wb83lewis_curren

Points won by each set: [ 34-41, 35-29, 39-35, 37-41, 49-44 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
39 % Lewis – 81 of 207
38 % Curren – 68 of 177

The tightest Grand Slam semifinal (lasted 3 hours 45 minutes) which ended up with the biggest success in the New Zealand’s tennis history. It seemed like a lifetime opportunity for them both, Curren advanced to the Grand Slam finals twice though (Aussie Open 1984, Wimbledon 1985). Even though the scoreline was exceptionally tight, in any of five sets the guy who took the set was very close to lose it. In the 2nd set Lewis [57] already had a set point leading 5:1*, then found himself at *5:4 (15/40). The favorite of the encounter, 25-year-old Curren led 3:0* (30/15) in the decider, and he hadn’t lost his serve in the 15 previous service games holding 14 times easily, so his defeat seemed improbable, however, the one year older New Zealander showed guts, broke back & survived the longest game of the match at *2:3 (five deuces, two break points saved) – in that game they both delivered their best stuff, including dives. Lewis stayed in the contest serving at 4:5 & 5:6 being three points away from defeat. He got the decisive break at 6-all with the help of the umpire who corrected linesman’s decision when Lewis’ backhand return on triple break point was called ‘out’. In the following game Curren [17] had a double break point, but Lewis served twice on his backhand (Lewis was repeating that pattern on break points throughout the seminal). The South African player had another opportunity, that time Lewis fought it off with a dive FH-volley. # Lewis manufactured very tough route to the final including three five-setters, and paid the price in the final being trashed by the undoubtedly best grass-court player at the time – John McEnroe.

# Lewis’ route to the final:
1 Steve Denton 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3
2 Broderick Dyke 7-6(3), 6-1, 6-3
3 Mike Bauer 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, 6-7(1), 6-4
4 Nduka Odizor 6-1, 6-3, 6-3
Q Mel Purcell 6-7(6), 6-0, 6-4, 7-6(2)
S Kevin Curren 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 8-6

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