wimbledon87connors_pernfors

wimbledon87connors_pernfors

Points won by each set: [ 13-27, 11-26, 42-31, 39-33, 28-13 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
6 % Connors – 6 of 124
21 % Pernfors – 30 of 139

When Novak Djokovic & Andy Murray were just infants, one of the most memorable comebacks in the Open Era occurred as Connors notched 7th out of his 8 victories from two-sets-to-love down. Pernfors [20] was amazing in the first two sets; he was not only returning and retrieving almost everything, his serve was exceptionally good too, considering his modest size (172 cm). Yet, the 35-year-old Connors [7] was patient, like he knew – with such an amazing experience gathered over many years at the top – that his opponent wouldn’t play at this level throughout the best of five match. Connors waited 90 minutes to play his first regular baseline winner (!), and he got it with the help of the netcord. It happened at the time when the veteran finally began to play the baseline rallies on his own terms, however, 11 years younger Pernfors still led… 3:0* (30-all) & 4:1 – then Connors remarkably won 14 points in a row. Pernfors escaped from 4-all (0/30) to put himself three points away from the victory at 5:4* (15/30). Connors gave his best though, stole the set, but it cost him the loss of energy at the beginning of the 4th set. And the 3rd set was almost identically repeated in the 4th – Pernfors led 3:0* (30/0), had a break point in that game after a demanding rally – surprisingly it was Connors who was able to force an error of the opponent to save the crucial break point. Connors found his second wind once again, and almost grabbed six consecutive games. Pernfors was done, he paid the price for playing his third three-and-half-hours match within four rounds (dramatic wins over other Americans – Robert Seguso & Tim Mayotte, 10-8 & 7-5 in the fifth sets respectively)… A few months earlier, in Memphis, Connors had beaten Pernfors 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-3 being six points away from defeat. It was their second meeting, at Wimbledon they met for the third and last time.

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