Match Stats/Report - Wilander vs Lendl, French Open fourth round, 1982

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Mats Wilander beat Ivan Lendl 4-6, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the French Open fourth round, 1982 on clay

The unseeded 17 year old Wilander was playing his first French Open and would go onto win the first of 3 titles there - following up this win over the 2nd seeded Lendl with wins over the 3rd, 4th and 5th seeds in the next 3 rounds

Wilander won 159 points, Lendl 145 (Wilander won at least 4 other points, Lendl 2)

(Note: I'm missing 1 Wilander service game in which he held, 4 Wilander service points - won 1, lost 3 -, the conclusion of a Lendl service game which he held from 30-30 onwards, serve and return information for match point. A minimum of 10 points)

Serve Stats
Wilander...
- 1st serve percentage (105/141) 74%
- 1st serve points won (68/105) 65%
- 2nd serve points won (19/36) 53%
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (15/142) 11%

Lendl...
- 1st serve percentage (78/158) 49%
- 1st serve points won (52/78) 67%
- 2nd serve points won (36/80) 45%
- Aces 9, Service Winners 2
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (21/158) 13%

Serve Patterns
Wilander served...
- to FH 19%
- to BH 77%
- to Body 4%

Lendl served....
- to FH 24%
- to BH 74%
- to Body 3%

Return Stats
Wilander made...
- 134 (27 FH, 107 BH)
- 2 Winners (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 10 Errors, comprising...
- 1 Unforced (1 BH)
- 9 Forced (3 FH, 6 BH)
- Return Rate (134/155) 86%

Lendl made...
- 125 (41 FH, 81 BH, 3 ??), including 15 runaround FHs, 1 return-approach and 1 drop shot
- 4 Winners (4 FH), including 2 runaround FHs
- 15 Errors, comprising...
- 13 Unforced (4 FH, 9 BH), including 2 runaround FHs
- 2 Forced (2 BH)
- Return Rate (125/140) 89%

Break Points
Wilander 7/18 (11 games)
Lendl 6/13 (9 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Wilander 44 (9 FH, 18 BH, 5 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 8 BHV, 2 OH, 1 BHOH)
Lendl 53 (23 FH, 9 BH, 9 FHV, 6 BHV, 5 OH, 1 BHOH)

Wilander's FHs - 4 cc (1 return), 3 dtl (2 passes), 1 inside-out pass and 1 lob
- BHs - 5 cc (1 return pass), 6 dtl (1 pass), 1 inside-out, 2 drop shots, 1 at net and 3 running-down-drop-shots (1 drop shot at net, 2 dtl)

Lendl's FHs - 7 cc (1 return, 4 passes), 3 dtl (2 passes), 7 inside-out (1 return), 3 inside-in (2 returns) and 3 at net (2 drop shots)
- BHs - 3 cc (1 pass), 5 dtl (1 pass) and 1 inside-out

- 2 from serve-volley points - 1 FHV, 1 BHV - both first volleys
- 1 other FHV was a swinging shot from well behind the service line and not a net point

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Wilander 66
- 27 Unforced (12 FH, 12 BH, 1 BHV, 2 OH)
- 39 Forced (21 FH, 14 BH, 2 FHV, 2 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.1

Lendl 96
- 72 Unforced (33 FH, 31 BH, 5 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)
- 24 Forced (17 FH, 6 BH, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.2

(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
Wilander was...
- 43/61 (70%) at net

Lendl was...
- 44/61 (72%) at net, including...
- 5/11 (45%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 4/9 (44%) off 1st serve and..
- 1/2 off 2nd serve
--
- 0/1 return-approaching

Match Report
Fitness - physical and probably mental - proves to be the deciding factor in this sluggers struggle. Things have been tight for most of 4 sets until Lendl seems to give up the fight - likely due to exhaustion - towards the end of the penultimate set. Wilander by contrast, seems to be as fresh as when the match started and maintains his steady level of consistency to the very end

Playing dynamics change over the course of such a long match as you'd expect and overall match stats are deceptive because of this. Broadly describing it

Serve & Return
The only damaging shot on show here is the Lendl first serve, which is strong enough to win points outright (9 aces, 2 service winners... Wilander has 0) or give him control of the points (which he utilizes to differing degrees). Both Wilander's serves and Lendl's second are innocuous point starters

Note both players serving overwhelmingly to the others BH (Wilander 77%, Lendl 74%). For Wilander, this is understandable as the Lendl FH is clearly the more dangerous side. For Lendl... don't think it would make much difference where he served. Wilander is both uber consistent in making the return and not being damaging with it off both wings

To get an idea of how harmless even Wilander's first serve is, see Lendl's returning position in the ad court. Not infrequently, he's standing closer to the outside of the doubles alley to return... a decent serve down the middle would catch him out. Wilander doesn't even try and is content to allowing Lendl to make FH returns. Occasionally, Lendl lets loose with a big FH return (runaround or otherwise), but its not a high percentage play. He makes a couple of errors trying (also hits 4 winners), and Wilander is usually up to neutralizing the play quickly enough. The return errors Lendl makes early on is simply a function of law of averages (you can't make 'em all, even if they are easy)… later on, he seems to tank a few or at the very least, plays them with astonishing casualness

Apparently, Wilander doesn't know about the law of averages. He effectively does "make 'em all"... does a great job blunting Lendl's powerful first serve and misses just 1 of 80 second serves (ironically, one of the weakest Lendl sent down). 86% return rate against the challenging Lendl serve.... very impressive, even on clay. Lendl is higher still at 89%, but he's not up against half as much.... both deserve credit for their returning, I'd say Wilander more
 
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Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Play - Baseline
BH-BH is the staple, FHs come up as a change up (or when Lendl replaces BH cc with FH inside-out, but still along the staple diagnol), as do net approaches

The first set has the longest rallies - seemingly endless BH-BH exchanges, most shots being passive with a few moonballs thrown in. Doesn't make for great watching but is understandable. For Wilander, that's largely his game. For Lendl - one imagines he wasn't familiar with his opponent and would seek to test him out and see if he could win with as little risk as possible.

Both players are highly consistent with their shots. 50+ shot rallies are common. Wilander probably has the slight edge on BH consistency, but its very slight (far more than the final BH UE counts - Wilander 12, Lendl 31 suggests). When Lendl switches up to FH inside-outs, Wilander's BH holds up near enough as steadily as it did against the BH cc's... but counterattacking via BH dtl seems to be outside his plan or toolkit

Neither players BH packs a punch (Lendl does go balls-to-the-wall crazy later in the match, but he does that off all shots). Particularly Wilander's. To get a sense of how gentle Wilander's shots are... note Lendl's movements

He's basically resting between shots. He'll hit a BH cc, then stand bolt upright, maybe walk a step or two, to get "into position" for the next shot... and he's comfortably in position when the next shot comes. On one point in the whole match does Wilander really take charge baseline to baseline... seeing him push Lendl back with power on that one point drives home just how much he didn't do so for the remaining 300 odd points. Maybe Lendl was aware of his fitness issues and was conserving energy with his in-between shots rests, maybe he was trying to gain a mental edge by conveying how easy it all was

Lendl misses a trick. I gather he was used to being able to outlast most people BH-BH and win points with minimal risk. So what can he do when it becomes clear that that won't fly against this unknown teenager? FH inside-in seems a good idea

Its a shot that in his repertoire, though he is more prone to error with it than most others. On the flip side, his FH is a powerhouse. 23 winners coming off it on this slow surface - plus the bulk of the 39 errors he forces (and it takes a lot to force an error out of the wall that is Wilander, who can only force 24 - most of them from the net). He has time to line it up - he's constantly back away to hit FH inside-out. Instead of trying to break down the Wilander BH - trying to dynamically outplay him, starting with FH inside-in seemed the better play. Not BH dtl, because Lendl doesn't pack half as much a punch off that side, but FH inside-in was under-utilized by Ivan

The Lendl FH is the only groundstroke that can do real damage on this court. And damage it does, reasonably safely. He erred in not orchestrating more FH-FH exchanges, which one imagines would have been more to his favour than the BH stuff. The only other way to liven up play, and both players use is....

Net Play
Despite the passivity of baseline play, the match is above average of dynamism due to net play. After the first set, both make their approaches earlier in rallies

Both are very successfully (Lendl wins 72%, Wilander 70%), but neither seems to volley particularly well (especially Lendl). Rather, the passing has plenty of room for improvement

Lendl comes in off stronger approaches, often big FHs that could force errors all by themselves. And he spends a lot of time in no-mans land hovering between baseline and service line... looking to hit a mid-court groundstroke rather than volley (getting a clear net number for him is difficult... I haven't counted most of his no-man's land adventures as net points, but they aren't exactly baseline points either). He misses a number of easy volleys (8 volley/OH errors... at least one wasn't a net point) and even more frequently fails to put away relatively simple ones. By that time though, Wilander is already fully on the defensive and he doesn't pass particularly well all match

Lendl's step down on the pass is more surprising. "Easy pass" is almost an oxymoron, but for Lendl, who generally makes more difficult passes against top quality volleying on quick courts than anyone - he has a bad day. On at least two occasions, Wilander has the luxury making multiple volleys on which Lendl had good looks at the pass. Most of Lendl's 24 FEs would be passing errors... and with Wilander not volleying with great penetration, the bulk would have been 'makeable' ones

Note also the relatively low volleying FEs for both players (Wilander 4, Lendl just 1)…. not a good match for passing shots

2 of those 4 Wilander FEs are from Lendl drilling the ball at him - once from around the service line, once well in front of it. Something he was known for and (unjustly) criticized for.... its a good play. In such situations, the deck is stacked against the volleyer, but he can still get lucky with a reflex get to either side.... but a ball drilled straight at him is much tougher. Plus it gives him one more thing to think about

Match Progression
Briefly, first set is full of arduously long baseline rallies

Second and third sets are more lively - both players, Lendl is particular - realizing the who-blinks-first stuff would likely end in stalemate, and thus both players approach net earlier in rallies. And in Lendl's case, turns to booming down FHs to win points

Wilander is slightly more consistent than Lendl (i.e. less error prone), but Lendl has the advantage of the big first serve and the big point ending FH.... overall, Lendl is the better player for 3 sets. He actually serves for the second set and is up 30-0 in the game. A poor volley allows Wilander to make a clutch FH inside-out pass to make it 30-15... and Lendl has a mild choke thereafter - a low percentage BH dtl winner attempt he misses, a very poor attempt at a pass and a routine FH error - to get broken. He continues to make errors in the remaining two games to lose the set.... and is close to breaking racquets at the end of it

After winning the 3rd, Lendl starts the 4th at his most aggressive yet. It looked like he sensed the kill and was going for it.... but in hindsight, its likely he was beginning to feel tired and trying to get things over with as soon as can. Wilander holds steady to 3-3... and for the rest of the match, Lendl goes on a bender. He tries to end points quickly, comes to net without adequate set up, makes plenty of errors from attacking shots (also more than he had previously on neutral shots). The last 2 points of the Wilander's last 2 service games are 4 Lendl return errors... and they look very much like he missed on purpose (and he's only down 1 break and 30-15 at the time of the first)

5th set is even worse from Lendl. He goes down 0-4, before collecting a pair of holds... but the writing on the wall had already dried by then. Just tired? Mentally cashed in? Some combination of the two? One leading to the other.... who knows, but its a disappointing end to a terrific struggle

Summing up, tough match with a disappointing ending. Wilander, superb in his consistency at getting the ball in play and successful in using net play for necessary offence. Lendl, less consistent but more damaging.... but ultimately, caving physically and mentally. Drives home how fit and strong the 17 year old Wilander was
 

krosero

Legend
I watched this match a few years ago and I was somewhat surprised with Wilander's net play, given the stereotype that in '82 he never approached the net. Still, I would not have guessed 61 approaches by each man....

Stats are generally similar to Borg-Lendl the previous year: https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/stats-for-1981-rg-final-borg-lendl.196650/

Aces are very different between the two matches, but total unreturned rates show little difference. '81 match has slightly stronger numbers on 2nd serve points. But '82 match had more winners, even accounting for the fact that it was a longer match ('81 final had 248 points, you've got 304 points in this match with at least 10 more missing).

But the net play is the big difference, and it's all due to Lendl. Wilander approaches more or less at same rate that Borg did. But I've got Lendl approaching just 27 times against Borg, vs. 61 (at least) in this match.

I agree with you that Lendl probably figured he had to come in, since he couldn't outlast Wilander.

And I agree about Wilander's baseline play being generally passive, though I thought his DTL backhand caught Lendl out of position. Lendl seemed strangely ineffective when those DTL shots would bounce high and slow.
 
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krosero

Legend
With this loss to Wilander, Lendl had exited five straight GS events in five-setters:

AO 1980, R32: L Pat DU PRE (USA) 5-7 3-6 6-3 6-2 6-7 (down 0-2 in sets)

RG 1981, F: L Bjorn BORG (SWE) 1-6 6-4 2-6 6-3 1-6 (down 1-2)

W 1981, R128: L Charles FANCUTT (AUS) 6-4 3-6 4-6 6-1 3-6 (down 1-2)

USO 1981, R16: L Vitas GERULAITIS (USA) 3-6 4-6 6-3 6-3 4-6 (down 0-2)

RG 1982, R16: L Mats WILANDER (SWE) 6-4 5-7 6-3 4-6 2-6 (up 2-1)


______________________________

Per the New York Times, Lendl had won 92 of his previous 95 matches. He'd lost to Noah on hard court in February and twice to Vilas on clay in Monte Carlo and Madrid (lost the latter from two sets up).
 
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Waspsting

Hall of Fame
But the net play is the big difference, and it's all due to Lendl. Wilander approaches more or less at same rate that Borg did. But I've got Lendl approaching just 27 times against Borg, vs. 61 (at least) in this match.
Lendl's net numbers in this match is likely to vary significantly depending on stat taker

Generally speaking, I have a few rules of thumbs for deciding on net points, begining with player crosses service line and branching off to -

- I'll mark it a net point if he hasn't crossed service line, but I judge that he came forward looking to volley (happens fairly frequently)
- I'll not mark it a net point if he's crossed/touched service line, but I judge that he came forward looking to hit what I call a "mid-court groundstroke" (happens rarely)
- I'll mark it a net point if he's backpedalled behind service line to hit OH on full (and hasn't gone too far behind the service line to do so (happens)
- not a net point if volley made from well behind service line (happens once here)

Lendl in this match... challenges all of the above. Spends healthy amount of time parked slightly behind service line or halfway between it and baseline... I suppose the former would 'force' Wilander's shot in a similar way that a bona fide approach does (but not quite)

I've seen stats with significantly higher net numbers than I've given in which players are frequently hitting mid-court groundstrokes. I dont' count these as net points, but for anyone who does, the numbers for both players in this match would increase by 10+

Been thinking of tweaking a couple of ways I do net stats and this match has helped me decide on 1 of them. Would appreciate your feedback on it

a) Won't be counting 'delayed' serve-volleys (which Lendl does a lot of here) as serve-volley anymore.... net point yes, but serve-volley no (might as well call the third ball to a drop shot return a 'serve-volley' otherwise)

b) Forced back points... if the player forced back returns to net again, not going to mark it forced back. The point of noting forced back is to let people know the point didn't end as a net point... if it did end at net, mentioning forced back is misleading

And I agree about Wilander's baseline play being generally passive, though I thought his DTL backhand caught Lendl out of position. Lendl seemed strangely ineffective when those DTL shots would bounce high and slow.
He did have a healthy 18 BH winners - 5 cc (1 return pass), 6 dtl (1 pass), 1 inside-out, 2 drop shots, 1 at net and 3 running-down-drop-shots (1 drop shot at net, 2 dtl)

BH dtl being the most difficult of the 4 basic groundstrokes makes 6 a good number and inside-out is even harder

He didn't use it much amidst the staple BH cc rallies though (why would he? he'd want to keep those going, suits him more than Lendl)... think most of his damaging BH dtls were against Lendl standing in odd no-man's land positions. That Lendl dared regularly adopt these positions itself is a sign of Wilander's relatively low power level
 

krosero

Legend
Lendl's net numbers in this match is likely to vary significantly depending on stat taker

Generally speaking, I have a few rules of thumbs for deciding on net points, begining with player crosses service line and branching off to -

- I'll mark it a net point if he hasn't crossed service line, but I judge that he came forward looking to volley (happens fairly frequently)
- I'll not mark it a net point if he's crossed/touched service line, but I judge that he came forward looking to hit what I call a "mid-court groundstroke" (happens rarely)
- I'll mark it a net point if he's backpedalled behind service line to hit OH on full (and hasn't gone too far behind the service line to do so (happens)
- not a net point if volley made from well behind service line (happens once here)

Lendl in this match... challenges all of the above. Spends healthy amount of time parked slightly behind service line or halfway between it and baseline... I suppose the former would 'force' Wilander's shot in a similar way that a bona fide approach does (but not quite)

I've seen stats with significantly higher net numbers than I've given in which players are frequently hitting mid-court groundstrokes. I dont' count these as net points, but for anyone who does, the numbers for both players in this match would increase by 10+

Been thinking of tweaking a couple of ways I do net stats and this match has helped me decide on 1 of them. Would appreciate your feedback on it

a) Won't be counting 'delayed' serve-volleys (which Lendl does a lot of here) as serve-volley anymore.... net point yes, but serve-volley no (might as well call the third ball to a drop shot return a 'serve-volley' otherwise)

b) Forced back points... if the player forced back returns to net again, not going to mark it forced back. The point of noting forced back is to let people know the point didn't end as a net point... if it did end at net, mentioning forced back is misleading



He did have a healthy 18 BH winners - 5 cc (1 return pass), 6 dtl (1 pass), 1 inside-out, 2 drop shots, 1 at net and 3 running-down-drop-shots (1 drop shot at net, 2 dtl)

BH dtl being the most difficult of the 4 basic groundstrokes makes 6 a good number and inside-out is even harder

He didn't use it much amidst the staple BH cc rallies though (why would he? he'd want to keep those going, suits him more than Lendl)... think most of his damaging BH dtls were against Lendl standing in odd no-man's land positions. That Lendl dared regularly adopt these positions itself is a sign of Wilander's relatively low power level
Well I haven't charted any net stats in at least a few years, but really I agree with all your reasoning here. I do think it's a good idea to establish what the player is trying to do, their intention, rather than being literal about whether their feet have crossed the service line or whatnot. And I think when I charted net points, I did the same as you with forced-back situations; I counted it a net point if the player got back up there. Heck I continued to count it as a net point even if they never got back to net; but that may be questionable. I did it thinking that if someone comes in and they're forced back, they're trying to play net and are unsuccessful in doing so; it's like getting passed or lobbed. But what if the player forced back ends up winning the point from the baseline, with a passing shot or whatever? Can you really call that a net point anymore?

I'd say yes if you're trying to tabulate all net play, and counting all attempts, no matter how they ended. But I really might call it a failed attempt (a net point lost), even if the player eventually won it from the baseline. In that case it would go in as a baseline point won (if you're tracking those), but also a net attempt lost.

Or just don't count it as a net approach at all, if player never gets back up there. I could see doing a number of different things here.

I feel like these types of points happen more nowadays than in the older matches that I charted. Today you've got players with incredible speed (and racquets that seem able to do anything), running in for drop-shots, often producing outright winners with a single flick right there; or they get lobbed, but they track it down, give it the old between-the-legs shot, and often end up winning the point. Or they track down the lob, catching up to it 50 feet behind the baseline, send the ball back up in a long arc that ends 3 inches inside the opponent's baseline, and away we go again. What do you do with all that?
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
I'd say yes if you're trying to tabulate all net play, and counting all attempts, no matter how they ended. But I really might call it a failed attempt (a net point lost), even if the player eventually won it from the baseline. In that case it would go in as a baseline point won (if you're tracking those), but also a net attempt lost.

Or just don't count it as a net approach at all, if player never gets back up there. I could see doing a number of different things here.
I haven't seen anyone else give forced back numbers. @Moose Malloy told me when I started taking stats that he counted them as net points

The problem I have with this is that it paints the wrong picture

If I hear, "Edberg won a net point", the picture I see is of Edberg at net, having hit a volley winner or forced a passing error
The picture I do not see is of Edberg on the baseline hitting a winner or drawing an error from the other guy who is also on the baseline
The exact opposite of the picture I see is of Edberg at the baseline hitting a passing winner from someone at net

Latter two scenarios might be what actually happened, if forced back numbers aren't specifically given

I remember a point in Mac-Connors USO '80 match where both guys came in, both were forced back and the point was played out from the baseline, like a regular baseline point. Calling that a net point for both players sounded silly to me

For awhile, I doubled counted "net points" if a player came in again after being forced back.... problem with this is that it makes it impossible for the guy to win 100% net points, since I'm not going to say he won two points if he ends up winning the point

I think what I've got now is good... it covers the two things I want to with the numbers -
1) that the guy came to net (don't want to disacknowledge that just because he's forced back)
2) where the guy was at the end of the point (which I'm more interested in)

Today you've got players with incredible speed (and racquets that seem able to do anything), running in for drop-shots, often producing outright winners with a single flick right there; or they get lobbed, but they track it down, give it the old between-the-legs shot, and often end up winning the point. Or they track down the lob, catching up to it 50 feet behind the baseline, send the ball back up in a long arc that ends 3 inches inside the opponent's baseline, and away we go again. What do you do with all that?
I would mark the run-down-drop-shot-winner as net point or not based on standard 'did he cross the service line' guideline

if the guy gets lobbed, then it become a net point and a forced back point (assuming even if he didn't cross the service line to deal with the drop shot, his momentum carried him past... it'd have to be a terrible drop shot for that not to happen)... so the guy was at net (regardless if he played his first shot there or behind service line) and now he's forced back

If he stays on the baseline for the rest of the point, that'll be marked both "net point" and "forced back point"
And if he comes in again, the "forced back" part gets erased and it'll just be a "net point"

Which reminds, I forgot to mention the greyest "net point or not" area Lendl brought up in this match

Its common for players to hit a drop shot and then approach. That's a straight forward net point

Lendl in this match hits drop shots and then parks himself behind the service line. Technically its not a net point, but his position is such that he's forcing Wilander's shot choice, including discouraging a careless lift-over because Lendl can come in and volley it away. Just like a net point, but not quite because he's not necessarily looking to hit a volley... but is ready to

I already don't remember specifically how I marked those... case-by-case, I'm sure

Lendl's usually a straightforward player to stat, but he played a woozy for a stats taker this match (probably why he lost:))

Glorious times. I wish I could go back then… Thanks for sharing.
My pleasure... its an interesting match, though I confess, don't think I'd want to watch too many like it in succession

You ever put your old Wilander matches up online, let me know. I'm just about fresh out of Wilander wins from youtube… of the greats, he has the fewest matches there
 

krosero

Legend
I haven't seen anyone else give forced back numbers. @Moose Malloy told me when I started taking stats that he counted them as net points

The problem I have with this is that it paints the wrong picture

If I hear, "Edberg won a net point", the picture I see is of Edberg at net, having hit a volley winner or forced a passing error
The picture I do not see is of Edberg on the baseline hitting a winner or drawing an error from the other guy who is also on the baseline
The exact opposite of the picture I see is of Edberg at the baseline hitting a passing winner from someone at net

Latter two scenarios might be what actually happened, if forced back numbers aren't specifically given

I remember a point in Mac-Connors USO '80 match where both guys came in, both were forced back and the point was played out from the baseline, like a regular baseline point. Calling that a net point for both players sounded silly to me

For awhile, I doubled counted "net points" if a player came in again after being forced back.... problem with this is that it makes it impossible for the guy to win 100% net points, since I'm not going to say he won two points if he ends up winning the point

I think what I've got now is good... it covers the two things I want to with the numbers -
1) that the guy came to net (don't want to disacknowledge that just because he's forced back)
2) where the guy was at the end of the point (which I'm more interested in)



I would mark the run-down-drop-shot-winner as net point or not based on standard 'did he cross the service line' guideline

if the guy gets lobbed, then it become a net point and a forced back point (assuming even if he didn't cross the service line to deal with the drop shot, his momentum carried him past... it'd have to be a terrible drop shot for that not to happen)... so the guy was at net (regardless if he played his first shot there or behind service line) and now he's forced back

If he stays on the baseline for the rest of the point, that'll be marked both "net point" and "forced back point"
And if he comes in again, the "forced back" part gets erased and it'll just be a "net point"

Which reminds, I forgot to mention the greyest "net point or not" area Lendl brought up in this match

Its common for players to hit a drop shot and then approach. That's a straight forward net point

Lendl in this match hits drop shots and then parks himself behind the service line. Technically its not a net point, but his position is such that he's forcing Wilander's shot choice, including discouraging a careless lift-over because Lendl can come in and volley it away. Just like a net point, but not quite because he's not necessarily looking to hit a volley... but is ready to

I already don't remember specifically how I marked those... case-by-case, I'm sure

Lendl's usually a straightforward player to stat, but he played a woozy for a stats taker this match (probably why he lost:))
I follow the logic and fundamentally agree. Regarding the Mac-Connors example, where both men ended up back at the baseline, yeah calling it a net point doesn't seem right. But I'd count it simply as a net approach. The way we do net stats, we talk about total approaches to net, and a fixed number of successful attempts. If guy is forced back, it's still an approach; I just wouldn't mark it as one of his successful net approaches (or "net point won"), regardless of what he does when he goes back to the baseline. Back there, he's winning or losing a baseline point (or baseline rally), with a groundstroke winner/error. His net approach is over, once he's forced back. And it's a failed approach. Goes into his total number of net attempts. Just can't go into his net points won -- and shouldn't, even if he ends up winning the point after retreating.

Doing it this way, you would end up with points that are classed two ways, both as baseline point and as net approach. That could be a little tricky if you use net/baseline numbers to calculate total points played/won, but I get the latter from my service stats, so for me net play is just a totally separate count, measuring net play and nothing else. I make note of forced-back situations (as you do), just to be clear that certain net points were different.

Another reason I'd like to count it as a net approach even when a player is forced back and the point continues from the baselines, is that I don't want to make it depend on whether he's good enough to get back and track the lob and put it back in play. What I mean is, some players might come in, and they're not speedy enough or skilled enough to track the lob over their heads; they get lobbed cleanly; end of story. Net point played, net point lost. Another player makes the same net approach, sees the same lob go over his head, but has the legs and skills to put it back in play. But this should not get counted as a net approach? Just because this guy is good enough to make the point continue from the baselines? In this hypothetical comparison, both men have done the same thing at net (both hit a crosscourt volley, or whatever); only difference between the players is what happened in the backcourt. But why should what happens in the backcourt, determine whether a net approach was made?

Sure, it no longer ends as a net POINT, but that's why I would prefer to say net approach rather than point.
 

NicoMK

Professional
You ever put your old Wilander matches up online, let me know. I'm just about fresh out of Wilander wins from youtube… of the greats, he has the fewest matches there
Well... I have hundreds of old VHS tapes featuring Mats. When I started to watch tennis, it was already late in Mats' career (1989) but he became at once my favorite. Then I started to collect and record anything I could get. Old matches (most of the times copies of them), live broadcasts. I didn't care whether it was a first round or a quarter final, win or loss - although I preferred option 1 - I had to have it.

I played some matches to death, I knew some parts by heart. Crazy when I think about this but that was cool.

I'd like to transfer all those tapes on a computer, I'd really love... just to enjoy them all one more time... but I dont know how to find time to do it. It's hundred of hours of tennis...

Anyway that's good to talk about good old tennis with dudes like you.
 
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