Match Stats/Report - Ivanisevic vs Forget, Stockholm final, 1992

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Goran Ivanisevic beat Guy Forget 7-6(2), 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 in the Stockholm final, 1992 on carpet

It was Ivanisevic’s first masters title and among others, he beat Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg - who had played the previous two finals at the event - en route to the final. Forget would shortly afterwards be runner-up in Paris too

Ivanisevic won 130 points, Forget 123

Both players serve-volleyed off almost all first serves, Ivanisevic did so about two-thirds off the time off seconds

Serve Stats
Ivanisevic...
- 1st serve percentage (66/121) 55%
- 1st serve points won (55/66) 83%
- 2nd serve points won (33/55) 60%
- Aces 30 (2 second serves), Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 7
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (56/121) 46%

Forget...
- 1st serve percentage (73/132) 55%
- 1st serve points won (58/73) 79%
- 2nd serve points won (32/59) 54%
- Aces 18 (1 second serve)
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (46/132) 35%

Serve Patterns
Ivanisevic served...
- to FH 42%
- to BH 50%
- to Body 8%

Forget served...
- to FH 40%
- to BH 55%
- to Body 5%

Return Stats
Ivanisevic made...
- 85 (33 FH, 52 BH), including 7 runaround FHs
- 3 Winners (2 FH, 1 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 28 Errors, comprising...
- 6 Unforced (2 FH, 4 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 22 Forced (14 FH, 8 BH)
- Return Rate (85/131) 65%

Forget made...
- 58 (23 FH, 35 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 25 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (3 FH, 2 BH)
- 20 Forced (9 FH, 11 BH)
- Return Rate (58/114) 51%

Break Points
Ivanisevic 2/5 (3 games)
Forget 1/1

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Ivanisevic 35 (10 FH, 8 BH, 9 FHV, 5 BHV, 3 OH)
Forget 20 (6 FH, 5 BH, 5 FHV, 2 BHV, 2 OH)

Ivanisevic had 16 from serve-volley points -
- 8 first 'volleys' (3 FHV, 1 BHV, 2 OH, 2 FH at net)... 1 FH at net was a drop shot
- 7 second volleys (4 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)
- 1 re-approach volley (1 FHV)

- 1 other BHV was a lob

- 12 passes (6 FH, 6 BH)
- FHs - 4 cc (1 return), 1 dtl, 1 lob
- BHs - 2 cc, 2 dtl (1 return), 1 inside-out, 1 lob

- regular FHs - 1 inside-out, 1 inside-in runaround return
- regular BHs - 1 dtl, 1 drop shot

Forget had 7 from serve-volley points -
- 5 first volleys (4 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 2 second volleys (2 OH)

- 10 passes (5 FH, 5 BH)
- FHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl return, 1 inside-out, 1 inside-in, 1 lob
- BHs - 3 cc, 1 dtl/inside-out, 1 lob

- regular FH - 1 cc

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Ivanisevic 50
- 32 Unforced (12 FH, 11 BH, 5 FHV, 3 BHV, 1 OH)
- 18 Forced (8 FH, 5 BH, 1 FHV, 2 FH1/2V, 2 BHV)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net & 1 BH at net (pass attempt)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 49.1

Forget 38
- 22 Unforced (7 FH, 10 BH, 4 BHV, 1 OH)
- 16 Forced (7 FH, 6 BH, 2 FH1/2V, 1 BHV)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.5

(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 are keyed on 4 categories - 20 defensive, 40 neutral, 50 attacking and 60 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Ivanisevic was...
- 50/76 (66%) at net, including...
- 43/61 (70%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 25/35 (71%) off 1st serve and...
- 18/26 (69%) off 2nd serve
---
- 1/2 forced back/retreated

Forget was...
- 43/67 (64%) at net, including...
- 36/50 (72%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves
---
- 1/2 forced back

Match Report
An interesting match and not a bad one, though it’s the flaws that take the eye more than the predictable positives of strong serving on a fast, low bouncing court. Ivanisevic has better of things but his returning choices aren’t the best, which keeps his superiority to a minimum and the match closer than it need be. While Forget can’t do much on return because its beyond his capabilities, Ivanisevic doesn’t though its within his

Goran goes off for a bit to lose 13 points in a row that costs him the second set. For him, not unusual though it seems to be for this tournament. According to broadcast, he hadn’t lost serve the whole tournament - and he’d gone through Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg in succession in the quarters and semis, as well as David Wheaton earlier

Dominates the first tiebreak but the second is a coin flip, with the decisive point being pure chance, with Forget forced to net to deal with a net chord pop over, leaving Goran to pass him

So 2 sets to 1 for Goran a fair reflection of action - and a coin flip that lands his way. It goes the other way (and with all other things remaining equal), we’d be in a 5th set, with Goran slightly stronger player

Not overly convincing than from Goran. Prospectively, he’s got bigger advantage than he does in reality and its based around second serve action, particularly the return. Before getting to that…

First Serve Points
First serve in - both 55%
First serve won - Goran 83%, Forget 79%

First serve in and won about the same. Given discrepancy of first serve strength - Goran serves an unreturnable 44% of the time, Forget 23% - the in count being equal is a win for Goran, the points won being very close a win for Forget

Both players essentially serve-volley off all first serves. Goran doesn’t do so twice, Forget 6 times (4 of them in 1 early game). Both win all but 1 point when they don’t. And first serve-volleying, Goran wins 71%, Forget 72%

With Goran serving stronger, first serve-volleying points being equal has to be a result of either him volleying worse or Forget returning better (or both). It’s the former. Forget volleys solidly, missing little and decisive enough without being lethal. He faces a few easy volleys and routine ones

Goran seems to face nothing but easy volleys.
Puts most away as almost anyone would, but also has fair lot of horror misses

Net points are similar - Goran 76, Forget 67. In that light -
‘Volley’ winners - Goran 19, Forget 9
Volley UEs - Goran 9, Forget 5
Volley FEs - Goran 5, Forget 3

Huge lead in winners for Goran. That’s because he faces so high a lot of putaways.
Double the UEs for Goran too. His are a lot easier than Forget’s. He misses putaways and simple volleys, Forget misses regulation stuff around net high
Pretty good on the difficult volleys by Goran to keep it down to 5, and very good from Forget

An oddity of Goran’s volleying is that he’s apt to make difficult ones while missing easy ones - but he tends to be so all over the place, there’s no telling what you’ll get from him in a given match. All in all, pretty good here. The missed easy volleys are poor, but of course, he can afford it with 30 aces and 46% freebie cushion, and he’s pretty good at making half-volleys and wide volleys and shoelace stuff

Still, the easy volley misses are the reason first serve-volleying and net points are near equal, with Goran facing easier volleys by a considerable way. Both players have 13 ground FEs - which aren’t interchangeable with passing errors but good approximation of them

Whatever the reason, both players thoroughly dominant at net, particularly behind their first serves - no surprise there - and Goran with much bigger lot of aces. So advantage Goran

Which brings us to…

Second Serve Points
Second serve won - Goran 60%, Forget 54%

Goran serve-volleys 57% of the time
Serve-volleying, wins 18/26 or 69%
Not serve-volleying, 13/20 or 65%

Forget stays back on all second serve points and wins 54%

Aces are negligible (Goran 2, Forget 1), and Goran has 7 double faults to Forget’s 1

First of all, Goran winning just 2% fewer second serve-volley points than firsts is ridiculous. He has a good second serve, but it isn’t a patch on his first - if it were, he’d serving aces 44% of the time with it, instead of 3.6% (or 4.2%, discounting double faults). Especially since he doesn’t volley well and is apt to miss easy ones. That’s on Forget not returning well enough - and a discredit to him, going beyond ‘would need to do better’

Either Forget’s over-performed returning first serves or under-performed returning seconds and its quite clearly the latter

Second of all, Goran winning 65% not serve-volleying is equally ridiculous because Goran tones down the strength of the shot when he stays back. Its not a readily attackable serve, but its not a weapon. Prospects should be about 50-50. Yet Goran wins 65% of the points starting on the baseline after Forget’s return

This seems to be a common theme in Goran’s matches on fast courts. After awhile, his opponents tend to develop a form of ‘learnt helplessness’ from facing barrage of aces and otherwise overwhelming serves, to the point of under-performing with the return against normal serves. Not ‘normal for Goran’, but normal period. Goran’s second serves on points he stays back are by no means strong enough to justify his winning so high as 65% points behind it - probably even less so than his even higher second serve-volley points (when the serves are hefty and would make decent first serves)
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
What’s worse from Forget’s point of view is that he’s generally the better baseliner. He has to be to keep holding, since he always stays back off second serves and serves at just 55%. On his serve, he’s not aggressive. Line of play he runs is slicey stuff that stays low. He’s very comfy slicing and against the low ball, Goran less so. Draws errors from Goran, in a examining-his-technique sort of way - outlasting stuff, with emphasis on keeping ball low, not out-hitting or beating down

On his own serve, Goran tends to hit hard before Forget can set such terms after making orthodox return and keep at it, so there’s a difference in playing dynamics, but wouldn’t have thought it’d account for such a discrepancy in Forget’s 2nd serve and 2nd return points won starting on baseline

On the whole, Goran’s serve is so strong that its hard to hold anything against any returner, regardless of how unable they are to deal with it. That’s part of the ‘learnt helplessness’ thing - not all his serves are bombs, but they’re often handled as if they were, to Goran’s advantage

For that matter, Goran isn’t great on his 2nd returning either. Forget has ability to send down bigger ones, and on top of the ace, he’s sent down a small number of strong second serves, but generally, his second serve is closer to weak than it is average. The kind of thing Goran can rip into

If he did, presumably Forget would beef up the second serves, possibly double faulting more. As is, he all but spins in a good few. Goran, usually a go-for-broke returner, puts them in play without heat - and gets sliced up in the rallies that follow

Occasionally, Goran goes for the big return. He’s got a winner and forces a small number of errors, particularly with runaround FHs. Misses going for them too. It would be more in line with his game to be so aggressive all the time. What does he have to do with his service games locked down to tune of facing 1 break point all match? Passivity of returning by Goran has big hand in Goran getting shorter end of Forget’s second serve points

Ground UEs - Forget 17, Goran 23. Not much in that. Forget’s FH starts with lowest 7, with the other 3 strokes about equal

Neutral UEs - Goran 13, Forget 15. Even less in that

Ground-to-ground winners are negligible - Goran 2, Forget 1
Small number of FEs, Goran having a little more
Rallying to net - Goran 7/15, Forget 7/17

This is all very ordinary stuff from both players on points starting on baseline. And it all begins with the return, where neither do well against normal, if not weak second serves. With both players doing their best on their own service points

Logically, one would think that’s because serves are strong enough to grant them initiative

In reality, no - normal at most second serves leads to all this - the kind against which aggressive returning is viable option for Goran in particular (he faces the weaker second serves), but he rarely goes for it, while Forget seems to treat all of Goran’s serves as if they’re bombs about to go off (which the non-serve-volleying seconds definitely are not)

Lots and of room for improvement in both players second returning

And difference in types of baseline rallies across 2 players’ serve games? Forget is wall like on his and barely misses anything, leaving it Goran to do so. How quickly Goran does varies, but more credit to Forget for the outcome. He has a great, low clinging slice

On Goran’s, he hits hard, but rarely to point of pushing Forget on defensive. No reason Forget can’t turn dynamic into the slicey stuff that he excels at. He rarely does and reciprocates with firm hitting, neutral stuff. Here, Goran has edge, while being harder hitter

Match Progression

Goran has better of the opening set. He serve-volleys 100% of the time, while Forget initially stays back as often as not off first serve and like entire match, always stays back off seconds. Not that that matters as he wins all 4/5 of the first serve points he doesn’t serve-volley on

Aces galore for Goran. 12/30 come in this set, including both seconds. Couple of double faults, misses a few very easy volleys, makes a few good low ones… the usual erratic. Forget sends down some weak second serves almost asking to be pounded, but Goran rarely obliges. Forget controls baseline play with first class slices that stay shin high. Goran gives up errors in such rallies - usually after a fair bit of time, sometimes when trying to slice-approach

Just the 1 game with break points in it. Forget holds game 5, saving 2 break points - 1 with an ace, the other by forcing a return error serve-volleying, which is interesting as this is the game he stays back 4/6 first serves (the other serve-volley sees him get return-passed). Other than this game, Forget loses 2 service points before the tiebreak

Forget opens with a love hold of 4 unreturned serves (1 ace). Goran fires back with 3 aces in a row, then misses 2 easy volleys, then a second serve ace. Looks like a good time
Other than then game 5, easy holds for both players. Going into ‘breaker Goran served 29 points, Forget 32

Funnily, action in the ‘breaker is quite different from the set leading into it. Its Forget who gives up the BH error on first point, having won overwhelming majority of such points leading in. Goran double faults to restore parity and its 2-2 before Goran wins next 5 points. He finally lands a slice-approach and forces passing error to get things started and then takes both Forget’s service points from 5-2 up - first with a hooked FH cc return-pass winner he’s well stretched out for and second, a forced soft return that’s low and draws FH1/2V error

The aces die down for Goran in second set and he mostly stays back off second serves. Otherwise, action remains similar. And Goran having a lapse of sorts to lose 13 points in a row - including getting broken to love despite making 3/4 first serves. He’s taken to deuce in his next service game too

Neat point from Forget, as he perfectly judges ball while serve-volleying, to step back and hit a groundstroke instead of getting trapped into half-volleying or shoelace volleying the ball, as Goran tends to. Its his second shot at net, and its very rare to see such a shot at that stage. He loses 2 service points in his 5 holds

Third set is what passes for craggy in this match. Low in counts (Goran 48%, Forget 43%) and Goran staying back off second serves majority of the time leads a lot of baseline rallies, and for first time, Goran wins the bulk. No break points, despite a few long games

Lovely BHV lob winner by Goran in game 2. Forget’s extended to 14 points to hold game. Consecutive deuce holds in games 8 and 9. And its on to another tiebreak

This one is strange. Goran loses 3/3 first serve points (having won 15/16 in set prior), but wins 3/3 seconds. Forget meanwhile only makes 1/6 and can only win 1 second serve point

Up a mini-break and 2-1, Goran loses both his first serve points - first being forced back from net and next, not serve-volleying but making an approach error. Later, Goran misses an easy BHV to put Forget ahead 5-4 with 2 serves to come

Bold runaround FH return sets up the next point for Goran, who ends it with an error forcing, big FH inside-out to put things back on serve and next point is just pure luck. A net chord pop over from Goran forces Forget to net and Goran’s upto making the relatively easy passing winner. Forget misses a routine second return down set point

6-2 scoreline makes final set seem one-sided. First break is a strong game from Goran - forces a FH1/2V error, hits a great running FH cc pass winner and clinches the break with a BH dtl pass winner (helped by Forget hitting 2 mediocre volleys

Second break comes from 30-0 down for Goran. Couple of points snagged through big returns to second serves (1 directly, the other set up)… he could have been doing this all match and Forget makes weak errors to finish the job. Forget’s taken to deuce in his next service game to but manages to come away with a hold. Goran serves out to love, finishing with consecutive aces

Summing up, a good if still flawed match. Ivanisevic’s first serve is as ever unstoppable, but Forget’s solid volleying behind his own strong first serve is near as effective at winning points. With identical first serve percentages, that leaves things to be decided by second serve points

Neither player returns well on them. Forget’s second serve, which he always stays back on, are often weak and eminently thrash-able, but Ivanisevic rarely tries. When he does, he’s successful. Ivanisevic mixes up serve-volleying and not behind his second serve and Forget’s returning is ineffective in both situations - he can get little done against the serve-volleying and at most, puts returns in play when his opponent stays back. Oddly, both players dominate baseline rallies on their service games - despite identical situations - Ivanisevic with hard hitting, Forget with slick slicing

Ivanisevic’s first serve is stronger enough to cover-up his volleying flaws and override Forget’s more solid efforts in forecourt, to allow him to be more successful on first serves. And the little attacking returning he does gives him an advantage overall on second serve points. It doesn’t amount to much, but enough to gain the win

Stats for Forget’s semi-final with Pete Sampras - Match Stats/Report - Forget vs Sampras, Stockholm semi-final, 1992 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
 

WCT

Professional
I have mostly checked these Ivanisevic match stat threads out to see his unreturned serve %. Pretty amazing.
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
I have mostly checked these Ivanisevic match stat threads out to see his unreturned serve %. Pretty amazing.

I think he, more than anybody else, changed the game

35% freebies used to be great. He shifted it up to 45% (at least on grass and carpet)

Proportion of aces to return errors drawn is also very high. Which, counter-intuitively, is not a good thing because it leaves him open to having low in-counts and getting into double fault trouble (both problems he tends to have)

If he could win the point with a less-strong than absolutely perfect serve, he could keep higher lot of first serves in
 
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