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2 Responses to kb88wilander_connors

  1. Voo de Mar says:
    Points won by each set: | 38-33, 30-33, 35-27, 34-29 |
    Points won directly behind the serve:
    20 % Wilander – 27 of 131
    12 % Connors – 16 of 128

    The second of three “Lipton Championship” editions when it made sense to call it “fifth Grand Slam”. The final was played in punishing conditions (30°C, 63% humidity), Connors [6] was wearing a headband around his neck throughout. He was attacking the net like crazy through four sets despite his very advanced age in tennis terms at the time (~36). Even though they were serving at high percentage of 1st serves in (both above 70%), the serve wasn’t an important factor, only one game was won in the blink of an eye – the second of the 3rd set when Wilander [2] fired three aces in a row, and got the fourth point in a three-stroke rally. The Swede led *4:3 (30-all) in the 2nd set, in the 3rd set he trailed *3:4 (30/40) when a linesman called his ball long – it was inside the court, Connors didn’t protest when the chair-umpire overruled. In the 4th set Wilander led *4:1 (deuce), but Connors cut to 3:4* (30/15) and missed an overhead from quite good position. Wilander converted a match point after 3 hours 38 minutes with a passing-shot forehand winner (the ball clipped the net). “I went in there with a game plan,” said Connors, who obtained more than a half of his points attacking the net, “I stuck to the game plan.” Twelve years younger Wilander said: “I got stuck in my own tactics. The strategy was to stay back and slice to his forehand, wait for mistakes and rally from the baseline.” It was 11th final in a row lost by Connors (!), simultaneously 55th and last in his career (the last four finals before retirement he won).

    Wilander’s route to his 28th title:
    1 Leonardo Lavalle 6-3, 6-2, 7-5
    2 Todd Witsken 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
    3 Alexander Volkov 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2
    4 Mark Woodforde 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-1
    Q Aaron Krickstein 6-1, 6-2, 6-0
    S Yannick Noah 6-4, 6-4, 6-3
    W Jimmy Connors 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4

    Serve & volley: Wilander 11/20, Connors 9/20
  2. Voo de Mar says:
    Thanks to that title, Wilander is an Open Era record holder (since 1988) in terms of “best of five” matches won in tournaments within a season:

    32 – Wilander (1988)
    27 – Federer (2006), Djokovic (2021)
    25 – Nadal (2008)
    24 – Sampras (1994)

    Four big names of the late 80s, didn’t show up at Key Biscayne ’88: Lendl, Becker, Edberg & J.McEnroe;
    certainly it helped Connors to reach his first big final since Wimbledon ’84… after KB ’88 Connors didn’t play a final of this magnitude

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