Tuesday, December 11, 2007

1984 Wimbledon Final: McEnroe def. Connors

McEnroe def. Connors: 6-1, 6-1, 6-2.
Classic: No, but very entertaining.
Rating: 88

The Plot:
This match may have been McEnroe's finest moment on a tennis court. The match was highly anticipated and it was expected to be close. It was anything but. McEnroe was brilliant from every part of the court and never gave Connors, who had unexpectedly defeated him in the 1982 Final, a chance to get into the match.

The match: McEnroe opens the match by holding serve to love and then goes on to break Connors in the next game. McEnroe is as sharp as you would ever see, and Connors has to play a very good game to hold serve to 1-3. But McEnroe continues to dominate, and breaks again and wins the set 6-1.

Connors loses his opening service game in the 2nd set, and is down 0-4 before he holds serve. McEnroe is untouchable and takes the 2nd set by playing an unbelievable return game to break Connors. Everything is going McEnroe's way, even the net-cords turn out in his favour.

Connors manages to hold serve until 2-2, but McEnroe breaks to take a 4-2 lead, and wins the match as he breaks Connors to love in the final game.

The bottom line: This has to be the most brutal beat-down in the history of Wimbledon. It surpasses the 1999 Wimbledon final and the 1991 US Open final. The only comparison may be the Federer's drubbing of Hewitt in the 2004 US Open final. McEnroe has 2 unforced errors in the whole match and is serving as well as I've ever seen. Connors is clearly trying to get into it, but anything he comes up with is answered by McEnroe. The match is not boring to watch because McEnroe is so brilliant and Connors keeps trying very hard. It is a must-have for the McEnroe and/or serve-volley enthusiast, even if the storyline in this match is very thin.

4 comments:

Stuart said...

Agree 99%: McEnroe was magnificent, Connors didn't (or wasn't allowed to!) even get started.
However, am I alone in thinking that Connors didn't do himself any favours that day? From the outset, he tried to serve and volley - not his natural game. After one set, he should have reverted to what he does best: playing solid strokes from the back of the court.
I remember watching that match, and as a long-term Connors fan, I was embarassed not just because McEnroe won so easily, but also because Connors stupidly stuck to this belief that he could win the match from the net.
But I want to take nothing away from Mac. This was his finest hour, and is quite possibly the best any man has ever played in a Wimbledon final.

Narahari Nath said...

I was at an age when sports was more important than anything else ... McEnroe was a role model for his must-win-at-any-cost approach ... This match is one of the most memorable events of my lifetime!

Bob L. said...

My wife and I attended the match. We bought standing room tickets from a scalper outside the stadium. We were rooting hard for Connors, but McEnroe was simply incredible that day. It was so much fun to be there. Those were great times for tennis. I am still trying to find the match on DVD, but so far, no luck.

triv said...

It really should have been Ivan Lendl vs. McEnroe but Ivan blew chances against Connors. Connors was beaten before the match even started.