ao88wilander_edberg

ao88wilander_edberg

Points won by each set: [ 25-10, 47-49, 31-20, 30-35, 27-13 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
11 % Wilander – 16 of 140
21 % Edberg – 31 of 147

Quite bizarre five-setter between two Swedes who had won that event (but on grass) in the previous four editions – Wilander (champion 1983-84) and Edberg (champion 1985 & 87; the event not held in 1986). It lasted 3 hours 19 minutes, but could have lasted 1.5 hours shorter if Wilander had held leading *5:4 (deuce) in the 2nd set (he also led 3:0* in the tie-break, being two points away again at 5-all; Edberg took it 7/5). Edberg began the semifinal producing all kinds of errors and caught very negative attitude which haunted him throughout the contest, even when he was delivering great shots grabbing two sets (in the 4th set he also came back from a break down). He was even complaining after the first point of the decider, like he didn’t believe in his victory since the 1st set and felt that his defeat was inevitable, only a matter of time. Indeed, his biggest weapon – serve-and-volley – was perfectly deconstructed; he faced break points in 14 out of his 21 service games (!), and none of those 11 service games won he held at love. Strangely enough, he had huge problems on serve despite very few double faults by his standards… it’s stranger if we consider as many as 10 foot faults. For Wilander it was a beginning of mental superiority over the tennis elite; the first of his seven consecutive five-set wins in 1988, six of them directly helped him to become the best player in the world at the end of the year (in each of his three Grand Slam triumphs that year, he collected two five-set scalps).

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