Stats for 1987 Wimbledon 4th Round(Connors-Pernfors)

Connors d Pernfors 16 16 75 64 62

missing some of a Pernfors service game. 3rd set, 2-0, 15-30 until the start of the next game(Pernfors held to 3-0)

Connors served at 79%(97 of 123)
62% first serve points won(60 of 97)
54% second serve points(14 of 26)
1 ace, no doubles
5% of his service points were unreturned(6/123)

Pernfors served at 57.5%(80 of 139)
60% first serve points won(48 of 80)
47% second serve points won(28 of 59)
13 aces, 2 doubles
22% of his service points were unreturned(31/139)

Connors had 34 winners: 6 fh, 12 bh, 7 fhv, 6 fhv, 3 ov
Pernfors had 30 winners: 8 fh, 15 bh, 4 bhv, 3 ov

Connors was 43 of 70(61%) at net. Only serve and volleyed 3 times.
Pernfors was 18 of 24 at net(75%). He serve and volleyed 7 times.

Connors was 7 of 20 on break points, Pernfors 8 of 14. Connors made first serves on 12 break points. Pernfors on 12.
Connors broke for the first time at 2-4 in the 3rd set.

There were 2 breaks in the 1st set, 3 in the 2nd, 3 in the 3rd, 3 in the 4th, 4 in the 5th.

I've haven't seen a Wimbledon men's match from the 1980s with longer rallies than this match. Or one with less S&V(only 10 points). Quite a contrast to Connors' next match vs Zivojinovic(also have stats for that)

Was pretty surprised by Pernfors' 13 aces, wasn't expecting that. He had a huge lead in unreturned serve % as well(which isn't uncommon with Connors matches)
In Pernfors' other most famous match, vs Cash in Davis Cup he had no aces (https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/some-stats-for-1986-davis-cup-final-cash-pernfors.168633/)
His serve % was also a lot higher in that match, maybe he felt the need to go for more vs Connors.

The match is famous for Connors being down 61, 61, 41, but I felt Pernfors' best chance was in the 4th set. Pernfors was only up one break in the 3rd set, but had a chance to go up 2 breaks with Connors serving down 0-3 in the 4th. Connors held to 1-3, and broke to get back on serve at 2-3(Pernfors did have an ad to get to 4-1)

more stats to come.
 
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jrepac

Hall of Fame
Yes, Pernfors probably lost it in the 4th, IMHO. Once it got to the 5th, it was hard to bet against Jimmy. His level of play had improved and Pernfors wasn't hitting the winners as fluidly as earlier.
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
Yeah, he never had a chance in the 5th. The key was that even though Mikael blew the 4-1 lead in the 3rd, he was STILL up 3-0 in the fourth, but lost 5 of the next 6 games. It was over after that. If he could have sneaked along in the 4th, get it to 4-4 or 5-5. maybe he could have closed it out.

That was a fun match - great baseline tennis on fast grass.
 

WCT

Semi-Pro
Wow, 6 unreturned serves in 5 sets. When I did the 1977 Wimbledon finals stats, I had Connors with only 9. I've always wondered if I made a mistake because it was so ridiculously low. Maybe not. Never would have expected that many aces or that big an unreturned serve edge for Pernfors. Not that his % is that big, just in comparison to Connors.

I've never seen this match. All I remember seeing back at the time was NBC's late night highlight show. Maybe a 15 minute show. I don't think I had cable that year for Wimbledon, so I saw nothing there.

They played an excellent match in Memphis, I believe earlier that year. I once spoke to Pernfors briefly. He was a guest on Jim Lampley's early WFAN show. IIRC, I asked him about Connors and Mecir. I thought they both hit the ball pretty flat and pretty short strokes. He basically agreed, but thought Mecir went for more angles.

I still think this has to rank up there as Connors' best comeback. He wasn't getting beaten for 2 1/2 sets, he was getting kiled.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
Wow, 6 unreturned serves in 5 sets. When I did the 1977 Wimbledon finals stats, I had Connors with only 9. I've always wondered if I made a mistake because it was so ridiculously low. Maybe not. Never would have expected that many aces or that big an unreturned serve edge for Pernfors. Not that his % is that big, just in comparison to Connors.

I've never seen this match. All I remember seeing back at the time was NBC's late night highlight show. Maybe a 15 minute show. I don't think I had cable that year for Wimbledon, so I saw nothing there.

They played an excellent match in Memphis, I believe earlier that year. I once spoke to Pernfors briefly. He was a guest on Jim Lampley's early WFAN show. IIRC, I asked him about Connors and Mecir. I thought they both hit the ball pretty flat and pretty short strokes. He basically agreed, but thought Mecir went for more angles.

I still think this has to rank up there as Connors' best comeback. He wasn't getting beaten for 2 1/2 sets, he was getting kiled.
That and the PMac match will always stand out for me. HBO showed the Pernfors match....I don't think it was from start to finish though....I seem to recall seeing 3rd set onwards....I really liked Pernfors and was surprised he never won a GS. Got 1 final and that was it...
 

suwanee4712

Professional
OOF! This one still smarts. MP used to live near me in Stone Mountain. I never asked him about this match. The only thing I ever brought up were his college days at UGA and his French run and Canadian title.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
OOF! This one still smarts. MP used to live near me in Stone Mountain. I never asked him about this match. The only thing I ever brought up were his college days at UGA and his French run and Canadian title.
I suspect he still has bad dreams about that one....still, it made him part of Wimbledon history. That's always in the listings of best comebacks at Wimby. At least they didn't play it over and over and over during rain delays! poor Aaron!
 

suwanee4712

Professional
I suspect he still has bad dreams about that one....still, it made him part of Wimbledon history. That's always in the listings of best comebacks at Wimby. At least they didn't play it over and over and over during rain delays! poor Aaron!
He's so relaxed. I think he's the kind of guy that's grateful for his time on tour, yet lives completely in the moment. With that said, there's bound to be times when his mind wanders back to that match. I think he also lost a heartbreaker to Cash in Davis Cup at Kooyong. His quirky game helped to make him a threat on grass.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
He's so relaxed. I think he's the kind of guy that's grateful for his time on tour, yet lives completely in the moment. With that said, there's bound to be times when his mind wanders back to that match. I think he also lost a heartbreaker to Cash in Davis Cup at Kooyong. His quirky game helped to make him a threat on grass.
The guy was a backboard....very little got past him! I remember watching a match he played vs. Wilander...mamma mia!
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
The guy was a backboard....very little got past him! I remember watching a match he played vs. Wilander...mamma mia!
I was a big Pernfors fan for some reason. I mean, he's not exactly a star or a household name, and his career highlights are marginal. I think it was because I knew him from college tennis and to me his game was "cool" with that big roundhouse forehand and lots of drop shots and lobs, plus his court speed. I think he got as much as he could out of his game - a Masters title, a Slam final, three titles, a Top 10 ranking. Beyond that he only made one other Slam QF (thanks to McEnroe's default) and a handful of 4th rounds. The forehand was good, but he didn't have a huge weapon. I guess maybe, if he hadn't been injured, and had an uninterrupted career, he could have achieved more. But, I still don't see him winning a Slam. And, on the other hand, he easily could have had a lesser career. He really did good for himself. And, he seems like someone who is simply grateful to have actually made a living playing professional tennis - takes the highs and lows in stride.
 

suwanee4712

Professional
I was a big Pernfors fan for some reason. I mean, he's not exactly a star or a household name, and his career highlights are marginal. I think it was because I knew him from college tennis and to me his game was "cool" with that big roundhouse forehand and lots of drop shots and lobs, plus his court speed. I think he got as much as he could out of his game - a Masters title, a Slam final, three titles, a Top 10 ranking. Beyond that he only made one other Slam QF (thanks to McEnroe's default) and a handful of 4th rounds. The forehand was good, but he didn't have a huge weapon. I guess maybe, if he hadn't been injured, and had an uninterrupted career, he could have achieved more. But, I still don't see him winning a Slam. And, on the other hand, he easily could have had a lesser career. He really did good for himself. And, he seems like someone who is simply grateful to have actually made a living playing professional tennis - takes the highs and lows in stride.
Yeah he did make the most out of his limited opportunities. I would've never thought he would reach a slam final, not even the French. But I was thrilled when he did. His UGA coach Dan Magill proved to be a big hit in Paris at least amongst the media. It also got Magill a feature spread in Tennis Magazine, well deserved.
 
Wow, 6 unreturned serves in 5 sets. When I did the 1977 Wimbledon finals stats, I had Connors with only 9. I've always wondered if I made a mistake because it was so ridiculously low. Maybe not. Never would have expected that many aces or that big an unreturned serve edge for Pernfors. Not that his % is that big, just in comparison to Connors.

I've never seen this match. All I remember seeing back at the time was NBC's late night highlight show. Maybe a 15 minute show. I don't think I had cable that year for Wimbledon, so I saw nothing there.

They played an excellent match in Memphis, I believe earlier that year. I once spoke to Pernfors briefly. He was a guest on Jim Lampley's early WFAN show. IIRC, I asked him about Connors and Mecir. I thought they both hit the ball pretty flat and pretty short strokes. He basically agreed, but thought Mecir went for more angles.

I still think this has to rank up there as Connors' best comeback. He wasn't getting beaten for 2 1/2 sets, he was getting kiled.
The full match is on YouTube if you want to check it out

 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
The full match is on YouTube if you want to check it out

Thanks. Previously, there were only grainy snippets of the match. There was once a 10-15 minute highlight clip of the early part of the match which was great, but that went away and then there wasn't much good footage. So, again, thanks.

With so many highly edited highlight clips of classic matches - you forget how many points in a tennis match, even a good tennis match, are hum drum unforced errors relatively early in the point.
 
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bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
I watched this. Pernfors really did blow it - the 2 set and 4-1 lead, but then also the 3-0 4th set lead. On the other hand, other than some short stretches, Pernfors really isn't playing particularly brilliantly (it's a messy match all the way around), so I'm not surprised that Jimmy could find a way - had some decent stretches exactly when he needed to.
 
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BringBackWood

Professional
To see Pernfors at his best, I think you have to watch his quarter and semis against Becker and Leconte at the French. Both those guys played well, but were just stunned at times by some of the plays he was coming up with.
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
To see Pernfors at his best, I think you have to watch his quarter and semis against Becker and Leconte at the French. Both those guys played well, but were just stunned at times by some of the plays he was coming up with.
As much flack as Pernfors might get for blowing that lead, 1987 Wimbledon was still a great tournament for him. Little known is that he beat Seguso 10-8 in the fifth in the first round and beat 10-seed Mayotte in five sets after dropping the first two sets - in the round right before his Connors clash.
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
To see Pernfors at his best, I think you have to watch his quarter and semis against Becker and Leconte at the French. Both those guys played well, but were just stunned at times by some of the plays he was coming up with.
Honestly I thought he even played fairly well in the final, even if he only did win 9 games. But, yeah, his play in getting to the final was at times remarkable. He beat Edberg too - I think in the second round.
 

krosero

Legend
Pernfors can also be seen at his best against Cash in Davis Cup. Cash gave him a target, like Edberg/Becker/Leconte at RG, and Mayotte at Wimbledon.

Boxscore in the New York Daily News:

 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
Watching this match a little bit every day....definitely a treat. I'm into the 4th set now and it's quite fascinating. While Pernfors is playing VERY well, I think Connors is the one who is quite 'off' at the start. The 3rd set is remarkable...I had forgotten about the streak of 14 pts Connors strung together there. You can see and feel it, as he is getting more into the rallies, working the angles and hitting those deep approach shots. Even when he falls behind a bit in the 4th set, he turns it on again to break back. Something that the truly great players are able to do. Hopefully, someone will post the QF match against Bobo, as I've seen absolutely none of that.
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
Pernfors can also be seen at his best against Cash in Davis Cup. Cash gave him a target, like Edberg/Becker/Leconte at RG, and Mayotte at Wimbledon.

Boxscore in the New York Daily News:

He lost a two set lead in that Davis Cup match too - but it was good stuff. There's no good quality video of that match; it's super grainy and tough to see the ball.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
I watched this. Pernfors really did blow it - the 2 set and 4-1 lead, but then also the 3-0 4th set lead. On the other hand, other than some short stretches, Pernfors really isn't playing particularly brilliantly (it's a messy match all the way around), so I'm not surprised that Jimmy could find a way - had some decent stretches exactly when he needed to.
I don't think Pernfors was playing badly at all. Sure there are some off spots, but he's losing at critical points because Connors is choosing to be the aggressor...and doing it very well when he absolutely needed to. Would be interesting to stack this up against the USO PMac match, which had similar circumstances. Connors, when his back was against the wall, could sometimes (not always) produce amazing tennis.
 
As much flack as Pernfors might get for blowing that lead, 1987 Wimbledon was still a great tournament for him. Little known is that he beat Seguso 10-8 in the fifth in the first round and beat 10-seed Mayotte in five sets after dropping the first two sets - in the round right before his Connors clash.

It's also worth noting that both players had to play their 3rd round matches on Monday, the day before this match(Wimbledon of course refused to play on the middle Sunday, even when matches got rained out on Saturday)

So it was a tough turnaround for both, but maybe more so for Pernfors to play the day after a 5 setter. Connors had it rough as well - 4 sets vs Evernden on Monday, 5 sets with Pernfors on Tuesday, his QF with Zivojinovic on Wednesday(a pretty high quality match imo). Had Thursday off before playing Cash on Friday. He had beaten Cash at Queens, maybe he would have fared better if he wasn't forced to play so many days in a row.

Also, Pernfors beating Mayotte was considered a big upset. After Becker lost in the 2nd round, Mayotte was favored with the oddsmakers to make the semis in that section.
 
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To see Pernfors at his best, I think you have to watch his quarter and semis against Becker and Leconte at the French. Both those guys played well, but were just stunned at times by some of the plays he was coming up with.
You should check out Pernfors' win over Martin in the '93 Montreal Masters final. It's on youtube. It was a pretty shocking result at the time, Pernfors was ranked 95(and was in the 200-300 range the previous 2 years), it really came out of nowhere. He played a lot more offensively that week than he had in the 80s. I remember watching him beat Courier in straights that week and thinking that Courier's limitations were sort of exposed.
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
You should check out Pernfors' win over Martin in the '93 Montreal Masters final. It's on youtube. It was a pretty shocking result at the time, Pernfors was ranked 95(and was in the 200-300 range the previous 2 years), it really came out of nowhere. He played a lot more offensively that week than he had in the 80s. I remember watching him beat Courier in straights that week and thinking that Courier's limitations were sort of exposed.
I totally remember that win. It really was a surprising late career Masters (or whatever the precursor was called) run.. I nice cap to his career.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
It's also worth noting that both players had to play their 3rd round matches on Monday, the day before this match(Wimbledon of course refused to play on the middle Sunday, even when matches got rained out on Saturday)

So it was a tough turnaround for both, but maybe more so for Pernfors to play the day after a 5 setter. Connors had it rough as well - 4 sets vs Evernden on Monday, 5 sets with Pernfors on Tuesday, his QF with Zivojinovic on Wednesday(a pretty high quality match imo). Had Thursday off before playing Cash on Friday. He had beaten Cash at Queens, maybe he would have fared better if he wasn't forced to play so many days in a row.

Also, Pernfors beating Mayotte was considered a big upset. After Becker lost in the 2nd round, Mayotte was favored with the oddsmakers to make the semis in that section.
I think Mayotte really struggled to get past the big boys (Lendl, Mac, Connors) when it really mattered. He had a great game for grass and I always expected him to get to a final, but it never happened. I would not have expected him to get past Connors, but if JC was tired (as you suggest) who knows? I really expected him to take down Cash, given the performance at Queens the week prior. But age takes its toll!
 
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