Tri Match Stats/Reports - Edberg vs Lendl, US Open semi-final, 1991, Australian Open & US Open quarter-finals, 1992

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Stefan Edberg beat Ivan Lendl 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in the US Open semi-final, 1991 on hard court

Edberg would go onto beat Jim Courier in the final to win his first US Open title. This would turn out to be Lendl's last Slam semi. Earlier in the year, the two had met at same stage at Australian Open with Lendl winning. They would play in the quarters of both Australian and US Open the following year, with Edberg winning both times

Edberg won 94 points, Lendl 73

Edberg serve-volleyed off all serves

Serve Stats
Edberg...
- 1st serve percentage (55/82) 67%
- 1st serve points won (40/55) 73%
- 2nd serve points won (14/27) 52%
- Aces 4
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (38/82) 46%

Lendl...
- 1st serve percentage (41/85) 48%
- 1st serve points won (27/41) 66%
- 2nd serve points won (18/44) 41%
- Aces 4 (1 second serve)
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (19/85) 22%

Serve Patterns
Edberg served...
- to FH 12%
- to BH 63%
- to Body 26%

Lendl served...
- to FH 25%
- to BH 70%
- to Body 5%

Return Stats
Edberg made...
- 64 (19 FH, 45 BH), including 2 runaround FHs & 8 return-approaches
- 2 Winners (1 FH, 1 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 15 Errors, comprising...
- 6 Unforced (2 FH, 4 BH), including 1 runaround FH & 3 return-approach attempts
- 9 Forced (2 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (64/83) 77%

Lendl made...
- 40 (10 FH, 30 BH)
- 3 Winners (1 FH, 2 BH)
- 34 Errors, all forced...
- 34 Forced (4 FH, 30 BH)
- Return Rate (40/78) 51%

Break Points
Edberg 6/9 (7 games)
Lendl 2/7 (3 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Edberg 29 (3 FH, 3 BH, 13 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 7 BHV, 2 OH)
Lendl 16 (4 FH, 5 BH, 5 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH)

Edberg had 13 from serve-volley points
- 7 first 'volleys' (4 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 2 BHV)
- 5 second volleys (4 FHV, 1 OH)
- 1 third volley (1 FHV)

- 2 from return-approach points (2 BHV), one of the played net-to-net
- 1 other BHV was net-to-net

- FHs - 2 cc (1 runaround return, 1 pass) and 1 dtl pass
- BHs - 2 cc (1 return, 1 pass) and 1 dtl

Lendl's FH passes - 1 cc return and 1 inside-in
- regular FHs - 1 cc and 1 dtl
- BHs (all passes) - 2 cc (1 return), 1 inside-out return, 1 inside-out/dtl and 1 running-down-drop-shot dtl at net

- 4 from serve-volley points -
- 2 first volleys (2 FHV)
- 2 second volleys (2 FHV)

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Edberg 34
- 22 Unforced (6 FH, 1 BH, 5 FHV, 9 BHV, 1 BHOH)... with 1 FH at net
- 12 Forced (3 FH, 3 BH, 6 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 53.2

Lendl 25
- 11 Unforced (1 FH, 10 BH)
- 14 Forced (5 FH, 9 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 42.7

(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
Edberg was...
- 70/99 (71%) at net, including...
- 50/74 (68%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 36/51 (71%) off 1st serve and...
- 14/23 (61%) off 2nd serve
---
- 6/8 (75%) return-approaching

Lendl was...
- 15/20 (75%) at net, including...
- 5/8 (63%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 4/7 (57%) off 1st serve and...
- 1/1 off 2nd serve

Match Report
Curious combination of things the two players do well and do not well on a fast-ish low bouncing court. Edberg is excellent from baseline - both in his groudies, transitioning to net and volleying when there. Lendl, the experienced master plays somewhat cluelessly in all areas

Edberg...
- plays very well from baseline, particularly with regards to depth of shots and his ability to find net and execute on the volley from that situation is first class
- yet, his volleying off serve-volleying is decidedly below par - certainly by his own standard, even by a general one

Lendl...
- does not return well. Strategically or of execution
- serve is a hodgepodge, doesn't seem to know what he's trying to do
- baseline play is inconsistent, with the BH faltering and he readily falls back to defensive
- effective at net, but doesn't come in much

Edberg's Serve Game
Edberg serve-volleys 100% of the time and serves at his normal standard. Decent, not overpowering, lots of body serves (26% - more than double what he directs to FH) that are usually tilted towards BH side. And 67% first serves in, without a huge difference between his two serves. Healthy serving from Edberg and court is quick

Healthy serving, sure, but not 46% unreturned rate healthy. That's on Lendl returning poorly. I'd estimate Edberg's serving quality to be good for 30-35% unreturned rate tops, maybe a bit more if Lendl returned with particularly aggression (as he often does against serve-volleys)

That's not how he returns here. Lendl returns orthodoxly, sometimes upping to 'firmly' rarely to 'powerfully'. His returns give Edberg regulation first volleys around net high, biased towards above it. Returning like that, return rate of 70-75% would be decent figure. In the event, Lendl manages a paltry 51%

Few other points regarding Lendl's returning. Generally and here, he doesn't cope well with body serves. Doesn't move, gets stuck and has to fend-push them at best, usually missing the return
Second concerns his preferred returning wing. For most of the '80s, he seems to have preferred FH returns. Which seems obvious and self-evident given the strength of his FH in play. He ran around BH to hit FHs, he positioned himself to take FHs when possible, he moved to take FHs against body serves - and it was obviously far more damaging than his BH return

Sometime late in career, he seems to have changed his preference and in bunch of late '80s onward matches I've looked at, he doesn't do any of the things he used to and that you'd expect from a FH preferring returner. I don't see much evidence for it having been a wise choice.

In this match, he faces 12% serves to FH, 63% to BH and 26% to body (bulk of which are tilted towards his BH). But...
- 25% of the returns he makes are FHs
- 33% of the winners he hits are FHs
- 12% errors he makes are FHs, which is line with what he faced but as serves directed there would have relative element of surprise going, one would expect it to be higher if Lendl's BH is more consistent side

His FH returns tend to be harder hit than BHs too. There's a good reason Edberg avoids it. If there's a reason Lendl doesn't try to take FH returns as much as possible, its not a good one. Against so much predictable body serving - and Edberg's serves to either side are as often as not close to body - its not particularly difficult to move as to take FH return. Lendl seems to prefer BH

Next up is Edberg's volley. And behind his serve, its not very good (by contrast, its flawless at all other times - more on that later). 16 forecourt UEs from Edberg - almost all of it while serve-volleying. He misses all kinds of volleys - easy, routine volleys, slightly under net or slightly wide - most of normal power, odd one slightly harder hit. Reason he's winning 68% serve-volley points is all the unreturned serves. On the volley itself, he's loose

Late in third set, Lendl gets a few good, powerful, low-ish returns in. These Edberg volleys well, resisting being forced into error

Much better on FHV than BHV from Edberg. 14 FHV based winners (1 is a FH1/2V) to 7 BHV and look at the errors
- UEs - 5 FHV, 9 BHV
- FEs - 0 FHV, 6 BHV
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Lendl Serve Game
As with the return, Lendl's serve is a bit weird. In general, he tends to blast first serves down against baseliners looking for cheap point and consequently, has low first in counts. Against chip-charge returners, he eases back on it - doing less damage but getting higher count in

Here, he manages neither. Serves conservative first serves - which is brought home when he goes all out with one, and its huge. On average, he serves about Edberg's pace with 19% fewer in and no serve-volley support. Second serves are strong and he's able to retain small initiative with many, as well as having an ace

Not good serving from Lendl on the whole, but plenty of credit to Edberg on the return. Puts a full 77% back in play, either neutralizing the point or leaving Lendl with potential small initiative. He's even better on the second serve returns. The star of that show is winning 6/8 chip-charging but more than the return is the way he picks which ball to go after. There's some premediated ones, but otherwise, he seems to see the less strong ones and pounces on them

Edberg is the better baseliner. His movements are excellent and he barely misses a ball. Just 6 baseline UEs (Lendl has 11) and about half of them are approach shot attempts. The most impressive part is his ability to conjure an approach. Quick to come in but not in a rush, Edberg snatches net in a flash from even slight openings - a deep ball or something a bit wide, and he's dashed to net. Unlike on his serve, he's flawless on the volley, winning 14/17 points coming in from rallies. Again, not many difficult volleys to face and fair few Lendl errors against the approach shot itself (more understandable then the missed returns, seeing Edberg's volleying quality) but all credit to the speed with which Edberg closes down the net and gets into position. Nothing wrong with Lendl's passing here

It has to be said Lendl doesn't play well from the back. For one thing, he doesn't utilize minor advantage his serve gives him and hits conservative third balls. Against deeper returns, he's quick to fall back to almost defensive degree. Still, Lendl leads the baseline dance and opts to lead with BH. And falls flat with it. Edberg's BH is impressive, the slices staying low going both directions and the firm shots packing a punch. Depth on both slices and drives is very good. Lendl's is poor and he routine BHs both slicing and driving. He has match high 10 BH UEs, to only 1 FH (and that was a running shot). Why not lead with FHs instead, where one would think he would have advantage? Its not entirely in his hand because once the BH'ng starts, Edberg's shots often take control of point or at least, makes it difficult for Lendl to, but the choice to start with BHs is Lendl's. And not a good one

Finally, there's the matter of coming to net, which Lendl is more or less forced into. He's not winning cheap points with serve. Saying he can't beat down, outmanuver or outlast Edberg from the baseline would be misleading... in fact, he gets moderately beatdown, outlasted and outmanuvered, which gets lost a bit because the key killer for Edberg is finishing at net. What does that leave Lendl with?

He can come in and does. and is successful at it, winning 75% net points. But only comes in 20 times (Edberg does so 99). Doesn't miss a volley of any kind and swats the ones above net away, though not decisive with the regulation ones around net high. Shouldn't he try coming in more? Lendl's UEFI of 42.7 is extremely low. 9/11 of UEs are neutral shots, many of them slices

In nutshell, great stuff from Edberg, with depth of his BHs in particular standing out for pure baseline shots and the net instincts and follow up volleying better than that even. Lendl though is off, strategically and of execution, whether its his choice of leading with BH, passivity of shots or disinclination to come to net

Match Progression
First set is more down to poor play from Lendl than good from Edberg. He makes just 8/19 returns and has 6 BH UEs, most of the simple shots

Still, he manages a break where Edberg double faults and misses two easy volleys. Edberg though, breaks three times with sure returning, superior BHs and court opening FH cc's that he uses to get to net

Lendl switches to hitting harder and coming in to net more, including serve-volleying in second set while getting more returns in play. Edberg makes a meal of a number of easy volleys serve-volleying, but is almost perfect in coming in from rallying. Generally, Edberg tends to make dashes to net and rely. Here, he seems to make it up as he goes along, coming in unpredictably and in a host of different ways

Superb game from Edberg to break to love where he wins last three points at net, the last 2 with FHV winners. 2 net points gives him 0-30 on his next return game also and he seals the break with FH cc passing winner

Lendl snatches a break back. Following his best volley off the match - swishing a powerful, low, wide return away for a winner - Edberg misses three. He serves out the set second time of asking

Third set is by far the best of the match and near even. Comfortable holds for both players to 3-3, but for one 14 point game where Edberg has to save 4 breaks points. Lendl hits a BH inside-out return winner, which brings home how rarely he plays the shot in general.

The only break in the set comes from a poor Lendl game where he misses consecutive third balls BHs and on break point, misses a running FH that he was well positioned for. That break proves enough to settle set. The highlights reel of the match is decorated by both players pulling off a behind-the-back-shot with the other net - and both go on to win the points in question. Lendl returns at his best near end of match hitting several low, powerful returns but Edberg digs out the volleys

Summing up, beautiful showing from Edberg from the baseline. He barely misses a ball of either wing while hitting with consistent depth and regularly with power, especially off the BH while manufacturing approaches to net out of smallest advantages. His getting into position just so is key to his success at net. Plenty of room for improvement on his volleying behind the serve though. Lendl plays a strange match - holding back on serve but having low in count anyway, missing returns at unacceptable rate, failing to collar baseline rallies, his BH failing him and not coming in enough though that's where he's most successful. Very good from Edberg, weak from Lendl... more good from Edberg than weak from Lendl

@Drob

Stats for pair's Tokyo Outdoor final - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-edberg-vs-lendl-tokyo-outdoor-final-1991.684223/
 
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jrepac

Hall of Fame
I remember being quite surprised by this result. Was Lendl starting to have back problems at this point in his career? I'm trying to recall when that became a factor that adversely affected his game. I mean, Edberg was stellar in '91, but Lendl just seemed off his game.
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
Edberg had a career winning record vs. Lendl - 14-13, and that includes that default win by Lendl at the AO which Edberg very well could have won. They were basically even over their career, so it never surprised me when Lendl lost to Edberg.

The biggest gap in the rivalry was when Lendl lead 8-4 and 9-5
 
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jrepac

Hall of Fame
Edberg had a career winning record vs. Lendl - 14-13, and that includes that default win by Lendl at the AO which Edberg very well could have one. They were basically even over their career, so it never surprised me when Lendl lost to Edberg.

The biggest gap in the rivalry was when Lendl lead 8-4 and 9-5
Given Lendl's years of success at the USO, I just expected him to put up more of a fight.
 

HBK4life

Semi-Pro
I remember being quite surprised by this result. Was Lendl starting to have back problems at this point in his career? I'm trying to recall when that became a factor that adversely affected his game. I mean, Edberg was stellar in '91, but Lendl just seemed off his game.

I think the hardest type of player to get things going against on a bad or off day is a great S&V player because they are coming and are relentless. You don’t have time to make a lot of adjustments. Maybe that’s what happened.
 

encylopedia

Professional
I remember being quite surprised by this result. Was Lendl starting to have back problems at this point in his career? I'm trying to recall when that became a factor that adversely affected his game. I mean, Edberg was stellar in '91, but Lendl just seemed off his game.
Lendl had already had some injury difficulties in 1991, but he didn't show any sign of it in this match. As I recall, the big thing was that Edberg really served VERY WELL - as in a lot of stick on the ball -in that match. Lendl certainly wasn't red-hot and had trouble getting a bead on the serve. Edberg had tons of action on his serves, and Lendl ended up just trying to get the ball back in play......which of course isn't good enough against Edberg at his best. There were days when Lendl could get on the Edberg serve, and really smack it, forcing Edberg to play rough volleys ..... or at least get the ball low. Here, Lendl really struggled to just get it back....and it was over pretty quickly, Lendl just couldn't get it going. Lendl had played some tough matches, beating down a triad of monster serving all courters: Stich, Ivanisevic, and Krajicek.....so maybe that also took it's toll and made him a bit flat coming out. After all that serving firepower, it was the Edberg kick that took him down. On match point, Edberg hit what looked like about a 115 mph kick serve, that jumped over Lendl's racquet and just about into the stands.
 
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Waspsting

Hall of Fame
I remember being quite surprised by this result. Was Lendl starting to have back problems at this point in his career? I'm trying to recall when that became a factor that adversely affected his game. I mean, Edberg was stellar in '91, but Lendl just seemed off his game.
Not sure about injury

As far as result goes, bit of both going on - Edberg being stellar, Lendl being off his game and agree completely with this -
I think the hardest type of player to get things going against on a bad or off day is a great S&V player because they are coming and are relentless. You don’t have time to make a lot of adjustments. Maybe that’s what happened.
Baseliner being off his game means he's making UEs. You catch someone like Lendl on a day like that, another baseliner will likely just keep ball in court, maybe overpower him a bit or outlast him to encourage, if not force, baseline errors

That's not Edberg though. He does do that - and does it extremely well - and adds the spear of coming in from chances he actively creates to whistle volleys away

Consider a mid/late-80s scenario between Connors, McEnroe and Lendl
- Lendl just bled out Connors out from the back, like in their '85 and '87 US Open matches. The focus shifts to Connors playing badly or at very least, much less well than Lendl. Just can't keep ball in court as long as Lendl does
- Mac came forward and ended points at net proactively and very aggressively. Focus shifts to how well Mac plays - and if Connors is loose from back, that tends to get trivialized or seen as secondary

Here, its a bit of a cross between the two. Edberg isn't just outlasting him... he's consistently hitting deep and keeping BH slices low while doing it, making next to no errors doing so - and dashing forward to finish with authority

Edberg playing superbly takes the eye - as it should. But yes, Lendl does not play well from the back also. Way Edberg plays, it would be very difficult for Lendl to turn that around and he can't ease into it by putting a few balls in play. Anything not heavy is liable to be hit wide and/or deep and Edberg's flashed his way to net

As far as prospects, from memory, Edberg was favourite. He was world number 1 and playing his best tennis. Lendl was a bit past it. They'd played 5 sets in Australia earlier in year. Very close match that Lendl won. Edberg served for match in 4th set, had 2 match points. Missed a volley into open court against slightly above average powerful return on first, double faulted on the second. Lendl went onto break when his powerful pass hit net chord on way over for a winner (it would almost certainly have won the point if it hadn't too)

Going into this match, head to head was Lendl 13, Edberg 10.
Edberg had never won a hard court Slam and played 1 final. Lendl had won 5 and played 11 finals - he'd only missed reaching 2 finals, both 5 set losses (to Cash at '88 Aus and Sampras at '90 US)

As I recall, the big thing was that Edberg really served VERY WELL - as in a lot of stick on the ball -in... and Lendl ended up just trying to get the ball back in play......which of course isn't good enough against Edberg at his best. There were days when Lendl could get on the Edberg serve, and really smack it, forcing Edberg to play rough volleys
I saw it more as Lendl not returning well than anything particularly different about Edberg's serve

Edberg serves well - his serving in general is very consistent. Rarely serves great, rarely serves poorly - same here, on fast court and Lendl not returning well

And that's not why the result is a win. Lendl's breaks twice... that's acceptable level of success in 3 normal length sets against Edberg. His problem is holding serve. can't do it

Edberg's strangely off on volleying in his service games. Generally, 46% unreturned rate is completely locking down serve territory. He doesn't do that because the volleying is off there. Winning 73% first serve points and 52% second serve aren't even necessarily match winning numbers... and are downright low, given 46% unreturned rate. You'd expect something like 80%+ and 60%+ with that cushion

Lendl still get some counter-play because Edberg's missing volleys. Against, as you said, just putting return in play, not hammer and tongs returning

Lendl had played some tough matches, beating down a triad of monster serving all courters: Stich, Ivanisevic, and Krajicek.....
Very interesting. My guess would be he got - and could count on getting - more regulation volley misses from those guys. Krajicek would have been a teen I think but I'm sure could still pound down the serve. Those guys and then Edberg... that's a draw from hell

Would've been funny if he'd got through all that... and met the gentle serving Jimmy Connors in the final
 

encylopedia

Professional
I saw it more as Lendl not returning well than anything particularly different about Edberg's serve

Edberg serves well - his serving in general is very consistent. Rarely serves great, rarely serves poorly - same here, on fast court and Lendl not returning well
Edberg certainly give the appearance of consistency - but I think that's because he's always using high-margin kickers. I think his pace/spin/effectiveness varied quite a bit - over the course of his career and sometimes match to match - but it's not easy for us to see, since it never really results in a barge of outright aces, or high speed gun ratings. Personally I felt that was big part of his results - the guy was always lightning quick, graceful, smooth, athletic......but that variability on the serve (to some extent everyone is like this - but especially him with his SV game) made a huge difference. 5 or 10% more sting on that ball, and he can dominate.... 5% less and the great returners are killing him. A guy like Goran gets extra heat and.....well it makes almost no difference on the first serve lol.... on the 2nd, yes....means the odds get much better for a good returner to have a shot.....but still, Goran's probably staying back, so it just affects how the baseline rally starts. With Edberg....first and 2nd serves the guy often has some shot....so that little extra sting can be the difference between the guy having options, and being able to really blast it, or finding that spin a bit out of control, not hitting clean when trying for more, not getting quite the stick (or control) on the return they wanted....and having to scale back to: well just get it back at least!

I had seen Edberg and Lendl play right before that match - and Lendl was on the Edberg serve. Making it look pretty easy......I remember him being pretty relaxed, and sometimes caning the Edberg serve, other times just chipping it VERY low, making life miserable for Stefan either way. As I recall he made it look as "easy" as one could at that level...with plenty of time. When I watched the USO match, (and admittedly it's been 30 years since I watched it lol), I thought immediately Edberg had more sting on the serve. I recall Lendl having trouble.....controlling the return, getting clean hits, shanks......ending up just mostly just trying to get in back in play - rather than deciding if he was going to BLAST it to a corner or at Edberg's feet - or just chip it there.

So admittedly, this is subjective - one could argue: no, Edberg's serve was the same, it was Lendl just returning poorly....well...maybe, but I didn't think that was the case. Especially compared to the way Lendl was just weeks/days before, I didn't think it was just that his return was order of magnitude worse - after all, he made his living on the return, and knew Edberg inside and out at that point. I felt like Edberg had extra spin/heat on the ball for most of that open - and it really gave him a nice edge.

Edberg's strangely off on volleying in his service games. Generally, 46% unreturned rate is completely locking down serve territory. He doesn't do that because the volleying is off there. Winning 73% first serve points and 52% second serve aren't even necessarily match winning numbers... and are downright low, given 46% unreturned rate. You'd expect something like 80%+ and 60%+ with that cushion
I didn't think it was the greatest match for either.

Very interesting. My guess would be he got - and could count on getting - more regulation volley misses from those guys. Krajicek would have been a teen I think but I'm sure could still pound down the serve. Those guys and then Edberg... that's a draw from hell

Would've been funny if he'd got through all that... and met the gentle serving Jimmy Connors in the final
Krajicek was around 20 at the time, and definitely very green, but yes, he could POUND the serve big-time even then. He was a known up-and-comer even then....and I think it was the very next AO that he broke through to the later rounds!

lol. Well Ivan never like lefty serves (though he certainly learned to do well against them), maybe the 'off-pace" Connors would have befuddled him after the last 2 weeks.... I remember once Chang beating Courier with SLOW SLOW serves, that drove Courier nuts. After, the media kept asking Chang about it, and Chang finally said "I CAN serve better than 68 mph, I just didn't want to give Jim the pace he likes!"
 
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Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Edberg beat Lendl 4-6, 7-5, 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-1 in the Australian Open quarter-final, 1992 on hard court

Edberg would go onto the final, where he would lose to Jim Courier. The two had met at last 2 Australian Opens also - with Lendl having won both. The result ended Lendl's run of Australian Open finals reached at 3, which remains a joint, Open Era record

Edberg won 156 points, Lendl 130

Edberg serve-volleyed off all but 1 first serve and all but 6 seconds

(Note: I've made educated guesses for serve type for about 3-4 points)

Serve Stats
Edberg...
- 1st serve percentage (102/137) 74%
- 1st serve points won (78/102) 76%
- 2nd serve points won (22/35) 63%
- Aces 4 (1 second serve)
- Double Faults 8
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (57/137) 42%

Lendl...
- 1st serve percentage (85/149) 57%
- 1st serve points won (65/85) 76%
- 2nd serve points won (28/64) 44%
- Aces 12
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (41/149) 28%

Serve Patterns
Edberg served...
- to FH 13%
- to BH 65%
- to Body 22%

Lendl served...
- to FH 32%
- to BH 59%
- to Body 9%

Return Stats
Edberg made...
- 104 (34 FH, 70 BH), including 2 runaround FHs & 20 return-approaches
- 2 Winners (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 29 Errors, comprising...
- 17 Unforced (10 FH, 7 BH), including 1 return-approach attempt
- 12 Forced (4 FH, 8 BH)
- Return Rate (104/145) 72%

Lendl made...
- 72 (13 FH, 59 BH), including 2 return-approaches
- 11 Winners (4 FH, 7 BH)
- 53 Errors, comprising...
- 3 Unforced (3 BH)
- 50 Forced (4 FH, 46 BH)
- Return Rate (72/129) 56%

Break Points
Edberg 6/17 (8 games)
Lendl 2/4 (3 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Edberg 42 (2 FH, 5 BH, 13 FHV, 16 BHV, 1 BH1/2V, 5 OH)
Lendl 43 (13 FH, 23 BH, 5 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH)

Edberg had 26 from serve-volley points
- 15 first 'volleys' (4 FHV, 10 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- 9 second volleys (4 FHV, 1 BHV, 4 OH)
- 2 third volley (2 BHV)... 1 a lob

- 7 from return-approach points (4 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)

- FHs - 2 cc (1 return)
- BHs - 4 dtl (3 passes) and 1 inside-out return (that Lendl left, thinking his serve had been a fault)

Lendl had 11 returns (4 FH, 7 BH), all passes
- FHs - 4 cc
- BHs - 1 cc, 3 dtl and 3 inside-in

- regular FH passes - 1 cc, 2 dtl and 1 inside-in
- regular BH passes - 5 cc, 4 dtl, 1 inside-out/dtl and 1 lob
- regular FHs - 2 cc, 1 dtl and 2 longline (1 at net)
- regular BHs - 2 dtl, 1 inside-out/dtl, 1 drop shot and 1 running-down-drop-shot cc at net

- 1 FHV was a swinging shot
- the OH was on the bounce

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Edberg 38
- 19 Unforced (4 FH, 10 BH, 2 FHV, 3 BHV)
- 19 Forced (3 FH, 9 BH, 3 FHV, 4 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.3

Lendl 53
- 19 Unforced (8 FH, 9 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)... with 1 FH pass attempt & 1 BH pass attempt
- 34 Forced (14 FH, 17 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV)... with 1 non-net FHV pass attempt
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.4

(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
Edberg was...
- 114/154 (74%) at net, including...
- 92/118 (78%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 75/98 (77%) off 1st serve and...
- 17/20 (85%) off 2nd serve
---
- 11/20 (55%) return-approaching
- 0/1 forced back

Lendl was...
- 21/29 (72%) at net, including...
- 0/1 serve-volleying, a 2nd serve
---
- 0/2 return-approaching
- 1/1 retreated

Match Report
Broadly speaking, a 2 part match. For a set and half, Lendl is at his very best in blasting returns and hammering groundstrokes to overwhelm Edberg. He serves for a 2 sets - 0 lead so doing. For rest of match, Edberg is vastly the superior player, including the 4th set that he loses in a tiebreak. Edberg's play remains consistent throughout, its Lendl's standard that determines how action goes. Top class volleying from Edberg is standout feature of match and Lendl getting rattled to the point of almost giving up in return games is also notable

Part 1 - Start to Middle of 2nd Set
Using the '91 US Open match as a frame reference, Lendl is able to do all the things he wasn't to dominate

He doesn't serve particularly big but has large first serve in count (after 2 sets, its 39/58 or 67%), but collars action from the third ball, hammering his groundies (particularly FH), overpowering Edberg and coming to net to finish points. And skates through his service games so doing. He loses 11 points in holding 9 times without facing break point. Edberg's driven to desperate, low percentage return-approaches against first serves to try to gain some counter-play, but Lendl keeps passing him

On return, he blasts winners, taking the ball earlier than his norm. His returning position is similar to Jimmy Connors norm, if not Andre Agassi and a distinct step up for him. Breaking to love to start the match (2 return winners and an error forcing return to feet), he continues to put Edberg under pressure with such returning. To the extent that Edberg starts staying back of occasionally off second serves. In fact, he was looking to stay back off a few first serves even but missed the serve

Lendl break to 15 mid way through second set (2 return winners, a not easy volley UE from Edberg and a double fault) and steps up to serve for second set. Upto this point, match stats read -
- Lendl - 18 winners, 3 UEs while forcing 9 errors out of Edberg
- Edberg - 13 winners, 9 UEs while forcing 8 errors out of Lendl (and his UEs are beaten out of him)

Then...

Part 2 - Middle of 2nd Set to End
Edberg wins 10 of the next 11 games

It starts with Lendl overreaching a bit as he serves for the set. He misses 2 ambitious FH winner attempts - upto this point, he'd been hitting attacking shots and following them to net to end points - and a very makeable pass off a risky approach that caught net chord on way over, leaving Lendl plenty of time to line up his pass on. And Edberg breaks

Next service game, he reverts to the kind of passive play that had seen him overrun in previous match. Prior to the game, his hitting had been so hard that Edberg had managed to rally to net just 3 times, including the poor one in previous game. In the game, Edberg works his way to net 5/5 points, wins 4 to break and take the set

Losing the set seems to rattle Lendl. in third set, from baseline he scales back from beatdown play to more outlasting stuff. Edberg hangs in and sloppy errors come from Lendl, including ill timed double faults.
On return, he reverts to his normal position and thrashes somewhat carelessly/wildly. Edberg reverts to 100% serve-volleying and wins most points via return errors. Still, the odd return Lendl makes comes powerfully and Edberg handles the pace on the volley very well

Amusing incident as Edberg whacks a BH inside-out return winner as Lendl stops playing, apparently thinking his serve had been a fault. He tells the umpire that he heard the beep of the Cyclops line calling machine in operation. What he actually heard was Edberg's shoes squeaking against the court:). The point starts the game and Lendl goes onto get broken after reaching deuce and having game point at 40-30

No breaks in the fourth set but Edberg has much better of play. He skates through service games, losing 3 points in 6 holds. Lendl serves 44 points in the set to Edberg's 33. Lendl seems to be half-tanking return games, or has given up thinking he can break. Lots of return errors from careless, uncontrolled swishes and when he does make the return, barely moves to cover Edberg's volley after it. And Edberg remains on top of his volleying game

Against run of play, Lendl takes the tiebreak. Edberg follows a perfect, BH1/2V winner by missing a regulation BHV to give up mini-break. Couple of fantastic passes from Lendl against chip-charge returns in the breaker too - BH cc early and FH dtl on set point

Edberg dominates 5th set. Lendl is broken for second time to go down 0-4 from 40-0 up effectively ending the match. Excellent returns from Edberg from 40-0 down and he wraps up the break with a BH dtl winner

Pretty sloppy attitude shown by Lendl for most of this phase. He returns carelessly and doesn't chase balls. Looks like someone who doesn't think its possible to break. Edberg serves solidly and volleys exceptionally well, but nothing to warrant this kind of hopelessness. Lendl looks like people playing Sampras or Ivanisevic at Wimbledon might

Still, far more credit to Edberg than discredit to Lendl. Lendl returning rate doesn't change much and the ones he makes leave tough volleys
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Serve, Serve-Volleying & Return
Edberg serves particularly well. Better than previous match. Very high 74% first serves in. And serve-volleys behind virtually all of it (desists once off 1st serve, 6 times off second). There's little difference between his two serves. In fact, statistically, his second serve numbers are better than first serve ones

- He has 1 second serve ace (out of 27 in) to 3 first serve ones (out of 112). Furthermore, 2 of those first serve aces are in last game of match when Lendl's given up and Edberg's feels free to go for it
- His rate of getting second serves in (i.e. not double faulting) is 77%, as opposed to making 74% first serves in.
- Sans double faults, he wins 22/27 second serve points or 81% (as opposed to winning 76% first serve points)
- Serve-volleying, he wins 86% off 2nd serve and 77% off 1st

Its not an abnormally high bouncing court. Edberg's kickers get up to fairly comfortable lower ribs height and certainly not shoulders and head. Serves not too fast and Lendl is rarely rushed. Serves aren't too wide - the usual 22% to body, even less to FH and much of the BH directed ones being close to body. Some discredit than to Lendl for missing so many returns, which seems to have something to do with frustration or is an issue born of his attitude

He is pushed towards it. Unlike previous match, Lendl thrashes returns off both sides. He starts match with flurry of return winners. The average return he makes is at least firm and usually more than that. Easy first volleys are rare, and on power alone, first volleys are at least tough to control. And regularly, downright forceful returns that give Edberg some combo of low-ish, wide and fast travelling balls to volley

Edberg seems to make everything that doesn't go for a winner. Just 5 UEs and 7 FEs on the volley coming in 154 times. Lendl has 2 and 3 respectively coming in a fifth as much, coming in off much more favourable approaches, facing much lesser passing and while volleying well. Lendl also has 15 regular passing winners and 11 returns - but that's completely dwarfed by Edberg's 27 'volley'/OH winners and the huge 31 groundstroke errors he forces (overwhelming bulk of which are passes. Also, 1 FHV is a non-net pass attempt). Pass has to be virtually perfect to win point for Lendl - all credit to Edberg on the volley

To be clear, there are better return-pass showings possible than Lendl's, like the kind that seems to give genuinely impossible volleys regularly. There aren't many better possible showings on the volley against the kind of strong showing Lendl dishes out. The average volley he gives Edberg is hard hit to be not easy (which generally tends to draw some chunk of UEs) and there's plenty of difficult, though shy of near impossible ones to deal with (which generally tends to force errors and draw weak ones that baseliner can than line up the next pass for)

Edberg doesn't do either of the general things. He volleys the not easy stuff away for winners or into corners and he volleys the difficult stuff into corners or well away from Lendl. The exceptional speed with which he reaches net also has much to do with keeping difficult volleys from being impossible ones. Lendl at times a bit slow to run down balls and at other times, doesn't bother. Contrast to pair's '90 final where he went for all running shots and made some stunning ones, even if Edberg was up to covering difficult, follow up volleys

Part of Lendl's problem is lack of BH inside-out return. He barely hits one. With Edberg serving just 13% of time to FH and Lendl going BH cc from ad court and down the center or inside-in from deuce court. Edberg can predictably get into position at net. Its a sharp contrast to contests between Edberg serving to Boris Becker, when there's no telling which way the return will go in deuce court

On flip side, Lendl serves solidly, off both serves, again, what he couldn't do in previous match. He has to hold back some to get 57% first serves in and they mostly present regulation returns. A bit off from Edberg on returning such balls. 17/29 return errors have been marked unforced.

In nutshell, too many missed returns from Lendl but what he gets in play is good enough to break, perhaps even overwhelm just about anyone in the forecourt. Fantastic volleying by Edberg against it

Play - Starting from Baseline, Strategies & Alternatives
Virtually of Lendl's service points start from baseline. He's at his best in Part 1 of match when collaring the third ball and coming to net to finish. Its high percentage, attacking tennis and he pulls it off very successfully. Wins 72% net points, and some he doesn't are hopeless, forced approaches

Possible alternative strategies include -

- hammer home his advantage from the back (i.e. go for winners or otherwise point endingly forceful groundstrokes). This is lower percentage - he's not consistent enough on winner attempts from the back and Edberg scampers ably to resist being forced into errors. Finishing at net is much more efficient. Going this route is what gets him broken when serving for second set. He doesn't persist with it

- switch to outlasting rather than attacking baseline play. This is what he did in previous match and got swatted away. To pull this off, he'd have to be much significantly more consistent than Edberg from back and keep Edberg from taking net (or alternatively, be able to pass him if Edberg took net - which doesn't promise to go well)
This is what gets him broken in last game of second set. He mostly doesn't persist with this either - and that's a good idea. Baseline-to-baseline UEs read Lendl 15, Edberg 14

In Part 2 Lendl plays a pressuring baseline game, short of beatdown strong and categorically different from attackingly collaring points. He hits firmly but not powerfully and doesn't look for net. Calling it 'neutral' is a slight overstatement
It works to at least keep Edberg back. Edberg only rallies his way to net 16 times in the match - and 5 of those were in the one game Lendl played passively on. Lendl rallies to net 26 times by contrast. Should be noted, Edberg doesn't unduly seek net either - he's quite happy to rally near neutrally. As UE counts show, Edberg's good enough at it to at least hold even. In fact, he comes out handily ahead in Part 2 alone

Essentially, Edberg hangs in from the baseline and is more secure off the ground, while Lendl is unwilling to come forward to make most of his harder hitting, which alone, isn't enough to finish points.
The most secure shot on show is Edberg's FH, which is common enough and belies its reputation for weakness. Baseline-to-baseline UEs are -

- Edberg FH 4
- Lendl FH 7
- Lendl BH 8
- Edberg BH 10

For that matter, Edberg's FH has the fewest FEs too - just 3, while his BH has 9. Lendl's counts are much, much higher and mostly passing shots

Summing up, good match overall with Edberg being consistent and Lendl patchy. Playing his best, Lendl is better player for first set and half. When he slips below that, Edberg is

Solid serving and top class volleying from Edberg - who handles hard hit returns and passes with grace and consistency, even dispatching them occasionally while always doing so to what little is not challenging. From Lendl's point of view, too many missed returns, but whatever he makes, he wallops

From the baseline, Lendl is harder hitter and dominates when he uses that advantage to come to net. Toning down aggressive intent to pressuring and beating down his opponent from the back and staying back doing that, Edberg is the better player by hanging in rallies, proving more consistent and occasionally manufacturing an approach from neutral situations

@Drob

Stats for pair's previous Australian Open matches...
- '85 semi on grass - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-edberg-vs-lendl-australian-open-semi-final-1985.677197/
- '90 final - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-lendl-vs-edberg-australian-open-final-1990.670540/
- '91 semi - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-lendl-vs-edberg-australian-open-semi-final-1991.669365/
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Edberg beat Lendl 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 5-7, 7-6(3) in the US Open quarter-final, 1992 on hard court

Edberg would go onto win the title for the second year in a row, beating Pete Sampras in the final. This was the last match the two played, and with the result, Edberg moved ahead 14-13 in the head-to-head. It was also the last quarter-final Lendl would reach at a Slam

Edberg won 175 points, Lendl 160

Edberg serve-volleyed off all but 1 first serve and all but 6 seconds

(Note: I'm missing 2 Lendl service points, both won by Lendl. Commentary indicates both were aces and they have been so marked and assumed to have been first serves
On a very small number of points, I've made educated guesses regarding serve type

Missing Points - Set 5, Game 2, Point 1 & Set 5, Game 8, Point 1)

Serve Stats
Edberg...
- 1st serve percentage (99/150) 66%
- 1st serve points won (74/99) 75%
- 2nd serve points won (24/51) 47%
- Aces 4
- Double Faults 8
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (46/150) 31%

Lendl...
- 1st serve percentage (118/185) 64%
- 1st serve points won (81/118) 69%
- 2nd serve points won (27/67) 40%
- Aces 12, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (45/185) 24%

Serve Patterns
Edberg served...
- to FH 16%
- to BH 66%
- to Body 18%

Lendl served...
- to FH 43%
- to BH 53%
- to Body 4%

Return Stats
Edberg made...
- 136 (56 FH, 80 BH), including 40 return-approaches
- 5 Winners (3 FH, 2 BH)
- 32 Errors, comprising...
- 19 Unforced (11 FH, 8 BH), including 10 return-approach attempts
- 13 Forced (5 FH, 8 BH)
- Return Rate (136/181) 75%

Lendl made...
- 96 (24 FH, 72 BH), including 7 runaround FHs & 1 return-approach
- 13 Winners (3 FH, 10 BH), including 3 runaround FHs
- 42 Errors, comprising...
- 3 Unforced (3 BH)
- 39 Forced (8 FH, 31 BH)
- Return Rate (96/142) 68%

Break Points
Edberg 6/15 (10 games)
Lendl 5/11 (8 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Edberg 66 (8 FH, 6 BH, 13 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 25 BHV, 13 OH)
Lendl 53 (15 FH, 22 BH, 5 FHV, 10 BHV, 1 OH)

Edberg had 33 from serve-volley points
- 14 first volleys (3 FHV, 10 BHV, 1 OH)
- 16 second volleys (5 FHV, 3 BHV, 8 OH)
- 2 third volleys (2 BHV)
- 1 fourth volley (1 OH)

- 11 from return-approach points (5 FHV, 5 BHV, 1 OH)
- the FH1/2V was played net-to-net

- FHs - 2 cc (1 return, 1 pass), 4 dtl (2 returns - 1 a pass, 2 other passes), 1 inside-out pass and 1 lob
- BHs - 1 cc return pass (that Lendl left) and 5 dtl (1 return, 3 passes)

Lendl had 33 passes (13 returns, 20 regular)
Return passes (3 FH, 10 BH)
- FHs (all runaround FHs) - 2 cc and 1 dtl
- BHs - 5 cc, 2 dtl, 1 inside-out and 2 inside-in

Regular passes (8 FH, 10 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- FHs - 1 cc, 3 dtl, 1 inside-in and 3 lobs
- BHs - 2 cc (1 net chord pop over), 6 dtl, 1 inside-out/dtl and 1 longline
- both FHV and BHV were non-net, swinging shots

regular (non-pass) FHs - 3 cc and 1 drop shot at net
regular BHs - 2 dtl

-7 from serve-volley points
- 4 first volleys (1 FHV, 3 BHV)
- 3 second volleys (3 BHV)

- the OH was on the bounce

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Edberg 54
- 20 Unforced (7 FH, 5 BH, 5 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)
- 34 Forced (11 FH, 8 BH, 4 FHV, 3 FH1/2V, 7 BHV, 1 BHOH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 49.5

Lendl 59
- 14 Unforced (5 FH, 7 BH, 2 BHV)... with 1 FH pass & 1 BH at net
- 45 Forced (18 FH, 25 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BH1/2V)... with 1 BH running-down-drop-volley at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.6

(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
Edberg was...
- 134/195 (69%) at net, including...
- 91/131 (70%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 70/94 (74%) off 1st serve and...
- 21/37 (57%) off 2nd serve
---
- 30/40 (75%) return-approaching
- 0/5 forced back

Lendl was...
- 41/58 (71%) at net, including...
- 20/32 (63%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 20/31 (65%) off 1st serve and...
- 0/1 off 2nd serve
---
- 0/1 return-approaching

Match Report
A thrilling match and a high quality one. Edberg sweeps through first two sets but remaining 3 sets are all high of quality and nail biting with both players having multiple chances to break. Court is slower than previous year but faster than the Australian Open match

In fifth set, Lendl leads 4-3 with a break, needing just 2 holds take the match. Edberg breaks in a 14 point game where Lendl had 3 game points - all of them thwarted by Edberg reaching net. Next game, Edberg has to save a break point before holding. Meanwhile, just 1 Lendl service game doesn't go to at least deuce in the set

Earlier in fourth set, Edberg had 4 match points in a return game and faced 2nd serves on the first 2. Upto that point, Lendl had won 9/38 second serve points or 24%. Somehow, Lendl finds a way to hold, whacks 3 return winners to start the next game where he breaks to force the decider

Before that in third set, most of the games are either breaks, deuce games or both - with plenty of winners from both passes and volleys

On first point of deciding tiebreak, Lendl misses a very makeable, step in pass that he had time to line up just so. The 'breaker remains tense til 3-3, when Edberg snatches mini-break with a chip-charge return, gets 2 unreturned serves and wraps up set with Lendl missing a third ball FH

A thriller and result hangs by a thread. Match long stats heavily favour Edberg due to first two sets being routine for him. Next 3 are all up in the air and consequently, overall result is too

Action is somewhat different from pervious two matches though the 2 underlying questions remains same -

1 Edberg will take net every chance he gets and how well Lendl copes with that?
2 How does Lendl go about his service games?

Play - Points of Interest
Its most convenient to look at action from Lendl's point of view, given Edberg's playing strategy is constant looking to take net. Using both the '91 US Open and '92 Australian matches as frames of references

A) Lendl not strong serving & Edberg's return-approaching - Lendl serves not strongly - and occasionally gently - most of the match. First and second serves
Generally, he eases up first serves against chip-chargers while hitting hefty second serves. Here, he does the first but not the second. For first couple sets, Edberg occasionally even return-approaches against first serves. Serves are neither powerful, not placed wide
Generally, one can see how much he's holding back on first serves when he chooses to let loose with a big one. Here, even his bigger first serves aren't overwhelming and he even on some crucial points (of which there are a lot) later in match, sends down just above average power, normally placed first serves
Strength of serve does pick up as match goes on and he does biff a few big ones. He has 12 aces. But on whole, unchallenging first serving from Lendl. 19 of Edberg's return errors have been marked unforced, to 13 forced
Second serves are even gentler and Edberg chip-charges at will and with ease. Generally, Edberg isn't a chip-charge-every-second-serve player but here, he's able to to so McEnroe-ishly. He eases the ball over while placing it wide in both directions and is top notch on the following volley. Edberg wins a massive 30/40 return-approach points, 11 of them with winners. Lendl usually has to make a defensive pass off third ball and is at least willing to put the pass in play without much heat rather than go for very ambitious winners, which he often tends to do

B) Lendl conservative default returning starting point & Edberg volley vs Lendl pass - of 3 matches, this is most sensible of Lendl's return showings. His return rate is 68% much higher than other 2 matches. That's because he returns conservatively as a starting point, content to put the ball in play comfortably above the net. From there, he looks to wade into the serves that he can

Putting returns in play gives scope to win points via Edberg missing routine volleys. That doesn't happen - Edberg volleys superbly, knocking away winners and putting balls in corner while punching them through hard and deep. Just 8 volleying UEs in 195 approaches from Edberg. He volleys sensibly as well as dangerously. 14 first volley winners to 16 second volleys speaks to his being in 2-volley mode. The first volleys set up easy second volleys, very little chance of Lendl making running passes to first volley...
 
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Waspsting

Hall of Fame
...From that starting point, Lendl goes for big return winners at choice moments. Like in Australia, Edberg manages to control the extra hard hit ones so returns have to be almost perfect to win points. There's 13 return winners and Edberg's forced into 11 forecourt FEs, most of them near impossible shots

Lendl finally starts moving to take FH returns and the positive results are self-evident. He's only runaround to hit 7 FHs - and 3 of them go for winners. He also moves to take FHs to body serves. These returns are amongst his most damaging. He didn't do this at all in previous two matches. Whatever 'I-prefer-BH-returning' bug that bit him late in his career wasn't a smart one. There's a reason Edberg always avoids serving to FH

More than good stuff from Lendl to look for FHs, I'd say it was bad stuff not to have done so in other matches

A note on Lendl's passing. Twice on critical points, he has step-in, lined up passes that he misses going to side. Shots he'd be favoured to make, but probably less easy than hitting the ball hard straight at the tight-in at net Edberg. That's how Lendl used to pass at John McEnroe in years gone by. The different choice here is likely due to his greater chumminess with Edberg

C) Baseline play - quality of baseline play is down from both players. Lendl takes lead and is harder hitter, without being hard hitting. Edberg's shots are soft, if not feeble. Its more outlast play from Lendl than beat down... the kind of would likely lead to Edberg being able to manufacture approaches. This is mitigated somewhat by Lendl leading play with FH and Edberg's own FH being particularly soft

Ending points is still difficult for Lendl. He has negligible consistency advantage - 10 baseline-to-baseline UEs to Edberg's 12 - but also forces errors and hits winners from that situation. Edberg barely does any of that. Frequency of approaching is almost identical - Lendl 26 times, Edberg 24. With Lendl more in control from baseline, equal approaching reflects disinclination to come forward from him. Edberg has less scope to do so as he's usually in reactive, if not defensive position, but doesn't need to; he gets his fill of points from return-approaching.

Lendl's far more successful coming in from rallies, winning 81% to Edberg's low 54%. Lendl's figure is due to volleying consistently and Edberg not being able to make passes. He doesn't come in off unduly strong approach shots. Edberg's figure is down to Lendl passing very well

D) Lendl serve-volleying and net play - starting from his last service game in 2nd set, Lendl takes to serve-volleying occasionally. He ends up doing so 32 times total, all but 1 of them off first serves, which comes to 30% of the time off first serves. Starting from his last service game in 2nd set, that figure rises to 29/69 or 42% off the time

And he's successful at it, winning 63% first serve-volley points. As earlier noted, his serve is not strong so its left for the volley to do the work. Quality of volleying is based on consistency and he hardly misses a ball. In forecourt, just 3 UEs and 2 FEs and that's with Edberg making most returns

Edberg return yields regulation volleys. Lendl doesn't miss them and places them away from Edberg, short of into corners or punched through fully. It suffers in comparison to Edberg's first rate volleys, but is solid and leaves him in command of points. Edberg would have to be excellent to make passes and usually isn't. Good on the tough volley by Lendl too. He doesn't face too many, but puts the low-ish and/or wide-ish returns/passes back in play all but always

Gist is that Lendl serve-volleys to aggressively end points, as opposed to beat-down baseline play allied with approaching from rallies. And is successful at it, with solid volleying behind a not strong serve. He tends to err in staying back on a number of crucial points, including when he's broken back late in 5th set

Match Progression
First two sets are routine for Edberg. He serve-volleys, Lendl returns safely over net, he whisks volleys away. Meanwhile, even Lendl's first serve is unchallenging and seconds are asking to be attacked. Edberg obliges with style. He gains first break from 40-15 down with return-approaches in 3 off last 4 points. He breaks to love to take first set, with 2 more return-approaches. In that game, Lendl serve-volleys off a second serve for the only time, likely to keep Edberg from chip-charging the return, but Edberg answers with a FH lob winner

Second set is much the same. Edberg scores the break with 4 chip-charges in a 6 point game

Match becomes a rollercoaster third set onward. Lendl serve-volleys regularly, gradually starts serving harder, finds more penetrating wide returns, takes to moving around to hit decisively powerful FH returns against body serves. Its his level that changes. Edberg plays about the same standard as before.

Edberg serving 99 points to Lendl's 130 in this part of the match would indicate he had much, much better of play. He does edge action but not to that extent. Many easy Edberg holds (just like before) but regular challenging games to when Lendl gets his returns and passes just so. By contrast, Lendl scarcely has an easy hold. He's broken or taken to deuce in 11/17 service games

Players trade early breaks in the third. Lendl breaks first with Edberg missing an easy FHV after a pair of Lendl passing winners. Edberg breaks back by passing Lendl 3 times and winning a couple of return-approach points. Both players endure tough holds after that, with Lendl having to save break points in 2 games, but he scores the decisive break to love. Edberg starts and finishes the game with double faults, with Lendl whacking a BH cc return pass winner and forcing a FH1/2V error in between

Lendl looks to have gotten into something off a groove by holding 3 times without going to deuce (when one describes 'being in a groove' as 'not being taken to deuce', you know he's having a hard day), but that ends with a convincing break to love - 3 winners a forced FHV error. He breaks right back with a series of bullet returns to Edberg's feet

Serving at 4-5, Lendl falls behind 14-40 but manages to hold against the odds. He celebrates by starting the next game with 3 return winners before going on to break with another bullet return to the feet. And serves out the set

A commentator mentions the number of times Lendl has come back from 2 sets down to win and two of the people he beat are in the booth with me now
Vitas Gerulaitis cheerfully recounts his loss at the '81 Masters final. John McEnroe says he doesn't remember his loss :)

Lendl is serving his hardest at this point in the match, particularly second serves that help in keeping Edberg back. Surviving a couple of deuce games, where he wasn't in particular trouble, Lendl grabs the break with a pair of cc return passing winners (1 of each side - the FH being a runaround shot) and another return to the feet. He can't consolidate the break. Doesn't serve-volley on any of 10 first serves he makes in the 14 point game and Edberg comes to net on two of them to win points. In second break point of game, Lendl misses a regulation BH

Two trade deuce holds to follow, with Lendl having had a break point to boot. the last regular game of the match, served by Lendl, also goes to deuce before the tiebreak

First point of tiebreak, Lendl misses a highly makeable pass that he'd probably best have gone straight at Edberg on. He keeps missing first serves though and it catches up with him at 3-3. The endings just a bit disappointing.

First, Edberg chip-charges for the first time in the 'breaker and Lendl shanks the third ball. Next 2 points, Lendl misses BH returns. On his first match point, Edberg makes a deepish return that Lendl mishits an error to

Summing up, from Edberg, another top class volleying performance. This time, he's given chance to showcase his abilities against regulation volleys and and balls above net level as well as the hard hit stuff. And his chip-charge returning is perfectly placed against soft serves

Lendl couples making Edberg hit the volley with point ending returns. Good move to use runaround FH returns against Edberg's predictably directed serves. And at his most competitive, follows his serve to net regularly and volleys with great consistency

Edberg sweeps through first two sets with Lendl both serving and returning weakly and Edberg at his best in dispatching volleys. Next 3 sets though are thrilling and tense of nature and high quality of play from both players and all 3 are up for grabs

Edberg continues to dominate at net against everything that isn't completely overwhelming - but Lendl finds those completely overwhelming passes and returns regularly. Meanwhile, Lendl serves and returns a bit harder and adds serve-volleying to give his service game attacking edge. Even then, he's constantly pressed to hold

Match could have gone either way. Had Lendl won, it'd have been a case of his clutching to a remarkable extent to thwart Edberg's regular threats to break. Even so, disinclination to follow his most successful, serve-volleying option in 1 long service game likely costs him the match

Stats for Lendl's fourth round match with Boris Becker - Match Stats/Report - Lendl vs Becker, US Open fourth round, 1992 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
 
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