Match Stats/Report - Arrese vs Borg, Monte Carlo first round, 1991


Hall of Fame
Jordi Arrese beat Bjorn Borg 6-2, 6-3 in the Monte Carlo first round, 1991 on clay

Arrese would lose in the next round but go onto win his next tournament in Madrid. He would win the Silver medal for Spain at the Olympics the following year in Barcelona. This was Borg's first official tour match in 7 years. He won the so-called 'wooden spoon' for the tournament

Arrese won 59 points, Borg 44

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (32/55) 58%
- 1st serve points won (20/32) 63%
- 2nd serve points won (10/23) 43%
- Double Faults 5
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (3/55) 5%

- 1st serve percentage (29/48) 50%
- 1st serve points won (15/29) 52%
- 2nd serve points won (4/19) 21%
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (3/48) 6%

Serve Patterns
Arrese served...
- to FH 4%
- to BH 88%
- to Body 8%

Borg served...
- to FH 77%
- to BH 18%
- to Body 5%

Return Stats
Arrese made...
- 41 (37 FH, 4 BH), including 3 runaround FHs
- 3 Errors, all unforced...
- 3 Unforced (2 FH, 1 BH)
- Return Rate (41/44) 93%

Borg made...
- 47 (18 FH, 29 BH), including 14 runaround FHs
- 3 Errors, all unforced...
- 3 Unforced (1 FH, 2 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- Return Rate (47/50) 94%

Break Points
Arrese 6/10 (6 games)
Borg 3/5 (3 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Arrese 13 (8 FH, 1 BH, 4 FHV)
Borg 7 (3 FH, 2 BH, 1 FHV, 1 OH)

Arrese's FHs - 2 cc passes (1 at net, 1 off an OH), 2 dtl (1 pass), 2 inside-out, 1 inside-in and 1 lob
- BH - 1 cc

Borg's FHs - 2 cc and 1 inside-in
- BHs - 2 cc (1 pass)

- the OH was on the bounce

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Arrese 29
- 21 Unforced (13 FH, 7 BH, 1 FHV)
- 8 Forced (4 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 49.0

Borg 39
- 30 Unforced (15 FH, 13 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 9 Forced (6 FH, 2 BH, 1 FHV)
- 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 for these two matches are keyed on 4 categories - 20 defensive, 40 neutral, 50 attacking and 60 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Arrese was...
- 9/13 (69%) at net, with...
- 1/1 retreated

Borg was...
- 7/14 (50%) at net, with...

Match Report
Borg's comeback match isn't too different of look from his old clay matches with other passive, late 70s/early 80s dirtballers. Soft serving, sure returning, who-blinks-first baseline rallying with odd approaches to net

Two differences. Borg misses balls and isn't upto making passes

Match starts with Borg missing 2 returns. Arrese serves 53 more times - and 52 come back. Same sure returning on the other end, with Arrese missing just 3 returns... return rates read Arrese 93%, Borg 94%. Just like old Borg-Vilas matches

Note all 6 return errors being unforced. In fact, there are 3-4 forceful serves all match (all are returned), not a hint of a service winner let alone an ace. Gentle serving from both, and returns put back in play like clockwork

Slightly odd serving patterns, especially Borg's. Arrese serves 88% to BH, which is extreme, even if going mostly to BH is common. Borg serves 77% to FH. As that's the opposite of default strategy, one imagines he had reason to do so... had he studied Arrese's game and found the FH was more susceptible?

In play, that isn't true. Arrese seems to prefer playing FHs to BHs

Note Borg's very high 14 runaround FHs. He plays the shot neutrally ('passively' is probably a more apt description) and is able to move around without strain against first serves. That's how gentle the serving is

Its a pity Borg didn't win and go onto face Goran Ivanisevic in the next round. Would have been interested to see how he did returning Goran's serve with that wooden racquet

Then they rally. Its who-blinks-first, passive stuff. In years gone by, such rallies with Borg tended to last eons. They're not short here - 10-15 shot rallies are common - but not a patch on the regular 50+ stroke rallies of old

And its Borg who usually blinks, about equally by wing. He has 15 FH UEs and 13 on the BH

It takes Arrese a couple of games rallying passively before realizing that he has the power advantage. Thereafter, he looks to hit stronger, flatter FHs and the odd sharp angled BH cc. Still not strong enough to force errors, but its clear he's the harder hitter - while remaining more consistent. He has 20 groundstroke UEs to Borg's 28

Note Arrese's very high 49.0 UEFI. 11/21 UEs are attacking shots. 'Attacking shot' probably a slight exaggeration in that they're not enough to force errors usually, but the intent is there to hit extra hard or place near lines. Borg is the less powerful one and 19/30 of his errors are neutral

Movement doesn't play much role in match, as groundstrokes and surface are slow enough as to make fast retrieving necessary. Borg's about average by a general standard. If he were a newbie, you wouldn't think he's slow... though compared to his heyday he is, which isn't a surprise. Still slides like a master

Both players look to come in to finish points. As the heavier hitter, Arrese has more chances to make it happen, but its Borg whose at net 14 times, 1 more than Arrese. Borg occasionally manufactures appraoches rather than come in after taking charge of point (he rarely takes charge of points)

Still some weak stuff in forecourt from Borg. He misses one genuinely easy volley (has 2 UEs in all) and a pretty ordinary OH is weak enough that Arrese is able to slap away a FH cc passing winner of it. Arrese volleys with more confidence, with good angled FHVs. He has 4 FHV winners

Borg is playing at a fantastic rate, taking no more than 5 seconds between points and about 2 between serves. Several times, the chair asks him to wait because the ball boys haven't got back into position. The first time he does, he gives Borg a first serve. Borg continues to need to be reminded to wait - and isn't given anymore extra first serves

I hadn't noticed this before. How did umps handle Borg's speed of play in the past? He always played very, very quickly and surely the same issue would have come up then. Balls boys are scarcely of the playing area a couple of times when Borg's throwing the ball up for a second serve

Borg opens game 4 with 2 double faults and is broken. He's broken twice more while breaking once himself to lose the set. A perfect FH lob winner from Arrese is the shot of match... its hit hard and Borg wouldn't have had any chance of retrieving it (he doesn't try)

Borg opens second set with a break, with Arrese double faulting twice but Arrese breaks right back. Borg breaks again later, again with 2 doubles from Arrese. In 2 other games, he pushes the serving Arrese to deuce

Arrese though breaks Borg to love and then to 15 before serving out the match

Summing up, interesting to look at Bjorn Borg in his comeback match. Style is the same as ever on clay... passive, putting balls in play stuff and pass when needed. Only he misses regulation groundies sooner or later, has the less heavy groundies and can't make passes. Not a disgraceful performance, but a very ordinary one against fairly basic and mundane play from Jordi Arrese

Stats for the 1980 final between Borg and Guillermo Vilas -