Stats for 1987 USO QF (Lendl-McEnroe)

krosero

Legend
Lendl d. McEnroe 6-3, 6-3, 6-4

Barry McCay said he’d never seen Lendl return better and thought that Lendl had strung together the three best sets of his career. Lendl did not think so but thought that it was a good win considering the lights (he said in the oncourt interview that he did not like to play under them) and the prizefight atmosphere.

20,633 were in attendance – so many that play was constantly held up.

Lendl held in all 14 of his service games and never faced a break point. He dropped only 17 points on serve (the same number that Sampras dropped over 13 service games in the 1990 final). McEnroe was broken four times in 14 service games.

Starting at 1-2 in the first set, Lendl won 21 straight points on serve (four love games), a streak ended at 3-1, 40-love in the second set with an unforced error.

The New York Times does not report the service streak, but it is one of the longest such streaks that I know of up to that time. (Becker had achieved a 22-point streak against Mayotte two months earlier, in Hartford).

Lendl hit 5 winning forehand lobs in the match. He also threw up three lobs (one off the backhand) that helped him win points. He hit 3 lobs (two off the backhand) that failed to win him a point.

Probably all five of the lob winners were shown on the CBS highlight show, which I remember vividly. I think they also were highlighted in the Sports Illustrated report. McEnroe says in You Cannot Be Serious that Lendl “brutalized” him with lobs and mentions nothing else about the match. He says Lendl must have put the ball over his head 15 times.

McEnroe was saying at the time that he was in shape for the first time in his career, but this was only weeks after he’d run out of gas in the Hartford match against Becker. Pancho Segura thought that McEnroe could not beat Lendl in a three-of-five match on hard court the way Lendl was playing (related by the commentators).

Lendl had told Ion Tiriac earlier in the year in Sydney that there was no way McEnroe could catch him now, because his ball was slower and he was slower. Tiriac said, “I don’t agree twice with Lendl in my life; but on this he is right” (Carillo).

Tom Gorman, McEnroe’s Davis Cup captain, thought that McEnroe was not getting the same power on his serve because his right leg was not splayed out as far in front, perhaps because of a back problem.

By my count:

Lendl had 8 aces and 3 doubles.
McEnroe had 1 ace and 7 doubles.

Lendl hit 28 winners apart from service: 16 FH, 9 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 overhead.

McEnroe hit 15 winners apart from service: 3 FH, 0 BH, 4 FHV, 6 BHV, 2 overheads.

The total number of games was 28. Lendl had 16 forehand winners, very comparable to the 18 he had over 25 games a few months later in the Masters final over Wilander.

McEnroe’s backhand, so strong in the past, produced not a single winner. He produced just 3 winners off the ground, while Lendl produced just 3 winners from volleys/smashes.

As noted above, Lendl made 5 lob winners, all off the FH. McEnroe had none.

Lendl hit 6 service return winners: three times off second serve with forehands and once with a backhand, and twice off first serve with backhands; all of these returns were passes.

McEnroe had no service return winners.

Lendl hit 13 other passing shots (8 in the third set): 7 forehands and 6 backhands. So Lendl passed McEnroe 24 times altogether.

McEnroe passed Lendl twice, both times with forehands.


Some stats from USA:

Lendl finished the match having served at 62%.

Lendl served 8 aces and 3 doubles. McEnroe made 5 doubles, including two in his first service break at 3-all in the first.

In the first set, Lendl won 1 of 3 approaches, McEnroe 11 of 23.

At 2-love in the second, Lendl had 15 winners, McEnroe 4.
 
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Moose Malloy

G.O.A.T.
Lendl had 8 aces and 3 doubles.
McEnroe had 1 ace and 7 doubles.

Lendl hit 28 winners apart from service: 16 FH, 9 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 overhead.
SI says Lendl had 34 winners:

Lendl fired back everything McEnroe served, and he never faced so much as a break point. Lendl's lobs traced rainbows to the baseline, and he passed McEnroe at midcourt with lightning bolts. Lendl's ratio of winners to errors was 34-15, an extraordinary figure. Even more astounding, he won 79% of the points that began with his second serve. Normally, a player can win a match if he converts around half of his 2nd serve points.
http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1066476/2/index.htm
 

krosero

Legend
I think since I have 36 winners including aces, SI's 34 winners might include aces.

But now that Levin has confirmed for us that non-service winners can be credited on judgment calls, it could be that SI is including some of those, and not including service.

Frustrating not to know what is meant by "winners" half the time.

I'm going to have to dip into the SI vault myself, if it goes so far back; I remember that article about the 80W.

The Washington Post often posted stats, more than any other source I'm finding in the 70s through the 90s (more than the NY Times). Service percentages, success on first and second serve, sometimes winners and ue's. That paper is well worth buying an account for if you want stats.
 

krosero

Legend
New stats

Lendl won 91 points overall, McEnroe 71.

Lendl won 58 of 75 points on serve: 36 of 47 on first serve (77%) and 22 of 28 on second (79%).

McEnroe won 54 of 87 points on serve: 36 of 49 on first (73%) and 18 of 38 on second (47%).

This is one of those matches where someone has more success on second serve than on first; but Lendl's winning percentage on second declined somewhat per set, from 100 to 78 to 64. In the third set McEnroe started waiting for serves in front of the baseline and had some success.

Lendl served at 62.7%, making 47 of 75 first serves. By set:

14/22 - 64%
15/24 - 63%
18/29 - 62%

McEnroe served at 56.3%, making 49 of 87 first serves. By set:

16/28 - 57%
11/23 - 48%
22/36 - 61%


Lendl never faced a break point. He converted 4 of 9.

McEnroe got his first serve into play on 3 of 9 break points. He was broken once on first serve and three times on second.


Lendl drew 21 return errors (seven with second serves), McEnroe 31 (nine with second serves). Out of all those serves I gave Lendl 4 service winners, McEnroe 2.


Errors (forced and unforced)

Subtracting the winners and aces from the total points won: each man made 55 errors in total.

Of Lendl’s 55 errors, I counted 31 return errors and 3 double-faults. That leaves him making 21 errors in points that had at least a successful return, that is, in rallies.

Of McEnroe’s 55 errors, I counted 21 return errors and 7 double-faults. That leaves him making 27 errors in points that had at least a successful return, that is, in rallies.


I didn't find any mistakes in my original stats, but in the original post I made a correction about the end of Lendl's service streak.
 

krosero

Legend
Borgforever talked a little bit in the Borg thread about how a player can gain a sudden foothold in a match and start rolling, never letting the opponent recover. That was about Borg and Nastase in the 1976 Wimbledon final, when Nastase got off to a good start but lost in straight sets.

McEnroe started this match well enough, but I think like Nastase he had his confidence stung when his opponent started playing like never before. In Nastase’s case it was Borg’s serving. Here, I think, it was Lendl’s forehand lobs.

In the third game McEnroe won an incredible point with both players running well; Mac was making most of his first serves and it seemed like it would be a great match. He had played great tennis against Becker in their Davis Cup match two months earlier, and this meeting could have been a good one (though I don't doubt that Lendl was in the zone and was going to win).

But at 3-all Lendl hit his first clean lob winner and earned his first break. He hit another one in the next game, and followed with a clean return winner off McEnroe’s first serve in the game after that, taking the set. Then it became a rout and the lob winners kept coming.

So after that good start, McEnroe dumped some easy volleys and ground strokes that he should not have missed; but obviously he couldn’t be tired. I thought his confidence was just punctured. He made those shots in ’84 because he was winning and he had his confidence; afterwards he could never quite string enough wins together to work up the kind of confidence that could withstand challenges.
 

CEvertFan

Hall of Fame
Subtracting the winners and aces from the total points won: each man made 55 errors in total.

Of Lendl’s 55 errors, I counted 31 return errors and 3 double-faults. That leaves him making 21 errors in points that had at least a successful return, that is, in rallies.

Of McEnroe’s 55 errors, I counted 21 return errors and 7 double-faults. That leaves him making 27 errors in points that had at least a successful return, that is, in rallies.
That's a rather high unforced error total for both players considering it was a straight set match.
 

krosero

Legend
That's a rather high unforced error total for both players considering it was a straight set match.
That's the total errors, both forced and unforced. There was no count of the unforced errors given by USA, but the quote above from SI credits Lendl with a 34-15 "ratio of winners to errors." I take that to mean 15 unforced errors, since most writers use the word "errors" as a shorthand for unforced errors.

Whether the 15 ue's include his 3 double-faults, I don't know.
 

CEvertFan

Hall of Fame
That's the total errors, both forced and unforced. There was no count of the unforced errors given by USA, but the quote above from SI credits Lendl with a 34-15 "ratio of winners to errors." I take that to mean 15 unforced errors, since most writers use the word "errors" as a shorthand for unforced errors.

Whether the 15 ue's include his 3 double-faults, I don't know.
I misunderstood and thought that was only unforced. Thanks for clarifying.
 
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