Match Stats/Report - Chang vs Sampras, Year End Championship semi-final, 1995


Hall of Fame
Michael Chang beat Pete Sampras 6-4, 6-4 in the Year End Championship semi-final, 1995 on carpet in Frankfurt, Germany

Chang would go onto lose the final to Boris Becker. Sampras was the defending champion

Chang won 64 points, Sampras 55

Sampras serve-volleyed off all first serves

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (33/61) 54%
- 1st serve points won (28/33) 85%
- 2nd serve points won (15/28) 54%
- Aces 7
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (16/61) 26%

- 1st serve percentage (30/58) 52%
- 1st serve points won (25/30) 83%
- 2nd serve points won (12/28) 43%
- Aces 7, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 5
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (23/58) 40%

Serve Patterns
Chang served...
- to FH 23%
- to BH 77%

Sampras served...
- to FH 42%
- to BH 49%
- to Body 9%

Return Stats
Chang made...
- 30 (12 FH, 18 BH), including 3 return-approaches
- 3 Winners (1 FH, 2 BH)
- 15 Errors, comprising...
- 1 Unforced (1 BH)
- 14 Forced (7 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (30/53) 57%

Sampras made...
- 45 (18 FH, 27 BH), including 8 runaround FHs & 2 return-approaches
- 1 Winner (1 FH), a runaround FH
- 9 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (3 FH, 1 BH), including 2 runaround FHs
- 5 Forced (3 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (45/61) 74%

Break Points
Chang 2/2
Sampras 0/1

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Chang 16 (8 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 3 BHV, 1 OH)
Sampras 12 (6 FH, 1 BH, 3 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH)

Chang's FHs - 1 cc pass, 4 dtl (3 passes - 1 return), 2 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- BHs - 1 dtl return, 1 dtl/inside-out and 1 inside-out return

- 1 from a return-approach point, a BHV played net-to-net

Sampras' FHs - 2 cc (1 pass), 1 dtl runaround return, 1 dtl/inside-out, 1 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- BH pass - 1 cc

- 3 from serve-volley points -
- 2 first volleys (1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 1 second volley (1 FHV)

- 1 from a return-approach point, a OH

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Chang 20
- 7 Unforced (4 FH, 1 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 13 Forced (10 FH, 2 BH, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 55.7

Sampras 27
- 16 Unforced (8 FH, 7 BH, 1 FHV)
- 11 Forced (6 FH, 5 BH)... with 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 51.3

(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
Chang was...
- 13/19 (68%) at net, with...
- 1/3 (33%) return-approaching

Sampras was...
- 25/32 (78%) at net, including...
- 17/22 (77%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves
- 2/2 return-approaching

Match Report
Good, if simple match on a fast court. Superior from baseline, adventurous in coming to net and some choice daring returning sees the result go Chang's way

Its fast court where the prospects for getting a break don't seem high. And so it proves. Chang wins 85% first serve point, Sampras 83%. Match is played out on second serve, where Chang wins 54% (with 0 double faults), Sampras 43% (with 5 doubles)

Sampras serve-volleys off all first serves and stays back off all seconds. Courts quick enough that for him, just getting first serve is likely to be enough to end point. With little to lose, Chang takes first serve returns early, usually standing inside court to do so

Sampras is barely at service line when Chang makes returns (usually missing). When Chang hits his sole return-pass winner, he's Pete's barely beyond half-way to service line... a combo of pace of serve, pace of return and where Chang returns from. This feels more like a 'power serve' dynamic then a serve-volley one. Sampras has just 3 winners from serve-volley points... the returns don't come back

Could Pete have considered serve-volleying off second serves more? Wouldn't have been a bad move. The serve is certainly strong enough to have done so behind. Just the 1 return UE for Chang (he has 14 FEs) and there are a few second serves in there. They'd make decent first serves and are forceful even without serve-volleys

Chang mixes up his serves. He finishes with 7 aces - same as Pete, though Pete has a service winner and serves 3 fewer first serves) - but also throws out odd gentle first serves as well as regulation ones. Despite going even on aces, Chang's unreturned rate is just 26% (Pete's is 40%, which is low for him on this court). Sampras is able to return first serves relatively comfortably

Second serves are a different matter. Chang's are attackable, let alone returnable and Pete's regularly running around to smack FHs (8 such shots, including a winner and 2 errors trying). Sampras serves big and pays the price of 5 double faults. And stays on baseline

Sampras looks to attack from back from there on both players second serve points. And fails more often than not. 15 groundstroke UEs to Chang's 5. Note high UEFI of 51.3, despite there being just 1 volley error in there

Sampras' baseline troubles are dual winged. He misses his attacking FHs but BH is neutrally beaten. 'Neutral' in this case speaks to hard hitting cc rallies of the beatdown, not outlasting, variety. Sampras tends to get pushed back and is clearly less powerful of shot in these rallies and the errors come from yet another cc shot or when he tries to escape with a dtl winner. 0 BH baseline-to-baseline winners for Pete but 7 UEs

Chang is very solid. He has an even higher UEFI of 55.7. Breakdown of UEs -
- Neutral - Chang 1, Sampras 5
- Attacking - Chang 1, Sampras 4
- Winner Attempts - Chang 5, Sampras 7

Much credit to Chang for solidity, as shown by the neutral figure in particular, but also attacking one. Some discredit to Pete too. He looks like he's in the rallies, moves fluidly into position and hits well with good timing... but, misses regularly. Chang looks and is rock solid and builds up to attacks after taking gaining advantage from hitting harder neutrally. And he almost never falters once he gets a leg up

All that describes first set action. Second set is completely different from Chang. He keeps coming to net early, usually off third ball, in his service games. Off his 16 approaches from rallies, 15 are in second set... and he wins 12 of those

Chang approaches of firmly hit shots, but shy of the so powerful that the approach does all the work. Pete has his shots on slightly running passes but can't make them.

Chang's attacking net strategy proves far superior to Pete's blasting away from the back

Match Progression
Good game from Chang to break in middle of first set. a deep-ish return draws a BH UE, followed by a double fault and crashing BH dtl return winner to give him 2 break points

He only needs 1 and its a fantastic play that wins him the point. To a wide first serve, Chang bops the ball FH dtl and then charges forward (he took the return from inside court). Sampras generally has a tendency to just guide cc BHV for winners into open court from this position, which is all he has to do after drawing opponent wide with the serve. Here though, Chang's dashed to net and BHVs Sampras' volley for a winner... superbly played point

Sampras survives a 10 point hold next serve game also, in which Chang misses a BHV after again return-approaching against the first serve

30-30 serving for the set, the two get into a relatively long, neutral cc exchange - Chang hitting FH inside-outs, Sampras BH cc's. Chang seems to be daring Pete to finish BH dtl, but Pete declines, contrary to how he'd been playing (he'd also been missing such shots). And its Chang who finishes it with a FH inside-out winner

Chang breaks early in second set in a strong game featuring 3 winners - a running FH dtl, the return pass described earlier and on break point, a deep return draws a weak rejoinder that he smacks away FH inside-out

Break in hand, Chang takes to coming to net almost every service point. Sampras has his only break point of match in 12 point game where Chang's at net 7 times (points he isn't are unreturned serves and when Sampras comes forward instead)

Sampras chip-charges a couple of times. You wouldn't think Pete Sampras would be moved to chip-charge return to keep Michael Chang from taking net, would you? That's what it comes to. He's 40-0 down when he does, wins both points, before Chang seals game with another approach

2 more approaches from Chang as he serves out the match, these two well constructed ones rather than hit-and-come-in plays he mostly followed

Summing up, strong showing from Chang - bold early returning, consistent + hard hitting from the back, while building up to and finishing attacks coupled with coming to net effectively to finish points. Sampras fires and misfires off FH about equally and his BH isn't up to hanging with Chang

Stats for final between Chang and Boris Becker -
Stats for round robin match between Sampras and Becker -
Stats for pair's '96 US Open final -
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