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2 Responses to daviscup99australia_france1

  1. Voo de Mar says:
    Points won by each set: | 52-49, 43-41, 45-41 |
    Points won directly behind the serve:
    26 % Pioline – 35 of 133
    21 % Hewitt – 30 of 138

    The longest tie-break 3-0 match in history at the time, and now when I rewatched it 24 years later, # it’s the second longest match of this kind, however, due to change of the Davis Cup structure in 2019, it’ll remain the longest 3-0 (tie-break) rubber in history of the oldest team competition in tennis. There is a paradox involved in Pioline’s career – in 1996 he lost an epic match to Enqvist in the Davis Cup final, France claimed the title though, in 1999 he survived an epic against Hewitt, but it was ultimately in vain. The 30-year-old Frenchman [13] faced the twelve years younger Australian [22] opponent a few weeks before at Paris-Bercy, and prevailed 7-6, 3-6, 7-6 after 2 hours 44 minutes despite Hewitt serving to win both sets (6:5 and 5:4 respectively). Quite remarkable that Pioline, on a different surface (carpet, clay – both indoors), needed two tie-breaks again. Hewitt led *5:4 (30-all) in the opener, the rest of the match featured his crazy comebacks only to be on the losing end eventually:
    …1st set…
    Pioline led 5:1* in the tie-break before winning it 9/7 (Hewitt committed a double fault with a conservative second serve at 7:6)
    …2nd set…
    Pioline led 5:3*, had a mini set point at 5-all, again *5:1 in the tie-break, 6:4 before taking it 8/6
    …3rd set…
    Pioline led *5:1 (30/0) when Hewitt struck three successive return winners; the Frenchman had a match point at 5:2, and needed to save four mini-set points at 5-all in the longest game of the match (four deuces) before converting his second match point with a forehand passing-shot DTL (Hewitt was very reluctant to attack the net in this match)

    Pioline seemed more tired in the 3rd set, and applied the serve-and-volley strategy almost throughout. He was struggling with his first serves from the beginning, just ~40% off the first serve in, which certainly took its part in the enormous duration of the contest. That match cost the French veteran so much energy that in spite of resting on Saturday, he wasn’t able to play at his normal level on Sunday against Philippoussis, losing that match quicker than anyone could expect… Pioline was more efficient in tie-breaks than anyone else in 1999 (his record: 30-12), and he built it with the help of three impressive wins over much younger opponents. In hindsight those victories seem more valuable because the beaten opponents would become the best players in the world in the following three seasons (Kuerten 2000, Hewitt 2001-02).

    Comparison of Pioline’s two 1999 matches when he won three tight sets in a row:
    US Open (QF): Pioline d. Kuerten 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 7-6… 3 hours 22 minutes… Total points: 167-164… (2, 1, 1 points away)
    Davis Cup (F): Pioline d. Hewitt 7-6, 7-6, 7-5… 3 hours 40 minutes… Total points: 140-131… (1, 2, 5 points away)

    Serve & volley: Pioline 22/40, Hewitt 1/1

  2. Voo de Mar says:
    The longest (tie-break) 3-0 matches in history:

    3:47h – Odesnik d. Canas 7-6, 7-6, 7-6 (French Open ’08)… Total points: 142-136
    3:40h – Pioline d. Hewitt 7-6, 7-6, 7-5 (Davis Cup ’99)… Total points: 140-131
    3:36h – Djokovic d. Davidovich 7-6, 7-6, 6-2 (French Open ’23)… Total points: 124-110
    3:26h – Bourgue d. Samper-Montana 7-5, 7-6, 7-6 (French Open ’16)… Total points: 135-131
    3:24h – Corretja d. Pavel 7-6, 7-5, 7-5 (French Open ’02)… Total points: 144-131
    3:23h – Massu d. Clavet 7-6, 6-3, 7-6 (US Open ’01)… Total points: 130-111
    3:22h – Kohlschreiber d. O.Rochus 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (Davis Cup ’07)… Total points: 130-118
    3:21h – Chung d. Djokovic 7-6, 7-5, 7-6 (Aussie Open ’18)… Total points: 138-128

    3:44h – Cash d. Edberg 13-11, 13-11, 6-4 (Davis Cup ’86) – potentially the longest Open Era 3-0 match without tie-breaks
    ????h – Loyo-Mayo d. Robbins 8-6, 16-14, 21-19 (US Open ’68) – the longest 3-0 match in terms of games (84)

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