Match Stats/Report - Krajicek vs Sampras, Wimbledon quarter-final, 1996

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Richard Krajicek beat Pete Sampras 7-5, 7-6(3), 6-4 in the Wimbledon quarter-final, 1996 on grass

Krajicek would go onto win his only Slam title at the event, while the loss was the only one accrued by Sampras at the venue over the 8 season period 1993-2000

Krajicek won 112 points, Sampras 99

Both players serve-volleyed off all their serves

(Note: I'm missing 1 Krajicek service game, won by Krajicek)

Serve Stats
Krajicek...
- 1st serve percentage (66/111) 59%
- 1st serve points won (59/66) 89%
- 2nd serve points won (20/45) 44%
- Aces 30 - including 2 second serves and 1 non-clean ace
- Double Faults 5
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (58/111) 52%

Sampras....
- 1st serve percentage (63/100) 63%
- 1st serve points won (51/63) 81%
- 2nd serve points won (17/37) 46%
- Aces 8, Service Winners 6
- Double Faults 8
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (46/100) 46%

Serve Patterns
Krajicek served...
- to FH 39%
- to BH 58%
- to Body 3%

Sampras served....
- to FH 27%
- to BH 66%
- to Body 7%

Return Stats
Krajicek made...
- 47 (14 FH, 33 BH)
- 4 Winners (2 FH, 2 BH)
- 31 Errors, all forced...
- 31 Forced (10 FH, 21 BH)
- Return Rate (47/92) 51%

Sampras made...
- 48 (10 FH, 37 BH, 1 ??)
- 11 Winners (3 FH, 8 BH)
- 30 Errors, all forced...
- 30 Forced (14 FH, 16 BH)
- Return Rate (48/106) 45%

Break Points
Krajicek 2/5 (4 games)
Sampras 0/7 (3 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Krajicek 28 (5 FH, 12 BH, 6 FHV, 3 BHV, 2 OH)
Sampras 30 (5 FH, 12 BH, 6 FHV, 4 BHV, 3 OH)

Krajicek had 11 from serve-volley points
- 5 first volleys (4 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 6 second volleys (2 FHV, 2 BHV, 2 OH)

- 14 regular passes (3 FH, 11 BH)
- FHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl and 1 inside-out
- BHs - 1 cc, 7 dtl, 1 lob, 2 @ net (1 dtl and 1 running-down-a-drop-volley)

- 4 return passes (2 FH, 2 BH)
- FHs - 1 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- BHs - 2 dtl

Sampras had 13 from serve-volley points
- 10 first volleys (6 FHV, 3 BHV, 1 OH)…. several of his FHVs were on the high side and can reasonably be labelled OHs
- 2 second volleys (1 BHV, 1 OH)
- 1 third volley (1 OH)

- 6 regular passes (2 FH, 4 BH)
- FHs - 1 dtl and 1 inside-out at net
- BHs - 3 cc and 1 dtl

- 11 return passes (3 FH, 8 BH)
- FHs - 2 cc and 1 dtl
- BHs - 5 dtl, 1 inside-out and 2 inside-in

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Krajicek 18
- 4 Unforced (2 FHV, 2 BHV)
- 14 Forced (5 FH, 4 BH, 1 F1/2HV, 3 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 55

Sampras 16
- 3 Unforced (2 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 13 Forced (3 FH, 7 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 53.3

(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
Krajicek was...
- 55/81 (68%) at net, including...
- 53/78 (68%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 33/40 (83%) off 1st serve and...
- 20/38 (53%) off second serve

Sampras was...
- 56/79 (71%) at net, including...
- 55/78 (71%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 37/49 (76%) off 1st serve and...
- 18/29 (62%) off second serve
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Match Report
Two big servers, serve-volleying 100% of the time on a less than pristine condition grass court is likely to come down to a point here and there. And so it proves.

The court isn't in the best of shape. There are several bad bounces - both high and low - there are at least 3 rain delays, the court is slippery (Krajicek falls down once and both players slip more than that). The court looks on the mushy side.

Krajicek survives a break point in the first game of the match and 5 more in his next service game (an extended 24 point game). In the latter game, Sampras strikes 8 return winners! - a healthy total for a match, much less a game, but is thwarted by big serves (9 unreturned serves). The set continues on serve til Krajicek sensationally breaks

With Sampras serving to push the se into a tiebreak, Krajicek breaks him to love with 4 clean winning passes. There's nothing wrong with Sampras' play in the game... he volleys accurately, even against a couple of excellent returns. Just too good from Krajicek, who even hits a winner of a ball that seems to skid on low. Given the surface and the opponent, a candidate for greatest return game ever played

Sampras survives a couple of break points early in the second set after which, games go on hold comfortably. Things heat up near the end though.

Serving at 5-5, Krajicek is down break point on a second serve. Sampras' BH cc return is called long - the call coming a touch late. If it was long, it would be by an iota... one can't tell from replays. After Krajicek holds, Sampras again serves to send things to a tiebreak. Down break and set point off a second serve, he slightly mishits a first BHV, which lands on the line. If he hadn't mishit it, it would probably have gone long

The first point of the tiebreak is called an ace for Krajicek, though the ball is clearly long. But the Dutchman does clutch up his game in the game, striking a pair of return BH dtl winners, amidst big serving from both men. A Sampras double also contributes to Krajicek taking the duel 7-3.

Set 3 goes comfortably on serve, til Krajicek breaks to 30 in a game where he strikes 3 passing winners and Sampras double faults once. And Krajicek nurses the break to victory

Playing Dynamics & Stats
Krajicek obviously has the bigger serve, but one can glean that Sampras returns better. The Dutchman serves 30 aces but no service winners.... largely due to Sampras being able to return difficult serves, or get enough of a racquet on them that they've been marked forced errors. By contrast, Sampras sends down 6 service winners while he only has 8 aces

As stated earlier, the match comes down to a few key points. Krajicek simply blasts some of them away (nothing to do about that), but Sampras also 'errs' on some second serve points.

Now Krajicek's second serve - coupled with him serve-volleying - is formidable in its own right. No one can guarantee returning it effectively at all times, so it comes down to a question of percentages. Sampras returns - sometimes decisively - several serves every bit as good as the one's he faced when he had break points, but it doesn't quite come off for him at the key moments.

Looking at Krajicek's huge lead in aces (30 to 7) but relatively slim one in unreturned serves (52% to 46%), one might deduce that Sampras was the significantly better returner. Just not at the right time, or clutch enough: Krajicek makes his best returns when it counts most - such as the extraordinary break game in Set 1, the second set tiebreak or the break in the last set. Sampras on his chances, doesn't necessarily falter, but can't produce his best (largely because Krajicek also volleys particularly well at such times when necessary)

Overall, I'd say Krajicek serves well better than Sampras, but Sampras has the edge in returning (significantly), movement (clearly), volleying (generally, but not much in it) and passing (slightly)

But when it counts, Krajicek puts his best foot forward in all areas, while Sampras can't. Mainly, I would credit Krajicek for clutch play.... he plays at a high level all match, but steps it up even more at critical moments

Summing up, a great grass court match between two players built for it. High level stuff from both guys on all fronts.... Krajicek raising it still further when it counted, while Pete wasn't able to
 

JasonZ

Semi-Pro
Richard Krajicek beat Pete Sampras 7-5, 7-6(3), 6-4 in the Wimbledon quarter-final, 1996 on grass

Krajicek would go onto win his only Slam title at the event, while the loss was the only one accrued by Sampras at the venue over the 8 season period 1993-2000

Krajicek won 112 points, Sampras 99

Both players serve-volleyed off all their serves

(Note: I'm missing 1 Krajicek service game, won by Krajicek)

Serve Stats
Krajicek...
- 1st serve percentage (66/111) 59%
- 1st serve points won (59/66) 89%
- 2nd serve points won (20/45) 44%
- Aces 30 - including 2 second serves and 1 non-clean ace
- Double Faults 5
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (58/111) 52%

Sampras....
- 1st serve percentage (63/100) 63%
- 1st serve points won (51/63) 81%
- 2nd serve points won (17/37) 46%
- Aces 8, Service Winners 6
- Double Faults 8
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (46/100) 46%

Serve Patterns
Krajicek served...
- to FH 39%
- to BH 58%
- to Body 3%

Sampras served....
- to FH 27%
- to BH 66%
- to Body 7%

Return Stats
Krajicek made...
- 47 (14 FH, 33 BH)
- 4 Winners (2 FH, 2 BH)
- 31 Errors, all forced...
- 31 Forced (10 FH, 21 BH)
- Return Rate (47/92) 51%

Sampras made...
- 48 (10 FH, 37 BH, 1 ??)
- 11 Winners (3 FH, 8 BH)
- 30 Errors, all forced...
- 30 Forced (14 FH, 16 BH)
- Return Rate (48/106) 45%

Break Points
Krajicek 2/5 (4 games)
Sampras 0/7 (3 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Krajicek 28 (5 FH, 12 BH, 6 FHV, 3 BHV, 2 OH)
Sampras 30 (5 FH, 12 BH, 6 FHV, 4 BHV, 3 OH)

Krajicek had 11 from serve-volley points
- 5 first volleys (4 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 6 second volleys (2 FHV, 2 BHV, 2 OH)

- 14 regular passes (3 FH, 11 BH)
- FHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl and 1 inside-out
- BHs - 1 cc, 7 dtl, 1 lob, 2 @ net (1 dtl and 1 running-down-a-drop-volley)

- 4 return passes (2 FH, 2 BH)
- FHs - 1 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- BHs - 2 dtl

Sampras had 13 from serve-volley points
- 10 first volleys (6 FHV, 3 BHV, 1 OH)…. several of his FHVs were on the high side and can reasonably be labelled OHs
- 2 second volleys (1 BHV, 1 OH)
- 1 third volley (1 OH)

- 6 regular passes (2 FH, 4 BH)
- FHs - 1 dtl and 1 inside-out at net
- BHs - 3 cc and 1 dtl

- 11 return passes (3 FH, 8 BH)
- FHs - 2 cc and 1 dtl
- BHs - 5 dtl, 1 inside-out and 2 inside-in

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Krajicek 18
- 4 Unforced (2 FHV, 2 BHV)
- 14 Forced (5 FH, 4 BH, 1 F1/2HV, 3 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 55

Sampras 16
- 3 Unforced (2 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 13 Forced (3 FH, 7 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 53.3

(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
Krajicek was...
- 55/81 (68%) at net, including...
- 53/78 (68%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 33/40 (83%) off 1st serve and...
- 20/38 (53%) off second serve

Sampras was...
- 56/79 (71%) at net, including...
- 55/78 (71%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 37/49 (76%) off 1st serve and...
- 18/29 (62%) off second serve
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Match Report
Two big servers, serve-volleying 100% of the time on a less than pristine condition grass court is likely to come down to a point here and there. And so it proves.

The court isn't in the best of shape. There are several bad bounces - both high and low - there are at least 3 rain delays, the court is slippery (Krajicek falls down once and both players slip more than that). The court looks on the mushy side.

Krajicek survives a break point in the first game of the match and 5 more in his next service game (an extended 24 point game). In the latter game, Sampras strikes 8 return winners! - a healthy total for a match, much less a game, but is thwarted by big serves (9 unreturned serves). The set continues on serve til Krajicek sensationally breaks

With Sampras serving to push the se into a tiebreak, Krajicek breaks him to love with 4 clean winning passes. There's nothing wrong with Sampras' play in the game... he volleys accurately, even against a couple of excellent returns. Just too good from Krajicek, who even hits a winner of a ball that seems to skid on low. Given the surface and the opponent, a candidate for greatest return game ever played

Sampras survives a couple of break points early in the second set after which, games go on hold comfortably. Things heat up near the end though.

Serving at 5-5, Krajicek is down break point on a second serve. Sampras' BH cc return is called long - the call coming a touch late. If it was long, it would be by an iota... one can't tell from replays. After Krajicek holds, Sampras again serves to send things to a tiebreak. Down break and set point off a second serve, he slightly mishits a first BHV, which lands on the line. If he hadn't mishit it, it would probably have gone long

The first point of the tiebreak is called an ace for Krajicek, though the ball is clearly long. But the Dutchman does clutch up his game in the game, striking a pair of return BH dtl winners, amidst big serving from both men. A Sampras double also contributes to Krajicek taking the duel 7-3.

Set 3 goes comfortably on serve, til Krajicek breaks to 30 in a game where he strikes 3 passing winners and Sampras double faults once. And Krajicek nurses the break to victory

Playing Dynamics & Stats
Krajicek obviously has the bigger serve, but one can glean that Sampras returns better. The Dutchman serves 30 aces but no service winners.... largely due to Sampras being able to return difficult serves, or get enough of a racquet on them that they've been marked forced errors. By contrast, Sampras sends down 6 service winners while he only has 8 aces

As stated earlier, the match comes down to a few key points. Krajicek simply blasts some of them away (nothing to do about that), but Sampras also 'errs' on some second serve points.

Now Krajicek's second serve - coupled with him serve-volleying - is formidable in its own right. No one can guarantee returning it effectively at all times, so it comes down to a question of percentages. Sampras returns - sometimes decisively - several serves every bit as good as the one's he faced when he had break points, but it doesn't quite come off for him at the key moments.

Looking at Krajicek's huge lead in aces (30 to 7) but relatively slim one in unreturned serves (52% to 46%), one might deduce that Sampras was the significantly better returner. Just not at the right time, or clutch enough: Krajicek makes his best returns when it counts most - such as the extraordinary break game in Set 1, the second set tiebreak or the break in the last set. Sampras on his chances, doesn't necessarily falter, but can't produce his best (largely because Krajicek also volleys particularly well at such times when necessary)

Overall, I'd say Krajicek serves well better than Sampras, but Sampras has the edge in returning (significantly), movement (clearly), volleying (generally, but not much in it) and passing (slightly)

But when it counts, Krajicek puts his best foot forward in all areas, while Sampras can't. Mainly, I would credit Krajicek for clutch play.... he plays at a high level all match, but steps it up even more at critical moments

Summing up, a great grass court match between two players built for it. High level stuff from both guys on all fronts.... Krajicek raising it still further when it counted, while Pete wasn't able to
How you conclude that Sampras is the better returner is beyond my brain. He got aced 30 times in 3 sets, so he was not able to even get a racket on krajiceks serve so many times.

Sampras won only 14 points with his serve only, that is less than 50% of just the aces Krajicek blasted past him. He simply couldnt handle Krajiceks serve
 

BorgTheGOAT

Professional
Very interesting stats. Shows again that the notion of Sampras being the best server of all time was more hype by US media than merit. Kracijek clearly had the better serve. I know this is only one match but as I remember he out-aced him in nearly all their matches sometimes by a huge margin. What the stats also show is that despite being a straight set affair the match was actually very close. Other than in serve department Sampras is actually better than Richard in most stats. Krajicek just switches to super mode when it counts most and wins the big ones. I still remember watching the match and being shocked by that second service game of Kracijek. One might need to check but I can imagine Sampras 8!! return winners might be a record for return winners in one game.
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
How you conclude that Sampras is the better returner is beyond my brain. He got aced 30 times in 3 sets, so he was not able to even get a racket on krajiceks serve so many times.

Sampras won only 14 points with his serve only, that is less than 50% of just the aces Krajicek blasted past him. He simply couldnt handle Krajiceks serve
My opinion is based on Krajicek serving significantly better... which accounts for his greater number of aces/service winners

but to serves of roughly the same pace/placement/quality, Sampras seemed to be getting more in play and doing so with a bit more authority

Put it this way, if Krajicek had to face his own serve, I think he'd return worse than Sampras did. And if Sampras had to face his own serve, he'd return better than Krajicek did

Not a big difference in it either way... both guys served great and returned well

Your reasoning (pointing to aces/service winners) to evaluate how well the guys returned is a bit dubious... I'd take that to be more an indicator of how well the respective servers served

Why don't you look at the return winners? Sampras has 11, Krajicek has 4. That's a shallow analysis - to get a better one, we'd need to look at how many first volley errors they forced too (which I haven't kept track of). But total volley and half-volley errors, Sampras forced 5, Krajicek 3

Very interesting stats. Shows again that the notion of Sampras being the best server of all time was more hype by US media than merit. Kracijek clearly had the better serve. I know this is only one match but as I remember he out-aced him in nearly all their matches sometimes by a huge margin
I agree that Sampras' reputation for best server is based to a degree on hype and also his great overall success... I don't see him having a better serve than the likes of Krajicek, Ivanisevic, probably a few others (Philippoussis, Rusedski, Arthurs)

He tended to be more clutch on second serves than most, but also double faulted a great deal

To statistically assess it, I would look at things beyond just ace count though.... unreturned serve percentage can sometimes be a better indicator (sometimes not, due to return errors being made because the returner is playing low percentage aggresive style). On grass and between servers like Krajicek and Sampras, that isn't really a factor and the unreturned serve percentage is a good indicator of how they're serves stack up.

In this match, its 52% Krajicek to 46% Sampras.... a fairer indicator than simple ace count (though confounded by how well each returns, as pointed out in my reply above)

What the stats also show is that despite being a straight set affair the match was actually very close. Other than in serve department Sampras is actually better than Richard in most stats. Krajicek just switches to super mode when it counts most and wins the big ones
That was usually the way on grass between big servers who serve-volleyed.

Sampras had a way of being the one to raise his game or hold his level (while others, like Goran, dipped) at crunch time

He survived an early encounter with Philippoussis during one of his Wimbledon title runs, who had to retire after winning the first set. Pete openly admitted that he thought he'd been lucky on that occasion

There are so few 'critical' points that it occurs to me that for a given match, what is often described as one player 'clutching' and one 'choking' is actually just a roll of the dice. Long term, patterns emerge (and Pete's are splendid.... he certainly was a clutch guy), but for a single match, no conclusion should be made based on 2-3 points in a match

The one outstanding, beyond chance thing this match had was Krajicek's breaking Sampras' serve in the first set.... glorious stuff
 

JasonZ

Semi-Pro
My opinion is based on Krajicek serving significantly better... which accounts for his greater number of aces/service winners

but to serves of roughly the same pace/placement/quality, Sampras seemed to be getting more in play and doing so with a bit more authority

Put it this way, if Krajicek had to face his own serve, I think he'd return worse than Sampras did. And if Sampras had to face his own serve, he'd return better than Krajicek did

Not a big difference in it either way... both guys served great and returned well

Your reasoning (pointing to aces/service winners) to evaluate how well the guys returned is a bit dubious... I'd take that to be more an indicator of how well the respective servers served

Why don't you look at the return winners? Sampras has 11, Krajicek has 4. That's a shallow analysis - to get a better one, we'd need to look at how many first volley errors they forced too (which I haven't kept track of). But total volley and half-volley errors, Sampras forced 5, Krajicek 3



I agree that Sampras' reputation for best server is based to a degree on hype and also his great overall success... I don't see him having a better serve than the likes of Krajicek, Ivanisevic, probably a few others (Philippoussis, Rusedski, Arthurs)

He tended to be more clutch on second serves than most, but also double faulted a great deal

To statistically assess it, I would look at things beyond just ace count though.... unreturned serve percentage can sometimes be a better indicator (sometimes not, due to return errors being made because the returner is playing low percentage aggresive style). On grass and between servers like Krajicek and Sampras, that isn't really a factor and the unreturned serve percentage is a good indicator of how they're serves stack up.

In this match, its 52% Krajicek to 46% Sampras.... a fairer indicator than simple ace count (though confounded by how well each returns, as pointed out in my reply above)



That was usually the way on grass between big servers who serve-volleyed.

Sampras had a way of being the one to raise his game or hold his level (while others, like Goran, dipped) at crunch time

He survived an early encounter with Philippoussis during one of his Wimbledon title runs, who had to retire after winning the first set. Pete openly admitted that he thought he'd been lucky on that occasion

There are so few 'critical' points that it occurs to me that for a given match, what is often described as one player 'clutching' and one 'choking' is actually just a roll of the dice. Long term, patterns emerge (and Pete's are splendid.... he certainly was a clutch guy), but for a single match, no conclusion should be made based on 2-3 points in a match

The one outstanding, beyond chance thing this match had was Krajicek's breaking Sampras' serve in the first set.... glorious stuff
The number if aces Krajicek produced in these three sets is a testimony how great he served, yes.

But it also shows that Sampras is not that great on reflexes on the return. No way Krajicek would manage to ace Federer that much in three sets, never ever.

Look how few aces Roddick sent past Federer in their encounters, he even got outaced by Federer many times. Look how few aces Philippoussis produced in the 2003 final, Federer also outaced him. Sampras is simply not great at handing very big serves, that is also a reason for the 30 aces.
 
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