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1 Response to rome79vilas_panatta

  1. Voo de Mar says:
    Points won by each set: | 30-18, 46-45, 37-37 |
    Points won directly behind the serve:
    8 % Vilas – 9 of 108
    22 % Panatta – 24 of 105

    25th May 1979, clay-court match at its finest at the end of the “wooden racquet” era, between two former French Open champions: 27-year-old Vilas (champion ’77) & two years older crowd favourite Panatta (champion ’76). The Argentine led *5:3 in the 2nd set, but the Italian with the help of spectators gathered at the Foro Italico, managed to come back saving a match point in the 10th game – Vilas sent his BH passing-shot long. Vilas had another opportunity leading *5:3 in the tie-break, but Panatta won four straight points & it seemed he could win the match as he established a *4:2 (deuce) lead in the decider. Vilas broke back, then withstood a double match point at *4:5 (15/40) – first he served his only ace of the match (out-wide), then produced a forehand inside-out winner. Vilas [4] had a match point on his serve at 6:5, but Panatta [18] saved it with his best forehand on the day to create a break point – Vilas fought it off with a crisp FH volley, and won the tipsy-turvy encounter after 2 hours 50 minutes. It’s interesting that Vilas, who had been mainly playing from the back of the court throughout, employed a serve-and-volley tactic in the last game…
    Two days later in the final, Vilas lost to Vitas Gerulaitis 7-6(4), 6-7(0), 7-6(5), 4-6, 2-6 after 4 hours 53 minutes which was the longest Open Era final at the time.

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