Match Stats/Report - Sampras vs Edberg, Cincinnati semi-final, 1992


Hall of Fame
Pete Sampras beat Stefan Edberg 6-2, 6-3 in the Cincinnati semi-final, 1992 on hard court

Sampras would go onto beat Ivan Lendl in the final. The two would meet again shortly after in the US Open final, with Edberg winning

Sampras won 62 points, Edberg 39

Sampras serve-volleyed off all first serves and rarely off seconds. Edberg serve-volleyed off all but 4 first serves and about half the time off seconds

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (31/50) 62%
- 1st serve points won (27/31) 87%
- 2nd serve points won (10/19) 53%
- Aces 5 (1 second serve), Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (16/50) 32%

- 1st serve percentage (26/51) 51%
- 1st serve points won (14/26) 54%
- 2nd serve points won (12/25) 48%
- Aces 1
- Double Faults 5
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (13/51) 25%

Serve Patterns
Sampras served...
- to FH 33%
- to BH 61%
- to Body 6%

Edberg served...
- to FH 17%
- to BH 54%
- to Body 28%

Return Stats
Sampras made...
- 33 (8 FH, 25 BH), including 2 runaround FHs & 1 return-approach
- 5 Winners (1 FH, 4 BH)
- 12 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (1 FH, 4 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 7 Forced (3 FH, 4 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- Return Rate (33/46) 72%

Edberg made...
- 33 (12 FH, 21 BH), including 1 runaround FH & 5 return-approaches
- 10 Errors, comprising...
- 2 Unforced (2 BH), including 1 return-approach attempt
- 8 Forced (1 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (33/49) 67%

Break Points
Sampras 4/7 (4 games)
Edberg 1/1

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Sampras 20 (1 FH, 7 BH, 3 FHV, 5 BHV, 3 OH, 1 BHOH)
Edberg 11 (1 FH, 5 BH, 4 BHV, 1 BHOH)

Sampras had 12 from serve-volley points
- 5 first 'volleys' (1 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH, 2 BH at net)... 1 BH at net was also a cc pass
- 6 second volleys (1 FHV, 3 BHV, 2 OH)... 1 BHV was a swinging shot played net-to-net
- 1 third volley (1 BHOH)... played net-to-net

- 5 passes (1 FH, 4 BH), all returns
- FH - cc
- BHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl and 2 inside-in

- BH - 1 dtl slice (not a pass, but played as both players were approaching)

Edberg had 4 from serve-volley points, all BHVs
- 3 first volleys
- 1 second volley

- FH pass - 1 cc
- BH passes - 2 cc and 1 longline
- regular BHs - 1 inside-out and 1 inside-out/dtl

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Sampras 14
- 5 Unforced (1 FH, 2 BH, 2 BHV)
- 9 Forced (3 FH, 5 BH, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46

Edberg 21
- 9 Unforced (1 FH, 2 BH, 1 FHV, 4 BHV, 1 OH)
- 12 Forced (2 FH, 5 BH, 2 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 Back-to-Net)... with 1 running-down-drop-volley at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 55.6

(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
Sampras was...
- 29/37 (78%) at net, including...
- 25/30 (83%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 22/26 (85%) off 1st serve and...
- 3/4 (75%) off 2nd serve
- 0/1 return-approaching

Edberg was...
- 19/39 (49%) at net, including...
- 15/30 (50%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 11/21 (52%) off 1st serve and...
- 4/9 (44%) off 2nd serve
- 2/5 (40%) return-approaching
- 0/1 forced back

Match Report
Straight out whipping as the scoreline suggests. Sampras is almost perfect on the volley and strong on the return, while Edberg has a bad day on the volley. Court is on the fast side of medium

Given the match-up and scoreline, there would be a few possibilities to suggest themselves

a) Sampras serving up a storm - that doesn't happen. He only serves big in last couple service games (also Edberg's half-checked out by the last, which is a hold to love with 4 unreturned serves). Hefty serving from Sampras of course, but well short of the untouchable levels he occasionally dishes out

b) Sampras returning up a storm, aided by ordinary serving from Edberg - that doesn't happen either. Sampras returns firmly and occasionally a bit more powerfully than that, but just occasionally and just a bit. Nothing too hot to handle for a normal-standard Edberg

c) Sampras zoning on the pass - that doesn't happen. 0 passing winners in play and just forces 1 volleying error, and that wasn't too hard forced.

What does happen -

A) Sampras impeccable on the volley. In opening game, Sampras misses 2 BHVs. And that's all he misses, save 1 BH1/2V for rest of match

Makes a number of first 1/2volleys, places his first volleys away from Edberg more than punching them through with finality, covers the net for Edberg's running passes

Nothing wrong with Edberg's returning - 67% return rate, with reasonable number of returns to feet and very few floaters is wonderful against Pete Sampras. He also boldly return-approaches 5 times - twice against first serves where he'd have known he'd be up against a serve-volleying Sampras (leaving aside how hard it is to return-approach off a Sampras first serve) - and that's with Sampras hitting a hefty second serve

Good job on the return by Edberg, not overwhelming on the serve by Sampras... the key is Sampras' actual volleying. Top notch from Pete

B) Edberg poor on the volley - 7 volleying UEs for Edberg. The 4 FEs aren't too hard either. A few, above-average of power, but comfortable height/width returns from Sampras draws errors... not putaway volleys, but a closer to it than difficult ones

Well below norm showing on the volley by Edberg. He even has more UEs than winners on volleys and OHs - 5 winners, 6 UEs - which must be very rare for him

C) Good returning from Sampras - but short of outstanding. Edberg typically serves a high number to body (28% - a lot higher than the 17% he directs to FH) and most other serves are body-ish. First serves are fairly hefty - not too far short of Sampras' first serves for most of the match

Pete returns with authority, short of destructively. Does zing 5 winners by, but not a regular, damaging returning display

Against second serves, Sampras is apt to runaround to hit FHs (Edberg's predictability does invite it) or take return from inside the court (without hitting unduly hard)

About normal serving from Edberg of strength, though the low first in count of 51% is obviously potentially problematic. Good, less than great returning from Sampras... its Edberg's volleying woes that puts him behind

Match Progression
Blink, and its 5-0, with Sampras having won 22 points to Edberg's 7

Couple of volleying errors from Pete in opener is his only drawback. He holds it after being taken to deuce
Then Edberg misses 2 regulation volleys and double faults, after a Sampras BH inside-in return winner to get broken to love
Next Edberg service games - there's another double, another pair of volleying errors and 2 more Sampras return winners

Edberg grabs a break back. Couple of passing winners - he's well set for the BH cc, but the FH cc is a needle threadingly perfect running shot, looped just so. Pair of Sampras BH errors does the rest
Sampras breaks again to take set. Edberg misses BHV early in game, and last 2 points is a double and Edberg missing a regulation OH

Sampras cruises on serve in second set, and Edberg takes to regularly staying back in it, even occasionally off first serves. Break comes when Edberg's third ball BH dtl is called out (it was very close), he's forced into BHV error by a wonderful, low chip BH pass on run and with Edberg in commanding position and finally, Edberg double faulting again

Edberg brings out the chip-charge return after that, but Pete's up to handling it. And ups ante on his serve to hold twice more without undue trouble, though he's taken to deuce once. Sampras wins all 18 first serve points for the set

Summing up, match is decided by volleying. Sampras is virtually flawless, Edberg is not good. Throw in some hefty returning from the winner and outcome is one-way traffic
It is good to see a dominant Sampras win be about something other than big serving

Stats for pair's '93 Australian Open semi -
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