley points
- 7 first volleys (3 FHV, 4 BHV)
- 4 second volleys (1 FHV, 3 OH)
- 1 third volley (1 OH)

- 1 from return-approach point, a BHV

- FHs - 1 cc pass, 2 dtl (1 runaround return, 1 pass) and 1 lob
- BHs - 1 cc and 1 dtl

Connors' FH passes - 3 cc (2 returns), 3 dtl (2 returns), 1 inside-in return and 1 running-down-drop-shot cc at net
- regular FHs - 1 cc at net and 1 inside-out/dtl

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Edberg 25
- 13 Unforced (5 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 4 BHV)
- 12 Forced (1 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV, 3 BHV, 1 BH1/2V, 1 Back-to-Net)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.7

Connors 18
- 10 Unforced (6 FH, 3 BH, 1 BHV)... with 1 FH pass attempt at net
- 8 Forced (5 FH, 1 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)... with 1 FH at net (pass attempt) & 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45

(Note 1: All 1/2 volleys refer to such shots played at net. 1/2 volleys played from other parts of the court are included within relevant groundstroke numbers)

(Note 2: the Unforced Error Forcefulness Index is an indicator of how aggressive the average UE was. The numbers presented are keyed on 4 categories - 20 defensive, 40 neutral, 50 attacking and 60 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Edberg was...
- 34/53 (64%) at net, including...
- 26/40 (65%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 20/26 (77%) off 1st serve and...
- 6/14 (43%) off 2nd serve
- 1/2 return-approaching
- 1/ forced back

Connors was...
- 10/20 (50%) at net, including...
- 1/3 (33%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves
- 1/2 forced back

Match Report
SStraightforward as can be - Edberg plays well, Connors doesn’t and Edberg wins easily

Edberg’s a tad wary of Jimbo’s return and early on, doesn’t serve-volley too often. He’s got a powerful enough serve as to qualify as a big server. Early on, stays back off most seconds, and then a bunch of firsts. After taking first set, he goes into all-out serve-volleying, first and second serves

In all, serve-volleys 84% of the time off first serves (stays back 5 times, winning 4 of those) and 70% of the time off seconds

With high in count of 64%. Which is important because 2nd serve gets some stick, though it doesn’t seem like it because of the high in count, and said stick clustered around a small period when in-count goes down. Seems like a brief moment of glory for Jimbo on the return, where he strikes 4 return-pass winners in 5 points (he only has 1 more in rest of match) to gain his only break (he only has 1 other break point in the match)

Serve-volleying, Edberg’s wins a commanding 77% behind first serve, to go with 5 aces and the 4/5 he wins staying back. Thorough dominance. It’s the serve more than the volley that does the work. Jimbo’s in trouble with pace and placement of it, and not much volleying required

Second serve-volleying, Edberg wins just 43%. Not serve-volleying, 3/6 or 50%. Good enough, given no double faults, high in-count and dominance of first serve points. But for a run of going 0/5 (which gets him broken), he wins 9/15 second serve points, at very healthy 60%

So that’s Edberg’s service games. Dominance off first serves, which are just too good for Jimbo, and a clustered blip where Jimbo fires with the return aside, very good off second serves too

The 5 points he loses in the cluster are to a BH1/2V FE, 3 return-pass winners and just a regular pass winner. Hot run for Jimbo, but that’s about the only thing he does well for entire match

Jimbo serves harmlessly, Edberg returns easily. They get into nondescript baseline rally. Edberg pushes his groundies with little heat, Jimbo doesn’t do much more than that either. Directions of play orthodox - no great power, depth or angles

Someone gives up ground UE. As befits action, they’re dead even on that front - both with 5 FHs and 3 BHs (Jimbo also has a FH at net pass miss). Neutral UEs - Edberg 6, Jimbo 7

With paltry return errors drawn (Jimbo’s unreturends total 6 - 1 more than Edberg’s aces, let alone unreturneds - or 13%), equality of ground consistency is bound to get Jimbo broken. Unless he gets to net regularly and excels there

Jimbo’s 10/20 at net

50% off the ground + 50% at net + very small freebie cushion = Breaks incoming

Edberg breaks 4 times, Jimbo holds 4 times
Jimbo wins 24/46 service points - 52%

What else? Edberg all out looks to target Jimbo’s FH. Serves there 68% of the time (so regularly that Jimbo has 2 runaround BH returns, 1 against a first serve even - though why isn’t clear. Its not like he returns more powerfully off the BH)

Volleys there much as can. Jimbo has 0 BH winners (and no chances to hit a pass with nothing going that way), and his only BH FE is a running-down-drop-shot at net

By contrast, he has 2 FH passing winners and 5 FEs (excluding the 5 return winners)

Nothing special going on with Edberg’s volleying either. He dispatches balls as he does. 5 UEs in such a short match is on high side. Some good passes, particulalry returns from Jimbo to draw the 5 ‘volley’ FEs

Jimbo favours lobs over passes to a greater extent than his norm. Gets some good ones off that Edberg needs multiple shots at to finish point. Which is an achievement of sorts, for Edberg’s as on the ball as can be for OHs. Sleekly moves into position - which against the high quality shots, involves back-pedalling - and strikes crisply

When making your opponent hit multiple OHs to end point is an ‘achievement of sorts’, you know the guy’s having a bad day. Edberg looks as unlikely to miss a smash as anyone can. And he doesn’t miss 1

Match Progression
Edberg misses a slightly wide, but comfy volley to open match, Jimbo hits a return winner next point and hits a runaround BH return against a first serve the point after. All pretty unusual stuff

It doesn’t last. Jimbo has a break point in the game. Missing 2 routine second serve returns (that Edberg stays back on) doesn’t help his cause, and Edberg holds

Not much more unusual or particularly interesting stuff happens from thereon. Double fault and ground errors see Jimbo get broken (Edberg finishing with a nice FH cc passing winner)

Next break is different, with Jimbo crowding net. He’s up there 5/6 points but precise passes and lobs from Edberg stump him, and its 5-1. Edberg serves out to 30

Pretty good game to start the second set, with just 1 UE (a Jimbo approach attempt) and a double fault. Some fine shots from Edberg - he has 3 dtl winners in the game (BH, runaround FH return and on break point, FH dtl pass)

Confidence up, Edberg serve-volleys 100% in the set. He adds a second break to go up 4-1, with a return-approach and a FH lob winner having a hand in the game

Jimbo’s moment comes right after. Down 30-0, he fires a series of perfect returns. After Edberg’s forced into BH1/2V error, Jimbo knocks off 4 return winners (broke up by an Edberg OH winner) in next 5 points to grab a break back

He’s got Edberg 0-30 in next return game too, with Edberg missing 2 routine BHVs. Edberg comes out of it and finishes the game with back-to-back aces

Next time round, Edberg serves out to love - finishing with another ace

Summing up, easy win for Edberg. His powerful serve is the hottest thing in the match, and its augmented with his customary serve-volleying. The serve is enough, and he’s not called on to volley much, nor does he do so particularly well when needed. He’s in control enough to direct it all to Connors’ FH, that he seems to fancy as being the weaker side

For Connors - harmless serving, a difficult time returning, run-of-the-mill groundplay (Edberg too), not much better at net. Save a brief cluster of brilliant returns, thoroughly forgettable, and barely noticable. Lobs more than usual and is punished by first class smashing by Edberg