Match Stats/Report - Lendl vs Connors, Masters semi-final, 1982

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Ivan Lendl beat Jimmy Connors 6-3, 6-1 in the Masters (Year End Championship) semi-final, 1982 on carpet in New York, USA

Lendl, the defending champion, would go onto win the title, beating John McEnroe in the final. The two had met at the most recent US Open final, with Connors winning

Lendl won 54 points, Connors 32

Serve Stats
Lendl...
- 1st serve percentage (21/43) 49%
- 1st serve points won (19/21) 90%
- 2nd serve points won (12/22) 55%
- Aces 8
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (19/43) 44%

Connors...
- 1st serve percentage (27/43) 63%
- 1st serve points won (14/27) 52%
- 2nd serve points won (6/16) 38%
- Aces 3
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (8/43) 19%

Serve Patterns
Lendl served...
- to FH 63%
- to BH 29%
- to Body 7%

Connors served...
- to FH 20%
- to BH 80%

Return Stats
Lendl made...
- 33 (10 FH, 23 BH), including 6 runaround FHs
- 5 Errors, comprising...
- 2 Unforced (2 BH)
- 3 Forced (1 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (33/41) 80%

Connors made...
- 22 (21 FH, 1 BH), including 2 runaround FHs & 1 return-approach
- 11 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (4 FH)
- 7 Forced (3 FH, 4 BH)
- Return Rate (22/41) 54%

Break Points
Lendl 5/6 (5 games)
Connors 1/1

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Lendl 11 (5 FH, 5 BH, 1 BHV)
Connors 2 (1 BH, 1 FHV)

Lendl's FHs - 1 cc, 2 inside-out, 1 longline pass and 1 running-down-drop-shot inside-out at net pass
- BH (all passes) - 4 dtl and 1 running-down-drop-shot cc at net

- 1 from a serve-volley point, a first volley BHV

Connors' BH - 1 dtl

- 1 from a serve-volley point, a second volley FHV

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Lendl 20
- 14 Unforced (8 FH, 6 BH)
- 6 Forced (2 FH, 4 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45

Connors 22
- 20 Unforced (15 FH, 5 BH)…. with 1 FH at net
- 2 Forced (2 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45

(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
Lendl was...
- 3/4 (75%) at net, including...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve

Connors was...
- 5/13 (38%) at net, including...
- 2/3 (67%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves
---
- 0/1 return-approaching

Match Report
Tip top from Lendl as he dismantles Connors in a baseline match on a normal paced court, low-ish of bounce

The serve is overwhelming. The FH is the biggest powerhouse on court. BH play comes to be as classic as it gets and very well executed. For added value, Jimbo has a bad FH day, and if there’s a worse way to approach to Lendl’s BH then he does, I can’t think of it

Lendl goes all in with his first serve. His free hit. And scores with it. 8/21 are aces or 38% - I can’t think of a higher percentage from around this period. 44% unreturned

Returns serve without much trouble, and Jimbo’s first serve isn’t a gimme - and remaining points have start from even position

Dominates those. He wins 22/38 or 58% of all second serve points. Even throwing in Jimbo’s first serves, Lendl wins 35/65 or 54% (that’s including Jimbo’s unreturneds, which aren’t inconsiderable at 19%)… and Jimbo’s first serve isn’t a gimme here. He’s got 3 aces himself

When a return is made, Lendl wins 33/55 points or 60%

Lendl’s FH is by far the most powerful and domineering shot on show. Jimbo’s BH is relegated to reacting to it. Very different from the US Open final where the 2 went power-for-power and toe-to-toe on this cc rally, with Jimbo getting better of things

Doesn’t seem to make any particular effort to use the FH though. Plays along with whatever direction play runs. Just as happy to hit BHs, which he drives or chips with equal comfort. Jimbo’s FH is a disaster - 15 UEs (more than all of Lendl’s UEs and 3 times as many as his own BH), so that works out well for Lendl. In second set, he puts up a classic in BH play - going cc for a few shots routinely until getting one such slightly wider to move Jimbo over, and then going dtl

Not strong enough to for winner or necessarily end point but a nice long run for Jimbo to make to the other corner

Out-powered, outmanuvered and outlasted from the back, Jimbo’s recourse would be to take net. For starters, he has bad approach day with 5 errors trying to 9 made on the approach alone. Next, he keeps approaching FH cc… right into Lendl’s favourite BH dtl pass wheelhouse, with line left open. Lendl keeps passing him that way 5 times. Once, Jimbo approaches BH inside-out. Same outcome - dtl pass winner. Likely, Jimbo wanted to avoid coming in to FH, but the way he goes about doing so to BH with Lendl’s favourite spot open isn’t a great idea

Couple of cute, unusual stats emerge

Connors’ returns comprise 21 FH, 1 BH. Lendl serves a reasonable 29% to BH (in raw numbers, 12 times), Jimbo has 4 errors and rest are aces, to leave Jimbo making a solitary BH return. And what happens to that 1 lonely egg?

Lendl is 1/1 serve-volleying, a first volley BHV winner. That’s the happiest outcome for Jimbo to any serve directed at his BH

Connors has just 2 winners - a BH dtl and a FHV

Coincidentally, UEFI is identical 45. Breakdown of UEs -
- Defensive - Jimbo 1
- Neutral - both 8
- Attacking - Lendl 5, Jimbo 10 (with 5 approach attempts from Jimbo, 0 for Lendl)
- Winner Attempts - both 1

One statistical win for Jimbo. His BH has match low 5 UEs, 1 less than Lendl’s. Its outhit and bullied some by Lendl’s big FHs, but doesn’t break. Lendl typically hits FH cc’s to push back Jimbo, but is open to going inside-out as potential finishing shot. He’s got a couple winners in that direction (and 1 cc)

Almost 0 interest in net for Lendl. He’s forced forward twice (hits running-down-drop-shot winners both times) and drawn in by a short, low ball once. The only genuine voluntary approach is the serve-volley, and that’s not far off from being a ‘delayed’ serve-volley

Match Progression
No early signs of a thrashing early on. After holding twice (totaling 10 points), Jimbo’s got 3 aces and forced 2 return errors (1 of them beyond dispute, other could be called UE too)

He has no more aces and forces 1 more return error for rest of match. Sans first 2 service games, Jimbo’s unreturned rate is 3/33

Jimbo serve-volleys (close to a ‘delayed’ one) once to putaway what turns out to be 1/2 of his winners in game 3. And return approaches for the only time the game after (gets passed BH dtl)

Lendl breaks to move ahead 3-2. The two split 4 FH errors for 4 points (including a Jimbo moonball, a inside-in winner attempt, a Jimbo third ball dtl attacking shot), before Lendl ends a good, long rally with a FH inside-out winner. Jimbo comes to net behind FH cc and Lendl clamly passes him BH dtl on break point

Jimbo looks to strike back, and Lendl’s taken to deuce right after. Strong serves help him hold

So far, competitive. The impression of that vanishes with Lendl breaking to love to end the set. FH cc winner, running FH cc forcing a BH error, FH running-down-drop-shot inside-out at net winner highlight the game, before Jimbo misses a BH

Second is is an elegant whipping. Lendl’s classic BH play stands out as well executed, his FH force doesn’t fall off any and he continues banging down big first serves. All supported by silky movement, which makes Jimbo’s bustling about look like labourous by comparison

Its 4-0 in quick time. Jimbo snatches a break back in an error ridden game, but Lendl knocks off the last 2 games to end things. Down match point, Jimbo takes net and faced with a difficult low volley, has little choice but to send it to Lendl’s FH for the only time in the match

FH longline pass winner, game, set, match

Summing up, top drawer showing from Lendl. Untouchably big serving, power hitting FHs, graceful and classic BH play, perfect passing of the BH and easy, smooth movement

Bad FH day for Connors, including on the approach shot. He’s outplayed from the back in virtually all ways, has trouble getting to net and comes in the riskiest way, paying the price for it

With a consummate thrashing of McEnroe to follow in the final, this event is one of Lendl’s best

Stats for the final between Lendl and John McEnroe - Meta Match Stats/Reports - Lendl vs McEnroe, Masters finals '82, '83 & '84 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
 
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jrepac

Hall of Fame
Lendl tended to play really well at the Masters. No wind to interfere with his ball toss, a medium speed court, all very nice for his style. I'd like to see their stats from the '85 semi...that was a close one that Connors let slip away.
 

WCT

Professional
A real butt whipping. This was the only one I saw live. CBS and NBC would both only show 1 semi, but this was the last year that CBS televised the Masters and they only did the finals. USA did the semis and showed both matches. Then the next 2 years NBC did the opposite of what CBS used to do in that they televised the first semi instead of the second. The second was Connors/Lendl both years. I listened to all news radio sports reports to follow, He lead 5-2 in the 3rd in their January 85 match.Although he might have shared Lendl's fate if he won. A straight set loss in the final.
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
A real butt whipping. This was the only one I saw live. CBS and NBC would both only show 1 semi, but this was the last year that CBS televised the Masters and they only did the finals. USA did the semis and showed both matches. Then the next 2 years NBC did the opposite of what CBS used to do in that they televised the first semi instead of the second. The second was Connors/Lendl both years. I listened to all news radio sports reports to follow, He lead 5-2 in the 3rd in their January 85 match.Although he might have shared Lendl's fate if he won. A straight set loss in the final.

I took at a look at Connors' match with McEnroe in San Francisco and was struck by the parallels with this one

Both butt whippings for Connors. Both being the first match he played against them after beating them in a Slam final in the year

Winning at Wimby and US finals, and then losing like he does in these 2 matches... obvious notions of 'revenge' aside, if anything, the ease of the wins i imagine might ***** Lendl and Mac more along the lines of "...couldn't this have happened at Wimbledon/US Open instead?"

Amusing to imagine Jimbo taking pleasure in these horrible losses somehow making his opponents feel bad
 
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