Match Stats/Report - McEnroe vs Wilander, Davis Cup quarter-final rubber, 1982

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
John McEnroe (United States of America) beat Mats Wilander (Sweden) 9-7, 6-2, 15-17, 3-6, 8-6 in the in the final Davis Cup quarter-final rubber, 1982 on carpet in St. Louis, USA

McEnroe had won has first singles rubber against Anders Jarryd and teamed with Peter Fleming to beat Jarryd and Hans Simonsson in the doubles. Wilander had beaten Eliot Teltscher in his first match
USA, the defending champion, would go onto beat France in the final to defend their title. Wilander was 17 years old and had recently won the French Open. McEnroe had lost the Wimbledon final to Jimmy Connors about a week before this match. This was the first match the two played

McEnroe won 251 points, Wilander 249

McEnroe serve-volleyed off all but 1 first serve and most seconds

(Note: I'm missing 3 McEnroe service points - McEnroe won 2, Wilander 1 - and service data for 1 Wilander service point. In addition, a large number of the final points of second games after a change-over have been cut off - some showing serve-type, some not

Its likely that these were the final points of the games in question. They have been included under 1st serves points unless otherwise shown. The ending of the points are unknown. Unreturned serve percentages and Return rate stats exclude the unknown points)

Serve Stats
McEnroe...
- 1st serve percentage (123/236) 52%
- 1st serve points won (96/123) 78%
- 2nd serve points won (62/113) 55%
- Unknown serve points (2/3) 75%
- Aces 20 (1 second serve), Service Winners 9
- Double Faults 11
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (73/226) 32%

Wilander...
- 1st serve percentage (206/259) 79%
- 1st serve points won (141/206) 68%
- 2nd serve points won (27/53) 51%
- Unknown serve points (1/1) 100%
- Aces 2, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (35/244) 14%

Serve Patterns
McEnroe served...
- to FH 27%
- to BH 61%
- to Body 12%

Wilander served....
- to FH 23%
- to BH 69%
- to Body 8%

Return Stats
McEnroe made...
- 210 (59 FH, 149 BH, 2 ??), including runaround 10 FHs & 12 return-approaches
- 3 Winners (3 BHH)
- 32 Errors, comprising...
- 15 Unforced (3 FH, 12 BH), including 2 runaround FHs & 1 return-approach attempt
- 17 Forced ( FH, BH)
- Return Rate (210/242) 87%

Wilander made...
- 148 (46 FH, 102 BH), including 5 runaround FHs
- 15 Winners (3 FH, 12 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 44 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (1 FH, 3 BH)
- 40 Forced (15 FH, 25 BH), including 3 runaround FHs
- Return Rate (148/215) 69%

Break Points
McEnroe 7/20 (11 games)
Wilander 5/12 (8 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
McEnroe 80 (12 FH, 12 BH, 35 FHV, 15 BHV, 1 BH1/2V, 10 OH)
Wilander 55 (10 FH, 32 BH, 7 FHV, 4 BHV, 2 OH)

McEnroe had 45 from serve-volley points
- 25 first 'volleys' (11 FHV, 8 BHV, 1 BH1/2V, 2 OH, 2 FH at net, 1 BH at net)… 1 FHV was a net chord dribbler
- 17 second volleys (9 FHV, 5 BHV, 3 OH)
- 2 third volleys (1 FHV, 1 OH)…. the FHV hits an at-net WIlander
- 1 re-approach volley (1 FHV)

- 5 from return-approach points (2 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH, 2 FH at net)

- 1 other FHV was a non-net point and 1 was a net chord dribbler

- FHs (all passes) - 1 cc and 2 dtl
- BH passes - 4 cc and 1 dtl
- BH regular - 3 cc (2 returns), 1 inside-out, 1 drop shot and 1 net chord dribbler

Wilander had 15 returns, all passes
- FHs - 1 cc and 2 dtl (1 runaround FH)
- BHs - 5 cc, 1 dtl, 3 inside-out and 3 inside-in

- regular passes 24 (6 FH, 18 BH)
- FHs - 4 cc, 1 dtl/inside-out and 1 inside-out running-down-drop-volley at net
- BHs - 8 cc, 5 dtl, 2 inside-out, 2 dtl/inside-out and 1 lob

- non-pass groundstrokes - 1 FH at net and 2 BHs (1 cc, 1 dtl)

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
McEnroe 131
- 73 Unforced (19 FH, 36 BH, 9 FHV, 7 BHV, 1 OH, 1 Code Violation)
- 58 Forced (13 FH, 21 BH, 8 FHV, 2 FH1/2V, 3 BH1/2V, 1 BHOH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.5

Wilander 89
- 34 Unforced (19 FH, 15 BH)
- 55 Forced (26 FH, 24 BH, 1 FH1/2V, 3 BHV, 1 OH)… 1 BHV was not a net point. The OH was from the baseline and flagrantly forced, an attempt to cope with a smash from an at net McEnroe
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 43.8

(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...
- 153/236 (65%) at net, including...
- 112/167 (67%) serve-volleying, comprising..
- 67/92 (73%) off 1st serve and..
- 45/75 (60%) off 2nd
--
- 10/12 (83%) return-approaching
- 1/1 forced back

Wilander was...
- 43/58 (74%) at net

Match Report
Despite its mammoth length, this is a fairly simple (and high quality match). McEnroe has much the better of play and its his choice of strategy that allows Wilander to stay so close. Nonetheless, Wilander plays exceptionally well also (within the confines of his limitations) and with better officiating, would likely have won anyway.

Officiating Issues
Lets get this out of the way first. Failure to enforce rules is an unfortunate feature of the match

McEnroe is in one of his moods and is regularly confronting umpire and lines people - usually at least hotly and more often than that, abusively. Apparently there's a rule in the Davis Cup that players are not allowed to approach the officiating team and only the team captain can

I would think this is a 'soft' rule, like time violations, and a player having a word with umpire or a linesman wouldn't be seen as a major problem, and the rule is only in place to prevent excessive or abusive protests. Excessive and abusive is exactly what McEnroe does - about once every two game, I'd estimate. This is akin to a player taking 2 minutes between points regularly, when the (soft) rule limit in place is 30 seconds

Simple solution is to warn him. Its more than a solution, its the rule. The chair umpire seems to have no interest in doing so. The Swedish captain approaches the chair and reminds the Chair of his duties more than once to no avail. That failing, he takes to holding up a copy of the rulebook and directing Mac's attention to it. You can guess how much effect that has. McEnroe waves back to him once

McEnroe is finally given a warning at 14-14 in third set when he casually hits a ball into the stands. He'd just held serve and there was no anger in the gesture... the sort of thing you could let slide. But the umpire gives him the long overdue warning.... having let go dozens of worse violations

The rules are -
- 1st a warning
- 2nd point penalty
- 3rd game penalty
- 4th match forfeit

McEnroe eases up on going at the officials but not completely. He has 3 to 4 more confrontations, 1 particularly over the top at a lines women who called him for a foot fault

No violations awarded. Should have lost a point first offence after. Presumably he would have ceased then but if he hadn't, there were the next two steps waiting to happen

Things take an unofficial turn. The chairman of referees is courtside and apparently is prepared to pull all linesmen from the match if Mac continues abusing them. This is conveyed via court-side commentary team man Vic Braden. Presumably McEnroe would have been informed of this by his captain, Arthur Ashe

No more outbursts, but he does hit a ball suspiciously near the lines women who had called him for a foot fault awhile earlier. And is given a second code violation and loses a point. Its at a critical juncture.... the point gives Wilander break point in opening game of the 5th (Mac goes on to hold)

The umpire had not overruled a single call all match. Commentators talk specifically about the umpire in questions philosophy - that he only overrules if there's a clear mistake

The game after Mac's second violation, the umpire calls a Wilander ball long at a critical point, giving Mac break point (which he converts). Not only is the call too close to overrule, it isn't even out. Not only isn't it even out, it isn't even on the line but a couple of inches inside

The whole thing looks very much like having very reluctantly called McEnroe - after letting him go with about 2 dozen offences - he wanted to give him one back

Commentators spoke earlier about the umpire being well known for handling Mac well. During Mac's rants, he's usually stone faced with an occasional hint of being amused. Cliff Drysdale calls him "unflappable". "Spineless" might be a better word... and "cheating" not too strong a one to describe what he does

After a call goes against Mac, he addresses somebody at courtside - the match referee I think - saying something like, "Come on, we're pals". Head of Swedish Tennis Federation apparently stood up and declared something like "Now we know what's going on" in response. On another point, when McEnroe's strong first serve is called a let by the net chord judge, he addresses the latter with words to the effect of "come on, you're an American"

In a nutshell, very poor behaviour from McEnroe, enabled by very poor umpiring that probably amounts to cheating. Great credit to Mats Wilander. He's 17 years old and still has pimples... but just keeps playing his game, seemingly oblivious to the soap opera around him
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Play
Play is simple and can be covered with a few choice points. Its easiest to do so from McEnroe's point of view as he's almost entirely the driving force of playing dynamics

Mac serve-volleys throughout the match - all but once off first serves and almost always of seconds. He tends to stay back on seconds if Wilander's burnt him a couple of times with strong returns, but returns to serve-volleying soon enough. And as you can see, very successfully - 60% second serve-volley points won to go along with 73% on first serves. With just 11 double faults (low given the length of the match)…. these are figures that speak to him holding serve fairly easily for most of the match

Wilander's serve... is a roller for the most part. There's nothing in it to trouble Mac. Note his 79% first serve in count for the match. In the last 2 sets, he missed 2 first serves out of 66 - counter-intuitively, that is not a good stat and mostly indicates how weakly he was serving. Mac can get it back easily

First part of match, Mac's strategy on return games is to junk everything back. Wilander puts the ball in play with steady top spin, Mac chips and dinks and slices it back with no pace. All the while never taking a step back from the baseline

When Wilander holds, its because he's considerably more consistent with his shots. Mac tends to give up the who-blinks-first UEs more than him. But Mac is keeping rallies going for awhile and Wilander isn't a complete wall either

It just seems like sooner or later - maybe 1 game in 4 - Wilander will make the UEs before Mac - there's the break, and as long as Mac can keep holding comfortably, that should be the match. Its a good plan. And it works very well for near 3 normal length sets

First set, Wilander breaks first - couple of good passing winners (1 return, 1 lob), couple of Mac doubles (and a couple of Mac volley winners). Mac breaks back to love soon after - 4 consecutive BH UEs from Wilander in passive rallies. Thereafter, Mac holds comfortably while Wilander's waiting game looks like waiting for an inevitable one where what happened before will happen again. It doesn't as it turns out - Mac gains the decisive break by coming net more than Wilander's UEs

Trend continues in second and third sets. Mac breezing by on serve-volley and Wilander steadily putting balls in play as Mac junks them back - and the minority games where Mats is the one to make more UEs leading to breaks.

Ironically, its the game where Wilander changes it up - as was completely necessary if he didn't want to be straight setted - where he's in most danger. Game 7, Set 3, Wilander gives his service games some teeth by journeying to net 8 times. Some good passing from Mac leads to him having 4 break points, but Wilander survives. He was already down a break and being thoroughly outclassed at the time

From that point on, Wilander comes to net regularly. While true he's been slow to make the move and one imagines it wasn't something he was comfortable with, his net play is just fine. The choice of when to come in, the coming in on his own terms (i.e. not compulsively), the net coverage and the volleying are all good. He's win an excellent 74% of net points for the match - and a not insignificant number of those he loses are forced approaches to McEnroe drop shots

Wilander is also serving reasonably powerfully in this part of the match. Even at its strongest, the serve isn't much.... but later on, he'd just roll the ball in

With McEnroe serve-volleying and holding comfortably and Wilander approaching regularly on his service games and holding comfortably - the match is at its most competitive. McEnroe's the first to have a bad serve game, with 2 double faults - a forced volleying error and a return to Mac's feet on the baseline do the rest as Wilander takes the set

There's a 15 minute intermission and the players come back, doubtless having adjusted their plans in consultation with their teams.

I don't like what Wilander has come back with and think he was far better off playing as he had been - steady from the back (which he probably couldn't change even if he wanted to) and looking to approach in rallies. He switches to -

- going easy on the first serve. Why? Fear of McEnroe attacking the second? - I suppose it works. Note Mac with just 12 return-approaches for the match. Most are against first serves (which are very attackable - as you'd suspect when a guy makes 64/66 first serves), but he'd probably got wise and done it more and sooner against second serves. Mac wins 10 of 12 of those points (its possible he was looking to come in behind some of his return errors - only 1 is a clear case of it)… if he'd got stuck into the tactic from the get go, he'd probably have won the match comfortably

The downside of going easy on first serves is Wilander's attacking edge is gone. He stops coming to net too. Basically, he just reverts back to what got him the short end of the stick for near 3 regular sets.

So why does he get the big part of the stick from hereon?

1) Mac's adjusted his game to being aggressive from the baseline on return games. Whereas he'd been junking, he comes out swinging. Plan is worth a shot - but it falls flat. He makes lots more UEs than before. Just bad play from him

2) Wilander returns more strongly from hereon

Regarding Wilander's returning.... its good all match. He stands near the baseline, and has a good swing at the ball. Lots of body serves from Mac, and Wilander is untroubled - making BHs from close to his body, or moving aside to hit FHs (there is 1 body serve ace though). Still, its a quick-ish court, and when Mac is serving well... its just not possible to do much with the return. Which is how it is most of the time …. all credit to Mac for this, no discredit to Wilander

In the 5th set, Mac doesn't seem to serve as hard or place the ball as well. He looks tired (Mats typically doesn't). Mats' improved returning in the last part of the match probably has more to do with Mac's level dropping slightly than his returning level going up

The fifth is the most open of all the sets. Wilander can gain counter-play on return with strong returns and passes. Mac's tired enough that he half-tanks some return games, especially if he's fallen behind. Misses a lot of easy returns too

The key difference is Mac at net vs Wilander on the pass. The situation wouldn't come up if Mats was taking net - but he doesn't much after the resumption. Mac's baseline attacking gambit fails in the 4th and in the 5th, he reverts to junky stuff, but is playing it worse than earlier in the match. All this allows Mats to hold reasonably comfortably - while having his best chances on return

But... Mac can take the net on return games. Well as Wilander passes - and he passes superbly - long term passing vs Mac at net isn't a winning game plan. Mac doesn't come in enough but whenever he does, Wilander's service hold becomes iffy. This is true all match

Mac's at net 5 times (and makes an approach error) in the 10 point game he first broke in in the 5th (along with the chair overrule that cost him a point). He's there twice in 6 points in the last game of the match - which along with a lucky net chord dribbling return winner, sees him through

Summing up, straight forward if very long match with McEnroe dominant while serve-volleying - but he has to be at a tip top level doing it, because Wilander's ready to pounce on makeable passes. Wilander's at his best when combining his consistent ground game with net approaches - but does too little of the latter. Mac's at his best returning when he combines junkballing with net approaches - but he doesn't do the latter much either, although it wasn't particularly difficult. When he does, he gets what he needs to win

In light of how the game is at present, its a particular pleasure to see Mats Wilander - this pimpled faced, 17 year old - push the best player in the world on a fast court, with a hostile crowd and dubious umpiring in the background to brink, while coming of second best for most of the match. Great guts shown by the French Open champion
 

NicoMK

Professional
A match from another time… I was too young to watch it live but I watched it years later. Great match, opposite styles for two players that would later become friends. Liked everything in the tennis of the 80s.

Great complete post (great first part :D) as always! (y)
 
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Gee, McEnroe willing to effectively endorse cheating to win in Davis Cup even against a teen inoffensive Wilander? I can accept his antics as not unfair to Connors and Lendl, who are mean dogs themselves, but this is crossing the line too far. I feel like disliking JMac now.
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Gee, McEnroe willing to effectively endorse cheating to win in Davis Cup even against a teen inoffensive Wilander? I can accept his antics as not unfair to Connors and Lendl, who are mean dogs themselves, but this is crossing the line too far. I feel like disliking JMac now.
I feel you, bro

Usually, I watch these matches stone cold as far as egging for or against a player (even knowing the result), but this one left a bad taste

Not so much Mac - his tantrums are more comedic than anything, a grown man acting the baby - but the umpiring. Commentary wasn't exactly neutral either

After the point the umpire overruled, commentators were talking about it having been very close and lets look at the replay. And they did in nice and slow motion. I know they were watching the same one I was because they said, "now lets look" or words to that effect as it was coming on

So they show the thing. Its obvious the ball is in. Complete silence from the commentators. after its done playing, they wait a few seconds and then just keep talking as if they hadn't seen anything

They use words like 'fortunatly' and phrase like "I hope not" in ways that I didn't think were professionally appropriate

they mildly defend crowd (who aren't too bad in all), and some of the umpiring by saying this is nothing compared to what we faced in Argentina (I believe them, but still)

Probably helps that Wilander looks and acts like such a sweet kid. Keeps blowing his bushy long hair upward out of his eyeline.

Funny perception... normally, I don't find myself thinking of people older than me as a kid... even if I watch them when they were. For example, I might watch 20+ Zverev now and mentally, I think of him as a kid. But if I watch Sampras playing at 19, I don't

But looking at Wilander here, I thought of him as a kid. The pimples maybe. he looks like he's never shaved

Don't mind Mac giving the kid as hard a time as possible on court - that's his job, even if he wasn't facing the French Open champion. On one net to net point, he smacks a FHV he could have put away anywhere straight at Wilander. Who gives him a "Wilander glare" (by normal standards, a look) afterwards

Mac was pretty nasty towards 18 year old Boris Becker at Stratton Mountain, 1986 too.... but Becker gave as good as he got, needle wise, like he found it funny

After Mac had lost a point and the ball had gone back to wherever it is balls go to after a point... Mac wanted to see the ball. He thought it had popped, so they should replay the point. It'd be impossible to locate and identify the exact ball, so it wasn't going to fly. Becker strolled around as Mac was saying this and that, pretending not to understand. When Mac pointed to the ball in Becker's hands, he smelt them mockingly and gestured they seemed to be ok... stuff like that

(Mac was probably right on that one... balls were changed at end of game, and they found a popped one among the discarded)

A match from another time… I was too young to watch it live but I watched it years later. Great match, opposite styles for two players that would later become friends. Liked everything in the tennis of the 80s.

Great complete post (great first part :D) as always! (y)
Thanks, Nico. got to agree - would have been better still with different end result

Can you tell me if this kind of atmosphere (umpiring and crowds) was normal for Davis Cup? So I hear, but the stuff I've watched recently - all of it in Europe - everything seemed fairly normal. Sweden does seem to have some excellent crowds as well as players. saw Becker hammering Edberg there... and they give him due respect for his fine play

Compare to Germany - where Becker gets all applause, his opponents none. or France, where they get on the back of anyone for any little thing and don't let up
 

NicoMK

Professional
Can you tell me if this kind of atmosphere (umpiring and crowds) was normal for Davis Cup? So I hear, but the stuff I've watched recently - all of it in Europe - everything seemed fairly normal. Sweden does seem to have some excellent crowds as well as players. saw Becker hammering Edberg there... and they give him due respect for his fine play
Compare to Germany - where Becker gets all applause, his opponents none. or France, where they get on the back of anyone for any little thing and don't let up
I've always seen great atmospheres during Davis Cup ties. I mean, Davis Cup had a story -- and still has but they drastically changed it, not for good I'm afraid, never mind. It's normal that people get passionate about it as long as they remain fair.

One of my best memories as a spectator is the 1991 final France-USA. The French crowd went mad during three days, supporting their team but they were never disrespectful towards the Americans.

I've always seen great crowds almost everywhere, at least as far as I remember. Swedish supporters are great as well as German fans. The 1989 final was great -- even if not favorable to my idol, Boris played too good. I don't think that the Davis Cup is particularly a European thing. USA are the ones who own most titles, aren't they? Back in the days, Australian supporters were great too, as well as Americans crowds, I remember the 1992 final as a good one too.

From what I remember or heard here and there, only some people in South America could become really crazy. The 1985 first round France-Paraguay was described by the French team as a true ambush.

Surface : wood (even at that time you couldn't find wood courts on the tour)
Crowd : singing between serves, insulting the French players, throwing bottles at them…
Linesmen : cheating in front of both teams etc.
Political context : tough

I found an article about that tie, sorry it's in French but for those who'd be interested, it's there : https://servicecuillere.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/coupe-davis-1985-paraguay-france-lenfer-dasuncion/

I had a magazine relating these events and that was what they described at that time. I think Noah said something like : thank God no-one (players, crowd etc.) was injured or killed during the tie.

Back to topic sorry : I liked Mac too and would always support Mats but I wouldn't call him a cheater. Maybe he was (is) too passionate, I wouldn't blame him ;).
 
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krosero

Legend
I cannot find a boxscore for this online, though it might be worth looking in World Tennis or other tennis magazines. Wasp, if there are no missing points in the coverage, it looks like they played 499 points.

I've done almost no stats on the match itself, though I noted some mid-match stats, like Wilander holding 20 straight times.

And I have this from the Chicago Tribune:

For two sets, McEnroe’s serve dominated the match. He lost only 15 points in his 12 service games in the first two sets. He won 46 points while serving in that stretch, and 26 of them came either on aces or other unreturned serves….​
In the third set, however, Wilander began his remarkable string of 19 straight service games without being broken. Wilander also began passing McEnroe at the net. McEnroe made 9 of his 28 aces in the set, but Wilander won 14 points in that span on service returns. "It's hard to serve as hard in a third or fifth set as you serve at the start," said McEnroe.​

McEnroe and Wilander ended up playing 13 sanctioned matches from 1982-89, Mac holding a 7-6 edge. They played four times on carpet: the other three all went in two straight sets, first to Mac at both the 1982 and 1983 Masters then to Wilander in Brussels in ’87. They also played two indoor matches, both won by John in three split sets, in late ’84: Stockholm, on hard per the ATP; and a dead Davis Cup rubber in Gothenburg on clay.

Those two Masters wins were the only sanctioned matches that McEnroe ever took from Wilander in straights -- though of course he almost did it in this Davis Cup match!

Makes you wonder whether Wilander could have turned those Masters meetings into real matches, if he could just have gotten his teeth into them. But Mac was at his overwhelming peak in both.

After this tie Wilander didn't lose another Davis Cup match until the '84 Davis Cup final in Sweden, where Mac beat him in a technically dead rubber.
 

krosero

Legend
This tie in St. Louis obviously depended on McEnroe’s victories in the singles. But it's also the only tie in McEnroe’s Davis Cup career where the U.S. won 3-2 and might have lost one of its Cups if McEnroe had not played in the doubles. In some 3-2 ties, McEnroe won the doubles but the U.S. lost anyway. In others, the U.S. won 3-2 but Mac’s doubles win actually clinched the tie, which raises the possibility that the U.S. lost the next two rubbers only because they were inconsequential. Etc., etc. The only tie where the doubles looks critical on paper is this 1982 tie in St. Louis, where McEnroe and Fleming won a very easy match to put the U.S. up 2-1. Maybe if the Swedes had pulled out that doubles rubber against another U.S. team, then Jarryd would have clinched the tie against Gottfried in straight sets and made the rubber between McEnroe and Wilander inconsequential. Jarryd and Hans Simonsson did lose badly to Mac and Fleming, but they were a dangerous team, having beaten McNamee/McNamara in five sets in a 1981 Davis Cup quarterfinal.
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
if there are no missing points in the coverage, it looks like they played 499
I don't think there are. A large number of games are cut off on game point. Always and only on game point... and the guy with game point won the game

My strong guess would be all points are accounted for

For two sets, McEnroe’s serve dominated the match. He won 15 points in his 12 service games in the first two sets.
That's correct, but I wouldn't have framed it that way myself

he lost just 2 points in 4 service games in second set - which is a whole different class of dominance

In first set, he was broken once and held 7 times. 4/7 of those holds were to 30

lumping Mac's first and second set serve showings together is a bit misleading

He won 46 points while serving in that stretch, and 26 of them came either on aces or other unreturned serves
Yes

17 first set (5 aces... 3 doubles)
9 second set (2 aces - 1 a second serve, 2 service winners.... 0 doubles)

McEnroe made 9 of his 28 aces in the (3rd) set
I have 9 aces too, but total 28 aces is a bit odd

Most of the missing points are Wilander serves and I have Mac with 20 aces total

I have 9 service winners but a number of them are in third set. So if they haven't counted those as aces, then they're talking about clean aces - same as me

Don't think there's 8 missing Mac points - and its unlikely they'd all be aces

Wilander won 14 points in that span on service returns."It's hard to serve as hard in a third or fifth set as you serve at the start," said McEnroe.
Not sure what they mean by "on service returns". He won 20 return points in 3rd set... and less than 14 with the return shot alone (return winner or Mac third ball error)

The implication from Mac's comment - that tiredness was a factor - is something I keyed in on and agree with

Those two Masters wins were the only sanctioned matches that McEnroe ever took from Wilander in straights -- though of course he almost did it in this Davis Cup match!

Makes you wonder whether Wilander could have turned those Masters meetings into real matches, if he could just have gotten his teeth into them. But Mac was at his overwhelming peak in both.
I'm following Wilander right now and learning more about his game. But in this match... is a wonder to me that he made it so close

Basically, for most of the match, Mats' service points are virtually all 50-50 affairs. Return is easy to make and servers advantage neutralized with it. For Mats to hold as much as he did... he'd have to be vastly the better court player

Apart from a brief period, he doesn't come to net much. And he's never attacking from the baseline. The bulk of his play on service games is consistent, put the ball in court stuff

Of course, he's more consistent than McEnroe... but I wouldn't have expected it to be to the extent that Mats could hold 19 straight times with a playing dynamic like that

the 19 game run coincided with Mats' net charging phase and a phase when Mac was trying to be aggresive from baseline and failed... so that's ok. But the match as a whole... playing the way he did, I'd have expected a break to come soone rather than later

and that's with Mac just passively staying back, which he did most of the time. Whenever he looked for the net (and it wasn't too hard to find... Mats' baseline play wasn't that heavy of shot), Mats struggled to hold and had to pull of very good passes to do so

Now if Mac starts coming in regularly every return game... doubt Wilander could hold serve 4 times in a row. At least, not without adjusting his game
 
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