Match Stats/Report - Edberg vs Lendl, Tokyo Outdoor final, 1991


Hall of Fame
Stefan Edberg beat Ivan Lendl 6-1, 7-5, 6-0 in the Tokyo Outdoor final, 1991 on hard court

Edberg was ranked #1, Lendl #3. The two had met earlier in year at Australian Open semi (Lendl winning) and would go onto again later in the year at the US Open semi (Edberg would win) . Edberg was the double defending champion and would go onto win the Tokyo Indoor on carpet late in the year also

Edberg won 95 points, Lendl 62

Edberg serve-volleyed off all but 5 first serves and regularly off seconds

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (53/81) 65%
- 1st serve points won (39/53) 74%
- 2nd serve points won (13/28) 46%
- Aces 1
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (24/81) 30%

- 1st serve percentage (42/76) 55%
- 1st serve points won (22/42) 52%
- 2nd serve points won (11/34) 32%
- Aces 4
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (13/76) 17%

Serve Patterns
Edberg served...
- to FH 19%
- to BH 60%
- to Body 21%

Lendl served...
- to FH 32%
- to BH 61%
- to Body 7%

Return Stats
Edberg made...
- 61 (20 FH, 41 BH), including 1 runaround FH & 8 return-approaches
- 9 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (2 FH, 2 BH)
- 5 Forced (1 FH, 4 BH)
- Return Rate (61/74) 82%

Lendl made...
- 56 (9 FH, 47 BH)
- 4 Winners (1 FH, 3 BH)
- 23 Errors, comprising...
- 1 Unforced (1 BH)
- 22 Forced (6 FH, 16 BH)
- Return Rate (56/80) 70%

Break Points
Edberg 8/14 (8 games)
Lendl 2/4 (4 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Edberg 24 (3 FH, 3 BH, 7 FHV, 8 BHV, 3 OH)
Lendl 24 (9 FH, 10 BH, 1 FHV, 3 BHV, 1 OH)

Edberg had 8 from serve-volley points
- 3 first volleys (1 FHV, 2 BHV)
- 4 second volleys (2 FHV, 1 BHV, 2 OH)
- 1 third volley (1 BHV)... which can reasonably be called a re-approach volley

- 2 from return-approach points (2 FHV)
- 1 other FHV can reasonably be called an OH

- FHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl pass and 1 running-down-drop-shot dtl at net
- BHs - 1 cc slice and 2 dtl (1 pass)

Lendl's FH passes - 3 cc and 1 dtl at net
- regular FHs - 2 dtl, 1 inside-out, 1 inside-in return and 1 drop shot
- BHs (all passes) - 6 cc (3 returns)... 1 of the non-returns was a net chord flicker and 4 dtl

- 2 from serve-volley points, both first volley BHVs

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Edberg 24
- 14 Unforced (2 FH, 7 BH, 4 FHV, 1 BHV)... with 1 BH at net
- 10 Forced (2 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 50.7

Lendl 45
- 16 Unforced (7 FH, 6 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 29 Forced (10 FH, 12 BH, 1 FH1/2V, 4 BHV, 2 BH1/2V)... with 1 BHV from baseline
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 52.5

(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...
- 62/85 (73%) at net, including...
- 40/59 (68%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 33/47 (70%) off 1st serve and...
- 7/12 (58%) off 2nd serve
- 7/8 (88%) return-approaching
- 1/1 retreated

Lendl was...
- 12/25 (48%) at net, including...
- 4/6 (67%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves

Match Report
Poised and polished from Edberg, especially from the baseline. The Edberg serve-volleying vs Lendl return-passing contest is on mundane side. Lendl's play is often erratic. Conditions are on the slow side of normal but with slices staying very low

Both players sub-50% on their second serve points isn't unusual against good returners with strong court games, but Lendl is particularly poor winning just 32%. Coupled with a very ordinary 52% first serve points, he's left in huge hole on serve, holding 4 times while being broken 8. He's not bad, in a very unsubtle way, in return games

Edberg serve-volleys 90% off the time off 1st serves and 44% off 2nds. He does a lot better serve-volleying off second serves (winning 58%) than he does staying back (winning 40%, excluding his sole double fault)

Edberg's serve-volleying vs Lendl return-passing
Lendl belts returns at the serve-volleying Edberg. No chips, no blocks, no pushes - everything gets whacked

He's decent at it. Gets cramped by Edberg's body and body-ish serving. 21% of Edberg's serves are to the body and a lot more are close to it on BH side. Wouldn't be difficult, given its predictability to move around to hit FHs, but Lendl seems to like whacking BHs. Not a single runaround FH, or even attempt

His power isn't overwhelming and his placement isn't nuanced. He gives Edberg above average power balls to volley first up, short of error forcingly strong, but hard enough where controlling the first volley is tough. Decent job by Edberg putting the volley in play (5 volley UEs, + a BH at net), but he doesn't do much with the ball, placing it so that Lendl has regulation passing shots. Not easy to volley into corners against such hard hit balls, but doable for Edberg

Lendl's poor on the regulation pass and misses over and over again. He goes for winners straight out - and misses lines or hits top of tape. 22 groundstroke FEs are almost of this sort. He barely makes a 1, or even gets Edberg to hit a second volley. Its all or nothing for Lendl on the pass, and almost always, turns out be nothing

The exception is when the return is low as well as powerful, giving a very difficult first volley that odds would be Edberg missing. Here, Edberg does well to make so many balls (just 3 FEs on the volley), but leaves run-in passes that Lendl can take from well inside court. And here Lendl shines, barely missing a pass. Virtually all of Lendl's 11 non-return pass winners are from this type of situation

Its not bad strategy from Lendl. He executes poorly on the regulation passes and may have been better of going for something less than an outright winner on them all the time. Still, not hard to understand the thinking against a volleyer like Edberg and Lendl's natural style is along these lines. In general, he's not a 1-2 passer and Edberg more often than not dominates against anything other very strong passing

Lendl serve vs Edberg return
Superb returning from Edberg and his very high 82% return rate is 1 of the keys to result. And the highlight of the returning are the approaches. Fairly heavy second serving from Lendl, who would be aware of dangers of Edberg taking net. Edberg picks his balls and gets his returns deep or/and wide to come in behind. And not necessarily against second serves

Just as impressive as winning 7/8 such plays is that he doesn't miss a return trying it. His normal returns are solidly neutralizing, and when he picks one to come in behind, his judgment is near perfect

Not big serving from Lendl and at not high 55% first serves in, his showing is below par, but more credit to Edberg for high consistency while being neutralizing with the return and spiking it with top class return-approaches
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Hall of Fame
Play - Baseline & Net
Lendl leads baseline dance by hammering balls off both wings. In order, his weapons are brute power, depth and moderate wide placement. He starts by hitting like this all the time. Edberg, glides side to side and hits the ball back not as hard but even more steadily but matching Lendl for depth and angles. Seemingly without strain, despite being made to run moderately against hard hit shots

The contrast in style of hitting is eyecatching. Lendl hammers like a woodcutter. Edberg strokes like a poet

Edberg is rock solid of consistency, especially off FH, which cops the most heat with Lendl leading with FHs. Very impressive match low 2 UEs and 2 FEs from the Edberg FH. The errors initally come from Lendl going for too much. He has 13 groundstroke UEs to Edberg's 8

In second set, Lendl switches to more slicey BH stuff and there are some beautiful rallies with Edberg reciprocating. Slices stay below knee high from both players and Edberg in particular goes both ways with the shot, as well as using it as an approach shot. He's able to outmanuver Lendl in these rallies, while remaining as consistent

Simple how many errors Lendl makes hitting heavy to how many points he can beat out of Edberg is net negative for Lendl - which alone would see Edberg come out ahead. What puts him way out ahead is his ability to manufacture approaches

Edberg is a very, very impressive 15/18 rallying to net. The way Lendl hammers balls would likely lead to a player not even thinking of coming in, let alone it being difficult. Edberg seems to do it easily. He plays along with Lendl from the back, hitting deep if not overly hard, waits for ball he can hit slightly wide and comes in off them. In conjunction with the excellent return-approaches, he finds net regularly. The star of the show is his ability to create the approach, not the volleying. Lendl has similar problems on the regulation pass as when facing serve-volleys, though the approaches he faces push him out of position some more

Generally, Lendl almost never plays drop shots. He hits a couple here, including very uncharacteristic, move-around side spun FH inside-out winner.

Outplayed from the back, unable to stop Edberg taking net or testing him with good passes, Lendl looks to come in at different stages in match when nothing else is working. He's not very good on the volley, though Edberg gives him just enough on the pass to draw errors. 'Not easy' volleys under net level or low balls not overly hard hit draw errors from Lendl. He has 3 UEs (Edberg has 6 coming in about 4 times as much) and 7 FEs (Edberg 3)

Note also very high UEFIs - Lendl 52.5, Edberg 50.7. Breakdown of errors -
- Neutral - 3 each
- Attacking - Edberg 7, Lendl 6 (most of Edberg's are approach attempts and volleys)
- Winner attempts - Edberg 4, Lendl 7

The 7 winner attempts from Lendl is sloppy. The power, beat down stuff he tries don't work. He could just keep at it, but Edberg's apt to find a way to net. He could look to come in himself, but doesn't seem to want to and when he does, doesn't do well up front (wins just 8/19 coming from rallies). So he looks to put point to bed with a winner from the back (both both wings). Like his passes, he usually ends up missing. Discredit to him for this and good bit of credit to Edberg for driving him to it too

Match Progression
6-1 first set is a bit deceptive. 3/4 of Edberg's service games go to deuce and he ends up serving 32 points to Lendl's 21 (having served the extra game and broken to 15 once). Lendl's power returning and power baseline hitting poses plenty of dangers

Edberg meanwhile gets his 2 breaks by rallying his way to net. He's there 4/10 points for first break and 2/5 the second and wins every point

Edberg starts the second set in same way, breaking to 15 with 3 approaches. Lendl breaks right back with 3 passing winners. Lendl eases back on power hitting from baseline and there's plenty of slicey rallies. Regardless, Edberg hangs in easily. Lendl's able to find more low returns, drawing weak volleys that he dispatches too

From 4-4, there are 3 breaks on the trot. The last of these are a product of Edberg winning points with Lendl at net. There are couple excellent points - first one of the game is a long rally with both players hitting varied direction, low slices that ends with Edberg drawing Lendl forward and passing him BH dtl. Edberg brings up break point by hitting an easy looking BH dtl winner from regulation position after a rally in which Lendl was constantly blasting balls, while Edberg coped with seeming ease. Break point though is a careless looking Lendl third ball attacking FH error

Back to back BH passing winners gives Lendl break point as Edberg serves for set for the second time, but Edberg goes on to hold

Lendl's a bit erratic in his hitting in third set, but Edberg remains grooved and easy of play. Lendl comes to net a bit more, but misses makeable volleys

Summing up, 2 part match -

A) with Edberg serve-volleying...
i) Lendl hammers returns all the time
ii) Most are regulation height, Edberg makes the volleys without taking control of point and Lendl misses almost all regulation pass attempts going for clean winners... scope for improvement for both here, particularly Lendl
iii) Minority are low, Edberg usually puts the low volleys in play somehow and Lendl almost always hammers home the pass winner

B) points starting on baseline (almost all of Lendl's service points and most of Edberg's second serve points)...
i) Lendl looks to hammer Edberg away with power, depth and moderate wide placement
ii) Edberg gracefully counter-punches and matches Lendl for depth and placement while being steadier
iii) Edberg manages to manufacture approaches (or return-approach) - a very difficult task - and ends points (somewhat due to Lendl faltering on pass, but much more credit to Edberg than discredit Lendl)
iv) minority BH slicey rallies where both are consistent, Edberg more varied off direction and still able to outmanuver Lendl to find a way to net
v) Lendl coming in and struggling against just good-enough passing from Edberg

Top class showing from Edberg from the baseline, with his consistency and net instincts standing out. Harried and at time a bit wild from Lendl on the pass and in his baseline attacks, but not nearly so much as to justify such a scoreline... mostly credit Edberg for the result, some discredit to Lendl for it too

Stats for pair's '91 Australian Open semi -
Stats for '90 final between Edberg and Aaron Krickstein -