Duel Match Stats/Reports - McEnroe vs Wilander, Masters semi-finals, 1984 & 1983

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
John McEnroe beat Mats Wilander 6-1, 6-1 in the semi-final of the Masters (Year End Championship/ World Tour Final) 1984 on carpet

McEnroe would go onto beat Ivan Lendl in the final

McEnroe won 60 points, Wilander 33


McEnroe serve-volleyed off all first serves

Serve Stats
McEnroe...
- 1st serve percentage (17/37) 46%
- 1st serve points won (14/17) 82%
- 2nd serve points won (14/20) 70%
- Aces 2, Service Winners 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (6/37) 16%

Wilander...
- 1st serve percentage (34/56) 61%
- 1st serve points won (16/34) 47%
- 2nd serve points won (8/22) 36%
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (7/56) 13%


Serve Patterns
McEnroe served...
- to FH 38%
- to BH 59%
- to Body 3%

Wilander served....
- to FH 16%
- to BH 84%


Return Stats
McEnroe made...
- 49 (13 FH, 36 BH), including 5 runaround FHs & 4 return-approaches
- 2 Winners ( 2BH)
- 7 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (4 BH), all return-approach attempts
- 3 Forced (1 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (49/56) 88%

Wilander made...
- 31 (15 FH, 16 BH), including 4 runaround FHs
- 2 Errors, comprising...
- 1 Unforced (1 FH), a runaround attempt
- 1 Forced (1 BH)
- Return Rate (31/37) 84%

Break Points
McEnroe 5/11 (7 games)
Wilander 0

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
McEnroe 30 (4 FH, 11 BH, 4 FHV, 8 BHV, 3 OH)
Wilander 3 (1 FH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)

McEnroe had 9 from serve-volley points
- 6 first 'volleys' (2 FHV, 2 BHV, 2 FH at net)
- 3 second volleys (1 BHV, 2 OH)

- 1 other BHV was hit from well behind the service line and not a net point

9 passes (2 FH, 7 BH)
- FHs - 1 inside-out and 1 lob
- BHs - 2 cc and 5 dtl (1 return)

non-pass BHs - 3 cc (1 return) and 1 at net

Wilander had 2 from serve-volley points (1 first FHV, 1 second BHV) and 1 FH dtl pass

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
McEnroe 23
- 15 Unforced (5 FH, 5 BH, 2 BHV, 3 OH)
- 8 Forced (3 FH, 4 BH, 1 FHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 50

Wilander 24
- 9 Unforced (3 FH, 4 BH, 2 FHV)
- 15 Forced (1 FH, 12 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.9

(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
McEnroe was...
- 33/42 (79%) at net, including...
- 13/16 (79%) serve-volleying, comprising..
- 10/13 (77%) off first serve and..
- 3/3 off second
--
- 3/4 (75%) return-approaching
- 1/1 retreating

Wilander was...
- 11/30 (37%) at net, including...
- 8/16 (50%) serve-volleying, all first serves

Match Report
Near flawless from McEnroe, as he does whatever he wants to and... there's nothing Wilander can do to stop him

Mac has break points in all 7 of Wilander's service games and breaks in 5 (Wilander has 0)

Mac serve-volleys off all first serves, which isn't much (just 46% first serves in) and just 3 times of second serves.... but he can find a way to net seemingly at will on his second serve points or on return points, so he still shows up to net 42 times (match is just 93 points). Wilander initially plays his usual baseline game, but when that's found wanting, starts serve-volleying off most first serves starting from his last service game in the first set

Doesn't do him much good as he wins just 50% of such points, but that's still a step up from when he's not serve-volleying (8/18 first serve points won @ 44%)

Playing dynamics are straightforward. Serve-volleying, Mac dominates (wins 81%). From the baseline (most of Wilander's service points and Mac's 2nd serve points), they trade groundies… Wilander looking to (and being) consistent, keeping his errors low, Mac rallying neutrally til he can either open the court or/and come to net with more attacking shots

Mac does make more UEs off the ground (10 to Wilander's 7), but that advantage is peanuts given as often as not, the rallying leads to someone taking the net. When its Mac, he wins most of the time. When its Wilander, he loses most of the time.... in short, Wilander is getting the short end of the stick in points starting baseline to baseline too

Mac's groundgame is a treat to watch. he does not budge off the baseline when Wilander is taking the initiative... seems quite comfortable defending balls on the up. Solid enough in neutral scenarios. Quick to transition from neutral to attack with BH cc and FH i-o in particular his go to court openers. And great disguise - the short swing makes it hard to read which way he'll go. There's an error forcing drop shot he plays that even after he's played it looks like a regulation slice to me

Both players return very consistently. Return rates of 88% for Mac and 84% for Wilander

Mac is superb at net, with easy touch and excellent regular volleys. Either he hits a winner or sends Wilander scrambling to try to get a racquet on the ball.... successful passing doesn't look on the cards for Mats

By contrast, when Wilander takes the net, he struggles. Mac returns well enough and is precise in placing his passes, though it has to be said, Wilander's volleying isn't the best. Doesn't get the ball deep enough or/and placed away from Mac far enough and doesn't show much touch. Just being at net is enough to usually win points, so I'd primarily still credit Mac for the outcome, only noting Wilander was ordinary in the forecourt but Mac, exceptional on the pass

What could Mac have done better? His chip-charge returning could have been better (makes 4, misses 4). And of all things, he misses 3 smashes... beyond that, not seeing much room for improvement

And Wilander? Serve isn't good enough to cause Mac problems. Baseline play isn't strong enough to keep Mac from taking the initiative... scope for improvement there, but contrary to players overall reputations, this version of Mac is about even with Wilander from the baseline alone. Wise to come in more and more himself when things go against him from the back.... but not good enough on the volley

Maybe the biggest one is returning more aggressively. Mac's first serve isn't at its best, and though the second is good, its still a second serve, which an aggressive player might be able to attack. Though Wilander gets the serve back in play consistently, he does so relatively lightly. Too lightly against Mac in this kind of form

Statistical Points of Interest
- I believe this is the highest rate of winners per game match we've found. 30 clean winners in 14 games comes to 2.14 per game for McEnroe. @krosero - can you confirm?

- 0 winners for Mats in set 1 - @Moose Malloy …. he also has 0 return errors after the first set (does get aced once and service winnered twice by my judgement). Sure I've seen this a few times, but more noticeable as I take stats after each set to see a big blank in return errors after the first set

- 0 double faults in the match. Must be rare. 0 aces, service winners and doubles from Mats.... Connors had this too in the much, much longer 1980 US Open semi vs McEnroe
--

Summing up, near perfect from McEnroe - great on the volley. great at taking the net. solid from the baseline. excellent at creating and exploiting chances to transition to attack from there. consistent and varied on return Precise on the pass.

Not bad from Wilander, but not bad's no good against McEnroe in whirlwind mode

The final is here https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/meta-match-stats-reports-lendl-vs-mcenroe-masters-finals-82-83-84.622855/
 
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krosero

Legend
- I believe this is the highest rate of winners per game match we've found. 30 clean winners in 14 games comes to 2.14 per game for McEnroe. @krosero - can you confirm?
I have stats recorded in Excel but only for matches I've charted, and any that Moose has posted or emailed to me. Basically that covers the matches listed in posts 2-7 of this thread: https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-statistics-1959-present.552865/

Having said that, yes, 2.14 is a higher rate than any in my Excel chart.

Next highest is Edberg with a rate of 2.05 non-service winners per game over Wilander, 1990 AO sf (6-1, 6-1, 6-2).


In that one, 35.4% of all the points played ended with a clean Edberg winner. In this one that you've just charted, 32.3% of all the points in the match ended with a clean McEnroe winner.

Mac had only 6 unreturned serves in this match, do you know if all of them were 1st serves?
 
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WCT

Semi-Pro
Look at that point differential and Mcenroe only had 6 unreturned serves himself. Damn, I forgot they even played there that year. I remember watching their Masters match the year before and I knew that was no 6-1 6-1 match.
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
... 2.14 is a higher rate than any in my Excel chart.

Next highest is Edberg with a rate of 2.05 non-service winners per game over Wilander, 1990 AO sf (6-1, 6-1, 6-2).
Coincidence that Wilander's on the receiving end both times? Or something about his style of play?

He seems a 'make the guy play one more ball' type of guy... maybe even extending to the return. And a good serve-volleyer against a consistent but not overly heavy returner would be a golden formula for high winner/game ratio

Guys like Becker or Sampras will miss makeable returns, denying their opponent a winner. Guys like Agassi and Connors will blast returns - they're either errors or they win the point - they're opponent won't be hitting the winners

Mac would be less of a candidate to top this than Edberg because he usually has higher unreturned rates... so somewhat thanks to Wilander's consistent returning for letting it happen. I say 'somewhat' because Mac's yield isn't in keeping with my hypothesized formula high winner rate (he's serve-volley points accounts for just 9/30 winners… I'm guessing its much higher for Edberg's performance)

I notice that Edberg's efforts are far more volley based (6 groundies, 39 volleys/OHs) - presumably picking off serve-volley winners mostly - than Mac's (15 groundies, 15 volleys/OHs)


Mac had only 6 unreturned serves in this match, do you know if all of them were 1st serves?
2 second serves unreturned

1) 1st serve to FH - Service Winner
2) 1st to BH - Service Winner
3) 1st to FH - Ace
4) 1st to FH - Ace
5) 2nd to FH - Unforced error (runaround attempt)
6) 2nd to BH - Forced error (serve-volley point)
 
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Yes, we've come across many high winner rates vs Wilander over the years(agassi at 88 RG, Lendl at 88 uso/87 RG, sampras at 89 uso, Mecir vs him pretty much anywhere)

His game can be very attackable. Partly why the media didn't really regard him that highly at the time.
 

BringBackWood

Professional
Yes, we've come across many high winner rates vs Wilander over the years(agassi at 88 RG, Lendl at 88 uso/87 RG, sampras at 89 uso, Mecir vs him pretty much anywhere)

His game can be very attackable. Partly why the media didn't really regard him that highly at the time.
Steady players like him provide a perfect canvas for those with the tools to paint their masterpieces. Roddick (although inferior) is a similar type who had many high winner rates against him.

I have this match on tape, and it really does encaspulate Mcenroe 84. Oozing confidence, but not overtly. It was just sheer nonchalance, like any true genius. I find it difficult to find the words to describe, let alone explain, my admiration for his peak game. It was like the racket was merely an extension of his arm, and he was taking all the responsibility for the shots unto himself; the racket barely needed to be swung. The final point where he brazenly wrists a winning passing shot quick off the bounce past a helpless Mats pretty much sums it up.

If anyone has an English language commentary version of the final, please message me.
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
McEnroe beat Wilander 6-2, 6-4 in the semi-final of the Masters (Year End Championship/ World Tour Final) 1983 on carpet

McEnroe would go onto beat Ivan Lendl in the final. Wilander had won all 3 of the pair's matches that season - 1 on clay (French Open), 1 on hard court and 1 on grass (Australian Open)

McEnroe won 72 points, Wilander 53

McEnroe serve-volleyed off all first serves

Serve Stats
McEnroe...
- 1st serve percentage (33/62) 53%
- 1st serve points won (27/33) 82%
- 2nd serve points won (12/29) 41%
- Aces 4
- Double Fault 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (14/62) 23%

Wilander...
- 1st serve percentage (39/63) 62%
- 1st serve points won (17/39) 44%
- 2nd serve points won (13/24) 54%
- Aces 1
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (7/63) 11%

Serve Patterns
McEnroe served...
- to FH 31%
- to BH 56%
- to Body 13%

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

Return Stats
McEnroe made...
- 55 (13 FH, 42 BH), including 3 runaround FHs & 2 return-approaches
- 6 Errors, comprising...
- 3 Unforced (3 BH), including 1 return-approach attempt
- 3 Forced (1 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (55/62) 89%

Wilander made...
- 47 (12 FH, 35 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 10 Errors, all forced...
- 10 Forced (6 FH, 4 BH)
- Return Rate (47/61) 77%

Break Points
McEnroe 5/8 (6 games)
Wilander 2/6 (3 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
McEnroe 19 (2 FH, 2 BH, 4 FHV, 6 BHV, 5 OH)
Wilander 15 (4 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV, 3 OH, 1 BHOH)

McEnroe had 7 from serve-volley points
- 3 first volleys (2 FHV, 1 OH)
- 4 second volleys (1 FHV, 3 OH)

- FHs - 1 cc pass and 1 drop shot
- BHs - 2 cc (1 pass)

Wilander's FHs (all passes) - 3 dtl (1 return) and 1 inside-in (a net chord pop over)
- BHs - 3 cc (2 passes) and 2 dtl passes

- 1 FHV was a swinging shot from just behind the service line but has been counted a net point. McEnroe was also at net on the point

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
McEnroe 30
- 19 Unforced (8 FH, 9 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 11 Forced (2 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV, 2 FH1/2V, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 44.7

Wilander 38
- 14 Unforced (2 FH, 9 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV)
- 24 Forced (7 FH, 14 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 Behind-Back)… with 1 FH at net & 1 BH at net - both running-down-drop-shot attempts
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index

(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
McEnroe was...
- 46/62 (74%) at net, including...
- 24/32 (75%) serve-volleying, comprising..
- 23/29 (79%) off 1st serve and..
- 1/3 (33%) off 2nd serve
---
- 2/2 return-approaching
- 2/3 (67%) forced back/retreated

Wilander was...
- 14/25 (56%) at net, including...
- 0/2 serve-volleying, both 1st serves
---
- 1/3 (33%) forced back

Match Report
Good match, particularly the second set, but McEnroe seems to have matters under control with something to spare

McEnroe's Play
Mac serve-volleys off all first serves - and on them, is near untouchable. Wilander obviously can't read the serve - the ones out wide go unreturned or draw him way out of court, and the BH and body serves come back leaving Mac comfortable volleys

His volleying is top notch and he finds corners with them, with a few drop volleys thrown in. Just the 2 UEs on the volley. He mostly knocks away Mats' very good lob too

He stays back on second serves all but 3 times and looks to rally neutrally with Mats from the back, with an eye for taking net. Not in a particular rush to come forward, but looks to do so after manuvering Mats out of position slightly

BH is the attacking side. Some strong cc's - of angle or power to open court and come in with block BH longlines. Its also more error prone, yielding 9 UEs

On return, Mac returns comfortably and neutrally. Just 2 chip-charge returns and a very high 89% return rate. Play develops baseline-to-baseline from Mac's point of view as described above

Rallying neutrally, he's naturally the less consistent and has 17 UEs to Mats' relatively high 11. Note low UEFI of 44.7, indicating that it wasn't Mac's greater aggression that accounts for being the more loose... its just the predictable outcome of trading groundstrokes with Wilander

But being more attacking and seeking net more (and being superb once there) more than compensates. He actually wins the bulk of return points - 33/63 or 52%. Taking that in conjunction with dominating his first serve points, Mac's only headache is his own second serve points - where he wins just 41%

Wilander's Play
Heavier than usual from Mats

The serve seems not-weak, but its not strong enough to unduly trouble Mac. The second serve is about as strong as I've seen from him

Off the ground too, he hits heavier than normal. Looks to draw errors from Mac's BH with FH cc's. It works

The extra heavy hitting has its drawback in Mats' own error rate. Note high 9 BH UEs... Mats Wilander cannot afford to be even with John McEnroe on BH errors. An despite the extra heaviness (relative to his norm), its still not enough to unduly bother Mac

Mats' baseline play looks like an attempt to beat out errors, rather than gain them by outlasting. Its not really strong enough for that

Wilander does come to net himself regularly. Decent instincts and decent volleying by a normal standard, but made to look mundane next to Mac's exceptional showing on those front

Sure returning from Mats. Against the first serve even... but sure returning is stumped by Mac volleying well. It's Mats' way in general... make the other guy play an extra ball, but when the ball is a volley and the other guy is McEnroe, its not likely to end well. And it doesn't

Neutralizing returns against second serves that lead to baseline rallies

Contrasting with Ivan Lendl
… both from McEnroe's point of view, and Wilander's

In the final and in general, Mac would relentlessly and as soon as possible, attack the net - serve-volleying off most second serves and chip-charge returning frequently. By contrast, he's fairly content to stay back and rally here. 2 possible reasons -

- a) he was more afraid of Mats passing shots than Lendl's
- b) he was more afraid of trading groundstrokes with Lendl

There's no doubt at all that b) is what's behind the difference. Lendl with much heavier, regular groundstrokes than Wilander... the kind very likely to beat Mac down

From Wilander's point of view, he looks to make Mac play the first volley with his returns. Lendl tends not to... he blasts returns, guaranteeing a lot of return errors for the advantage of not leaving Mac easy volleys

Against most players, Wilander's way might be better. Against McEnroe, probably not

Contrast with '82 Davis Cup match
The two had played for the first time the previous year on a similar surface in what turned into a 6 hour contest. Significant differences in quality, but not style of play

In the '82 match, Mats' serve was a gimme and his baseline shots were tepid though highly consistent. Nothing to fear in them
Here, Mats has beefed up his serve and groundstrokes. But not to troubling degree. He is more keen to come to net though, which is a definite improvement

Mac for his part was overly passive off the ground in their first meeting and not too hungry to come to net. His approach here is much better - he looks to attack a bit from the back and looks to come in

The changes from '82 match are markedly in McEnroe's favour
---
Summing up, convincing win for McEnroe, whose serve and net play are destructive, while his ground game stands up well. Some more than usual heavy hitting from Wilander, but not to a damaging degree

Stats for pair's '82 Davis Cup match - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-mcenroe-vs-wilander-davis-cup-quarter-final-rubber-1982.658818/
 
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