Match Stats/Report - McEnroe vs Lewis, Wimbledon final, 1983

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
John McEnroe beat Chris Lewis 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 in the Wimbledon final, 1983 on grass

It was McEnroe's second Wimbledon title and 4th final in a row. He'd go onto win the following year also. Lewis was unseeded and this was his only Slam final

McEnroe won 81 points, Lewis 43

McEnroe serve-volleyed off all serves, Lewis off all but 2 second serves

Serve Stats
McEnroe...
- 1st serve percentage (36/57) 63%
- 1st serve points won (32/36) 89%
- 2nd serve points won (16/21) 76%
- Service Winners 3
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (16/57) 28%

Lewis...
- 1st serve percentage (42/67) 63%
- 1st serve points won (23/42) 55%
- 2nd serve points won (11/25) 44%
- Aces 1
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (14/67) 21%

Serve Patterns
McEnroe served...
- to FH 27%
- to BH 61%
- to Body 13%

Lewis served...
- to FH 12%
- to BH 75%
- to Body 12%

Return Stats
McEnroe made...
- 51 (9 FH, 42 BH), including 4 return-approaches
- 6 Winners (6 BH)
- 13 Errors, comprising...
- 1 Unforced (1 FH)
- 12 Forced (1 FH, 11 BH)
- Return Rate (51/65) 78%

Lewis made...
- 40 (14 FH, 26 BH), including 1 return-approach
- 13 Errors, all forced...
- 13 Forced (6 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (40/56) 71%

Break Points
McEnroe 6/10 (6 games)
Lewis 0

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
McEnroe 43 (10 FH, 13 BH, 7 FHV, 8 BHV, 5 OH)
Lewis 6 (2 FH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH)

McEnroe had 18 from serve-volley points
- 10 first 'volleys' (3 FHV, 2 BHV, 2 OH, 3 FH at net)…1 FHV can reasonably be called an OH
- 6 second 'volleys' (2 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH, 1 BH at net)
- 2 third volleys (1 FHV, 1 OH)

- 4 from return-approach points (1 FHV, 3 BHV)

- 1 other BHV was a net chord dribbler

- FH passes - 3 cc, 1 cc/longline, 1 inside-in and 1 lob
- BH passes - 3 cc (1 return), 1 dtl return (that Lewis left), 2 inside-out (1 return), 3 inside-in returns, 1 longline and 1 longline/inside-out
- regular FHs - 1 dtl at net
- regular BHs - 1 inside-out

(Note: a number of volleys were also 'passes' and the BH dtl at net can understandably also be so categorized)

Lewis had 4 from serve-volley points
- 1 first volley (1 FHV), a net chord dribbler
- 3 second volleys (1 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH)

- FHs (both passes) - 2 cc

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
McEnroe 22
- 5 Unforced (1 FHV, 4 BHV)
- 17 Forced (6 FH, 10 BH, 1 BHV)… with 1 BH running-down-drop-volley at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 58

Lewis 20
- 5 Unforced (1 FH, 3 BHV, 1 OH)
- 15 Forced (4 FH, 8 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 50

(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...
- 54/63 (86%) at net, including...
- 45/53 (85%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 29/33 (88%) off 1st serve..
- 16/20 (80%) off 2nd serve
---
- 4/4 (100%) return-approaching
- 1/1 forced back/retreated

Lewis was...
- 32/65 (49%) at net, including...
- 32/62 (52%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 22/41 (54%) off 1st serve and..
- 10/21 (48%) off 2nd serve
---
- 0/1 return-approaching
- 1/3 (33%) forced back/retreated

Match Report
As scoreline indicates, a complete wipe out. Nonetheless, Chris Lewis doesn't play badly. I would describe his play as adequate to decent - certainly good enough that you'd think he'd do better than win about half the points of a well playing opponent. McEnroe though, doesn't just play well - he plays very, very well. Court looks normal, but there are indications of it playing a bit slow for grass

Serving at 63%, winning 89% first serve points and 76% second... no break points faced, no deuces even. Suffice to say, Mac cruises on serve. But its not how you might think. Note 0 aces and 'just' 28% unreturned serves. He's not even in full out killer volley mode and Lewis returns well

The 43 winners he has comes to 1.79 per game. Nominally, more are groundstrokes (23) than volleys/OHs (20) but 4 of those groundstrokes are forecourt shots from serve-volley points. Effectively, Mac has 24 'volley' winners and 19 groundstrokes (counting 2 shots played at net or very near it as bona fide groundstrokes). The proportion of passes and groundstrokes is still quite high

Lewis has 6 winners total (7 counting aces) and wins 28 points in play. In fact, Mac's 43 winners is more than all errors in play combined 42! By contrast, in the following year's final, Mac had 1 fewer winner than Jimmy Connors' total errors. This high proportion of clean winners is enabled by low unreturned rate. The following year, it would be 49% to 28% here

Mac's Service Games
Not very strong serving from Mac as his surprisingly low unreturned rate and 0 aces indicate. On top of that, there are relatively few serves that swing Lewis off the court as Mac usually tends to do. Not too powerful or well placed by his standards, but the usual plentiful of variety

Lewis returns well though. Aside from the high return rate, note Mac's 3 service winners - potential aces he got a decent racquet on. He gets a good number balls down low to... it doesn't come to much because Mac's superb at dealing with the low volleys

Just 1 forced volleying error. All the other low ones, including half-volleys are put back in play and usually placed reasonably away from Lewis. Good returning from Lewis, outstanding from Mac on the tough volley

Mac's down from his best on the regulation volley around net high. Balls that could potentially be putaway are 'just' volleyed away from Lewis, short of into corners. 'Only' 10 first 'volley' winners from Mac... and some of them are nearly OHs and 3 are groundstrokes. Unlike some of his very best showings, the returner at least has a shot at a pass. Its conceivable, though not likely, that a hot player could win a bunch of points off the passing shots Mac's volleys leave Lewis. Still, all credit Mac on the volley, no discredit to Lewis on the pass

In addition to consistency of return, Lewis is daring in his attempts to move in towards the net. He fairly regularly takes a few steps in towards net after a low return and return-approaches once. Nothing comes off it - he loses all 3 points he made it to net and also the ones where he managed to move up to no-man's land. Again, credit Mac for this

Lewis seems to read Mac's serve well. He isn't caught out by direction as most players are against Mac's serve round about this period. By contrast, he doesn't seem to read other parts of Mac's game - particularly the passes but also volleys and returns. He reacts to these rather than anticipates them and while very quick of footspeed, they're well placed enough to leave him with little chance

In 2 nutshells, decent serving from Mac, good returning from Lewis. Good volleying from Mac, not good enough passing from Lewis, who'd have been hard pressed to do better
 
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Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Lewis' Service Game
Lewis has an ordinary serve and Mac isn't troubled to return it. Especially the second

Lots of variety of direction from Mac on the return. Lewis serves relentlessly to BH, directing 75% serves there, and Mac's got at least 1 winner in all 4 basic directions with the BH return. Lewis is visibly caught out by direction of Mac's returns. Mac's also very consistent on the return (78% return rate) and regularly gets them in low, though usually not with great power

Like Mac, Lewis misses very little in forecourt. Just 4 UEs - which is actually 1 less than Mac - and 1 of those was a not-easy OH. He's faced with a lot of low volleys first up and copes well with those too. Just 3 volleying FEs to Mac's 1... and he faced significantly more of them

So why's he broken 6 times?

His regulation volleying is not penetrating or well placed. At all. Mac can reach most with a step or 2 to line up his pass. Doesn't punch them through either, though he tries and I don't see anything majorly wrong with his technique

Lewis showing isn't a 'plonk volleys in middle of court one'... he does give them a punch, but balls don't fly through. Mac's volleying was similar, though a bit better - suggesting the court wasn't as quick as Wimbledon's norm. It plays more like an early '80s Australian Open court

When Lewis does angle a BH volley to a corner early in second set, it brings home just how rarely he got the volley away from Mac. That might be the only, really good offensive volley he makes

Even so, missing so little means the onus is still on Mac to make the pass, which is no sure thing. Mac makes it so, hitting winners right, left and center. Disguise stands out - Lewis obviously has no idea which way Mac will go with the pass. The lobs in particular are difficult to read. Mac's also quick to run down volleys, though Lewis is quicker still in the same situation

Near the end, Lewis stays back off 2 second serves. Mac quickly comes in on 1 and net chord dribbles a BHV winner and misses the return on the other

Match Progression
Mac breaks to love in game 3, following up a Lewis double and volleying error with a lob and a FH at net winner. He adds a second break late in the set, wrapping up a FH cc pass and a BH inside-in return winner

In second set, Mac starts inching forward on Lewis' service games and uses lobs more to push him back. He breaks with 4 winners (return-approach BHV, BH inside-out return and 2 FH passes) and starts next return game with 2 more (return approach BHV and BH inside-in return), before adding a third later in the game (BH cc return), where he also goes on to break

The third set is even more devastating. Mac breaks to love with 4 winners (BH cc pass, BHV, BH dtl return and BH longline/inside-out at net pass) and starts the next game with 3 more (BH longline pass, BHV, FH cc/longline pass from just behind service line), before adding a 4th (BH inside-out pass) to break again

Just prior to the breaking starting, Mac had also hit a complete reflex volley winner. In between all the passes, Mac's of course holding serve facilely and finishes the match with a feathery drop BHV winner

Summing up, polished and consummate from McEnroe. Its his passing that takes the eye, which is outstanding but is also silkily efficient on serve and on the volley. Not bad from Lewis - he returns surely, misses very little in forecourt and is very quick to cover court. This ability of Mac's to shred players - whether they're celebrated names or not - who are playing decently to well, is one of the most awe inspiring sights in tennis

Stats for lead-up Queen's final between McEnroe and Jimmy Connors - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...ueens-club-finals-82-83.646811/#post-13483298
Stats for '84 final between McEnroe and Jimmy Connors - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...enroe-vs-connors-wimbledon-final-1984.656972/
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
this match was disappointing in that there was SO much hype for a Connors/Mac rematch. I vividly remember HBO playing the Police's "Every Breath You Take" as a way to build up the anticipation. Until Curren came along in the 4th round, which was a big upset in 4 very close sets. Curren always agitated me in that he couldn't pull out the wins in the final rounds. I mean, really, he loses to Lewis in the semis? I found that mind boggling. The guy then beats Mac AND Connors back to back in '85, then falls short to that Becker kid (LOL). He also flummoxed an AO final on grass against Wilander. But, yeah, Mac was completely dominating in the '83 final. I think it would have been a very different match vs. Connors, but fate had other plans.
 
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I don't like the way McEnroe played in 1983. He seemed to throttle down with the new graphite racket. The larger head "shortens" the racket, the sweetspot closer to the handle. Less leverage on serve, a 4-iron instead of 2/3-iron on first serve. Too bad not Curren match. (BTY, I thought McEnroe looked great losing to Curren in 1985.) And too bad Connors wasn't in the final; he was AWESOME in the 1983 Queens final.
 

BringBackWood

Professional
Mcenroe and scanlon played their best match in this tournament. A titanic struggle of 3 sets over 3 hours with both at the top of their game. I thought Mcenroe was playing much better generally in 83 than 82.
 
Scanlon has a technique that can be emulated my us mortals. He really leans into in strokes with excellent weight transfer. On his groundstroke backswing his shoulders rotate more than his hips giving his body elastic tension.
 
this match was disappointing in that there was SO much hype for a Connors/Mac rematch. I vividly remember HBO playing the Police's "Every Breath You Take" as a way to build up the anticipation. Until Curren came along in the 4th round, which was a big upset in 4 very close sets. Curren always agitated me in that he couldn't pull out the wins in the final rounds. I mean, really, he loses to Lewis in the semis? I found that mind boggling. The guy then beats Mac AND Connors back to back in '85, then falls short to that Becker kid (LOL). He also flummoxed an AO final on grass against Wilander. But, yeah, Mac was completely dominating in the '83 final. I think it would have been a very different match vs. Connors, but fate had other plans.
It was NBC who played 'every breath you take'
 
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