Match Stats/Report - Edberg vs Courier, Indian Wells semi-final, 1990


Hall of Fame
Stefan Edberg beat Jim Courier 6-4, 6-1 in the Indian Wells semi-final, 1990 on hard court

Edberg would go onto beat Andre Agassi in the final. Courier was unseeded

Edberg won 60 points, Courier 50

Edberg serve-volleyed off all but 2 first serves and most seconds

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (44/54) 81%
- 1st serve points won (29/44) 66%
- 2nd serve points won (5/10) 50%
- Aces 1
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (13/54) 24%

Courier ...
- 1st serve percentage (35/56) 63%
- 1st serve points won (23/35) 66%
- 2nd serve points won (7/21) 33%
- Aces 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (10/56) 18%

Serve Patterns
Edberg served...
- to FH 21%
- to BH 50%
- to Body 29%

Courier served...
- to FH 50%
- to BH 41%
- to Body 9%

Return Stats
Edberg made...
- 46 (27 FH, 19 BH), including 1 return-approach
- 9 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (2 FH, 3 BH), including 1 return-approach attempt
- 4 Forced (3 FH, 1 BH)
- Return Rate (46/56) 82%

Courier made...
- 39 (9 FH, 30 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 3 Winners (2 FH, 1 BH)
- 12 Errors, all forced...
- 12 Forced (6 FH, 6 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- Return Rate (39/52) 75%

Break Points
Edberg 5/7 (5 games)
Courier 1/4 (2 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Edberg 19 (2 BH, 7 FHV, 7 BHV, 3 OH)
Courier 16 (8 FH, 4 BH, 3 FHV, 1 BHV)

Edberg had 12 from serve-volley points
- 9 first volleys (4 FHV, 5 BHV)
- 3 second volleys (1 BHV, 2 OH)

- 1 other FHV was played net-to-net

- BHs - 2 inside-out (1 pass)

Courier's FHs - 2 cc (1 pass), 1 dtl return pass, 3 inside-out (1 return pass, 1 at net), 1 inside-in pass and 1 drop sot
- BHs (all passes) - 2 cc (1 not clean return), 1 dtl and 1 inside-in

- 1 from a serve-volley point - 1 first volley BHV

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Edberg 22
- 9 Unforced (5 FH, 1 FHV, 3 BHV)
- 13 Forced (4 FH, 4 BH, 1 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 1 BHV, 2 BH1/2V)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.8

Courier 28
- 19 Unforced (11 FH, 6 BH, 1 FHV, 1 OH)... the OH was on the bounce from no-man's land
- 9 Forced (3 FH, 6 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.3

(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
Edberg was 38/58 (66%) at net, including...
- 31/46 (67%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 28/41 (68%) off 1st serve and...
- 3/5 (60%) off 2nd serve
- 1/1 return-approaching

Courier was 9/13 (69%) at net, including...
- 2/2 serve-volleying, both 1st serves
- 1/2 forced back/retreated

Match Report
Edberg being more consistent off the ground is the key difference between the players and while he is solid, that outcome is more due to Courier being loose than Edberg being solid. Rest of action is Edberg serve-volleying vs Courier return-passing - its a fine battle with Edberg again, coming out on top. The court is slow-ish

The match is closer than the scoreline indicates. you wouldn't expect total points to be Edberg 60, Courier 50 when games won are Edberg 12, Courier 5. Nor is that down to wide discrepancy in number of points each serves (Edberg serve 54, Courier 56 - Courier serving the extra game). In fact, Courier wins 1 more point in the first set, which has 3 breaks

Should be noted that its appropriate to call this Jim Courier green. He's unseeded, ranked 22nd and finished the year ranked one spot lower without reaching a final, let alone winning a title. In fact, he'd only won one title in his career - a 5 set win over Edberg coincidentally previous year in Basel.

He's not even wearing cap

Edberg's Serve Games
Still, the game Courier would come to be known for is there to see. Returns with vigour, pounding the ball. Note the 3 return winners - and most of Edberg's 6 forecourt FEs come from the return (including 3 half-volleys). Occasionally, he takes returns from inside the court, even the odd first serve

Good returning from Courier. 75% return rate, at the level of damaging his returns are is a good figure. Maybe leaves Edberg a few too many easy first volleys, but also gives him a good number of tough ones. Edberg makes most of the tough ones

With Edberg serving at 81%, Courier doesn't see many second serves but Edberg stays back on 3/8 or 37.5% of them. Also stays back off 2 first serves... a good indicator that Courier's returning was enough to ruffle a feather or two in Edberg's immaculate serve-volleying cap

Still, Edberg wins that battle, which is what one would expect. He deals with the difficult volleys (deep or wide), deals very well with the powerful but not wide or deep ones (not easy, though he tends to make it look so) and is typically fluent in dispatching winners to balls over net

4 volleying UEs from Edberg to 17 winners. With him, one tends to take the winners for granted and just look at the errors. For him, 4 in short match is not low, but he's coming up well ahead. Especially when considering that most of the passes he leaves Courier (who has 9 FEs) are very difficult, and some are just hopeless

In nutshell, mostly comfortable holds by Edberg - against good hard returning from Courier. Lots of credit to the winner for this... as ever, he makes it look easy

Courier's Serve Games
Virtually all start from baseline (Courier serve-volleys twice, Edberg chip-charge returns once being the excpetions)

Courier's serve is heavier than Edberg's, though its short of strong. Its considerably stronger than what Andre Agassi dished out in the final. Sure returning from Edberg to get back 82% of it

And then they rally from the baseline

Courier hits heavier off both sides and looks to beat down rather than outlast Edberg. Edberg is more passive, generally not doing much more than putting balls in play

Key stat - groundstroke UEs. Edberg has just 5, Courier 18. Courier does end points forcefully more often baseline to baseline but not even close to overcoming this gap created by UEs

Note Edberg with 0 BH UEs and 0 FH winners - 2 rare findings

Courier looks to lead with heavy FHs. A few inside-outs, but not unduly so (my memory of his play is it being largely FH inside-out based). Though looking fearsome with his big wind-up off the FH, especially compared to Edberg's stilted one... he's especially loose off that side with 11 UEs (Edberg has 5). Nor is that due to any great aggression - his UEFI is on low side at 45.3

Some strange shot choices and many regulation misses (not infrequently off third ball) from Courier... just bad play

He could probably look to come to net more, since he's usually the more powerful player once in rallies. As is, he does well coming in, winning 7/11. And he looks comfy doing it - far more so than Agassi in the final. Even Edberg trails him in this regard, winning 6/11

Match Progression
Edberg breaks to start the match - couple of net winners from him, couple of errors from Courier (including an OH on the bounce from no-man's land)

Much good tennis on both players serves after that. On Edberg's, he volleys well, Courier hammers returns and holding is not easy. Edberg stays back off odd serves. On Courier's, he hammers Edberg down from baseline and passes him to hold more comfortably. Wonderful point when he drop shots Edberg in and hits a FHV winner net-to-net

Courier breaks back in a very well played game, featuring 2 BH pass winners (inside-in and dtl) and a volleying error drawn through sheer power

Edberg though breaks right back in what turns out to be the start of Courier playing badly and oddly. He has 3 FH UEs - 1 not worth it attacking dtl, 1 a neutral third ball inside-out, 1 a third ball cc winner attempt. The first 2 are bad shot choices

First point of second set is a fantastic BH inside-out winner from Edberg - a work of art. The game itself goes to deuce and ends with 3 strange Courier errors, including a third ball BH dtl slice (why go over high part of net when your not even hitting forcefully?) and a looped, neutral FH inside-out (again, giving up court position and going to Edberg's strong BH... for a neutral shot?)

Fantastic point to bring up break point for Edberg in game 3. He's quick as a hare to meet a drop shot at net, much to Courier's surprise and ends up winning a net to net battle with a BHV winner. Courier swears loudly and is warned - which is interesting given he wasn't swearing when making all kinds of poor errors. One such error comes next point, when he misses a regulation, neutral third ball FH

Great game on Edberg's serve awhile later that lasts 14 points and sees Edberg save 2 break points. Edberg has 4 volley winners, Courier has 3 passing ones (including a rare FH inside-in) and forces 2 half-volley errors (1 of each wing). 4 unreturned serves pushes it Edberg's way

Edberg breaks again to wrap up the match - he's at net 3 times in it

Summing up, an interesting and good match. The Edberg volley vs Courier return/pass is high quality on both ends and Edberg has better of it. Off the baseline, Courier is heavier hitter, but plays strange shots and has too many bad misses, while Edberg's steadiness of shot rides on quick movement

Stats for the final between Edberg and Andre Agassi -
Stats for the other semi between Agassi and Boris Becker -
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