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


Hall of Fame
Ivan Lendl beat Stefan Edberg 4-6, 7-6(3), 5-2 retired in the Australian Open final, 1990 on hard court

Lendl was the world number 1, defending champion and this would turn out to be his last Slam title. Edberg would win his second Wimbledon later in the year and finish the year ranked number 1
previously posted

Lendl won 104 points, Edberg 95

Edberg serve-volleyed of most first serves (for first sets, always) and majority of seconds (for first two sets, overwhelming majority)

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (48/90) 53%
- 1st serve points won (33/48) 69%
- 2nd serve points won (20/42) 48%
- Aces 5
- Double Faults 5
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (16/90) 18%

- 1st serve percentage (75/109) 69%
- 1st serve points won (42/75) 56%
- 2nd serve points won (16/34) 47%
- Aces 1
- Double Faults 9
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (21/109) 19%

Serve Patterns
Lendl served...
- to FH 42%
- to BH 52%
- to Body 6%

Edberg served...
- to FH 17%
- to BH 68%
- to Body 15%

Return Stats
Lendl made...
- 79 (14 FH, 65 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 3 Winners (1 FH, 2 BH)
- 20 Errors, comprising...
- 2 Unforced (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 18 Forced (5 FH, 13 BH)
- Return Rate (79/100) 79%

Edberg made...
- 69 (35 FH, 34 BH), including 2 runaround FHs, 1 runaround BH, 5 return-approaches & 1 drop-return (possibly unintentional)
- 11 Errors, comprising...
- 6 Unforced (4 FH, 2 BH)
- 5 Forced (2 FH, 3 BH)
- Return Rate (69/85) 81%

Break Points
Lendl 5/17 (8 games)
Edberg 4/10 (5 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Lendl 33 (16 FH, 11 BH, 3 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)
Edberg 22 (2 FH, 2 BH, 5 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 6 BHV, 1 BH1/2V, 5 OH)

Lendl's regular FHs - 2 cc (1 at net), 1 dtl, 1 inside-out/dtl and 1 inside-in
- FH passes - 5 cc (1 return, 2 at - 1 running-down-drop-shot), 1 cc/inside-in, 1 dtl, 3 inside-out, 1 inside-in
- BHs (all passes) - 6 cc (1 return) and 5 dtl (1 return)

- 1 FHV was played net-to-net

Edberg had 11 from serve-volley points
- 5 first volleys (2 FHV, 3 BHV)
- 6 second 'volleys' (2 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 BH1/2V, 2 OH)

- 1 from a return-approach point - an OH on the bounce

- FHs - 1 dtl and 1 dtl/inside-out pass
- BHs - 1 cc pass and 1 inside-out

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Lendl 47
- 20 Unforced (5 FH, 14 BH, 1 BHV)
- 27 Forced (10 FH, 17 BH)… with 1 FH running-down-drop-return at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 44

Edberg 46
- 29 Unforced (8 FH, 12 BH, 2 FHV, 5 BHV, 2 OH)
- 17 Forced (3 FH, 5 BH, 2 FHV, 6 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.2

(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
Lendl was...
- 13/18 (72%) at net, with...
- 0/1 forced back

Edberg was...
- 61/103 (59%) at net, including...
- 43/73 (59%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 33/59 (56%) off 1st serve and...
- 10/14 (71%) off 2nd serve
- 4/5 (80%) return-approaching
- 0/2 forced back

Match Report
This was shaping to be a great match - indeed, action for most of two sets is high quality - but is cut short by an injury to Edberg. He injures a stomach muscle - he first receives treatment after game 5 in the second and the trainer says the injury occurred in the second game of the match. Edberg does lightly tend to his side during the game

Of competitive action, both players returning (especially Lendl), Lendl's passing and Edberg's baseline play stand out on a slow court. Edberg serve-volleys all but 100% of the time til the third set, when the injury is clearly bothering him severely and he stays back almost always

Lendl's service games
Note Lendl with just 18% unreturned rate. Sans the injury influenced 3rd set (when all aspects of Edberg's game, including the return are well down), the figure is an even lower 9/75 or 12%. That's a clay court number. He doesn't serve particularly strongly and the court is slow, but plenty of credit to Edberg for sure returning

He might have under-done attacking returning though. Just the 5 return-approaches - and he wins 4 of those points. One of them is also a drop-return... which looks like its intentional

Once the return is made, the two settle into baseline rallies and action is again, clay-like. One might expect Lendl to comfortably out-last Edberg, but that's not what happens. Edberg holds at least even from the baseline

Lendl does take mild initiative as far as hitting with power goes, and sometimes, wide placement. By contrast, a good chunk of Edberg's groundies are intentionally gently hit; He's not overpowered or outgunned... he's just chosen to work the point this way. Edberg mixes up his shots, ranging from firm to gentle with slices thrown in. Most of the firm shots are BHs. Off the FH, he's generally more passive, which might be related to injury (according to trainer, Edberg's particularly in pain on the FH)

Its not a bad strategy. As long as he can withstand Lendl's shots, it invites Ivan to go for more and more and possibly make errors

I wouldn't have expected Edberg to be able to keep ball in play long enough for it to come to that... but it potentially does; rallies are long and Lendl's as likely as not to be the one to yield the error. Final baseline UE count is Lendl 19, Edberg 20. Sans last set, its Lendl 13, Edberg 13. Consistency of groundstrokes is Lendl's forte and a relative Edberg weakness... I'd say Edberg steps up rather than Lendl falls below for the evenness of play. Credit Edberg

Lendl doesn't do all he can either though. He tends to hit heavy and deep... its clear he's the more powerful player, he makes Edberg do more of the running, but stops short of hammering balls with determination to finish points. Not a bad place to stop - on this court and with Edberg's consistency and movement, trying to overwhelm him from the back would be risky

Other option open to Ivan would be to come to net to finish points. This would likely have been more successfully - he volleys surely all match and wins 72% net points, but only comes in 18 times. Edberg isn't in much hurry to get to net either. He makes the odd dash to net and comes in when he outmanuvers Lendl, which he doesn't do often and isn't looking to

Both men move excellently on the baseline. Edberg's whizzing around (for most of 2 sets anyway), Lendl's near as quick

In a nutshell, baseline action is patient, duel winged outlasting type play, similar to clay court. Lendl hits heavier, Edberg is content to put ball back in play... and the two players are both solid, and about equal of consistency. Given the match-up, this is a relative win for Edberg


Hall of Fame
Edberg's serve games
For 2 sets, Edberg serve-volleys constantly - and its a great battle

Lendl is sure on return (Edberg's unreturned rate for first 2 sets is 17/77 @ 22%) and leads with soft chips, so that the ball is falling on Edberg as he makes the first volley. Its beautifully done - note Edberg with just 5 first volley winners, which is extremely low given how many returns came back. The quality of Edberg's volleying is still in evidence... he doesn't look like he's volleying up as he places balls well away from Lendl, including into corners

Only Lendl runs them down like a rabbit and has a go with running passes, especially the FH. Usually misses, or Edberg covers the ball on second volley but still makes few

To appreciate the quality of these exchanges, one would have to know what normal would be. First, usually a player hitting volleys to dropping balls would volley up not strongly (and make fair few errors doing so). Edberg instead angles the volleys from under net to the opposite corner (and the ball doesn't drop much because he's at net like a flash). That would lead to a good passing chance. Instead, Lendl has to hit running ones. Finally, running passes of the type Lendl makes are usually hopeless for the baseliner, but Lendl makes many strongly and when he misses, its not by much

Balls above the net are whisked away readily enough by Edberg. And its not all touch returning from Ivan... he belts a few two, reaching a good balance between that and the chips in set 2

The BH1/2V second 'volley' winner from Edberg is one of the finest you'll see. Edberg hits a first FHV cc into the corner, Lendl runs it down and whacks the ball FH dtl but Edberg has run across and slightly back to meet the ball just in front of service line from where he plays the shot

As match wears on, Edberg develops a problem with both serve and on the OH. His serve grows weaker and he regularly double faults - 6 times in set 2, including twice in tiebreak and 3 times in the third, including back to back ones for the second time in the match. And he struggles with OHs, and Lendl starts feeding them to him

Match Progression
Lendl breaks to go up 2-0, with 2 passing winners and a hard forced BHV error. A double fault and a pair of BH UEs sees Edberg break right back

The tennis is first class in this set - Lendl chip-returning balls low, Edberg volleying them to corners anyway, Lendl hitting strong running passes, Edberg covering the net. On Lendl's service games, there are long, patient rallies which are about equal. Lendl does himself no favours by making 11/30 first serves, but even his first serve is comfortably returned

Edberg gains the decisive break in an excellent game. He whacks a BH inside-out winner to start, takes net off a court-opening BH dtl to win the next point and finishes the game with a FH dtl winner from near the service line

There are signs of things not being well with Edberg early in the second. He double faults and misses 2 volleys (1 of them easy, the other less so but still marked UE) to get broken. He doubles twice next service game too, but manages to hold. Edberg breaks back in a error riddled game just before receiving treatment on his stomach for the first time

Edberg serve gradually gets less powerful. He's still whizzing around the court though. Both players have plenty of chances on return. Its Edberg who gets the break with net play - shifting away from patiently exchanging groundstrokes to leave himself up 6-5 and serving for the set

Despite making all 6 first serves, he can't close it out. Lendl hits powerful and returns in the game - the pick of them being a running BH dtl out of the corner Edberg had volleyed to - to force 3 volleying errors and hit a pass winner to send the set into tiebreak

In tiebreak, Lendl is very strong, whacking a couple of FH passing winners and taking the net to win points too. And Edberg double faults twice

Third set isn't a contest. After being broken by double faulting twice, Edberg stays back of almost all serves. His serve is weak. He misses returns. His groundstroke strength seems to be down and Lendl looks to overpower him. Movements are slower and when he does come to net, struggles to stretch for volleys. And Lendl, sharp as ever, throws up lob to further stretch Edberg's stomach. Edberg calls it quits after going down a second break

Summing up, an unfortunate end to what was shaping up to be a great match. Serve isn't much of a factor but both men return exceptionally well - Lendl more so in guilefully combating serve-volleying - and baseline rallies are good, with Lendl being heavier of shot but Edberg holding steady. Edberg has slightly better of play until his stomach condition kicks in

Stats for their semi the following year -
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