Match Stats/Report - Edberg vs Wilander, Australian Open semi-final, 1990

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Stefan Edberg beat Mats Wilander 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 in the Australian Open semi-final, 1990 on hard court

Edberg would go onto lose in the final to Ivan Lendl. This was Wilander's last Slam semi and the only one he made in 17 appearances post 1988. This was the 4th meeting between the pair at the event - Wilander won in '84 on grass and '88, Edberg had won in the '85 final on grass

Edberg won 83 points, Wilander 44

Edberg serve-volleyed off all serves

Serve Stats
Edberg...
- 1st serve percentage (44/57) 77%
- 1st serve points won (36/44) 82%
- 2nd serve points won (9/13) 69%
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (16/57) 28%

Wilander...
- 1st serve percentage (45/70) 64%
- 1st serve points won (24/45) 53%
- 2nd serve points won (8/25) 32%
- Aces 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (11/70) 16%

Serve Patterns
Edberg served...
- to FH 35%
- to BH 42%
- to Body 24%

Wilander served...
- to FH 37%
- to BH 50%
- to Body 13%

Return Stats
Edberg made...
- 59 (30 FH, 29 BH), including 3 runaround FHs, 6 return-approaches & 1 drop-return
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 8 Errors, comprising...
- 3 Unforced (1 FH, 2 BH), all return-approach attempts
- 5 Forced (1 FH, 4 BH)
- Return Rate (59/70) 84%

Wilander made...
- 39 (13 FH, 26 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 16 Errors, all forced...
- 16 Forced (8 FH, 8 BH)
- Return Rate (39/55) 71%

Break Points
Edberg 7/13 (8 games)
Wilander 0

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Edberg 45 (3 FH, 3 BH, 9 FHV, 23 BHV, 7 OH)
Wilander 8 (3 FH, 4 BH, 1 FHV)

Edberg had 24 from serve-volley points
- 16 first volleys (3 FHV, 11 BHV, 2 OH)
- 7 second volleys (1 FHV, 3 BHV, 3 OH)
- 1 third volley (1 FHV)

- 2 from return-approach points (2 BHV)

- FHs - 1 cc pass and 2 dtl (1 return, 1 pass)
- BHs (all passes) - 2 cc and 1 dtl

Wilander's FHs - 1 cc pass, 1 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- BHs (all passes) - 2 dtl (1 return) and 2 inside-out

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Edberg 23
- 13 Unforced (6 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 10 Forced (1 FH, 2 BH, 3 FHV, 3 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.4

Wilander 22
- 10 Unforced (5 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 12 Forced (4 FH, 6 BH, 1 BHV, 1 BHOH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 43

(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...
- 65/79 (82%) at net, including...
- 45/55 (82%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 36/44 (82%) off 1st serve and...
- 9/11 (82%) off 2nd serve
---
- 5/6 (82%) return-approaching

Wilander was...
- 8/18 (44%) at net, including...
- 5/6 (83%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves

Match Report
Not just one-sided, but briskly so. Wilander looks like he's giving Edberg putaway volleying practice and Edberg looks like he's giving a lesson in putaway volleying. Like a couple where one person loves to cook and the other loves to eat

Some background. After a stellar 1988 where he won 3 Slams and finished number 1, Wilander fell off a hill. This is the only Slam semi he ever reached after '88. He'd beaten Boris Becker in straights sets in the previous round and was seeded 8th but would finish the year ranked 40th. This match is best thought of as a great player playing a journeymen than a contest between two great players

Play is very simple. Edberg serve-volleys 100% of the time. His serve isn't particularly strong of pace or placement. 0 aces, 0 service winners serving at 77%. Not a challenging serve to return

Wilander returns it consistently, with return-rate of 71%, which ordinarily, one would say is very good against 100% serve-volleying. This is not ordinary though. He returns like he might against a baseliner, and Edberg knocks off volleys at will. Note the 16 first volley winners. Wilander has 8 winners for the match

Edberg has days when he's whipping away winners to decent returns. This isn't what happens here either. Most first volleys are easy - lower ribs to chest high and of average power. Same thing on the pass when Edberg approaches in Wilander service games... Wilander just puts passes in play as if playing regulation baseline shots. Edberg doesn't even have to punch them away... just placing them does just as well (though he does whisk away the ones that need whisking). Also gets in very close to net from where he can short angle the winning volley

I suppose being receiving end of 39 volley/OH winners is preferable to missing returns, but its not that Edberg's returns are particularly challenging. Just bad returning from Mats

Easy as he has it, credit to Edberg on the volley. There has to be some percentage that constitutes "volleying well" when up against weak passing/returning... no one makes 100% of even easy volleys. Edberg comes close. Just 2 volleying UEs - 1 was easy, the other the type of ball not hard to put in play. Rarely does he leave Wilander with a pass to a ball above the net... they're put away for winners. Easy volleys certainly, but you can't deal any better than Edberg does

Edberg's faced with very few difficult volleys and makes the ones he faces reasonably well. He doesn't face break point

Wilander mostly serves gently and Edberg can return comfortably. Late in match, Mats does bang down some tough serves, indicating he had the ability to do so. Its a very slow court and probably not worth the effort to serve hard

Comfortable returning from Edberg. A stellar shot is a drop, return-approach which he wins with a net-to-net BHV winner. He played a similar shot in the final against Ivan Lendl, which I thought looked deliberate, but one allows makes allowance for a shot like that being a fluke. Seeing the one here gives greater confidence that it had been intentional

All 3 Edberg return UEs are return-approach attempts and all in first set. He wisely ceases trying after that because he doesn't need to; he can easily find a way to net from rallying. And still wins 5/6 such points in the match

Baseline rallies are passive, duel winged affairs like a typical clay court match. Mats is neither particularly consistent nor heavy. Points end with UEs or with Edberg taking net. When the former, rallies are just medium of length or even short and Mats is as likely to be the one to blink. Baseline UEs for match - Mats 8, Edberg 11... that's a relative win for Edberg and its a result of Mats being down from his old norm, not Edberg being up from his (in the final, the situation is the opposite)

With at least non-heavy (if not light) regulation groundstrokes from Mats, Edberg has little trouble manufacturing approaches. And those mostly go the same way as his serve-volley points... Mats making a relaxed, high pass and Edberg swishing away the volley winner

Mats is at his best serve-volleying too, winning 5/6. He misses first serve on a small number of other points he was looking to come in behind. In play though, his approaches are unsuccessful and he wins just 4/13 coming in. Total net numbers just 9/19... nothing hugely wrong with his approaching or volleying, mostly credit Edberg's passing shots

On 9 occasions, Edberg hits 3 winners in succession (including over 2 games) - twice extending it to 4

With Wilander serving to avoid a bagel in the second set, Edberg reaches 15-40 and has 2 set & break points. He makes 3 baseline errors in succession and comes in late after a return to be forced into a volleying error. It occurred to me as a possibility that he threw these points to allow Mats to escape being bagelled. He'd reached 15-40 to begin with 3 winners in a row - 2 of them passes, which he couldn't have counted on pulling off

Summing up, Mats puts balls high over net and Edberg volleys away winners like clockwork. Entertaining in its simplicity and the grace of Edberg's finishing. Poor from Mats and near perfect from Edberg against weak resistance

- Stats for the pair's '85 Aus final - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-edberg-vs-wilander-australian-open-final-1985.659369/
- Stats for the final between Edberg and Ivan Lendl - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-lendl-vs-edberg-australian-open-final-1990.670540/
 
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bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
Did Mats even care? He was always iffy after 1988. But, if he made it all the way to the SFs, he must have been fairly engaged at least to that point. I remember this final and Edberg having to default when he had a decent chance at winning if healthy. Didn't he injure his abdominal muscle in this match?
 

Olli Jokinen

Semi-Pro
Did Mats even care? He was always iffy after 1988. But, if he made it all the way to the SFs, he must have been fairly engaged at least to that point. I remember this final and Edberg having to default when he had a decent chance at winning if healthy. Didn't he injure his abdominal muscle in this match?
It was a a strange match because Mats historically had a very good record against Edberg in big matches. And Mats had blown Becker away in the quarters, so he was looking pretty good.
 

NicoMK

Professional
Stefan Edberg beat Mats Wilander 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 in the Australian Open semi-final, 1990 on hard court

This was Wilander's last Slam semi and the only one he made in 17 appearances post 1988.

Summing up, Mats puts balls high over net and Edberg volleys away winners like clockwork. Entertaining in its simplicity and the grace of Edberg's finishing. Poor from Mats and near perfect from Edberg against weak resistance
:cry:

Those 1989-90-91 years were (are?) my tennis nightmare, especially 1991.
 
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NicoMK

Professional
Did Mats even care? He was always iffy after 1988. But, if he made it all the way to the SFs, he must have been fairly engaged at least to that point.
In an interview a few months later, he said that he reached the semis in Australia but "he wasn't even happy with his game".

Mats did not play very well during this match and Stefan played great. Waspsting said it well : Summing up, Mats puts balls high over net and Edberg volleys away winners like clockwork. Entertaining in its simplicity and the grace of Edberg's finishing. Poor from Mats and near perfect from Edberg against weak resistance
 

andreh

Professional
There have been stats threads about this match before and discussions about this being, statistically speaking, the most one-sided match ever played. Highest winner count by any player etc.

Edit: Also of interest, Edberg ripped the stomach muscle that forced him to retire against Lendl in this match. The last game of the match, if I recall correctly. There was coverage on Swedish television at the time where they had identified the very serve where it happened.
 

buscemi

Hall of Fame
There have been stats threads about this match before and discussions about this being, statistically speaking, the most one-sided match ever played. Highest winner count by any player etc.

Edit: Also of interest, Edberg ripped the stomach muscle that forced him to retire against Lendl in this match. The last game of the match, if I recall correctly. There was coverage on Swedish television at the time where they had identified the very serve where it happened.
The 1984 Wimbledon final would also be a contender. Same scoreline. The match report has McEnroe with 83 points and Connors with 42 points, meaning Connors actually won 2 fewer points than Wilander.
 

NicoMK

Professional
Edit: Also of interest, Edberg ripped the stomach muscle that forced him to retire against Lendl in this match. The last game of the match, if I recall correctly. There was coverage on Swedish television at the time where they had identified the very serve where it happened.
Exactly.
 
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