Match Stats/Report - McEnroe vs Lendl, US Open final, 1984


Hall of Fame
John McEnroe beat Ivan Lendl 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 in the US Open final, 1984 on hard court

The win would turn out to be McEnroe's last Slam title. Earlier in the year, he'd lost the French Open final to Lendl and won Wimbledon. For Lendl, it was his 3rd straight runner-up showing at the event but he would go onto win the next 3, starting with a win over McEnroe the following year

McEnroe won 91 points, Lendl 66

McEnroe serve-volleyed off all first serves and all but 4 seconds. Lendl serve-volleyed off about half his first serves

(Note: I'm missing 2 McEnroe service points, both won by Lendl. Commentary indicates neither were double faults. The points have been included in McEnroe's unreturned serve stats and Lendl's return rate - which are complete

Missing points - Set 2, Game 2, Point 1 and Set 3, Game 2, Point 1)

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (44/72) 61%
- 1st serve points won (37/44) 84%
- 2nd serve points won (18/28) 64%
- Unknown serve points (0/2)
- Aces 8 (1 second serve), Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 6
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (34/74) 46%

- 1st serve percentage (51/83) 61%
- 1st serve points won (32/51) 63%
- 2nd serve points won (15/32) 47%
- Aces 3
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (15/83) 18%

Serve Patterns
McEnroe served...
- to FH 30%
- to BH 59%
- to Body 11%

Lendl served...
- to FH 40%
- to BH 54%
- to Body 6%

Return Stats
McEnroe made...
- 67 (32 FH, 35 BH), including 1 runaround FH & 17 return-approaches
- 2 Winners (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 12 Errors, comprising...
- 3 Unforced (1 FH, 1 BH), including 1 return-approach attempt
- 9 Forced (2 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (67/82) 82%

Lendl made...
- 34 (13 FH, 19 BH, 2 ??), including 1 runaround FH
- 3 Winners (3 BH)
- 25 Errors, comprising...
- 1 Unforced (1 BH)
- 24 Forced (7 FH, 17 BH)
- Return Rate (34/68) 50%

Break Points
McEnroe 5/7 (6 games)
Lendl 0/2 (1 game)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
McEnroe 28 (6 FH, 6 BH, 5 FHV, 9 BHV, 2 OH)
Lendl 21 (4 FH, 9 BH, 4 FHV, 4 OH)

McEnroe had 14 from serve-volley points
- 9 first volleys (3 FHV, 5 BHV, 1 OH)
- 5 second 'volleys' (2 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH, 1 FH at net)

- 2 from return-approach points (2 BHV)
- 1 other BHV was net-to-net

- FHs - 2 cc (1 return, 1 pass), 1 dtl pass, 1 inside-out and 1 lob
- BH passes - 2 cc (1 return), 1 dtl, 1 inside-out/dtl and 1 inside-out at net
- BH regular - 1 cc

Lendl's FHs (all passes) - 1 cc, 1 inside-out and 2 lobs
- BH passes - 5 cc (1 return) and 3 dtl (2 returns)
- BH regular - 1 cc

- 4 from serve-volley points - 1 first volley FHV and 3 second volleys (1 FHV, 2 OH)

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
McEnroe 22
- 11 Unforced (4 FH, 3 BH, 3 BHV, 1 OH)… the OH was a baseline shot
- 11 Forced (3 FH, 6 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.2

Lendl 28
- 7 Unforced (2 FH, 1 BH, 1 FHV, 3 BHV)
- 21 Forced (6 FH, 13 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.1

(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
McEnroe was...
- 59/77 (77%) at net, including...
- 43/53 (81%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 29/36 (81%) off 1st serve and...
- 14/17 (83%) off 2nd serve
- 10/17 (59%) return-approaching
- 0/1 forced back

Lendl was...
- 23/39 (59%) at net, including...
- 16/27 (59%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 16/25 (64%) off 1st serve and...
- 0/2 off 2nd serve

Match Report
McEnroe is on top of his game (especially the volleying and returning) while Lendl is a bit off (particularly on the serve and return), making for a very comfortable result for the winner

McEnroe crowding Lendl and constantly attacking is the chief dynamic of play. Serve-volleys off all but 4 serves and return-approaches regularly (rarely against the first serve even - and occasionally driving rather than chipping). From the baseline, he's also attacking with court opening shots and coming in - without being desperate to do so

Lendl takes something off the first serve to get more in and serves a hefty second serve. Doesn't stop Mac from chip-charging second serves - and makes it easier to deal with the firsts. He looks to come to net more and more as match goes on - probably to keep Mac away from it. His returning is well below standard it would have needed to be for him to have a shot at victory, and probably lower than his norm too

Serve & Return
Not Mac's best serving. He's not hitting lines or swinging Lendl out of court with serves. Healthy amount of body and body-ish serves (in other words, balls Lendl can reach without difficulty) and not powerful enough for such serves to guarantee cheap points. And a high 6 double faults to boot. He serve-volleys behind all but all of it

What can Lendl do? Mac volleys almost perfectly (more on that later), so safe, consistent returning is unlikely to bring Lendl much joy. Even so, Lendl doesn't return particularly well

Just 50% return rate for Lendl. Well as Mac serves, he doesn't serve 46% unreturned serves well. And court isn't particularly quick that Lendl couldn't have done better just making balls he can reach fairly comfortably. The quality of his better returns are based on them being firmly (occasionally, powerfully) struck but not placed particularly well. In the volleying form Mac's in, it doesn't bother him at all - just picks off volleys

Mind you, even the rare low or wide ball is volleyed back in play about as well as possible. Still, a blackmark against Lendl's returning

Lendl doesn't serve too well either. Particularly from second set on, he takes something off first serves, since second serves were being fiercely attacked. Mac is able to comfortably return. 18% unreturned rate is very low for Ivan. Just 3 aces serving at 61% speaks to his holding back on the first serve

Mac though, returns splendidly - that along with his volleying (which is interconnected) - are the two keys to the match. While Lendl's eased up on first serves, the seconds are quite heavy... and Mac's ability to approach off it so consistently (misses 1 in 18 attempts) is excellent. He also apt to 'charge'-return and take balls so early that even blocked shots leave Lendl struggling on the third ball

82% return rate, even against three-quarter power serving from Lendl is good. Only area Mac isn't too proficient at is against the serve-volleying of Lendl. Most of his 9 return FEs come against such serves and the ones he makes leave Lendl with comfortable volleys. Strategically, its not too sound as Lendl's volleying in the match is suspect enough that just making him hit the shot is worth ago. Mac could have done even better than he did at making Ivan hit a volley
Last edited:


Hall of Fame
Play - Volleying & Passing and Baseline
McEnroe's volleying is almost perfect. Anything there to be putaway is putaway. A good chunk of balls that are harder than average are likewise, putaway. Low or wide balls are put back in play with as much authority as possible (including on the 1/2volley). And he makes it all look so easy, as he often does

Probably the best indicator of how well Mac volleys is on the first point of the penultimate game of the match. He hits an ordinary volley in middle of court... and it stands out for not being utterly decisive. Still wins the point

Not much Lendl can do against this type of thing. He passes about as well as he's allowed... aside from the return, most of his passes have to be hit on the run or at least on the move. I thought he should have given lobbing more of a go, though its unlikely it would have proved any more effective than the passing

One area Lendl's passing is a bit down is against chip-charge returns. In this match, there's a decent chunk of such returns that aren't too deep or wide that Lendl can line up his pass too. Misses a few of these... but this is very high level critique. Full credit to Mac for the volleying, no discredit to Lendl for passing

Lendl himself comes to net a healthy 39 times, including serve-volleying 25/48 off first serves. In addition to that, he 'delay' serve-volleys a fair bit too. He's tentative coming forward - like a man testing the temperature of water with his foot before jumping into the pool - and hangs back a bit when coming forward. It looks like he'd rather hit groundstroke from mid-court than volley, but its not a bad move. Mac's returns tend to come back not powerfully and short... they'd be awkward low volleys, but good balls to hit groundstrokes from service line to

Reasonable consistency on the volley from Ivan (just 4 UEs), but his volleys aren't point finishers. Usually he just plonks them in play, leaving Mac good shot at the pass. Mac not passing well is big factor in Lendl's success at net. In short -

- When its Mac at net, Lendl on baseline.... the passing shots are very difficult and Ivan usually misses. When its Lendl at net and Mac on baseline... the passing shots are quite makeable and Mac usually misses

Not much baseline-to-baseline action. On what there is, Mac's the more attacking and makes more errors (7 UEs to Lendl's 3), but his play forces the issue, leading to his approaching net and probably causing Lendl to do so too to avoid Mac taking net. BH cc is Mac's best groundstroke... some strong and well angled shots there

Match Progression
First set is near even. Game 3 lasts 10 points as Mac holds, despite making just 2 first serves. No break points, but an eventful game with Mac missing a baseline OH winner attempt after being forced back from net, a net chord clipper leading to a volleying error, a double fault, a second serve ace, Lendl missing a second serve return Mac stayed back on, a great Lendl pass, a normal ace and finally, a Mac first volley winner to wrap up

The break comes in game 6. Lendl misses a routine volley serve-volleying and Mac hits a BHV winner net-to-net on break point. He has no problems serving out the set

Lendl has his only break points of the match early in the second set, which he gains mostly due to 2 Mac double faults. Down 15-40, Mac reels off 3 winners in a row. He makes a difficult first 1/2volley and Lendl's powerful rejoinder to that pops over on a net chord, allowing Mac to hit a FH winner on the first break point

The break comes in game 7 when Lendl is broken from 40-15 up by 3 Mac net points and a passing winner when Lendl serve-volleys

Mac's at his best in set 3 as he races ahead 4 love. First break comes from Lendl's weak net play - missing a slow, low-ish volley, an easy high one and getting lobbed after not putting away an easy volley. The second break comes in the game of the match - great shots by both players including a perfect Lendl FH lob winner and a charging return one from Mac - but it too ends with Mac hitting passing winners due to Lendl not killing points with volleys

At least twice, Lendl lightly grins after hitting powerful returns or passes that are deftly putaway for winners. As if to say just too good

Summing up, great showing from McEnroe - especially the consummate volleying and sure returning. Lendl's a touch off on the return and rendered helpless by persistent attacking play

Stats for the pair's '85 final -
Stats for the pair's '84, '83 and '82 Masters finals -