Match Stats/Report - Borg vs McEnroe, Stockholm final, 1980


Hall of Fame
Bjorn Borg beat John McEnroe 6-3, 6-4 in the Stockholm final, 1980 on indoor carpet

This was Borg's only title in the capital of his country

Borg won 68 points, McEnroe 58

McEnroe serve-volleyed off all but 1 first serve, and about half the time off the second

(Note: I'm missing one Borg service game, won by Borg)

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (37/64) 58%
- 1st serve points won (23/37) 62%
- 2nd serve points won (13/27) 48%
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (11/64) 17%

- 1st serve percentage (20/62) 32%
- 1st serve points won (13/20) 65%
- 2nd serve points won (17/42) 40%
- Aces 1 (a second serve)
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (13/62) 21%

(Borg had no aces, and neither player had any service winners in my judgement)

Serve Pattern
Borg served...
- to FH 20%
- to BH 78%
- to Body 2%

McEnroe served...
- to FH 31%
- to BH 66%
- to Body 3%

Return Stats
Borg made...
- 48 (24 FH, 24 BH), including 8 runaround FH
- 2 Winners (2 FH)
- 11 Errors, comprising..
- 1 Unforced (1 FH)
- 10 Forced (2 FH, 8 BH), including 1 runaround FH attempt
- Return Rate (48/60) 80%

McEnroe made...
- 51 (19 FH, 30 BH, 2 unknown), including 8 runaround FHs and 10 return-approaches
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 11 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (3 FH, 1 BH), including 3 runaround FH attempts and 1 return-approach attempt
- 7 Forced (2 FH, 5 BH)
- Return Rate (51/62) 82%

Break Points
Borg 6/11 (6 games)
McEnroe 3/11 (4 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Borg 18 (10 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV, 2 OH)
McEnroe 23 (2 FH, 4 BH, 7 FHV, 8 BHV, 1 OH)

Borg had 12 passes (8 FH, 4 BH)
- the FHs were 2 cc, 6 dtl (2 returns)
- the BHs were 3 cc, 1 dtl

- 3 non-pass groundstrokes (2 FH, 1 BH)
- the 2 FHs were both inside-out and the BH was at net

McEnroe had 8 from serve volley points
- 5 first volleys (3 FHV, 2 BHV) - the BHVs being a drop volley and a stop volley respectively
- 3 second volleys (1 FHV, 2 BHV) - the FHV being a stop and 1 BHV being a very high shot that can reasonably be called a BHOH

- 1 other FHV was a stop volley

- 5 passes (3 FH, 2 BH)
- the FHs - 2 dtl and 1 at net
- the BHs - 2 dtl

- 3 other BHs - all cc (1 return)

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Borg 20
- 6 Unforced (1 FH, 1 BH, 2 FHV, 2 BHV)
- 14 Forced (3 FH, 8 BH, 2 FHV, 1 Net Touch)

McEnroe 37
- 18 Unforced (2 FH, 12 BH, 3 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 19 Forced (3 FH, 7 BH, 3 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 5 BHV)

(Note 1: all half-volleys refer to such shots played at net. Half -volleys played from other parts of the court are included within relevant groundstroke counts)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Borg was 16/34 (47%) at net, including 2/4 (50%) serve-volleying - all off first serves
He was 1/3 when forced back from net

McEnroe was 38/65 (58%) at net, including 22/38 (58%) serve-volleying - off first serves 13/19 (68%), off second 9/19 (47%) - and 7/10 (70%) return-approaching.
He was 0/2 when forced back from net

Match Report
An excellent match on what was said to be a clay-like slow carpet. Its not a fast carpet certainly, but I think the general take is exaggerated

Just how slow was the surface? The unreturned serve percentages (Borg 17, McEnroe 21) are telling you its slow, the 0 service winners and just 1 ace (which was all about placement and catching the returner by surprise) is telling you its slow... nonetheless, the players are typically hitting their groundstrokes waist high. And McEnroe's service percentage is an awful 32% - which accounts largely for his low-ish unreturned serve percentage

Borg for his part often doesn't seem to be trying to do too much with his first serve. But occasionally when he cranks it up, he does draw very much forced return errors... so lets say the court is slow for carpet, McEnroe serves badly and Borg returns well.... but it is not carpet-clay speed by any means

The first set is rather pattern-ized. Mac serves a low percentage (as he does all match) but mostly serve-volleys off his second serve. In baseline rallies (mostly on Borg's service games), the Swede appears to be playing the plan of continuously going to the Mac BH (it reminded me of Nadal-Federer dynamics)

Borg just keeps on going to the Mac BH - both FH cc and BH longline - and Mac mostly slice-drives his BH. The regularity of Borg's BH longline is particularly interesting - its not a shot you see players play continuously too often, but he does so without making too many errors. Mac also keeps these rallies going for a healthy chunk of time, but eventually does concede errors. I thought he could have been more proactive in trying to find the net with chip-charges in this part of the match... the ball is staying low enough, despite Borg's awkward loopy topspin, for him to have done so

The second set features more dynamic baseline action. Borg moves the American around more and goes to both wings to a greater extent and McEnroe drives his BH more.

McEnroe actually leads for most of the set - he's up a break twice and has a break point to serve for the set later, which the Swede erases with a splendid pass. The match ends abruptly as McEnroe is broken from 30-0 up with some high quality stuff from Borg

There's an interesting incident in the last game of the match. in charging down a drop volley, Borg's momentum carries him onto touching the net. Borg speaks to the umpire, who calls the point for him. McEnroe argues the call and the umpire seems to say he'd made an error and calls the point for McEnroe. Borg again approaches the umpire, at which point, McEnroe hotly (though not by his standards) gives his opponent a piece of his mind.... I agree with McEnroe, he clearly won the point when Borg touched the net

Borg is characteristically consistent off the ground all day. His volleying though is poor - he misses some downright easy ones. He's also clutch and plays some splendid shots when he has break points. He converts on every game that he does have them

Mac's chip-charge returning is excellent and he shows exceptional touch at the net (even for him)…. there's a disproportionate number of lovely stop or drop volleys. But he serves poorly and is perhaps, not adventurous enough in seeking a way to net. While not bad from the baseline, its clear he would lose most points eventually from there

Summing up, keys to the match - Mac's poor first serve percentage (including on critical points), coupled with Borg's clutch play on break points. Mac volleys well, Borg plays steadily and at times passes superbly. A high quality match overall
Last edited:

Moose Malloy

Don't think I've ever come across a serve % that low in the 100 or so matches I've done stats for. Surprised Mac could even keep the score respectable.


Hall of Fame
Don't think I've ever come across a serve % that low in the 100 or so matches I've done stats for. Surprised Mac could even keep the score respectable.

By far the lowest I've tracked

He wasn't missing his first serves by a long way generally.... I imagine one of the reasons he didn't quarrel more with the lines people and umpire was out of respect for Borg... maybe bottling it up like that is what led to him uncharacteristically ticking Borg off at the end

Here's a list of low serve percentages (mostly put together by Krosero)

Tom Nijssen – 21.3% in a loss to Sampras at ’91 Lyon
McEnroe – 32.3% in a loss to Borg in 1980 Stockholm final
Fish – 34.0% in a win over Federer at ’08 Indian Wells
Becker 34.3% in a loss to Sampras at '94 Rome
Chang 35.3% in a win over Spadea at '96 USO
Oncins 36.0% in a loss to Chang at '96 USO
Lendl – 36.36% in a loss to Connors at ’84 Tokyo Indoor
Safin - 36.36% in a loss to Sampras at 2000 Lisbon Masters Cup
Sampras – 37.3% in a win over Courier at ’91 Cincinnati
Lendl – 37.8% in a loss to Noah at ’83 RG
Cash – 38% in a loss to Edberg at ‘89AO
Becker - 38.2% in a loss to Gilbert at ’89 Cincinnati
Chang - 39.9% in a win over Oncins at '96 US Open