Match Stats/Report - Sampras vs Ivanisevic, Queens Club quarter-final, 1999


Hall of Fame
Pete Sampras beat Goran Ivanisevic 7-5, 6-3 in the Queen's Club quarter-final, 1999 on grass

The win saw ensured Sampras returning to world number 1 and he would go onto win the title, as well as Wimbledon afterwards

Sampras won 74 points, Ivanisevic 67

Both players serve-volleyed off all their serves

(Note: I'm missing 1 Ivanisevic serve point, won by Ivanisevic)

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (39/70) 56%
- 1st serve points won (32/39) 82%
- 2nd serve points won (17/31) 55%
- Aces 10, Service Winners 2
- Double Faults 5
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (31/70) 44%

- 1st serve percentage (37/70) 53%
- 1st serve points won (28/37) 76%
- 2nd serve points won (17/33) 52%
- Aces 13 (2 second serves)
- Double Faults 7
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (31/70) 44%

Serve Pattern
Sampras served...
- to FH 40%
- to BH 60%

Ivanisevic served...
- to FH 42%
- to BH 53%
- to Body 5%

Return Stats
Sampras made...
- 32 (13 FH, 19 BH)
- 4 Winners (2 FH, 2 BH)
- 18 Errors, all forced...
- 18 Forced (8 FH, 10 BH)
- Return Rate (32/63) 51%

Ivanisevic made...
- 34 (11 FH, 23 BH)
- 5 Winners (2 FH, 3 BH)
- 19 Errors, all forced...
- 19 Forced (5 FH, 14 BH)
- Return Rate (34/65) 52%

Break Points
Sampras 2/6 (3 games)
Ivanisevic 0/2 (1 game)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Sampras 22 (6 FH, 5 BH, 5 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 5 BHV)
Ivanisevic 16 (6 FH, 4 BH, 1 FHV, 3 BHV, 1 BH1/2V, 1 OH)

Sampras had 11 from serve-volley points
- 6 first 'volleys' (2 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 3 BHV)
- 5 second volleys (3 FHV, 2 BHV)

11 passes (6 FH, 5 BH)
- FHs - 2 cc, 3 dtl (1 return) and 1 inside-in return
- BHs - 3 cc (1 return), 1 dtl slice and 1 inside-in return

Ivanisevic had 9 from serve-volley points
- 6 first 'volleys' (1 FHV, 2 BHV, 2 FH at net, 1 BH at net) - 1 FH and the BH being drop shots
- 3 second 'volleys' (1 BHV, 1 BH1/2V, 1 OH)

7 passes (4 FH, 3 BH)
- FHs - 2 dtl (1 return), 1 inside-out return and 1 at net
- BHs (all returns) - 2 dtl and 1 inside-in

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Sampras 14
- 4 Unforced (1 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)
- 10 Forced (2 FH, 3 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 52.5

Ivanisevic 14
- 2 Unforced (1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 12 Forced (4 FH, 2 BH, 2 FH1/2V, 2 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 55

(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...
- 37/54 (69%) at net, including...
- 37/53 (70%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 20/27 (74%) off 1st serve and...
- 17/26 (65%) off 2nd serve

Ivanisevic was...
- 33/51 (65%) at net, including...
- 32/50 (64%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 17/26 (65%) off 1st serve and...
- 15/24 (63%) off 2nd serve

Match Report
Big serves and all out serve-volleying is the game of the day, and Sampras sneaks home with a break per set. Nothing in it between the two players - just being able to take the rare chances that are on offer make the difference. Sampras does, Goran doesn't

Goran came into the tournament with a 7-12 win-loss record for the year, but plays good tennis in this encounter. In the first set, he's probably the better player.

He has 2 break chances in the opening game (both erased by unreturned serves). The game lasts 10 points. The next return game has 12 points, though no break points... but Goran is pushing Sampras. Rest of the set is all easy holds for both players

Its noticeable that Goran isn't serving as powerfully as usual. His serve speed is about the same as Sampras (which hardly makes it slow), but is down from his norm. He returns better than Sampras though, and Pete has to make a number of first 1/2 volleys or low volleys... while Goran has it easier on the first volley

Sampras keeps this from being a problem by volleying particularly well and making these difficult third balls stylishly as well as effectively. One imagines had Goran had to face the same number of difficult first volleys, he would have errored on many more. In the event, when he is faced with such balls, Goran generally yields weak volleys that leave Sampras a good shot at the pass

Serving at 5-5, Sampras is forced into a volley error on the first point and has to make 2 first 1/2volleys and a hard, low volley in the next few points. Which he does and holds.

Against the run of play, Sampras plays a great return game to pinch the set by forcing a 1/2volley error and striking 3 passing winners. These are varied - a powerful BH cc, a just-enough BH slice dtl and a FH inside-in return off the first serve

Second set is more even. Sampras retains his advantage in volleying, but picks up his returning too. Easy service holds are still the norm though, until the end. Sampras has 2 break points in game 8 - both snuffed out with unreturned serves (1 ace). Next return game, with Goran serving to stay in the match, its the same story; strong returns and clean hitting on the pass leave Goran with a lot to do on the volley. He responds by going for big second serves... and hits 1 ace and a near service winner down match point with them. But, he's called for a double fault, with the serve just missing the line, if at all (I thought it was in). Sampras does his part too with a superb FH dtl pass hit on the stretch and a FH dtl return pass. Match point down, Goran nets a slowly dipping return. Going into this final game, I had Goran with 0 UEs in play for the match

Statistically, the players are very similar in most categories. Sampras' superior net game comes through in his numbers.

Summing up, a point here, point there match, with Sampras being the one to put his best foot forward on such points. About equal on serve, Goran more consistently threatening on return (but Sampras clutching on the second shot), not much in it in the passing (slight edge Sampras, maybe)…. the key in play is Sampras' excellent volleying - both dealing with low balls and finishing points
Last edited: