rg91chang_connors

rg91chang_connors

Points won by each set: [ 27-30, 50-44, 33-21, 32-33, 0-1 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
25 % Chang – 32 of 126
11 % Connors – 16 of 145

The only match between 39-year-old Connors [324] and his 20 years younger compatriot! The first two sets were physically brutal, and even though the veteran led 2:0* (30-all) in the 3rd set, those sets cost him a lot. He lost six straight games and seemed finished, but somehow regrouped in the meantime, and won the 4th set intelligently controlling his energy (actually gave away two games on return leading by a break). There was 4-all when he gave his all, produced a few risky shots, and everything worked, also with the help of the net-cord. Before the beginning of the decider the crowd made a standing ovation, then Connors played his best return of the match off the backhand side, and went to Bruno Rebeuh’s chair when Chang was preparing himself for the next point. After a short conversation the referee announced the end of the contest because Connors said he wouldn’t continue due to combination of fatigue & back pain. It was 3 hours 29 minutes since the match began; the crowd surprisingly accepted Connors’ decision. It’s a pity he didn’t continue because the 5th set could be fascinating (especially in the context of Connors’ famous run a few months later at the US Open ’91 when he won two 4-hour matches) – Connors enjoyed already for several years a status of five-set legend while Chang [10] entered the third round with 8 consecutive five-set wins; the eighth just two days before as he eliminated Lars Jonsson (3 hours 33 minutes) for whom it’s a career-highlight. On the same day Connors needed 3 hours 40 minutes to outlast Ronald Agenor (6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 0-6, 6-4).

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