Match Stats/Report - Edberg vs McEnroe, Wimbledon semi-final, 1989

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Stefan Edberg beat John McEnroe 7-5, 7-6(2), 7-6(5) in the Wimbledon semi-final, 1989 on grass

Edberg, the defending champion, would go onto lose the final to Boris Becker in a reversal of the previous years final. It was McEnroe's first Slam semi in 4 years and he would go onto finish the year ranked 4th
@slice serve ace previously posted https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/wimbledon-1989-sf-edberg-mcenroe-stats.400678/

Edberg won 129 points, McEnroe 120

Both players serve-volleyed off all serves

Serve Stats
Edberg...
- 1st serve percentage (65/125) 52%
- 1st serve points won (54/65) 83%
- 2nd serve points won (32/60) 53%
- Aces 5 (1 second serve, 1 not clean), Service Winners 3
- Double Faults 6
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (41/125) 33%

McEnroe...
- 1st serve percentage (61/124) 49%
- 1st serve points won (48/61) 79%
- 2nd serve points won (33/63) 52%
- Aces 8 (1 second serve), Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 9
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (50/124) 40%

Serve Patterns
Edberg served...
- to FH 34%
- to BH 48%
- to Body 18%

McEnroe served...
- to FH 37%
- to BH 55%
- to Body 8%

Return Stats
Edberg made...
- 65 (26 FH, 39 BH), including 3 runaround FHs
- 13 Winners (6 FH, 7 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 41 Errors, all forced...
- 41 Forced (21 FH, 20 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- Return Rate (65/115) 57%

McEnroe made...
- 78 (43 FH, 35 BH), including 4 runaround FHs
- 13 Winners (7 FH, 6 BH), including 3 runaround FHs
- 33 Errors, all forced...
- 33 Forced (15 FH, 18 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- Return Rate (78/119) 66%

Break Points
Edberg 2/6 (5 games)
McEnroe 1/3 (3 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Edberg 50 (12 FH, 12 BH, 9 FHV, 10 BHV, 7 OH)
McEnroe 40 (9 FH, 9 BH, 7 FHV, 10 BHV, 1 BH1/2V, 4 OH)

Edberg had 27 from serve-volley points
- 13 first 'volleys' (5 FHV, 7 BHV, 1 FH at net)
- 13 second volleys (3 FHV, 3 BHV, 7 OH)
- 1 fourth volley (1 FHV)

- 13 returns (6 FH, 7 BH), all passes
- FHs - 3 dtl (1 would-be return-approach) and 3 inside-in (1 runaround)
- BHs - 2 cc, 2 dtl and 3 inside-in

- 10 regular passes (5 FH, 5 BH)
- FHs - 2 dtl (1 running-down-drop-volley at net) and 3 lobs
- BHs - 1 cc, 2 inside-out (1 at net), 1 inside-out/dtl and 1 lob

McEnroe had from serve-volley points
- 13 first 'volleys' (5 FHV, 7 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- 9 second volleys (2 FHV, 3 BHV, 4 OH)… 1 FHV played net-to-net

- 13 returns (7 FH, 6 BH), all passes
- FHs - 2 cc (1 runaround), 2 dtl (1 runaround), 1 inside-out and 2 inside-in (1 runaround)
- BHs - 1 cc, 2 dtl, 1 inside-out and 2 inside-in

- 5 regular passes (2 FH, 3 BH)
- FHs - 1 dtl and 1 inside-in
- BHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl and 1 inside-out

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Edberg 24
- 6 Unforced (2 FHV, 4 BHV)
- 18 Forced (5 FH, 4 BH, 3 FHV, 4 BHV, 2 Back to Net)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 55

McEnroe 29
- 4 Unforced (2 FHV, 2 BHV)
- 25 Forced (10 FH, 5 BH, 4 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 4 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)… 1 FHV and 1 BHV were non-net points
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 53.0

(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...
- 80/114 (70%) at net, including...
- 78/111 (70%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 47/58 (81%) off 1st serve and..
- 31/53 (58%) off 2nd serve
--
- 0/2 forced back

McEnroe was...
- 74/110 (67%) at net, including...
- 72/106 (68%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 40/53 (75%) off 1st serve and..
- 32/53 (60%) off 2nd serve
--
- 1/1 forced back

Match Report
The best match for volleying I've seen. Both players are near flawless, Edberg just a little bit more so, though McEnroe has the greater variety in taking the ball on full. And that's probably the key difference in a tight, 100% serve-volleying grass match

Before getting to action, lets get the unfortunate out the way

Non-enforcement of foot faults
Right from the start, commentators Bud Collins and Dick Enberg stress Edberg's tendency to foot fault. According to them, he'd been doing it all the time in French Open, where he'd been runner-up without being called. They make a point of keeping an eye out for it

On one end of the court, there's a linesperson, who looks like Agent Smith from the Matrix movies, that's willing to call foot faults. On the other end, no calls. After being called twice in his first game from the particular end, Edberg adjusts when serving only from that end. The other end, he continues playing normally. Commentators point out particular points where he's clearly foot faulting. It seems to be a very regular thing... probably as often as not

This is an ugly, often overlooked aspect of Stefan Edberg's game. God alone knows how many foot faults he got away with. His adjusting so as not to foot fault from the end where they're calling him suggests he's quite aware of it. No protests at any of the foot fault calls - though that's normal for him for all calls

Poor officiating here. and its probably not uncommon, as far as looking for foot faults. I've never understood the lax attitude towards... unlike code of conduct or time violations, its a hard rule beyond interpretation. Letting foot faults go, or not bothering to look for them is like calling an ace to a ball that was out because it was close enough to being in

Edberg's play doesn't suffer from the end he's liable to be called from. Doubt having the rule enforced would make a difference to quality of his play, he'd just adjust (as he does from one end) and go on playing the same way, a fraction of a second behind. But he does appear to be foot faulting regularly throughout the match from one end - and officials seem to have no interest in calling it

Bud Collins notes that if this were baseball, somebody on the McEnroe team would tell the officials to keep an eye out for it. It ain't baseball

Play
Action is fairly simple

- Both players serve-volley all the time
- Both serve well. Mac maybe a touch stronger, but prone to double fault at bad times
- Returning style is polar opposite. Mac takes it early, Edberg hangs back and looks for big cuts
- Both volley incredibly well. Edberg better
- Edberg's superiority in volleying shapes passing. Mac has the harder passes to make so makes them not as well. Quality of passing is about the same, adjusted for difficulty of volleys being faced... Edberg has more chances
- Key points - Edberg tends clutch, Mac tends to have little let downs

Serve & Return
Edberg serves at just 52%, but very good first serves from him. Lots of balls out wide that throw Mac sideways and strong body and body-ish serves too. The second serves are often directed to body and tend to kick up high. His serve is about as strong as Mac's of power and is placed better than usual

Mac returns particularly well. He stands in close, just behind baseline for first serves and with a foot inside for seconds. Times the ball well, with a short swing, he send sit flying with surprising power. Initially, he's very deft in stepping away from body serves to hit FHs... apparently reading the serve well. Though later on, he gets cramped by them

Mac achieves something I've been on the lookout for. Note his hitting at least 1 of all 8 basic return type winners - FH/BH X cc/dtl/inside-out/inside-in. Clearly there's no shortage of variety in his returns. While getting into a tangle to some body serves due standing close in, on the whole its worth it. Taking the ball early doesn't unduly hamper him from getting balls in play (66% return rate is healthy against 100% serve-volleying), and it enables him to do so exceptionally damagingly as his 13 winners bear out. The problem he has is... Edberg's volleying is too good (more on that later)

Mac's serving is as powerful as Edberg's and with Edberg hanging back to return in a position reminiscent of Bjorn Borg, he has greater scope to exploit angles. He doesn't do the best jobs at this... while utilizing it to an extent, he also aims body-ish serves. Edberg misses a small number of relatively makeable returns, especially against second serves. And he has shots at winners on a number of them

Mac distributes serve wisely. Initially, he goes mostly to FH, which many people seemed to think was a good idea against Edberg. When he finds that not working so well - Edberg hits back a number of strong returns, he shifts to a more even distribution, more to the BH.

For most of the match, Edberg's FH return was the stronger side. He's particularly clutch on BH in the final tiebreak, where he reels of 3 winners... that would have been very difficult to foresee given how play was going

Overall, serve-return complex is near even. Mac perhaps a touch better on both shots... counter-balanced by timing. Edberg often finds his best serves and returns at clutch times, while Mac is the opposite. He double faults twice to get broken the first time and once in each tiebreak. Apparently a problem for him in the tournament. According to commentary, he had 57 double faults in his 6 matches
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Volleying & Passing
The two players combine for the staggeringly low 10 volleying UEs about 120 relevant net points (i.e. sans unreturned serves, when a volley was needed. Edberg doesn't make his first til game 5 of second set. Mac's made 3 in first set, which means he made 1 in rest of the match. Staggering

Again, timing is important. Mac makes back to back ones to lose the first set. Edberg also shocking makes two in a row in the final tiebreak... but he zones on returns in it too to compensate

Not only is it not just the infrequency of errors that's the impressive thing, it isn't even the main part. Virtually every single Edberg volley - even low to low-ish ones, including ones that would be marked forced error had he missed - are put in deep. A ball that's just deep but not in the corner to boot is a bad volley for him in this match

He's not at his absolute best at hitting winners off first volley, but not far off it. He gets significantly more low and low-ish volleys than Mac does... and not only barely misses (just 7 FEs), but hits those near as well as net high balls. Deep and usually in a corner. Like clockwork. Mac basically has to half-volley all his passing attempts - and that's just when Edberg hasn't hit a winner (which he does 27 times when coming in to volley + twice running down drop shots)

Given what he's up against, Mac does well passing. Its his returns that give Edberg a good chunk of low or wide balls (more often low than wide). After the first volley to those, Mac's forced to deal in near half-volleys and its almost impossible to hit passes from those

Aesthetically, Edberg's could be more pleasing still with more stop volleys. He doesn't hit one intentionally, and just the odd one here and there when fully stretched. Of effectiveness, his volleying is close on perfection

Mac is also excellent at net and that his showing there doesn't completely get lost next to Edberg's is itself testimony to its quality. He's even more sure at net - 4 UEs to Edberg's 6, though that was even going into final tiebreak - and just as sure at putting away winners. Coincidentally, both men have exactly 13 first volley winners and of the same type (5 FHV, 7 BHV)… with each having an additional first shot at net winner

He has the advantage in look with his feathery touch volleys

Nominally, he's just as good dealing with difficult ones. He has 8 forecourt FEs to Edberg's 7... but Edberg faced a significantly larger number

Where he trails the most is in how he deals with difficult ones. Mac makes 'defensive' volleys to them, which is normal. Edberg puts them deep

Its this difference that opens up greater chances for Edberg on the pass. He passes well... but Mac volleys better. A few makeable misses on the pass from Edberg, more so than Mac, who scarcely has a shot at one. Particularly on the lob, Edberg excels. In addition to the 4 winners, he gives Mac a number of awkward OHs (which Mac usually makes). By contrast, Mac's attempts at lobs are swatted away like flies

Despite his superiority, Edberg's game is too grooved for anything to stand out and the highlights of the highlights are mostly Mac's. A feather, first FHV inside-out drop. A perfect first BH1/2V cc. A point where he forces Edberg back with a lob, approaches but is lobbed himself as Edberg re-approaches, only to be lobbed again, finishing with Edberg unable to retrieve the ball, as Mac slipped and was on the ground with Edberg trying to put a ball in play with his back to the net

In a nutshell, sublime volleying from Edberg. Half a cut below from Mac

Match Progression
Match overall is serve dominated as low number of break points indicate (Edberg has 6, Mac has 3... only once does either have more than 1 in a game). Its Mac draws first blood with break in game 5. He opens with BH cc return winner and ends with an inside-in one, and has another BH dtl winner in the game. Still needs back to back doubles from Edberg to see him through

Edberg breaks back in similar fashion. Pair of FH return winners - 1 dtl, 1 inside-in - to go with a pair of Mac doubles, puts the match back on serve. And breaks again to take the set. Wonderful first point in which Mac has to make awkward, non-offensive OH and BHOH on successive shots before Edberg swats away a BH cc passing winner. That's followed by a FH inside-in return winner and a Mac first volley into corner winner. Then Mac misses 2 volleys to give up the break

Edberg has better of second set. Both players save a break point in middle of set, but Mac is further pushed to 14 and 8 points in his last two service games. In the latter game, Edberg changes his return tactics and looks to take ball early. So doing, he puts away a pair of winners, but Mac's able to serve his way to a hold. In the tiebreak, an early Mac double puts him behind the curve. A perfect BH lob winner from Edberg keeps him there

There's a 3 and 1/2 hour rain delay after 5 games in the third. Those first five games were easy holds. The next 7 are much tougher. Mac, who had been superb in anticipating body serves and making room to hit his returns before, is jammed by these same serves. Only he squeezes them out for winners anyway. Edberg isn't far behind. Previously, most of his damaging returns had come against second serves. Now, he takes a couple of firsts to the cleaners too

Tiebreak is a bit strange. Like the earlier one, Mac double faults to open the door, and Edberg whacks a first serve away BH inside-in for a winner to go up a commanding 4-1 with two serves to follow. Shockingly, he misses 2 routine first volleys of them... it came as a surprise when he didn't make difficult volleys deep, let alone missing easy ones. A pair of BH return winners put things right for him though. On match point, he swats the return cc from well behind the baseline at a sharp angle for the win

Summing up, a volleying extravaganza of a match with style, grace, precision and also power on show. Edberg's just a bit better at it (foot faulting or not) but not so much as to guarantee a win. That's done by the usual, who-plays-important-points-better dictum of grass. Its appropriate that it turns out to be Edberg

Stats for pair's match in Rotterdam '87 - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-edberg-vs-mcenroe-rotterdam-indoor-final-1987.651853/
 

andreh

Professional
In this and the FO89 final there's alot of whining about Edberg not being called for footfaults, BUT, I think that Collins (mainly) and Enberg are exaggerating grossly. Many times when Collins excalims "There! He did it again!" Edberg didn't seem to footfault as I saw it on the TV images and Edberg was in fact called for foot faults, in this and many other matches. Can't argue with the guy who's actually on the line. Certainly Collin's comment at one point that "he footfaults most of the time" isn't correct.

I also don't think it's "an ugly part of Edberg's game". A foot fault is like any other line call. You get called or you don't. It's on the line judge, not the player. Not Edberg's problem if he doesn't get called. Saying it's an ugly part of the game insinuates that Edberg deployed a deliberate strategy to cheat, which he didn't. He just got a bit too close with his right pinky toe every once in while.
 
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California

Semi-Pro
In this and the FO89 final there's alot of whining about Edberg not being called for footfaults, BUT, I think that Collins (mainly) and Enberg are exaggerating grossly. Many times when Collins excalims "There! He did it again!" Edberg didn't seem to footfault as I saw it on the TV images and Edberg was in fact called for foot faults, in this and many other matches. Can't argue with the guy who's actually on the line. Certainly Collin's comment at one point that "he footfaults most of the time" isn't correct.

I also don't think it's "an ugly part of Edberg's game". A foot fault is like any other line call. You get called or you don't. It's on the line judge, not the player. Not Edberg's problem if he doesn't get called. Saying it's an ugly part of the game insinuates that Edberg deployed a deliberate strategy to cheat, which he didn't. He just got a bit too close with his right pinky toe every once in while.
Look Collins was a tool. Very opinionated and thought he was always right... he is saying that he, from the press box can tell if Edberg's toe is hitting the line before the serve better than the linesman, on the court, looking down the line? Yeah, ok.

He was a homer and wanted the American players to win. Yet, he was so irritating that even the players didn't like him. Ask John McEnroe. Stefan was a class act in every way. The sportsmanship award is named after him! If he foot faulted, call him on it and be done with it. I am sure he knew he did it from time to time. Not really a big deal.
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
OP could you do one for the FO84 final( if you haven't before)?
Sure - its on my list, but will be awhile

I like to do clay matches in bunches - play is so different that intermingling clay with other surfaces too much probably affects judgment

some old stuff, Mac-Lendl final on green clay not long before French - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-mcenroe-vs-lendl-forest-hills-1984.607707/

and the two semi's - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-lendl-vs-wilander-french-open-semi-finals-1984.656465/

Haven't forgotten @NicoMK request either... that one I'm drawing out with so few matches of Mats lying around
 
Sure - its on my list, but will be awhile

I like to do clay matches in bunches - play is so different that intermingling clay with other surfaces too much probably affects judgment

some old stuff, Mac-Lendl final on green clay not long before French - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-mcenroe-vs-lendl-forest-hills-1984.607707/

and the two semi's - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-lendl-vs-wilander-french-open-semi-finals-1984.656465/

Haven't forgotten @NicoMK request either... that one I'm drawing out with so few matches of Mats lying around
Thanks! I'll check those out.
 
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