Match Stats/Report - Borg vs Connors, Wimbledon final, 1978

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Bjorn Borg beat Jimmy Connors 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 in the Wimbledon final, 1978 on grass

It was Borg's third title in a row at the venue and he'd beaten Connors in five sets in the previous final. Connors was ranked 1, Borg 3 at the time according to commentary

Borg won 105 points, Connors 77

Borg serve-volleyed off all first serves

Serve Stats
Borg...
- 1st serve percentage (46/85) 54%
- 1st serve points won (36/46) 78%
- 2nd serve points won (19/39) 49%
- Aces 5
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (24/85) 28%

Connors...
- 1st serve percentage (58/97) 60%
- 1st serve points won (27/58) 47%
- 2nd serve points won (21/39) 54%
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (7/97) 7%

Serve Patterns
Borg served...
- to FH 25%
- to BH 72%
- to Body 4%

Connors served...
- to FH 24%
- to BH 68%
- to Body 8%

Return Stats
Borg made...
- 86 (44 FH, 42 BH), including 16 runaround FHs
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 7 Errors, comprising...
- 1 Unforced (1 FH), a runaround FH
- 6 Forced (2 FH, 4 BH)
- Return Rate (86/93) 92%

Connors made...
- 61 (17 FH, 44 BH), including 3 runaround FHs & 1 return-approach
- 2 Winners (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 19 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (2 FH, 3 BH), including 2 runaround FHs
- 14 Forced (6 FH, 8 BH)
- Return Rate (61/85) 72%

Break Points
Borg 7/17 (9 games)
Connors 1/7 (4 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Borg 28 (1 FH, 8 BH, 7 FHV, 8 BHV, 4 OH)
Connors 31 (9 FH, 3 BH, 6 FHV, 8 BHV, 5 OH)

Borg had 8 from serve-volley points
- 3 first volleys (2 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 5 second volleys (1 FHV, 2 BHV, 2 OH)… 1 BHV being a stop

- 2 other BHVs were drops
- 2 FHVs were played net-to-net

- all groundstrokes were passes -
- FH - 1 cc
- BHs - 5 cc (1 return), 1 longline, 1 lob and 1 cc running-down-drop-shot at a very fine angle

Connors' had 11 passes (6 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- FHs - 2 cc, 2 dtl, 1 inside-out net chord pop over and 1 lob
- BH - 2 dtl passes (1 return) and 1 lob
- FHV - a swinging shot and not a net point
- BHV - a drive and not a net point

- regular FHs - 1 cc (from just behind service line but counted a not point), 1 runaround inside-out and 1 net chord dribbler

- 4 from serve-volley points
- 2 first volleys (1 BHV, 1 OH)… the OH can reasonably be called a very high FHV
- 2 second volleys (2 FHV)

- 1 OH came from a return-approach point, 1 BHV was played net-to-net and 2 drop volleys (1 FHV, 1 BHV)

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Borg 39
- 12 Unforced (5 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)
- 27 Forced (4 FH, 15 BH, 3 FHV, 4 BHV, 1 BHOH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.7

Connors 49
- 25 Unforced (10 FH, 11 BH, 1 FHV, 3 BHV)
- 24 Forced (10 FH, 9 BH, 5 FHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.2

(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
Borg was...
- 54/81 (67%) at net, including...
- 31/41 (70%) serve-volleying, all first serves
--
- 1/3 (33%) forced back/retreated

Connors was...
- 36/59 (61%) at net, including...
- 9/12 (75%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 8/11 (73%) off 1st serve and..
- 1/1 off 2nd serve
--
- 1/1 return-approaching
- 0/2 forced back/retreated

Match Report
Commanding from Borg in a match that's easy to explain with just stats and a few words. Praiseworthy as Borg's play is, Connors' haywire approach to the match keeps it from being more competitive

Basic Stats & Dynamics
Starting with the obvious, usually, first serves usually give the server such a big advantage that with playing strength being equal, the server wins the bulk of the points
Here, that only half holds. Borg has a strong first serve - and uses it accordingly. Connors has a weak serve (and Borg is exceptionally consistent of return to boot) - this part of the match doesn't fit usual patterns

Usually, second serve points are an indicator of playing strength (i.e. points starting from a neutral position)
Here, that's true

In a nutshell, all of Connors service points - 1st or 2nd - are effectively 50-50 neutral points. For Borg, only the second serve points are... its an almost impossible handicap for Jimbo. He'd have to be not just better, but far, far better than in play to come out ahead overall

Borg wins 78% first serve points (serving at a conservative 54%)… that's his head start.

Which leaves his second serve points and Connors service points to start neutrally. What happens there?

Second serve points - Borg 19/39 @ 49%, Connors 21/39 @ 54%. Note also, Connors served 4 doubles, Borg 0. These stats are suggesting Connors was actually the stronger court player
Now throw in Connors' 1st serve points, which realistically though atypically are neutral starting points too. Connors wins 27/58 @ 47%

Total of Borg's second serve points and all Connors' service points - we are dead even 68-68 points

This is worth noting because watching the match, one gets the impression Borg is considerably the better court player (and obviously, the far better server). Doesn't appear to be the case. Seems to just be serve that seperates the two

That should tell you something about what the serve is worth... overall, the match is a no-contest with Borg miles ahead. From dead equal to miles ahead... that's the serve (and the tactics behind it)

Serve-volleying Tactics, Overall Strategy & Connors' Plans
Borg serve-volleys of all first serves and stays back on all seconds. Its committed serve-volleying too... none of the 1/2 assed 'delay' serve-volleying or hoping-to-hit-groundstroke-rather-than-volley stuff he showed in the '76 final against Nastase

Connors rarely serve-volleys (just 12 times, once off a second serve). But is hugely successful when he does (winning 9/12). One understands having second thoughts about coming in behind a weak serve... but he just isn't thinking right (if at all)

Sans serve-volleying, he's only won 19/47 @ 40% of his first serve points

Its grass. The bounce is low and irregular. Borg returns very, very consistently (doubt we'll find anything higher than a 92% return rate on grass) but that's helped by Connors staying back. Connors is volleying well

Anything was better than staying back and trading groundies with Borg. His rare serve-volleys show it to be the best way forward. What's the thinking behind not serve-volleying more?

Take the net early in rallies? He doesn't really try - he's not looking to come in off third balls, rather rally neutrally, see how it goes and then come in. He comes in 46 times from rallying, Borg 41

Plan on passing Borg regularly? If so, its a very bad plan... ball is bouncing ankle to knee high, its a wonder both players are able to hit passing shots as well as they do, but getting the better of a guy at net isn't practical, even if the guy is volleying badly (which Borg isn't)

{sidebar: still wouldn't be surprised if that were his plans. In a mid- 80s match against Lendl on hard court where I thought Connors was erring badly by baselining against a more consistent player and a better way would have been to approach more, he says out loud to himself "we want him there", meaning Lendl at the net

Assuming he wasn't joking, apparently his plan was to draw Lendl to net and pass him rather than come in himself to volley. No prizes for guessing who won the match}

Outplaying Borg baseline-to-baseline? If so, another bad plan... Borg is the stronger player in that scenario. Maybe that wasn't clearly established in 1978? I wouldn't think so, its obvious Borg's shots are more consistent (8 groundstroke UEs for Borg, Connors has 21). About as damaging too.

What exactly did Connors think was going to happen the way he played? Short of putting on a demon return performance (not likely against Borg's serve, though I suppose if you can do it to Tanner, you can conceivably do it to Borg) and hope Borg has a bad day on the volley... I don't see his game plan having a happy ending

After the match, Bud Collins speaks to both players and Connors answers a what-went-wrong question. He says something about how he went for too much on his shots and should have just tried to stay in there

Anyone else gave this answer, I'd suspect they were just saying whatever, with their mind elsewhere. For Connors, wouldn't be surprised if that's how he saw things

No idea what he's talking about. He didn't serve big, didn't approach unduly, didn't go for too much on passes and volleyed well. Maybe he thinks just putting passes over the net and hoping Borg missed them was what he was missing... as sound an idea as many I've seen him try to pull off

Generally speaking, I think Connors has a bad grasp of strategy. Rallying with McEnroe neutrally when Mac is bound to come in sooner or later, slugging it out with Lendl when its clear Lendl isn't going to give up errors, and this match... he's probably the worse player in most of the matches I've looked at and would likely lose whatever he tried, but so often he makes it worse on himself following (and sticking to) bad plans where fairly obvious alternatives (usually, come to net more) were there

In those mid-80s matches with McEnroe and Lendl, his volleying is often less massively confidence filling (though still good enough to be better than the alternative), but in this match, he volleys well and surely too
 
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Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Serve & Return
I like the variety of Borg's first serve. When he belts it hard as can, he belts it about as hard as anyone can probably... those serves are outright overpowering. Most of the time though, he holds back and has a mix of kickers and flat serves. He's not a line licker, so the returner has a shot. The service motion is relaxed enough that the extra powerful serves probably comes as a surprise too. Second serve is average

Connors' serve has no demons about it, first of second. From late in the second set onward, he delivers a lot more body serves. Doesn't mean anything... Borg easily runsaround second serves (and even a couple of firsts) to his BH all match, body serves are hardly likely to trouble him. He just makes room and hits FHs, no trouble at all

Borg returns with great consistency. 92% return rate on grass, even against average serving, is special. He looks to neutralize Connors' potential advantage (as opposed to snatch it) with the return - and succeeds almost completely. By the third ball, its a 50-50 situation

Connors returns about as well as he's allowed. All credit to Borg for serving well, no discredit to Connors' returning here

Connors does look to FH return body serves and runs around the BH a couple of times to hit FHs (including an inside-out winner)

Borg's serve-volleying
Fully commited stuff. Comes all the way in looking for a volley. Volleys a step up from '76 too... he's not hitting corners, but he is looking to volley away from opponent. Couple of very nice drop BHV winners

Play - baseline, rallying to net and passing
As shown earlier, sans Borg's first serve serve-volleying (which is categorically different type of play to the rest), play was dead even. Now sans Connors' handful of serve-volleys and double faults - play remains dead even - Borg 60 points, Connors 59 (this includes return errors without serve-volley support)

This is a bit surprising to me. I would've thought Borg had a healthier lead

Pure baseline points, he's more consistent of shot and about as damaging. His court coverage is better too

I like what he does with the BH. When hitting topspin, he hits hard but with shorter swings than his norm (which is necessary, let alone a good idea on this low surface) but mixes in heavy slices. Heavily sliced BHs are his approach shot of choice, though that isn't the only time he uses them. Very smoothly done... never seems to be in two minds what type of BH to play

FHs very good too. Connors avoids it like the plague - note just the 1 FH winner from Borg (he has 8 BHs). Connors wants nothing to do with that wing, but that constrains him from hitting his own BH cc

Approaching from rallies, Borg is 23/40 @ 58%, Connors 26/46 @ 57%... near dead even, again

Borg has the better approaches, usually heavily sliced balls that tend to stay low. Connors approaches of harder hit, faster but also higher bouncing balls (also a makes a small number of errors trying).

Good volleying and passing by both players, about equal. The passing is better than the volleying... forced volleying errors tend to be makeable (somewhat counterbalanced by unforced volleying errors tilted towards not easy)… a good volleyer having a good day (including Connors in particular) could do better at the net. But the passing... doubt any other player in the world at the time could have done more

Reputation for discomfort at net aside, Borg's net seeking is exemplary. He usually manufactures his approaches rather than waiting for short ball, no hesitation or seeming doubt in mind. Connors is a little more cautious to come forward and more prone to hang back a bit from crowding the net. And he does tend to wait for the short ball - more so than Borg

On the volley, Connors probably edges the aggressive intent behind the shots. He's looking to put points to bed with first volley - and mostly does. That's for the match as a whole. Initially, he looked to hit drop volleys and Borg usually ran them down predictably. Another not great idea of Connors', but he shows he can adjust as he drops the tactic and volleys deep for most of the match

Borg's placement and attacking intent of volleys is better than a couple of years ago, but still short of one-shot-to-finish levels. His touch is decent - couple good angled drop volleys (1 or 2 stop volleys are probably surface assisted flukes)
----

Some good passages of play. First point of the match sees both players at net, and Borg slaps down a FHV winner. Connors breaks in game 2 to go up 2-0 (his only break of the match), by dragging Borg forward with a drop volley than finishing off with a net-to-net BHV winner. He'd won the first point of the game with his sole return-pass winner - a BH dtl which he anticipated or guessed the direction of. A low first FHV winner from Borg anybody would be proud to hit

Great point in game 7 where Connors runs Borg from end to end and takes the net. Borg can only throw up a defensive lob that Connors smashes but Borg manages to fend back. Connors drops shots and for the finale, Borg runs down the drop shot and hits a very finely angled BH cc at net for the winner. This brings up break point, and Borg whips a return pass winner BH cc to seal it

In set 2, Borg climbs out of a 0-40 hole with strong serves and saves another break point with a bold, early approach that leaves Connors a good look at the pass, but Borg's upto making a drop BHV winner. He seals the game with a BH cc pass... and adds 2 more in the next 3 points of the game after

An odd point in game 7. Net-to-net points are common, but in this one, both players appear to approach at exactly the same moment (its hard to tell even on replay who starts coming in first). Borg gets the better of that one - lob BHV'ng Connors back to the baseline and putting away the OH rejoinder to that

Summing up, a powerful showing from Bjorn Borg - his standard baseline game beautifully adapted to grass (especially with the variety and shot choice on the BH), very sure returning, strong serving, clear net instincts and decent volleying. Its a scary thought that he was just 22 and still getting better at the time. Connors' weak serve gives him a hopeless handicap and his staying back strategy is dubious... but in play, he's right up there with Borg. The difference that makes the difference is huge gap in first serve potency and the choice of serve-volleying versus not serve-volleying
 

barone

Rookie
Bjorn Borg beat Jimmy Connors 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 in the Wimbledon final, 1978 on grass

It was Borg's third title in a row at the venue and he'd beaten Connors in five sets in the previous final. Connors was ranked 1, Borg 3 at the time according to commentary

Borg won 105 points, Connors 77

Borg serve-volleyed off all first serves

Serve Stats
Borg...
- 1st serve percentage (46/85) 54%
- 1st serve points won (36/46) 78%
- 2nd serve points won (19/39) 49%
- Aces 5
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (24/85) 28%

Connors...
- 1st serve percentage (58/97) 60%
- 1st serve points won (27/58) 47%
- 2nd serve points won (21/39) 54%
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (7/97) 7%

Serve Patterns
Borg served...
- to FH 25%
- to BH 72%
- to Body 4%

Connors served...
- to FH 24%
- to BH 68%
- to Body 8%

Return Stats
Borg made...
- 86 (44 FH, 42 BH), including 16 runaround FHs
- 1 Winners (1 BH)
- 7 Errors, comprising...
- 1 Unforced (1 FH), a runaround FH
- 6 Forced (2 FH, 4 BH)
- Return Rate (86/93) 92%

Connors made...
- 61 (17 FH, 44 BH), including 3 runaround FHs & 1 return-approach
- 2 Winners (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 19 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (2 FH, 3 BH), including 2 runaround FHs
- 14 Forced (6 FH, 8 BH)
- Return Rate (61/85) 72%

Break Points
Borg 7/17 (9 games)
Connors 1/7 (4 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Borg 28 (1 FH, 8 BH, 7 FHV, 8 BHV, 4 OH)
Connors 31 (9 FH, 3 BH, 6 FHV, 8 BHV, 5 OH)

Borg had 8 from serve-volley points
- 3 first volleys (2 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 5 second volleys (1 FHV, 2 BHV, 2 OH)… 1 BHV being a stop

- 2 other BHVs were drops
- 2 FHVs were played net-to-net

- all groundstrokes were passes -
- FH - 1 cc
- BHs - 5 cc (1 return), 1 longline, 1 lob and 1 cc running-down-drop-shot at a very fine angle

Connors' had 11 passes (6 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- FHs - 2 cc, 2 dtl, 1 inside-out net chord pop over and 1 lob
- BH - 2 dtl passes (1 return) and 1 lob
- FHV - a swinging shot and not a net point
- BHV - a drive and not a net point

- regular FHs - 1 cc (from just behind service line but counted a not point), 1 runaround inside-out and 1 net chord dribbler

- 4 from serve-volley points
- 2 first volleys (1 BHV, 1 OH)… the OH can reasonably be called a very high FHV
- 2 second volleys (2 FHV)

- 1 OH came from a return-approach point, 1 BHV was played net-to-net and 2 drop volleys (1 FHV, 1 BHV)

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Borg 39
- 12 Unforced (5 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)
- 27 Forced (4 FH, 15 BH, 3 FHV, 4 BHV, 1 BHOH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.7

Connors 49
- 25 Unforced (10 FH, 11 BH, 1 FHV, 3 BHV)
- 24 Forced (10 FH, 9 BH, 5 FHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.2

(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
Borg was...
- 54/81 (67%) at net, including...
- 31/41 (70%) serve-volleying, all first serves
--
- 1/3 (33%) forced back/retreated

Connors was...
- 36/59 (61%) at net, including...
- 9/12 (75%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 8/11 (73%) off 1st serve and..
- 1/1 off 2nd serve
--
- 1/1 return-approaching
- 0/2 forced back/retreated

Match Report
Commanding from Borg in a match that's easy to explain with just stats and a few words. Praiseworthy as Borg's play is, Connors' haywire approach to the match keeps it from being more competitive

Basic Stats & Dynamics
Starting with the obvious, usually, first serves usually give the server such a big advantage that with playing strength being equal, the server wins the bulk of the points
Here, that only half holds. Borg has a strong first serve - and uses it accordingly. Connors has a weak serve (and Borg is exceptionally consistent of return to boot) - this part of the match doesn't fit usual patterns

Usually, second serve points are an indicator of playing strength (i.e. points starting from a neutral position)
Here, that's true

In a nutshell, all of Connors service points - 1st or 2nd - are effectively 50-50 neutral points. For Borg, only the second serve points are... its an almost impossible handicap for Jimbo. He'd have to be not just better, but far, far better than in play to come out ahead overall

Borg wins 78% first serve points (serving at a conservative 54%)… that's his head start.

Which leaves his second serve points and Connors service points to start neutrally. What happens there?

Second serve points - Borg 19/39 @ 49%, Connors 21/39 @ 54%. Note also, Connors served 4 doubles, Borg 0. These stats are suggesting Connors was actually the stronger court player
Now throw in Connors' 1st serve points, which realistically though atypically are neutral starting points too. Connors wins 27/58 @ 47%

Total of Borg's second serve points and all Connors' service points - we are dead even 68-68 points

This is worth noting because watching the match, one gets the impression Borg is considerably the better court player (and obviously, the far better server). Doesn't appear to be the case. Seems to just be serve that seperates the two

That should tell you something about what the serve is worth... overall, the match is a no-contest with Borg miles ahead. From dead equal to miles ahead... that's the serve (and the tactics behind it)

Serve-volleying Tactics, Overall Strategy & Connors' Plans
Borg serve-volleys of all first serves and stays back on all seconds. Its committed serve-volleying too... none of the 1/2 assed 'delay' serve-volleying or hoping-to-hit-groundstroke-rather-than-volley stuff he showed in the '76 final against Nastase

Connors rarely serve-volleys (just 12 times, once off a second serve). But is hugely successful when he does (winning 9/12). One understands having second thoughts about coming in behind a weak serve... but he just isn't thinking right (if at all)

Sans serve-volleying, he's only won 19/47 @ 40% of his first serve points

Its grass. The bounce is low and irregular. Borg returns very, very consistently (doubt we'll find anything higher than a 92% return rate on grass) but that's helped by Connors staying back. Connors is volleying well

Anything was better than staying back and trading groundies with Borg. His rare serve-volleys show it to be the best way forward. What's the thinking behind not serve-volleying more?

Take the net early in rallies? He doesn't really try - he's not looking to come in off third balls, rather rally neutrally, see how it goes and then come in. He comes in 46 times from rallying, Borg 41

Plan on passing Borg regularly? If so, its a very bad plan... ball is bouncing ankle to knee high, its a wonder both players are able to hit passing shots as well as they do, but getting the better of a guy at net isn't practical, even if the guy is volleying badly (which Borg isn't)

{sidebar: still wouldn't be surprised if that were his plans. In a mid- 80s match against Lendl on hard court where I thought Connors was erring badly by baselining against a more consistent player and a better way would have been to approach more, he says out loud to himself "we want him there", meaning Lendl at the net

Assuming he wasn't joking, apparently his plan was to draw Lendl to net and pass him rather than come in himself to volley. No prizes for guessing who won the match}

Outplaying Borg baseline-to-baseline? If so, another bad plan... Borg is the stronger player in that scenario. Maybe that wasn't clearly established in 1978? I wouldn't think so, its obvious Borg's shots are more consistent (8 groundstroke UEs for Borg, Connors has 21). About as damaging too.

What exactly did Connors think was going to happen the way he played? Short of putting on a demon return performance (not likely against Borg's serve, though I suppose if you can do it to Tanner, you can conceivably do it to Borg) and hope Borg has a bad day on the volley... I don't see his game plan having a happy ending

After the match, Bud Collins speaks to both players and Connors answers a what-went-wrong question. He says something about how he went for too much on his shots and should have just tried to stay in there

Anyone else gave this answer, I'd suspect they were just saying whatever, with their mind elsewhere. For Connors, wouldn't be surprised if that's how he saw things

No idea what he's talking about. He didn't serve big, didn't approach unduly, didn't go for too much on passes and volleyed well. Maybe he thinks just putting passes over the net and hoping Borg missed them was what he was missing... as sound an idea as many I've seen him try to pull off

Generally speaking, I think Connors has a bad grasp of strategy. Rallying with McEnroe neutrally when Mac is bound to come in sooner or later, slugging it out with Lendl when its clear Lendl isn't going to give up errors, and this match... he's probably the worse player in most of the matches I've looked at and would likely lose whatever he tried, but so often he makes it worse on himself following (and sticking to) bad plans where fairly obvious alternatives (usually, come to net more) were there

In those mid-80s matches with McEnroe and Lendl, his volleying is often less massively confidence filling (though still good enough to be better than the alternative), but in this match, he volleys well and surely too
So why did Connors win 6-2 6-2 6-4 in Us open 2 mounths later with same serve?
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
So why did Connors win 6-2 6-2 6-4 in Us open 2 mounths later with same serve?
Borg had an injured thumb and Jimmy was out for revenge. And it was deco-turf at the USO. It was felt that the thumb hindered Borg's serving ability (he served pretty well at Wimbledon). You can see he's not quite his usual self. Not awful mind you, but not top notch. And Jimmy brought his A-game that day. While Borg was the better of the two, it's not like light years separated them. Borg could not afford to be 'off' even a little and expect a win. Mac said the same about Wimbledon '82...his mobility was a little hindered....against someone like Connors, that's a problem.
 

Moose Malloy

G.O.A.T.
Borg had an injured thumb and Jimmy was out for revenge. And it was deco-turf at the USO. It was felt that the thumb hindered Borg's serving ability (he served pretty well at Wimbledon). You can see he's not quite his usual self. Not awful mind you, but not top notch. And Jimmy brought his A-game that day. While Borg was the better of the two, it's not like light years separated them. Borg could not afford to be 'off' even a little and expect a win. Mac said the same about Wimbledon '82...his mobility was a little hindered....against someone like Connors, that's a problem.
I took stats on that match(it's in the link above), I think Borg probably would have defaulted if it wasn't a major. He didn't even have one break point in the match, which is sort of crazy. We've done a ton of Connors matches here, him going through a match without facing a break point against a top player is pretty unlikely, unless something unusual was going on. Even Rosewall had break points in the 2 major finals he was routed by Connors in.
 
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