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1 Response to uo01kuerten_mirnyi_

  1. Voo de Mar says:
    Points won by each set: | 44-48, 31-37, 54-49, 37-32, 25-12 |
    Points won directly behind the serve:
    39 % Kuerten – 71 of 178… 42 % Mirnyi – 82 of 191
    Winners by percentage:
    51 % (!) Kuerten – 99 of 191… 39 % Mirnyi – 71 of 178

    Arthur Ashe Stadium: incredible night session match of contrasting game-styles in which a thin margin separated Kuerten’s great comeback from his tightest three-set defeat (it could be one of the tightest major 3-setters in the Open Era since the tie-break introduction). Mirnyi was three points away from losing the first set tie-break which he won 7/5, he saved a set point at *4:5 in the 2nd set and 7 set points in the 3rd set (four at 4:5, three at 5:6); afterwards he trailed 3:4* in another tie-break, so he was four points from a victory. A bit closer (three points) he was in set no. 4 as he led 6:5* (15/0). Kuerten won two consecutive tie-breaks 7/4 & 7/3, and when they easily held three opening games of the decider (not playing ‘deuce’ in the 4th set), a new US Open record in number of total games (64) seemed inevitable (McNamee d. Lloyd 5-7, 6-7, 7-5, 7-6, 7-6; sixty-three games in 1979). It was unique that they both were constantly playing their best shots without ugly mistakes for more than three hours (Kuerten’s serve, FH, BH vs. Mirnyi’s serve, volley & overhead). The Belarusian finally succumbed; having held 25 times in a row, all his best shots abandoned him, and he was broken twice in his last three service games. # It’s really remarkable that Mirnyi played two years running US Open thrillers against the best players in the world at the time, losing despite being close to win those matches in two different sets… Mirnyi & Kuerten faced each other three times, all matches of 2001, and the US Open epic separated Mirnyi’s two wins in Germany (6-3, 3-6, 7-6 in Hamburg – three points away; 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 in Stuttgart – m.p. saved). Looking at Kuerten’s head-to-heads, it’s quite obvious that he was struggling against serve-and-volley players; Ivanisevic is an exception, but Kuerten won almost all their matches when the Croat was behind his prime (6-2 H2H).

    # Comparison of Mirnyi’s amazing five-set defeats back-to-back at US Open:
    2000 (third round): [3]Norman d. [57]Mirnyi 3-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, 7-6… 4 hours 6 minutes… Total points: 174-179… Breaks: 4-5
    2001 (third round): [1]Kuerten d. [44]Mirnyi 6-7, 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 6-2… 3 hours 31 minutes… Total points: 191-178… Breaks: 2-1

    Kuerten applied the serve-and-volley tactics three times (2/3), Mirnyi stayed back behind his serve just two times (1/2)

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