Match Stats/Report - Edberg vs Stich, Cincinnati semi-final, 1994


Hall of Fame
Stefan Edberg beat Michael Stich 6-2, 7-6(6) in the Cincinnati semi-final, 1994 on hard court

Edberg would go onto lose the final to Michael Chang. Stich would finish runner-up at the upcoming US Open

Edberg won 71 points, Stich 63

Both players serve-volleyed off all first serves. Edberg serve-volleyed half the time off seconds, Stich the vast majority of times

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (40/70) 57%
- 1st serve points won (31/40) 78%
- 2nd serve points won (17/30) 57%
- Aces 3 (1 not clean)
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (17/70) 24%

- 1st serve percentage (27/64) 42%
- 1st serve points won (22/27) 81%
- 2nd serve points won (19/37) 51%
- Aces 5
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (21/64) 33%

Serve Patterns
Edberg served...
- to FH 36%
- to BH 27%
- to Body 36%

Stich served...
- to FH 39%
- to BH 49%
- to Body 11%

Return Stats
Edberg made...
- 40 (15 FH, 25 BH), including 1 return-approach
- 6 Winners (1 FH, 5 BH)
- 16 Errors, comprising...
- 2 Unforced (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 14 Forced (6 FH, 8 BH)
- Return Rate (40/61) 66%

Stich made...
- 49 (21 FH, 28 BH)
- 2 Winners (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 14 Errors, comprising...
- 1 Unforced (1 FH)
- 13 Forced (6 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (49/66) 74%

Break Points
Edberg 3/8 (3 games)
Stich 1/7 (4 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Edberg 25 (3 FH, 7 BH, 5 FHV, 9 BHV, 1 OH)
Stich 16 (3 FH, 4 BH, 2 FHV, 6 BHV, 1 OH)

Edberg had 13 from serve-volley points
- 7 first volleys (3 FHV, 4 BHV)... 1 FHV was not clean and 1 BHV was left by Stich
- 6 second volleys (2 FHV, 4 BHV)

- 1 from return-approach point, a net-to-net BHV

- 6 returns (1 FH, 5 BH), all passes
- FH - 1 inside-in
- BHs - 3 cc (1 left by Stich) and 2 inside-in

- FHs in play - 2 cc (1 pass at net)
- BHs in play (both passes) - 2 cc

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

- FH passes - 2 dtl (1 return)
- BH passes - 3 dtl (1 return)
- regular FH - 1 net chord dribbler
- regular BH - 1 dtl

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Edberg 22
- 8 Unforced (3 FH, 2 FHV, 3 BHV)
- 14 Forced (5 FH, 5 BH, 1 FH1/2V, 3 BHV)... with 1 BH at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.3

Stich 26
- 8 Unforced (2 FH, 2 BH, 3 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 18 Forced (3 FH, 11 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.5

(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 43/58 (74%) at net, including...
- 37/50 (74%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 28/37 (76%) off 1st serve and...
- 9/13 (69%) off 2nd serve
- 1/1 return-approaching

Stich was 33/51 (65%) at net, including...
- 32/50 (64%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 17/22 (77%) off 1st serve and...
- 15/28 (54%) off 2nd serve

Match Report
Good, serve-volley match. Key to result is Stich's low first serve percentage, but there are elements of who-plays-the-big-points better involved also on a normal hard court

Stich with just 42% first serves in, to Edberg's 57%. Stich leads first serve points won by insignificant amount (81% to 78%) but trails second serve points won more (51% to 57%

Note also the break point stats. Edberg 3/8 in 3 games to Stich's 1/7 in 4

Both players serve-volley off all first serves and slightly surprisingly, its Stich who does so far more regularly off second serve (83% of the time, to Edberg's 50%)

Edberg's Play
Healthy of force serving by Edberg and with interesting choice of distribution

Note serving pattern - 36% to FH, 27% to BH and 36% to body

The body serve percentage is extremely high. It works - Stich looks cramped and awkward against it. The more to FH than BH pattern isn't too surprising given Stich's reputation for having a stronger BH than FH. Stats aren't bearing this out (Stich has equal number of return errors by wing, though some of those are against body serves). He certainly makes no attempt to take the body serves with his FH

Often with Edberg, his serve is highly returnable and I find myself more discrediting returner than crediting Edberg for serving success. Not here. Good, healthy serving from Edberg. Stich's not very good at making room to hit the body serves, but that's about it

Low unreturned count of 24% means Edberg has work to do on the volley. He's in 1-2 volley mode - the first volley into a corner but not punched through decisively (and nobody punches volleys as decisively as Edberg in 1 volley mode), leaving Stich very difficult passes. What little Stich is able to put in play is volleyed away for winners with the second volley

Most of Edberg's 7 first volley winners are high, putaways and most of the 6 second volleys are as described above. And the 14 Stich groundstroke errors are all passes (most running) against in-corner first volleys

Curiously, why'll serving to Stich's FH, Edberg also volleys to Stich's BH. Note Stich with 11 BH FEs to just 3 FHs. What's the thinking there? Whatever it is, it works, which isn't to say other combinations would have worked any less well. With the kinds of difficult passes Edberg leaves Stich, wouldn't have mattered much whether it was to FH or BH... it would have to be a sensational pass to win point

For most part, Edberg's 'only' decent on the return. The high 6 winners are concentrated around small part of match. Otherwise, he gets balls in play at around normal rate against serve-volleying (return rate 66%) without leaving too many easy volleys. Typically, returns are about net high - maybe a bit lower, maybe a bit higher. In other words, not many high floaters for Stich to putaway but also not many to Stich's feet

There's scope for a great volleying showing to clean up against Edberg's returning at least - it would have to be great though

Stich's Play
Stich really goes for it with the first serve. Hammer and tongs stuff - and usually misses. Just 42% in. When he gets it in though, he almost always wins the point (81%)... this is not unexpected for him

So key becomes how he plays his second serve points. He serve-volleys almost all the time of those too. Its a good second serve, but does leave scope for strong returning giving it a very hard time. For most part, Edberg's returning can be said to be 'testing' rather than 'giving it a very hard time'

Edberg as outlined earlier, tests Stich on regulation volleying. And Stich isn't particularly convincing. He tends to volley up, not punch the ball through. Doesn't place it badly in all - though it suffers by comparison to Edberg's precision (which is hardly a reasonable basis of comparison)

In all, decent volleying from Stich. He does leave Edberg with odd chances on the pass - more so than Edberg leaves him. Odds would favour Edberg to make more passes than Stich, given how volley-pass complex turns out

Against that, you have Stich with 9% lead in unreturned serves. In all, prospects for both players coming out ahead in total play is near equal

Match Progression
Edberg breaks early to move ahead 2-0, mostly due to flawed play from Stich, who misses 2 easy volleys and leaves a return that lands in for a winner

Great game from Edberg to break to end the set though. Its a 10 point game - and Edberg hits 5 passing winners, 4 of them returns - to break

Stich breaks to open the second set. He forces a pair of forecourt errors and strikes a return winner before Edberg misses a regulation BHV on break point

Stich has better of play for rest of set too. He reaches 0-40 in another game and on his first break point, leaves a deep volley right next to him that lands in

Stich serves for the set at 5-4. Some good passing from Edberg, aided by a double fault and a missed regulation BHV sees Edberg break.

Stich opens up 5-1 lead in tiebreak, starting it with a FH dtl return pass winner. Its stellar play from Edberg that turns it around though. First, he approaches of the return and BHVs a winner past the serve-volleying Stich to gain back 1 mini-break. Next point, he has to make 2 excellent volleys - the first to a hard, wide, low-ish return and the second a sharp reaction volley he has to play while on the move - to gain the point. He restores parity with a BH inside-in return that forces a 1/2volley error, and throws out a rare ace on the 2 set points Stich has. And Stich double faults on Edberg's first match point

Summing up, good match. Reasonably heavy serving for Edberg, coupled with 2 part volleying is good enough to see him hold comfortably. Low first serve in count from Stich leaves chance for Edberg to hurt him returning - which the winner is able to do just often enough to come out ahead

Stats for pair's '92 Hamburg final -
Stats for pair's '93 Grand Slam Cup semi -