Match Stats/Report - Sampras vs Martin, Australian Open final, 1994


Hall of Fame
Pete Sampras beat Todd Martin 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-4 in the Australian Open final, 1994 on hard court

This was Sampras third consecutive Slam title, having won Wimbledon and the US Open the previous year

Sampras won 119 points, Martin 100

Sampras serve-volleyed on all his first serves. Martin virtually does so too for the first set and then less and less as the match progresses

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (59/109) 54%
- 1st serve points won (47/59) 80%
- 2nd serve points won (27/50) 54%
- Aces 13
- Double Faults 7
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (38/109) 35%

- 1st serve percentage (56/110) 51%
- 1st serve points won (33/56) 59%
- 2nd serve points won (32/54) 59%
- Aces 6, including 1 second serve
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (29/110) 26%

Serve Patterns
Sampras served...
- to FH 56%
- to BH 43%
- to Body 1%

Martin served....
- to FH 27%
- to BH 70%
- to Body 3%

Return Stats
Sampras made...
- 77 (21 FH, 56 BH), including 3 runaround FHs
- 3 Winners (1 FH, 2 BH)
- 23 Errors, comprising...
- 9 Unforced (2 FH, 7 BH)
- 14 Forced (5 FH, 9 BH)
- Return Rate (77/106) 73%

Martin made...
- 64 (32 FH, 32 BH)
- 4 Winners (3 FH, 1 BH)
- 25 Errors, comprising...
- 6 Unforced (5 FH, 1 BH)
- 19 Forced (16 FH, 3 BH)
- Return Rate (64/102) 63%

Break Points
Sampras 4/8 (6 games)
Martin 2/13 (4 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Sampras 30 (12 FH, 6 BH, 6 FHV, 3 BHV, 1 BH1/2V, 1 OH, 1 BHOH)
Martin 23 (8 FH, 9 BH, 1 FHV, 4 BHV, 1 OH)

Sampras had 10 from serve-volley points
- 5 from first 'volleys' (1 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 BH at net, 1 BH1/2V)
- 4 second volleys (2 FHV, 1 OH, 1 BHOH)
- 1 third volley (1 FHV)

- 10 passes (3 FH, 5 BH, 2 FHV)
- the FHs - 1 dtl and 1 longline
- the BHs - 1 cc, 3 dtl (1 return) and 1 inside-in return
- the FHVs - 1 was played nearer to the baseline than the service line and was not a net point. The other occurred as Sampras snuck in while Martin was at net and made the volley a little behind the service line

- regular FHs - 1 at net, 2 cc, 4 inside-out and 2 inside-in (1 return)

Martin's regular FHs - 3 cc and 1 inside-out
- FH passes - 3 cc (all returns) and 1 dtl

- regular BHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl, 1 inside-out/dtl and 1 inside-in return
- BH passes - 3 cc and 2 dtl

- from serve-volley points - 4 first volleys (all BHV, 1 a stop volley) and 2 second volleys (1 FHV, 1 OH)

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Sampras 41
- 19 Unforced (11 FH, 7 BH, 1 FHV)
- 22 Forced (11 FH, 7 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 43.5

Martin 47
- 24 Unforced (11 FH, 7 BH, 3 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)
- 23 Forced (8 FH, 9 BH, 5 FHV, 1 FH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 50.4

(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 41/59 (69%) at net, including 36/50 (72%) serve-volleying - off first serves 35/48 (73%), off second serves 1/2 (50%)
He was 0/1 when forced back or retreated from net

Martin was 31/54 (57%) at net, including 23/40 (58%) serve-volleying - all first serves
He was 1/2 when forced back

Match Report
This match is played on a relatively slow hard court and the two men look like the same player for the first set. Both serve-volley off all their first serves - with one exception (Martin stays back on one, which draws a forced return error anyway) - and both stay back on all their second serves. Little attempt is made to find the net in rallying situations. Both players dominate their first serve points and the second serve points are pretty even too

The baseline rallies tend to go on til someone makes the error. Both are patient, and most of the rallies are BH cc based. Sampras' baseline style looks more elegant than powerful, while Martin's BH is slightly more damaging.

Martin is the one to create more chances for himself. He has 6 break points over two games, to Sampras' 1 in 1. Securing the break though proves a difficult task as Sampras lands his first serve on all the points. One in particular ends with a very risky and excellent inside-out BHV winner to the open court that lands on the line.

Sampras raises his game for the tiebreak, hitting better passing shots than he had to that point. The key point is one where Martin is forced back from net and his opponent finishes up with a FH inside-out winner.

With the first set under his belt, Sampras loosens up. He secures a double break and looks more fluent in his return games. Martin by contrast, plays more timidly and starts staying back occasionally on his first serve points. I'm not sure why - his serve-volleying had been doing the job for him well and he certainly didn't lose the first set because of it. One of the games Martin is broken in, he even drags Sampras to net with a drop shot. Again, this seems like poor strategy... why would he want to bring Pete Sampras to the net?

Martin pulls a break back, but Sampras comfortably serves out to take a two sets lead.

Martin is even more passive in the third. He starts staying back more and more off his first serves and Sampras starts returning more and more surely. Again he goes down a double break, again he pulls one back (Sampras failing to serve out the match) and again Sampras proceeds to seal the match.

There are a couple of memorable points in the final set. Sampras passes Martin once with a FHV played from just inside the baseline. On another point, a serve-volleying Martin flubs a volley and quick as a cat, Sampras has snuck forward far enough to strike a regular FHV from just behind the service line for a passing winner.

Playing Dynamics & Strategy
Sampras volleys surely all match, with just he 1 volleying UE. His serve (and speed to get to the net) does most of the work but when he has to make volley, he doesn't falter. While neither player passes particularly well, I would primarily credit Sampras for how well he did in the forecourt. Martin is also impressive in the forecourt - and he has to make more volleys than his opponent

Confidence seems to be a big difference between the two players. Sampras is not phased by the occasional set backs that go hand in hand with serve-volleying. Double faults, return winners.... he takes them in stride and keeps playing his game. Martin by contrast, cuts back on attacking the net after losing the first set (which really just came down to a point or two in the tiebreak), and its at that point he genuinely slips behind. By the final set, he's staying back as often as not.... though I don't see anything in the results of his play that would justify this

Sampras' returning is nothing to write home about. He makes plenty of errors, even without trying to be particularly attacking with the shot. He stands a foot inside the court to take Martin's second serves but usually just slices the BH return back. I'm not sure what the thinking is behind this. The whole point of taking the return early is to take time away from the server but by pushing or slicing the returner, Sampras isn't doing that

Effectively, all he's doing is taking time away from himself to make the return - and this leads to many of his errors. Perhaps if the going got tough and he felt the need, the tactic would leave him the option of taking a full swing on the early returns. As he plays it, it just seems unnecessarily making life harder for himself

Martin's BH return stands out as a very steady shot. And Sampras knows it - directing 56% of serves to the FH. Look at Martin's return numbers - total 21 FH errors and 4 BH errors. That's a very clean record for the traditionally targeted BH return

Sampras is the wiser in handling baseline rallies. He's in no rush to finish the point, which is appropriate on this slow court. Doesn't try to manufacture net approaches either - or to go aggressive with the FH. Rather, he just patiently sees what comes up. Usually, its Martin who tries to force the point from the back, leading to errors. Martin's UEFI of 50.4 is one of the highest I've tracked. That's partially due to the relatively large number of volleying errors (25%). Usually, a UEFI that high indicates that a player is attacking indiscriminately.... but that wasn't he case with Martin: he was mostly patient from the back, but more prone to go for the play than Sampras was eventually

Summing up, a very close first set, followed by a combination of Martin lowering his attacking play and Sampras playing more freely. Smart and appropriate to the match situation and court conditions by Sampras. He wins comfortably... and gives the impression of knowing exactly what he needed to do to get the job done
Last edited:

Moose Malloy

Very interesting about Sampras serving mostly to FH. Martin's BH was a great shot. Guessing Edberg probably served there too much in the semis. Do you have stats on any other Martin matches?

35% unreturned serves for Sampras sounds pretty good for that era on rebound ace. He had 41% in the final vs Agassi a year later, but seemed to be going for a lot more on the serve due to his brutal path to final and Agassi's amazing returning that tournament.

I think this was the only major final I can recall where Sampras was broken when serving for the match.

As far as reluctance for Martin to keep serve and volleying, I do recall seeing Martin early in his career(like 91) and it seemed like he was more of a power baseliner. I think I read that's how he primarily played in college. Obviously he got a lot better at S&V as he started rising in the pros. But maybe when he got down in this match he started playing like he played through much of his life, because of lack of confidence in S&V at that stage of his career. His making the final was a pretty big surprise(went from 87 in the rankings at beginning of 1993 to 13 by years end)
Last edited:

Moose Malloy

Apparently tennis abstract has serve direction info on many matches. Not broken down by serves to bh or fh, but serves wide to ad court, deuce court. There are several Martin matches on there.

Moose Malloy

The winners total includes aces and service winners, so it's 35+29=64 non-ace clean winners, 13 aces, and 2 service winners by my judgment.

The detailed non-serve winner breakdown (can be gathered in the 'Shot Types' section) is:
groundstrokes: FH 30, BH 20 (of them 14 and 11 direct return winners respectively, that means 25 out of 50 groundstroke winners were return winners - amazing!)
volley: FH 3, BH 6
others: 2 smashes, 2 drive volleys (1 FH, 1 BH), 1 BH lob

That lone lob winner was made on perhaps the most crucial point of the match - 6-6 in 3rd set TB. Edberg approached on 2nd serve return as usual, which he'd had considerable success doing up to that point, but Martin impressively produced his best lob, thwarting Edberg's hopes to finally get a set point. If Martin doesn't make that, Edberg has a set point on serve to go 2-1 in sets, which he'd still be favoured to convert even with the serve problems, and would probably hold himself together long enough to take the match from there.

Forgot @AnOctorokForDinner did stats on Martin Edberg. He really did torch Edberg on the return(but hit more fh than bh return winners)