Match Stats/Report - Ivanisevic vs Sampras, Manchester final, 1991


Hall of Fame
Goran Ivanisevic beat Pete Sampras 6-4, 6-4 in the Manchester final, 1991 on grass

It was the Ivanisevic's first title on grass. Sampras had been the defending champion. This was the pair's first match on grass. They'd go onto play 5 more, with Sampras winning 4 of them

Ivanisevic won 54 points, Sampras 42

Both players serve-volleyed off all serves

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (27/46) 59%
- 1st serve points won (26/27) 96%
- 2nd serve points won (14/19) 74%
- Aces 10 (1 second serve), Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (26/46) 57%

- 1st serve percentage (29/50) 58%
- 1st serve points won (24/29) 83%
- 2nd serve points won (12/21) 57%
- Aces 4, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (22/50) 44%

Serve Patterns
Ivanisevic served...
- to FH 26%
- to BH 67%
- to Body 7%

Sampras served...
- to FH 33%
- to BH 58%
- to Body 8%

Return Stats
Ivanisevic made...
- 26 (8 FH, 18 BH), including 2 runaround FHs
- 3 Winners (3 BH)
- 17 Errors, all forced...
- 17 Forced (8 FH, 9 BH)
- Return Rate (26/48) 54%

Sampras made...
- 17 (3 FH, 14 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 15 Errors, all forced...
- 15 Forced (6 FH, 9 BH)
- Return Rate (17/43) 40%

Break Points
Ivanisevic 2/3 (3 games)
Sampras 0

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Ivanisevic 13 (1 FH, 4 BH, 5 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)
Sampras 8 (1 FH, 3 FHV, 3 BHV, 1 OH)

Ivanisevic had 8 from serve-volley points
- 6 first volleys (3 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)
- 2 second volleys (2 FHV)

- FH - 1 cc pass
- BHs (all passes) - 1 cc return, 1 dtl and 2 inside-in returns

Sampras had 7 from serve-volley points
- 1 first volley (1 FHV)
- 6 second volleys (2 FHV, 3 BHV, 1 OH)

- FH - 1 inside-out pass

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Ivanisevic 9
- 1 Unforced (1 BHV)
- 8 Forced (3 BH, 4 BH, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 50

Sampras 13
- 4 Unforced (2 FHV, 2 BHV)
- 9 Forced (1 FH, 5 BH, 1 FH1/2V, 2 BHV)
- 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
Ivanisevic was...
- 29/34 (85%) at net, including...
- 29/32 (91%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 16/17 (94%) off 1st serve and...
- 13/15 (87%) off 2nd serve

Sampras was...
- 31/43 (72%) at net, all serve-volleying, comprising...
- 19/24 (79%) off 1st serve and...
- 12/19 (63%) off 2nd serve

Match Report
Overwhelming serving to the nth degree serving from Ivanisevic, with a few good hefty returns thrown in. Normal big serving from Sampras and he can't get a ball off on return on particularly quick grass court, with occasional bad bounces

And its quite windy to hamper the players serving a bit. Imagine if it weren't. Unreturned rates read Goran 57%, Sampras 44%

Both players serve-volley off all serves. Goran loses a grand total of 6 service points in his 10 games, 3 of them to double faults. Along with the very high unreturned rate, which includes 10 aces and a service winner, the most difficult volleys he faces are anything under the shoulder

At one stage, he wins 22 straight service points. Loses his only first serve point of the match as he serves it out, which is also his only UE for the match, missing a regulation, slightly under the net BHV. As UEs go, its not easy

So Goran on serve...
- mountains of aces and otherwise unreturned serves
- draws weak, high returns that he dispatches (6 of his 8 volley winners are first volleys)

He is quick on the forecourt, and races forward to nicely all the way to front of it when needed

Sampras... can't make a return basically. His return rate is just 40%. Not much discredit to him... Goran's serve is overwhelming. He makes necessary effort on return - no letting balls through going on, at least, not by choice - and ends up looking frustrated over it

Sampras' chances in match would be to do the same thing on his serve. Gaining counter-play on return would be unlikely for anyone

He can't quite do so - and credit to Goran for that, who gets a few meaty returns and passes off.

3 return winners for Goran, who hits cleanly on the second shot. Note also just 1 of Pete's 7 serve-volley winners being first volleys... Goran's able to test him on both the tough, low volley (Pete has 3 FEs) and the regulation one (4 UEs for Pete on the volley). Should call that 'regulation +'... Goran's returns tend to be particularly firmly hit. Good enough on the volley from Pete, and Goran getting enough power returns off to get himself the breaks he needs

That's all in the context of Pete serving up a storm of his own, though next to Goran's showing, it looks like its in a teacup. Pete's best run of is 14 straight service points won - not bad

Goran comfortable in the match. He breaks early in both sets, so has no reason to be tense.

2 of 3 of his double faults are in his opening service game, which he holds with 4 unreturned serves for 1-1. Then he breaks - Pete opens with double fault, Goran blasts a BH inside-in return pass winner and 2 good passes later on give him the break. Holds to love 3/4 times for rest of the set. Another strong return game gives him another break point later in set, but Pete comes through with power serves

Goran breaks to start the second set, in a similar game to the break game of first set - a double fault, a BH inside-in return pass winner and a pair of volleying errors (1 UE, 1 FE), with the UE not being easy

Furthest Pete gets in return game is leading 0-15 once, in final game of match

What else? Pete's not able to get up to net when serve-volleying and has to play his first volleys behind service line regularly. Probably still hadn't worked out just how to coordinate his serve with movement necessary to get up as needed. It stands out from his norm, which is excellent. In general, you rare see Pete out of position serve-volleying though with speed of his serve, a good return is very likely to catch him in relatively backward position. Also, Goran returns with pace

Its common to see Goran caught out. He moves particularly well... when needed, rushes right up to net to deliver the killing volley. Also volleys surely, though he's not faced with anything difficult. For him, its not a given

Summing up, straight out 'bot fest on fast, low and not overly consistent bouncing court. Ivanisevic absolutely unstoppable with his serve and following up with what little he's called to on the volley after that. Some good, clean hit power returns from him gets him what he needs on return against a strong serving showing from Sampras, though its made to look pedestrian next to the winners thunderbolts

Moose Malloy

At one stage, he wins 22 straight service points. Loses his only first serve point of the match as he serves it out, which is also his only UE for the match, missing a regulation, slightly under the net BHV. As UEs go, its not easy
feel free to add that streak(or any others) to this thread

also, do you know how many consecutive points he won on first serve?


Hall of Fame
I was at that tournament but not the final.
Larry, did you get to attend any of Goran's matches? Or Sampras?

I was wondering how Goran's serving power struck you

Upto '91, I can't think of anything that compares to this... you get the feeling Sampras might have the racquet knocked out of his hand while returning. Boris Becker was a huge server, but I've never got that sense from him