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1 Response to ao85mcenroe_leconte

  1. Voo de Mar says:
    Points won by each set: | 30-39, 51-53, 21-32, 39-37, 30-14 |
    Points won directly behind the serve:
    39 % McEnroe – 72 of 183
    34 % Leconte – 57 of 163

    Leconte never defeated McEnroe in their ten matches, but should have won their match no. 7. First of all, it was very strange decision of the officials to put McEnroe [2] on court no. 1 instead of Centre Court (Zivojinovic d. Mayotte at the same time) even though he hadn’t lost a set in six previous meetings to Leconte, so one-sided encounter could be expected, due to two factors: neither of players appointed to the main arena was Australian, Leconte was a shot-maker, one of the most attractive players to watch in the 80s. Perhaps McEnroe had problems to adjust to much smaller venue than he had been used to in the mid 80s, and after losing a 4:2* advantage in the opener, he decided to mix his standard serve-and-volley game with baseline rallies, even behind the 1st serve! Leconte [19] could have actually won that match “4-0”, but he wasted plenty of opportunities in tie-break sets which he lost 4/7 & 5/7:
    # 2nd set: the Frenchman led 4:1* (40/15), then had two set points at 5:4 and three at 6:5
    # 4th set: the Frenchman led 4:1*, 4:3 (40/15) and *5:1 in the tie-break!
    McEnroe was usually serving well being close to lose those sets, nevertheless Leconte had a relatively easy ball to make a passing-shot winner breaking for 5:3 in the 4th set, while in the second tie-break at 5:4 it was amazing that he didn’t get the match point because in two successive points he missed backhand volleys from winnable positions
    McEnroe miraculously escaped, and in the 5th set he came back to his normal rock-solid grass-court tennis while Leconte was dwelling on wasted chances and rapidly faced a *1:4 deficit when decided to fight (then lost two games having points to win them). # Eleven years later, Agassi will win similar match against all odds in Melbourne, as opposed to McEnroe, defeating completely inexperienced player.

    # Comparison of two very similar in terms of drama, Aussie Open matches:
    1985 (4R): McEnroe d. Leconte 5-7, 7-6, 3-6, 7-6, 6-1… 3 hours 17 minutes… Total points: 171-175…
    1996 (1R): Agassi d. Etlis 3-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-3… 3 hours 17 minutes… Total points: 170-180…

    McEnroe won 25 five-setters, it’s his biggest comeback losing 1-2 in sets; third and last time he escaped winning fourth set tie-break (Rocavert 4-6, 7-5, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3 at Wimbledon ’80 and Scanlon 5-7, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6, 6-4 in Dallas ’82)

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