Stats published for 1990 AO final (Lendl-Edberg)

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by krosero, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Dec 3, 2006
    I did not take my own stats for this match, but I copied some stats provided by ESPN and Ch. 7 Australia, and took down my own observations.

    Lendl d. Edberg, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 5-2, ret.

    This was the first retirement from a Grand Slam final since the 1911 Wimbledon. It was the only Grand Slam final that Edberg and Lendl played.

    The New York Times reported that Edberg had pulled an abdominal muscle in the last game of his semifinal against Wilander.

    Todd Snyder told Pam Shriver that Edberg had first injured the muscle in a Lipton semifinal against Wilander in 1986, and re-injured it two years later. He said that it troubled Edberg on the overhead and serve, and prevented his getting any pace on the forehand.

    At the 1989 Australian Open, Edberg injured his back muscles while closing out a match against Pat Cash and had to default his quarterfinal.

    After this final, Drysdale called for a change in the surface. In the third round, Sabatini and Woodforde had each fallen and injured their ankles.

    Edberg elected to receive and was broken in his first service game, when Drysdale and Stolle speculated that perhaps his back was hurting.

    However, he began to serve well, and then broke at 4-all with well constructed approaches and a Lendl double at love-30.

    Shriver noticed Edberg rubbing his stomach during the changeover at love-3 in the second set. In the previous game I thought he looked slow at the baseline. He held to 1-3, but double-faulted twice in a row. Yet he broke in the next game due to 3 Lendl unforced errors.

    At the changeover Todd Snyder applied ice to Edberg’s stomach. Edberg then held with some slow-pace tactics: he looped his forehand, alternated his backhand between slice and top, and tried to come in when he could. He got out of three set points against him at 4-5 and then broke Lendl again by moving him around from the baseline.

    But serving for a two-set lead, Edberg was forced into some volley errors by Lendl’s power. He doubled at 2-love and 2-4 in the tiebreak (his fifth and sixth doubles of the match, all in the second set).

    He was broken at the start of the third with two more doubles.

    Stats from Ch. 7 Australia:

    At 30-all in the tenth game, each man was winning 63% of his first-serve points. At 4-all in the second set, Lendl was winning 69%, Edberg 60%. At 3-2 in the third, Lendl was winning 69%, Edberg 56%.

    Lendl had then won 7 points at net, Edberg 21.

    Stats from ESPN:


    Lendl served at 37%, with 1 ace, 3 doubles, 16 winners and 10 unforced errors.

    Edberg served at 79%, with no aces or doubles, 6 winners and 8 unforced errors.

    Edberg had been to net 34 times, Lendl 5.


    Lendl served at 60%, with 3 aces, 2 doubles, 14 winners, and 14 unforced errors.

    Edberg served at 63%, with 0 aces, 6 doubles, 16 winners, and 17 unforced errors.

    Service was broken 4 times between them.


    Lendl served at 54%, with 5 aces, 4 doubles, 40 winners and 31 unforced errors.

    Edberg served at 69%, with 0 aces, 9 doubles, 27 winners and 37 unforced errors.

    Edberg was broken 5 times, Lendl 4.

    The match lasted 2 hours 25 minutes, and it went 30 games.

    After the match Drysdale said that he thought Edberg would have won if he’d been healthy.

    Edberg and Lendl played the next two years at the AO.

    In 1991, Lendl won their semifinal in five sets: 6-4, 5-7, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4.

    In 1992, Edberg won their quarterfinal in five sets: 4-6, 7-5, 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-1.

    I think that Edberg would have won in 1990 if he had stayed healthy -- probably in a close match. At the beginning, at least, Edberg was playing well and Lendl was struggling with his serve.

    But all of this is speculation and should not be used to put an asterisk on Lendl's victory. Staying healthy is a requirement of the game. In no sense did Lendl not deserve to win this title; he stayed healthy while his opponent did not.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  2. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Dec 27, 2005
    Here were the stats I took:

    Non-service winners:

    Lendl: 32- 17 FH, 9 BH, 5 V, 1 O

    Edberg: 21- 3 FH, 3 BH, 10 V, 5 O

    By set:

    Lendl: 13, 11, 8

    Edberg: 3, 15, 3

    In both espn's stats & mine, Lendl had a big edge in winners in the 1st set despite losing it. He was up an early break in that set(& the 2nd) so I think he would have a had a good shot at this, even if Edberg had been healthy.
    In their '89 Masters match, Lendl also had a big edge in winners after one set. I'm curious if this was common in their rivalry, I would think since Edberg is an attacking player he would have more winners than Lendl, but in 2 matches where he was winning(& one where he did win) he was behind in that stat. I would expect to see that in a Wilander-Lendl match, not an Edberg-Lendl match.

    The only time I noticed the injury really affecting Edberg was in the 3rd set, that was when he started staying back on a lot of 1st & 2nd serves(he was S&Ving on virtually every 1st & 2nd serve in the 1st 2 sets)

    And he didn't call the trainer until the 2nd set.

    I wonder if he would have been able to play better in the 3rd despite the injury had he closed out the 2nd set(since the finish line was close)

    I took net stats & came up with very close numbers, had Edberg at 31 & Lendl at 6.

    Here were their numbers at net by set:

    Edberg was 19-31 in the 1st set, 33-50 in the 2nd, 7-16 in the 3rd.
    Lendl was 5-6 in the 1st, 5-9 in the 2nd, 2-2 in the 3rd.

    I saw this stat as well, & checked my stats at that point & came up with different numbers than they have. Was just counting clean winners, so maybe they had a different defintion of 'points at net.'

    also, krosero, when you count net approaches, how do you count players that often don't seem to really intend to hit a volley? many times I'm noting Lendl, Agassi, crush a groundstroke, move to the service line before their opponent gets to meekly hit the next shot, should that count as a 'net approach,' since their prescence at net really had nothing to do with their opponent missing the pass?

    With Edberg, Mac, its easy to count their approaches. Harder with Sampras since he's really crushing his 'approaches' sometimes.
  3. andreh

    andreh Professional

    Feb 19, 2004
    On the question of winners, Edberg rarely had high numbers in the winners department since he finished almost all his winning points at the net.

    His net points won stat was always sky high, though. He also forced a lot of errors at the net, if he didn't hit an outright volley winner. That might explain why Lendl had more winners.
  4. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Dec 3, 2006
    Yes, ESPN had Lendl leading Edberg in winners, 16 to 6, after one set. Your count is 13 to 3 -- which suggests to me that ESPN's count included service winners. In any case, Lendl was ahead in winners.

    But ESPN had Lendl leading in unforced errors, 10 to 8. I can't say whether the network included doubles as unforced errors (by definition they should), but in that stat Lendl was also leading, 3 to 0.

    Lendl got broken at 4-all in the first partly because he double-faulted at love-30. And he got broken at 3-1 in the second because he made 3 unforced errors.

    I had precisely the same thought as far back as the 1986 USO when I first saw them play. I expected that Edberg, win or lose, would have more winners than Lendl. I was surprised, then, to see Lendl getting more winners (that was my impression; I didn't actually count them back then).

    I just think that Lendl was very good at hitting winners. Edberg, I would say, was more of a percentage player (if we're talking about fast surfaces; on clay Lendl was very much a grinder who sometimes took very few risks). Lendl would sometimes wind up and go for big forehand winners in baseline rallies, and of course he went for the big winners when he needed to hit passing shots; Edberg presented him with that opportunity a lot. By contrast, Edberg didn't go for the big baseline winners as much -- certainly not off the forehand. He did go for his passing shots, but Lendl did not present him with a target that frequently.

    Lendl, when he went for his ground strokes, would try to put the ball away. Edberg used his ground strokes mostly to get into the net. Once there, he might make spectacular putaways or drops, or he might make forced errors; but he didn't go for low-percentage shots that ended either in winners or unforced errors. Edberg was a very steady player; and I don't mean that Lendl was not; but Lendl had that extra propensity to just go for the big winner.

    And he was very good at it. That's why I think he could lead Edberg in winners.

    I don't know how large the lead was in the New York match after both sets, do you have completed stats? As you say, with Lendl and Wilander you expect a big lead. In that 1988 USO final, Lendl led Wilander 2 to 1 in winners and unforced errors. After the first set in Australia, Lendl had that type of lead in winners, and a smaller lead in unforced errors; I don't know the unforced error count in New York but I expect Lendl to be leading it.

    Stolle looked at Edberg's serve right at the start and thought he might be injured (in his back muscles); and Shriver was surprised that he'd elected to receive. He got broken right then, though he started serving strongly afterwards. Maybe the biggest problems he had in his first game were worry and caution, and the physical injury didn't really bother him till later.

    I didn't see a problem until the second set, and even then it was subtle. He started looping his forehand, for instance. I do know he made no doubles in the first set and 6 in the second, with more in the third. So you're right, he was still following his serve to net in the second, but something was already wrong.

    He did say that if he had won the second set, he might have been able to bluff his way through the third.

    I think this is a judgment call. It's definitely a problem when the approach shot itself is a clean winner; in that case I wouldn't credit the attacking player with a net point. You're talking about forced errors, which is a judgment call: what's forcing the error? The approach shot by itself? Or does the net-rushing have anything to do with it?

    Let's say Becker hits an inside-out forehand to Lendl's backhand. Lendl is totally overpowered by it; he throws up a lob but it comes nowhere close to being in. Becker is now standing at the net. Is that a net approach? I don't think so.

    But let's say Becker hits a forehand down the line -- a strong one that Lendl does not intercept comfortably. Becker follows it in, but really Becker hit that shot to end the point; he's not really expecting to have to hit a volley. Lendl puts a topspin backhand into the net as Becker comes in. I think that's a forced error, and a net approach; Lendl chose to go for a passing shot instead of chipping it or hitting some higher, safer shot. In this case, Becker's presence at the net had something to do with the error.

    I'm inclined to give the attacking player a net point, unless I have no doubt at all that the opponent was beaten by the approach shot alone. I don't want to see the beaten opponent attempting topspin passes; I want to see him throwing up a defensive lob that basically has no chance of going in.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2008

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