Match Stats/Report - Edberg vs Ivanisevic, Long Island final, 1990


Hall of Fame
Stefan Edberg beat Goran Ivanisevic 7-6(3), 6-3 in the Long Island final, 1990 on hard court

It was the recently #1 crowned Edberg's 4th title in a row following Wimbledon, Cincinnati and Los Angeles, but he would lose in the first round of the US Open, which started the following day. Ivanisevic was 18 and had reached the semis of Wimbledon, where he'd lost to Boris Becker

Edberg won 78 points, Ivanisevic 65

Edberg serve-volleyed off all but 1 first serve and majority of time of seconds. Ivanisevic serve-volleyed most of the time off first serve

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (49/76) 64%
- 1st serve points won (40/49) 82%
- 2nd serve points won (14/27) 52%
- Aces 3
- Double Faults 7
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (30/76) 39%

- 1st serve percentage (36/67) 54%
- 1st serve points won (28/36) 78%
- 2nd serve points won (15/31) 48%
- Aces 6, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (22/67) 33%

Serve Patterns
Edberg served...
- to FH 29%
- to BH 64%
- to Body 7%

Ivanisevic served...
- to FH 33%
- to BH 66%
- to Body 2%

Return Stats
Edberg made...
- 42 (16 FH, 26 BH), including 3 runaround FHs & 3 return-approaches
- 15 Errors, comprising...
- 6 Unforced (4 FH, 2 BH), including 2 runaround FHs & 1 return-approach
- 9 Forced (5 FH, 4 BH)
- Return Rate (42/64) 66%

Ivanisevic made...
- 39 (10 FH, 29 BH), including 2 runaround FHs
- 4 Winners (2 FH, 2 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 27 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (1 FH, 3 BH)
- 23 Forced (9 FH, 14 BH)
- Return Rate (39/69) 57%

Break Points
Edberg 1/6 (2 games)
Ivanisevic 1/1

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Edberg 14 (4 FHV, 5 BHV, 5 OH)
Ivanisevic 11 (4 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV, 2 OH)

Edberg had from 11 serve-volley points
- 4 first volleys (2 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH)... the OH can reasonably be called a FHV
- 7 second volleys (3 BHV, 4 OH)

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

- 4 returns (2 FH, 2 BH), all passes
- FHs - 1 dtl and 1 runaround inside-in
- BHs - 1 cc and 1 inside-in

- regular FHs - 2 dtl (1 pass)
- regular BH pass - 1 cc

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Edberg 25
- 14 Unforced (5 FH, 4 BH, 3 FHV, 2 BHV)
- 11 Forced (3 FH, 4 BH, 3 FHV, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 50

Ivanisevic 31
- 11 Unforced (6 FH, 2 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 20 Forced (11 FH, 6 BH, 1 FH1/2V, 1 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.2

(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
Edberg was...
- 56/71 (79%) at net, including...
- 46/59 (78%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 36/45 (80%) off 1st serve and...
- 10/14 (71%) off 2nd serve
- 2/3 (67%) return-approaching

Ivanisevic was...
- 16/24 (67%) at net, including...
- 14/17 (82%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 14/16 (88%) off 1st serve and...
- 0/1 off 2nd serve
- 0/1 forced back

Match Report
Good match on a fast court. Edberg plays like a master (as in, knows exactly what he's doing) as well as masterfully (as in, does it very well) while Ivanisevic's serve and return are impressive but the green around his ears shows

Some background. Goran was 18 years old. At Wimbledon, he had apparently had set point to go 2 sets to love up on Boris Becker in the semis, but went onto lose in 4 sets. He'd clearly created excitement as a hot young prospect for the future. In this event, he'd beaten Pete Sampras in earlier rounds. Commentators (Barry McKay and Vitas Gerulaitis) note that that match looked like a future Wimbledon final. McKay also says Goran is very mature... you win some, you lose some, even in commentary

Brief sidenote on commentary, I usually don't note quality of commentary as its not part of the match and often, inaccurate, fanciful or otherwise less than useful. Vitas though knows his tennis. Can't pronounce 'Ivanisevic' (McKay struggles too), but he knows his tennis

Nothing between the two in first set. Just 1 break point (Goran has it but can't make the return on it). Goran looks less unlikely to deliver on return though. He serves 36 points in the set, to Edberg's 50, but Edberg plays an almost flawless tiebreak, while Goran makes the odd strange choice, which costs him

In second set, Edberg has the run of play. Goran errs in ceasing to serve-volley

Edberg serve-volleys 98% off 1st serve (all but 1) and 70% off 2nd, Goran does so 55% off 1st and just once off 2nd
Goran wins 14/16 serve-volleying and 7/13 not doing so off first serve. Why doesn't he do it more? Edberg can barely make a return against the serve-volleying Goran. By contrast, he's even upto return-approaching against the staying back Goran after returning wide

Odd stat of the match is Edberg with 0 groundstroke winners. Don't think I've seen that before, especially from the winner

Serve, Return & Serve-Volley
Edberg serves about his standard. High 64% in, not overly strong but its a quick court which makes handling it a handful. Relatively low body serving (just 7% directed there) which is somewhat surprising because Goran hammers returns. Generally, Edberg serves a fair bit to body as default and goes there more and more when under fire. Here, he doesn't go there much even though he's under regular fire

7 double faults is high and a potential problem for Edberg, though it ends up not costing him

Goran's returning is Agassi-like of style: He pounds anything he can reach. Even regulation height balls tend to be powerfully enough hit to be tricky. Its enough to keep Edberg back fairly regularly on second serves... a good move

Is the heavy returning worth the cost of low 57% return rate for Goran? I'd say yes. Edberg has to volley superbly to cope. That he manages is to his credit, but Goran high risk, high reward power returning is sound, particularly in light of him being able to take care of his own service games

Goran starts with flurry of aces and while continuing to blast serves down, usually keeps ball in Edberg's reach. It takes Edberg awhile to come to grips with the heat of the shot - he has 6 UEs, all against second serves which are quite heavy too - but once he does, he returns with relative comfort. Rarely can Edberg make return when Goran serve-volleys, but for no seeming reason, Goran cuts back on it in second set just as Edberg gets a better grip on the return. Pity, would have been an interesting contest

Edberg seems to do everything right on the return. Gets a few firmly around net high against serve-volley and the odd one low, runsaround BH to hit second serves, returns wide and looks to take charge of point. Especially off BH, returns are cleanly hit


Hall of Fame
Play - Net & Baseline
Great contest between Edberg at net vs Goran on the pass. Goran hammers returns such that regulation placed balls are still powerful enough to be not-easy to control. Edberg's 5 volleying UEs are on the hard side and he does superbly to keep the FEs down to 4. The low and low-ish balls aren't just swept back in play, but placed away from Goran

Just 4/11 Edberg serve-volley winners being first volleys are another indication of quality of Goran's returns. Edberg isn't particularly in '2-volley mode', at least, not by choice. The returns are too heavy to putaway for winners and Edberg 'just' volleys them away, usually not as far as into corners.

Goran's also strong on the pass from play. A high proportion of his passing errors (he has 17 groundstroke FEs) are from Edberg's second volley. In other words, Edberg isn't even able to put point to bed with 2 volleys to an unusual extent

Edberg's fantastic 79% net points won is bolstered by large 39% unreturned serves... the price of Goran's heavy hitting. The actual volley vs pass battle is high quality, with both doing well - Edberg more so

There basically is no Goran volley vs Edberg pass battle. Its almost all unreturned serves. Coming in from rallying, Goran is a poor 2/7... he doesn't volley comfortably while Edberg hits firm passing shots, similar to Goran's own. More discredit Goran's volley than credit Edberg's pass, though the latter is solid and firm too. Most approaches are early on first serve points he stayed back on... not much nuance to it

By contrast, Edberg is 8/9 coming in from rallies. This is possibly the best demo of manufacturing approaches I've seen from him. Generally, he tends to come in of anything because he's decided to and its his volleying that does the work. In this match, he comes in just so, waiting for the right ball and following it forward, usually after hitting a wide groundstroke. 1 or 2 surprise dashes to net too and he's up in a flash

Baseline play is hard hitting stuff from both players. Goran hits with vigourous force, Edberg more gracefully as is each's style but actual power of shot is about equal. Edberg takes balls quite early. UEs are about same (Edberg 9, Goran 8), Edberg is the swifter of foot and is able to manufacture approaches to finish points. Solid and hard hitting from Edberg, despite the 0 winners

Goran if anything looks a better baseliner than net player. One can readily imagine him beating down player from the back based on this showing. His volleying by contrast is messy. Anything slightly under net or even firmly hit gives him trouble. He plays a very awkward, squat-down volley (which he misses) that looks like the kind of shot a volleying novice might play

Match Progression
Edberg's first service game takes 14 points and he has to save a break point in it. 6/8 points he wins in the game are from unreturned serves and Goran whacks a couple of passing winners. Such is strength of the return that Edberg stays back a couple of times in the game, including a first serve that also goes unreturned

Goran meanwhile has 4 aces after 2 service games, which means he only served 2 more in remaining 9 (including tiebreak)

Double faults are part of Edberg's problems. Though there aren't anymore break points, he has to serve 50 points to Goran's 36 in the set

In tiebreak, Edberg takes 2 points against the serve - first with a BHV winner, the second by forcing a FH1/2V winner as he chip-charges a return - and hands one back by missing an easy FHV. Goran later misses a hideous squatting volley, which despite the ugliness, wasn't an easy volley

Edberg cruises on serve in the second set, losing 6 points in 5 games. Some great battles between his volleying and Goran's returning/passing. Goran hits probably the best shot of the match when he runsaround to hit a FH inside-in return pass winner in deuce court

Goran, for reasons best known to himself, stays back regularly off first serves. In first set he'd won 8/8 serve-volleying, while serve-volleying 67% of time. In second set, he cuts back to doing so 47% of the time. Edberg returns more steadily (with or without facing serve-volleying) and is able to find net in return games to be troublesome. The sole break though is unconnected to all of that - it comes early in a game where Goran makes 1 first serve (which he stays back on and Edberg return-approaches to) and has a double fault and 2 Goran groundstroke UEs

Summing up, good contest, especially between Goran's heavy returning and Edberg's stellar volleying but the baseline rallies are hard hitting affairs too. Edberg's volleying against strong opposition is the highlight of the match and his manufacturing of approaches is excellent. Impressive outing from the teenaged Ivanisevic too. His groundies are more impressive than his volleys and both serve and return are obviously heavy artillery

Stats for Edberg's Los Angeles semi with Pete Sampras shortly before -
Stats for Edberg's Cincinnati final with Brad Gilbert -