Match Stats/Report - Sampras vs Chang, US Open final, 1996

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Pete Sampras beat Michael Chang 6-1 6-4 7-6(3) in the final of the US Open, 1996 on hard court

The winner of the match was to be world #1 in the ATP rankings. Sampras went on to finish the year at the top spot as well. It was Sampras' 8th Slam title

Sampras serve-volleyed on all his first serves


Sampras 94 won points, Chang 76

Serve Stats
Sampras....
- 1st serve percentage (52/95) 55%
- 1st serve points won (44/52) 85%
- 2nd serve points won (24/43) 56%
- Aces 13, Service winners 1
- Double faults 4
- Unreturned serve percentage (37/95) 39%

Chang. ...
- 1st serve percentage (35/75) 47%
- 1st serve points won (30/35) 86%
- 2nd serve points won (19/40) 48%
- Aces 11
- Double faults 3
- Unreturned serve percentage (22/75) 29%

Serve Pattern
Sampras served...
- to FH 58%
- to BH 38%
- to Body 3%

Chang served...
- to FH 41%
- to BH 59%

(Note: Sampras frequently moved around to return... all instances of his running round to hit FHs have been counted as a Chang serve to the BH

Chang didn't seem to attempt any body serves but its possible he did and those have been counted as BH
which Sampras ran around to hit a FH off)

Return Stats
Sampras made...
- 50 (32FH, 18 BH), including 15 runaround FHs and 3 return approaches (2 chip-charges)
- 1 winner (1 FH), a runaround
- 11 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (5 FH), including 2 runarounds
- 6 Forced (5 FH, 1 BH)
- Return Rate (50/72) 69%

Chang made...
- 54 (31 FH, 23 BH), including 5 return approaches
- 4 winners (2 FH, 2 BH)
- 23 Errors, comprising...
- 2 Unforced (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 21 Forced (14 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (54/91) 59%

(Note: 'Return Approaches' include chip-charges. Chang's return-approaches were not chip-charges)


Break Points
Sampras 4/6 (4 games)
Chang 1/7 (4 games)

Winners (including returns)
Sampras 27 (14 FH, 4 BH, 3 FHV, 2 BHV, 4 OH)
Chang 22(10 FH, 6 BH, 5 BHV, 1 OH)

- For Sampras, 4 FHs were hit at net - 3 easy put aways and 1 running down a drop shot

- 1 FH was hit from just behind the service line. 4 were dtl (including his sole return winner), 3 were inside-in and 1 inside-out

- All 3 BHs were dtl, one a pass. He had 3 passes in total - all dtl

- Of his volleys, 2 are worth mentioning. One was an excellent BHV off a thundering return from Chang

- The other was also a BHV and is the finest angled drop volley imaginable. It literally - not virtually, not figuritively - but literally was grazing the net on Chang's side of the net after going over

- Chang had 6 passes - 4 FHs, 2 BHs. 3 were returns - 2 FHs, 1 BH. One of the FHs, Sampras misjudged and allowed to go through

- One FH pass was hit at net and there were a pair of of crosscourt passes - one from each wing

- 3 BH dtl winners to end crosscourt BH-BH rallies

- 2 FHs at net (in addition to earlier mentioned pass) - a put away and a running down a drop shot

- 2 FH cc.... one of which was particularly good and played at a very sharp angle


Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Sampras 28
- 13 Unforced (7 FH, 6 BH)
- 15 Forced (8 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 BH1/2V )

Chang 27
- Unforced 11(5 FH, 6 BH)
- Forced 16 (8 FH, 6 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV )


(Note: all 'xx.1/2V' instances refer to such shots played at net, which I think deserve a category of their own. 1/2 volley groundstrokes by contrast are included within regular groundstrokes)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Sampras 39/52 (75%) at net, including 30/38 serve-volleying

He was 1/3 of return approaches (0/2 chip-charging) and 8/11 on other approaches

Chang was 14/20 (70%) at net, with no serve-volleys

He was 4/5 on return-approaches (no chip-charges) and 10/15 on other approaches
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Match Report
This was a fine match that boiled down to a few key factors

- Nerves - Sampras was visibly raring to go right out the blocks while Chang was even more visibly tight as piano wire

- Chang's low first percentage and Sampras' ability to attack the second serve

- Clutch play, how each fared on break points

Sampras swept through the first in no time at all 6-1 then broke immediately to start the second set. But it wasn't as one sided as it sounds

Chang made 7/16 first serves in the opening set and 0/5 in the first game of the second when he was broken... and Sampras absolutely went to town on the second serve.

He was constantly running round the backhand to strike powerful, step in FH returns that set Chang on the back foot. From there, one of a few things happened

- Chang forced error of the third ball

- a FH-FH rally, with Sampras having the initiative. Sampras pulverised Chang in these exchanges

- an approach from Sampras - usually ending in his favour

Still, Chang would have been in the match but for nerves (steady ones from Pete, mostly but also some jittery ones from Chang)

Sampras fell to 0-40 in his second service game. He saved two break points with big serves, but the third was an uncharacteristic error from Chang, who had a break point in the next game also (erased with a good FH inside-in winner)

Chang returned very well all match. Pete was forced to make several low first volleys and he was mostly up to the task. More than that, Chang got a lot of balls back

Against anyone else, some of the forced return errors would undoubtedly have been aces and probably a number of balls Chang got back would have been return forced errors. Two serves in particular I wanted to mark 'service winners' - a fully stretched Chang just managed to reach these very fast, well placed strikes... but how can you call it a service winner when Chang just missed getting the ball in play?

From 2-0 in the set, the rest of the match was normal, without Sampras looking to attack unduly. Chang actually leveled the set before Sampras broke once more to close it out

We saw typical BH-BH rallies that are a feature of Pete Sampras' matches, with his opponents looking to avoid the dangers of the big FH. Pete held up well in these... a lot better than he did 4 years later against Marat Safin (which you can find here https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-safin-vs-sampras-final-us-open-2000.608088/#post-11923697 )

The third set went on serve. One game away from the tie-break, Chang threw everything into securing the set with a break in a 12 point game... he had one set point on which his approach shot caught the net chord. Even then, Sampras' pass attempt left him a make-able volley, that he netted.

In the tie-break, Sampras was the stronger, more aggressive player and emerged comfortably ahead

- ---

Chang finished on an unbroken run of 19 consecutive first serve points and actually shaded Sampras on this front. But the serve percentage was a low 47%

According to the commentators (Mary Carillo), Chang had served at just 41% on his way to the final :eek:... assuming that's correct, Chang actually overperformed in this match. So credit to Sampras for being able to abuse Chang's second serve... apparently no one else did

Carillo also stated Chang's break point conversion rate had been exactly 50% coming into the final. Here, it was 1/7 or 14%. Again, mostly credit to Pete for coming through in the clutch
 
Last edited:
Did sampras serve and volley much on 2nd serve?

Interesting to see sampras with only 39% of his serves unreturned. He had 47% vs Agassi in the 95 final. There has been debate over who was the better returner, Chang or Agassi. Don't have many stats on chang's matches vs big servers.
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Did sampras serve and volley much on 2nd serve?
Just once. In his second service game off an excellent body serve

Had to half-volley the return and flub volleyed Chang's powerful rejoinder to that

Chang ran up to net and slapped away the pass

As much as it'd amuse me to say Chang scared Sampras away ... I think it was more a case of Pete feeling pretty confident he could handle Chang from the baseline

Pete dominated the FH rallies, Chang edged the BH ones

Interesting to see sampras with only 39% of his serves unreturned. He had 47% vs Agassi in the 95 final. There has been debate over who was the better returner, Chang or Agassi. Don't have many stats on chang's matches vs big servers.
Chang was amazing at reaching well placed serves in this match. Generally speaking, not a strenght of Agassi's - who tended to get aced quite a lot

I would think Agassi was better at dealing with anything he could reach though, more forceful and damaging

I recall Sampras going for (and making) a lot of risky second serves to Agassi. He didn't try to do that with Chang here... maybe more wary of what might happen if he didn't get it outside Agassi's hitting zone than Chang's

During this match, John McEnroe on commentary was asked where he rated Chang's return and replied "right behind Agassi"

Just as far as Pete Sampras' serve goes though, I wouldn't be surprised if Chang had better return figures than Agassi
 

KG1965

Legend
- Aces 11
Many many
- 1st serve points won (30/35) 86%
Great Chang
Break Points
Sampras 4/6 (4 games)
Chang 1/7 (4 games)
7-6 break chance:rolleyes:
Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Sampras 28
Chang 27
balance .. surprise for me
Net Points & Serve-Volley
Sampras 39/52 (75%) at net, including 30/38 serve-volleying
Chang was 14/20 (70%)
Very impressive

Good numbers for Chang, Pete better slightly but in all departments.
 
Took stats on the 95 YEC SF between these 2. Sampras only had 39.6% of his serves unreturned. I tried taking stats on the 95 AO SF, but too many games were missing. It did seem like sampras wasn't getting many unreturned serves though. So maybe Chang was better than agassi in this aspect.

Was lucky enough to be in the front row of the 1997 US Australia Davis Cup SF. I think I was most impressed by Chang returning Philippoussis' serve. He had incredible reflexes on the return. Who knows, maybe he took the return earlier than agassi. They didn't have the technology to track reaction times back then. Last year I read an article about that which said that kyrgios took the ball earlier off the return than anyone else on tour.
 
@Moose Malloy :

Kyrgios takes it earlier than fed and nishikori on the return !?
Ha, yeah. I guess earlier doesn't always mean better. It was a fairly detailed article with lots of numbers. Guess I should've saved it. Thought it was mentioned here. It was posted on espn.com, but originated from another site.

But considering how short kyrgios swings are, it is plausible. I would think blocking a serve takes less time to swing at it.

Edit: it's on a site called on-the-t.com, if you google kyrgios reaction time you should see it.
 
Last edited:

abmk

Bionic Poster
Ha, yeah. I guess earlier doesn't always mean better. It was a fairly detailed article with lots of numbers. Guess I should've saved it. Thought it was mentioned here. It was posted on espn.com, but originated from another site.

But considering how short kyrgios swings are, it is plausible. I would think blocking a serve takes less time to swing at it.

Edit: it's on a site called on-the-t.com, if you google kyrgios reaction time you should see it.
interesting. Its from 2014-16 Australian Opens though.
Federer has been taking it earlier from 2017 to current.

agree with the bold part.
 
Top