Match Stats/Report - Edberg vs Lendl, Australian Open semi-final, 1985


Hall of Fame
Stefan Edberg beat Ivan Lendl 6-7(3), 7-5, 6-1, 4-6, 9-7 in the Australian Open semi-final, 1985 on grass

Edberg would go onto beat double defending champion Mats Wilander in the final to win his first Slam title. Lendl had recently won the US Open and was the world #1

Edberg won 209 points, Lendl 183

Edberg serve-volleyed off all but 2 first serves and all but 8 seconds. Lendl serve-volleyed off all but 5 first serves and majority of seconds

(Note: I've made educated guesses regarding serve type for a small number of points)

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (115/180) 64%
- 1st serve points won (85/115) 74%
- 2nd serve points won (36/65) 55%
- Aces 8
- Double Faults 8
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (64/180) 36%

- 1st serve percentage (126/212) 59%
- 1st serve points won (82/126) 65%
- 2nd serve points won (42/86) 49%
- Aces 8, Service Winners 2
- Double Faults 11
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (58/212) 27%

Serve Patterns
Edberg served...
- to FH 29%
- to BH 60%
- to Body 11%

Lendl served...
- to FH 28%
- to BH 67%
- to Body 5%

Return Stats
Edberg made...
- 143 (46 FH, 97 BH), including 3 runaround FHs & 2 return-approaches
- 8 Winners (2 FH, 6 BH)
- 48 Errors, comprising...
- 3 Unforced (3 BH), including 2 return-approaches
- 45 Forced (12 FH, 33 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- Return Rate (143/201) 71%

Lendl made...
- 108 (32 FH, 76 BH), including 1 return-approach
- 11 Winners (3 FH, 5 BH)
- 56 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (3 FH, 2 BH)
- 51 Forced (20 FH, 31 BH)
- Return Rate (108/172) 63%

Break Points
Edberg 7/27 (14 games)
Lendl 3/11 (6 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Edberg 65 (13 FH, 19 BH, 14 FHV, 12 BHV, 6 OH, 1 BHOH)
Lendl 51 (10 FH, 16 BH, 10 FHV, 10 BHV, 5 OH)

Edberg had 29 from serve-volley points
- 18 first volleys (10 FHV, 8 BHV)... 1 FHV was a net chord dribbler
- 9 second volleys (3 FHV, 2 BHV, 4 OH)... 1 FHV can reasonably be called an OH
- 2 third volleys (1 FHV, 1 BHOH)

- FH passes - 2 cc (1 return), 1 cc/inside-in, 4 dtl, 2 inside-out (return), 1 longline/inside-out at net and 2 lobs
- BH passes - 4 cc, 6 dtl (2 returns, 1 at net), 2 inside-out returns, 1 inside-out/dtl, 2 inside-in returns, 1 longline at net, 1 longline/inside-out and 1 running-down-drop-volley cc at net
- other passes - 1 BHV drive from just behind service line that has not been counted a net point and 1 OH on bounce from behind baseline

- regular FH - 1 inside-in
- regular BH - 1 inside-out

Lendl had 28 from serve-volley points
- 14 first 'volleys' (5 FHV, 5 BHV, 2 FH at net, 2 BH at net)... 1 FH at net was a drop shot and 1 BH at net was also a pass
- 12 second volleys (4 FHV, 4 BHV, 4 OH)
- 2 third volleys (1 FHV, 1 BHV)

- 1 from a return-approach point, an OH

- FH passes - 2 cc returns, 1 dtl, 1 inside-in return and 1 lob
- BHs (all passes) - 6 cc (5 returns), 5 dtl (2 returns), 1 inside-out return (that Edberg left), 1 longline/cc and 1 lob

- regular FHs - 3 cc

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Edberg 66
- 20 Unforced (3 FH, 3 BH, 8 FHV, 6 BHV)... with 1 BH pass attempt & 1 BH at net
- 46 Forced (10 FH, 18 BH, 8 FHV, 6 BHV, 3 BH1/2V, 1 BHOH).. with 1 BH pass at net, 1 BH running-down-drop-volley at net & 1 non-net FHV
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 51.5

Lendl 69
- 22 Unforced (3 FH, 6 BH, 7 FHV, 6 BHV)... with 1 FH pass at net, 1 BH at net & 1 non-net FHV
- 47 Forced (11 FH, 21 BH, 3 FHV, 4 FH1/2V, 7 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)... with 1 FH pass at net, 1 FH running-down-drop-volley at net, 1 BH at net & 1 BH running-down-drop-volley at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 50.9

(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...
- 123/181 (68%) at net, including...
- 106/154 (69%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 75/105 (71%) off 1st serve and...
- 31/49 (63%) off 2nd serve
- 1/2 return-approaching

Lendl was...
- 104/171 (61%) at net, including...
- 98/159 (62%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 70/111 (63%) off 1st serve and...
- 28/48 (58%) off 2nd serve
- 1/1 return-approaching
- 0/2 retreated

Match Report
Topsy-turvy match with good but short of great action. Edberg is steady of level while Lendl's play fluctuates with his mood. Edberg has the better of play more often than not... but not only is that no guarantee of victory, for most of match, it results in the other player coming out ahead

Play is mostly serve-volley. Edberg does so 98% off first serves (all but 2) and 86% off seconds, Lendl 96% off firsts (all but 5) and 64% off seconds

Action is fairly simple to describe and explain and figures for both are uncannily similar
- baseline UEs - Edberg 5, Lendl 8
- baseline FEs - Edberg 26, Lendl 28
- 'volley' winners - Edberg 33, Lendl 29 (including 4 groudstrokes)
- baseline winners (including returns) - Edberg 32, Lendl, 22

... coupled with Edberg leading unreturned rate 36% to 27% (and being -3 on double faults), gives Edberg a noticeable advantage. Note also -

- Points served - Edberg 180, Lendl 212
- Break Points - Edberg 7/27 (14 games), Lendl 3/11 (6 games)

... and Edberg's lead is clearer. Still, its not enough to override a 'played-big-points-better' bug turning result other way, as a final set 9-7 scoreline indicates. Lendl probably does play the big points better, but he's sufficiently behind in play that there are a lot more 'important points' for him to have to play better on then there are for Edberg

The Serve

Little between the two on the serve

Edberg's is a bit stronger than it would come to be, the action is more powerful. Still, not a very strong server and mostly a tool to get up to net
Lendl doesn't serve too strongly either. Slightly stronger than Edberg on average, but short of heavy bombs he's capable of

High first serve in count for both (Edberg 64%, Lendl 59%) hints at neither serving too strongly. Lendl generally tended to blast first serves at expense of high in-count but holds back here. Wind is likely a factor in this

Edberg at net vs Lendl return & pass
This match up is a bit disappointing

Generally, Lendl's apt to to completely blast returns against quality serve-volleyers in such a way that he's bound to miss a bunch but whatever he makes gives difficult first volleys. he doesn't do that here - returning is less strong. 63% return rate is about his norm when blasting returns successfully, but that rate at the power he returns at is below par for him

Grass surface might have a hand in that, but bounce is fairly comfortable and not too low. Maybe he didn't rate the teenage Edberg's volley highly enough to go all out. Also firm blocks a good number of BH returns... a way of making returning safely, not deliberately give low volleys as he'd come to do in future

Still, he returns more powerfully than Edberg does, though short of his own norm. Edberg faces harder hit and more regular low first volleys than Lendl does

He's not too great on the volley either. 15 forecourt UEs to Lendl's 14... and Lendl had to make more first volleys. Still, he's better than Lendl in being more decisive, as the as the 18 first volley winners indicate (Lendl has 14 - including 4 groundstrokes)... and he typically faces a tougher first volley

Quite a lot of drop/stop volleys from Edberg by his standard. Other notable point is his preference, especially early on, for the FHV. He moves around to take balls to FHV, preferring inside-out'ng them to playing BHV. This changes as match goes on and by the end, he's playing a balanced game

Note coincidence of identical error types across error types for Edberg - FHV has 8 errors apiece UE and FE and BHV has 6

Edberg has big advantage over Lendl on the low volley. He faces more because Lendl's passing & returning is stronger and makes most, placing the ball reasonably well. His low volleys don't necessarily leave Lendl with easy passes

Though not quite volleying into corner, Edberg does snap his volleys through in customary style and Lendl's hard pressed to reach balls for passing shots. Large parts of match he seems to frustrated and distracted to focus on making good passes and tends to play wild shots that invariably miss. The odd one he gets right... there's an absolutely hammered BH down the middle of court that Edberg just ducks out the way of. More credit to Edberg's volley than discredit Lendl's pass, but some of the latter too


Hall of Fame
Lendl at net vs Edberg on pass
Edberg's return is fairly ordinary and Lendl typically gets comfortable volleys above net. Not difficult dispatching such balls away and Lendl does well enough doing so. 14 first volley winners and 12 second volley ones speaks to not being overly decisive with the shot... good volleying against what he's faced with would result in higher proportion of first volley winners

Edberg also tries edging forward after the return at times. Without much success and he drops it early

As is, he places the ones into open court away for winners (not necessarily punching them through much) and volleys less open court but comfortable volleys away from Edberg but short of into corner. The large second volley winners figure is a product of Edberg having running shots on the pass (that he rarely puts in play challengingly) that Lendl can putaway with easy second volley

Not bad thinking from either player. Lendl's worth testing on the regulation volley... the way he looks, it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see him miss a good number. That doesn't seem to be what Edberg's going for though... he seems to be returning best he can, not holding back to get more balls in with hope of Lendl missing regulation volleys. And the returns he makes tend to be 'comfortable' rather than 'regulation' - typically rib height balls

13 volleying UEs by Lendl (Edberg has 14 - more on that later). Again, not bad for such a long match. It'd be a stretch to call it good either. Most are simple shots

What of the low volleys? 15 FEs for Lendl (Edberg has 18 - more on that later). He makes slightly more than he misses but
- the low volleys he gets are rarely too powerful. For a low volley, its not too difficult
- the ones he makes he just barely gets over... usually leaving Edberg a run-up pass from closer to service line than baseline

Few too many touch volleys from Lendl too. He doesn't volley badly, but not well enough that one would expect him to pull of the fancy stuff. Almost certainly would have been better of volleying normally more

On the pass, Edberg can't do much from the baseline but feasts on Lendl's weak low volleys from well inside court. His BH passing shots are firmer than the FH

In nutshell, comfortable height returning by Edberg, reasonably consistent and efficient handling of it by Lendl
The minority low returns trouble Lendl aplenty and he makes plenty of errors against average of pace shots. What he can make leaves Edberg very good passing chances that the winner usually makes most of. And it doesn't take too much to force a volleying error out of Lendl

Lendl's Attitude
Lendl's petulant behaviour colours the match. He's regularly yelling and complaining in frustration, often for common place things like the odd bad bounce or slip or failing to make a return.

He slips a few times and invariably makes as though the court was not up to standard. He may have a point. Edberg also lightly slips a couple of times.... Edberg slipping or putting a foot wrong is so rare that one tends to think his doing so here speaks to the court not being in best of shape. It looks fresh and slick, without the patches that tend to decorate second week Wimbledon courts

Its also very windy and dark and raining lightly. Lendl has plenty of complaints about all of the above. His play tends to become ragged and careless when he's not happy (or maybe he's not happy because his play is ragged and careless)... either way, he wastes plenty of energy in pointless frustration and it seems to adversely affect his play

Its a drop in the lake to the absolute soap opera he put on in the '83 final but noticably, a rather angry, whiney and distraced showing from the world number 1

Even Edberg expresses light frustration though he does so for his own easy misses only

Match Progression
No breaks in the first but its Edberg who has all the chances. Going into tiebreak, he's had 6 break points in 3 games (most erased with unreturned serves), to Lendl's 0. But Lendl finds his best returns in the 'breaker, pounding a BH cc winner and forcing a BH1/2V error to take it 7-3. Edberg served 39 points in the set, Lendl 55

Complete opposite in second set. Lendl has 5 break points across 3 games while Edberg has 0 until game 11. Lendl serves up a stinker in a 14 point game where he double faults 4 times (including the last 2 points of game) as well as muffing a regulation BH at net to give up the break. And Edberg serves it out to even the match

Edberg runs away with the set as Lendl's mood sours still more. it was pretty sour even in the second set but didn't effect his play much, though now, he gets cavalier careless. Regardless, plenty of fine play from Edberg in it as he moves up 2 sets to 1

Edberg returns the double faulting favour in the 4th set when he does so 4 times - including on break point - in a 12 point game to go down a break early. Under a dark sky with heavy winds and Lendl complaining about anything and everything, play is finally halted after Edberg breaks back with 3 passing winners to level set at 4-4

Match is resumed next day in sunshine and Lendl opens with the best return game of the contest, with 3 passing winners (1 return) and forcing 2 errors to break.

After serving out the set, Lendl opens the 5th with another break, hitting some staggeringly powerful shots, including a BH longline/cc pass winner that Edberg just ducks under without trying to play a shot. Edberg breaks back at once though in a poor game from Lendl, who for the third time, double faults on break point

Thereafter, Edberg has much the better of play, without quite being able to break through. He has 3 match and break points in game 10. On the last of these, he misses an easy BH pass from near the service line after drawing a weak, low first volley. Lendl serves 2 unreturned serves to hold

At 7-7, Lendl plays a somewhat careless return game. Aided by 2 double faults, he has a very good look at a BH pass that he misses long to go down 40-30. On game point, he misses a sitter of a FH pass at net

Edberg breaks next game to end the match, finishing with 4 winners in the last 5 points including an baseline OH pass off a not good Lendl OH at net and an excellent drive BHV passing winner from just behind service line

Summing up, a 'B' grade serve-volleying encounter

- Edberg with no small number of lapses on the volley against a conservative of force returning display from Lendl
- Edberg returns no more than ordinarily while Lendl struggles with anything more than easy volleys
- A couple of spells of Lendl getting mentally rattled and playing carelessly

Best action of the match is Edberg's choice punched through volleying and as both the better and more regular player, its most appropriate that he comes through with the win

Stats for final between Edberg and Mats Wilander -
Stats for '83 final between Lendl and Wilander -