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View Full Version : Who rates higher all time- Becker or Edberg?


grafselesfan
06-06-2009, 07:07 PM
Who do you believe ranks higher all time: Becker or Edberg. I find this an intriguing comparision as I find them very close. Obviously unlike some of the others they both started in the era where all 4 majors were starting to be pretty much the be all and end all, and each won 6. Each has his advantages over the other.

BTURNER
06-06-2009, 07:52 PM
Edberg was number one longer than Becker. Got to the finals on all the surfaces in a major. Breaks the tie.

therealj
06-06-2009, 08:08 PM
Becker 25-10 head to head breaks the tie

icedevil0289
06-06-2009, 08:22 PM
They are both pretty close. Both had 6 slams. Becker lead the H2H, but in slams, Edberg has the advantage when it comes to H2H. I say Edberg, but I'm biased because I'm an Edberg fan.

egn
06-06-2009, 08:58 PM
This is weird its like Becker v. Edberg you pick Becker but ranking them in the grand schemes of things Edberg accomplished more and is ranked higher.

grafselesfan
06-06-2009, 10:01 PM
I went with Edberg as I find his record a bit more balanced, and he has ended the year #1 twice which Becker never achieved. It is close though. I thought about picking Becker, partly since he had more success indoors which the slams dont count, in addition to matching Edberg's 6 slams. The lopsided winning head to head of Becker is impressive, but is it really more important than Edberg's 3-1 edge in slams, including even 2-1 in Wimbledon finals at Becker's beloved home court, while both were in their primes?

hoodjem
06-07-2009, 05:39 AM
I loved them both, but picked Edberg.

Those Wimby finals are classics. I wish Edberg had been as influentual as Becker. If so, we'd see more S&V (and all-court game) today.


I blame Borg, Lendl, Becker for the present low quality state of today's game, that is power tennis fused with baseline-bashing.

grafselesfan
06-07-2009, 08:44 AM
I loved them both, but picked Edberg.

Those Wimby finals are classics. I wish Edberg has been as influentual as Becker. If so, we'd see more S&V (and all-court game) today.


I blame Borg, Lendl, Becker for the present low quality state of today's game, that is power tennis fused with baseline-bashing.

I like those 3 players you mentioned too much to blame them, although you are probably right they are the main culprits, so I instead choose to blame someone I dont particularly like- Nick Bolletieri. :twisted:

hoodjem
06-07-2009, 08:47 AM
Oh, I like them quite a bit also.

I think there was an article recently that gave a lot of the credit/blame to Jimmy Arias and Bolletieri for the massive topspin baseline groundstroke.

thalivest
06-09-2009, 10:06 PM
Early in their careers nobody would have though it would even be close. Edberg was an underachiever early on and Becker came on the scene gangbusters.

jimbo333
06-10-2009, 01:45 PM
I've stated this before, but Edberg was the greatest volleyer I've ever seen, amazing to watch:)

Devilito
06-10-2009, 03:13 PM
Both are so close. Becker dominated their HtH because he had a better return and passing shots. Edberg did have better volleys.

dincuss
06-10-2009, 03:20 PM
This is one of the toughest polls.....
I would say Edberg.

timnz
06-10-2009, 04:02 PM
Early in their careers nobody would have though it would even be close. Edberg was an underachiever early on and Becker came on the scene gangbusters.

Didn't he win the junior Grand Slam (the only one in history to do so). And didn't he also win the Australian Open at 19 years old (one month before his 20th birthday), beating Lendl in the Semi's and Wilander in the final. Sounds like a pretty high achiever to me.

hoodjem
06-10-2009, 04:05 PM
And they have named the Sportsmanship Award after Edberg, because he was such a gentleman and never, ever cheated. Indeed I believe that he gave away numerous points.

jimbo333
06-10-2009, 04:14 PM
And they have named the Sportsmanship Award after Edberg, because he was such a gentleman and never, ever cheated. Indeed I believe that he gave away numerous points.

Are you saying (hinting) Becker cheated???

CEvertFan
06-10-2009, 08:33 PM
It all depends on whether you value Becker's winning H2H over Edberg more or you value Edberg's weeks at #1 more and his more balanced career. I picked Edberg. Becker was only ranked #1 for 12 weeks which is a surprising and telling statistic.

bluetrain4
06-10-2009, 10:24 PM
I think we've done this a couple of times before.

I give the edge to Becker, though in a larger context, they are pretty similar.

Slams - Becker 6, Edberg 6. Though many would point out that Becker has 3 Wimbledons and Edberg has 2 Kooyong era Australian Opens. Though, the years he won those AOs (1985 and 1987), the fields were pretty strong. He beat Cash and Wilander to win those, and Lendl in the semis of one.

Overall titles - Becker 49, Edberg 42.

No. 1 Ranking - Edberg has something like 72 weeks, Becker (surprisingly) only around 12.

Slam finals - Edberg 11, Becker 10. Notably, Edberg made the final of all 4 Slams.

Longevity - Becker's Slams spanned 1985-1996 (11 years), Edberg 1985 to 1992 (7 years)

Head-to-head - Becker dominates overall 25-10, which is huge and really favors Becker, though Edberg is 3-1 in Slams, 2-1 in Slam finals, and 4-1 in the biggest events if you include the 1989 masters final (though Becker beat him during round robin). But, Becker absolutely destroyed Edberg a couple of times in Davis Cup. So, overall on the biggest stages, they're pretty even.

thalivest
06-11-2009, 12:34 AM
Didn't he win the junior Grand Slam (the only one in history to do so). And didn't he also win the Australian Open at 19 years old (one month before his 20th birthday), beating Lendl in the Semi's and Wilander in the final. Sounds like a pretty high achiever to me.

I meant he was an underachiever early in the pros. I didnt mean as a junior where he was amazing. Early on as a pro, yeah he won the two Australian Opens in very late 85/very early 87 but it was still kind of considered the soft major then. At Wimbledon and the U.S Open he underachieved a bit. I remember after his 4 set loss to Lendl in the semis of Wimbledon 87 a BBC commentator saying "and for my money a slightly dissapointing performance from Stefan Edberg. To me the Swede has not yet shown he has the true temperment for the big occasion." I also remember before the 88 Wimbledon final Becker saying he was confident because of how he was playing, how he felt Wimbledon was his, and he added he thought Edberg was a bit fragile mentally and would probably get nervous.

OrangeOne
06-11-2009, 01:28 AM
the present low quality state of today's game, that is power tennis fused with baseline-bashing.

I take it you managed to miss last year's Wimbledon final & this year's Aus Open final?

Bring on power tennis....

PERL
06-11-2009, 02:49 AM
Wimbledon 87 a BBC commentator saying "and for my money a slightly dissapointing performance from Stefan Edberg. To me the Swede has not yet shown he has the true temperment for the big occasion."

True that. Lots of watchers questioned his temperament as a champion in his early years as a pro, he was the cool guy after all, the swedish gentleman and you know how itís easy to stereotype people.
For a long time I would have given the edge to Becker, his impact on the game, his wins at Wimbledon as a teenager, the phenomenal displays in Davis Cup, especially vs Sweden. Also the great all court game package, he was more complete than Edberg in that way, even slightly more complete than Sampras arguably. Edberg was just perfect at serving and volleying.
Now career wise I will give the slight edge to Edberg. Becker is the underachiever imo along with Mcenroe among the greats in the open era. Both had a hard time dealing with their superstar status.

hoodjem
06-11-2009, 06:14 AM
Are you saying (hinting) Becker cheated???

No, not all. All I'm saying is that, in general in a match against anyone, if there were a controversial call, Edberg would very often concede the point to his opponent.

hoodjem
06-11-2009, 06:18 AM
I take it you managed to miss last year's Wimbledon final & this year's Aus Open final?

Bring on power tennis....

I saw them both: great matches.

Take Fed and Rafa out of tennis and see what you've got? Answer: Baseline-bashing.

Take either one out of a match and see what you've got? Answer: a one-sided, boring FO final.

bluetrain4
06-11-2009, 06:35 AM
I'm surprised Edberg leads by such a large margin. He is a perfectly reasonable choice, but I would have thought Becker would lead or it would be closer.

Becker was a bit of an underachiever overall, especially away from Wimbledon, where he was a 7-time finalist and 3-time champion.

Again, overall, they are pretty similar. They definitely (along with Wilander) fall in the same tier of all time greats - below the common GOAT candidates (Laver, Borg, Sampras, Fed), and probably below players who are commonly put on Tier II (Agassi, Lendl, Connors). (I never know where to place McEnroe).

I guess it's easy to look at players and remark on what they didn't do. We're always discussing the GOAT and players who have won 11, 12, 14 Slams. But 6 Slams is pretty incredible.

jimbo333
06-11-2009, 04:50 PM
I'm surprised Edberg leads by such a large margin. He is a perfectly reasonable choice, but I would have thought Becker would lead or it would be closer.

Becker was a bit of an underachiever overall, especially away from Wimbledon, where he was a 7-time finalist and 3-time champion.

Again, overall, they are pretty similar. They definitely (along with Wilander) fall in the same tier of all time greats - below the common GOAT candidates (Laver, Borg, Sampras, Fed), and probably below players who are commonly put on Tier II (Agassi, Lendl, Connors). (I never know where to place McEnroe).

I guess it's easy to look at players and remark on what they didn't do. We're always discussing the GOAT and players who have won 11, 12, 14 Slams. But 6 Slams is pretty incredible.

Don't be surprised mate! Edberg was an amazingly great player, and a lot of us recognise this:)

Also you are falling into the trap of relying on Grand Slams when taking about the GOAT. Back in the 60's and 70's and early 80's there were more important tournaments than the Slams. If Laver, Borg and Connors for example had wanted to win more Grand Slams then they could have done!!!

thalivest
06-11-2009, 05:44 PM
I saw them both: great matches.

Take Fed and Rafa out of tennis and see what you've got? Answer: Baseline-bashing.

Take either one out of a match and see what you've got? Answer: a one-sided, boring FO final.

I think Murray is also a thoughtful player with the ability to play alot of different game styles. Unfortunately he hasnt proven his mettle on the big stage, so cant be really considered up there with the big boys Federer and Nadal just yet.

Djokovic I didnt really think of as a Berdych or Gulbis completely one dimensional ball bashing clone when he first emerged, but the more I see him the more I am thinking that is what he is, which is dissapointing. I like Del Potro but he also sort of falls into this category from what I have seen so far.

matchmaker
06-12-2009, 07:23 PM
Becker was more influential on the game.

He leads the H2H, was a major force at Wimbledon for almost a decade, could win Slams at a very early age and also managed to do it late in his carreer.

Much as I love Edberg's style, I feel that he was surpassed by the changes in the game and was nothing but a relic from the past in his later years.

jimbo333
06-13-2009, 02:50 PM
Becker was more influential on the game.

He leads the H2H, was a major force at Wimbledon for almost a decade, could win Slams at a very early age and also managed to do it late in his carreer.

Much as I love Edberg's style, I feel that he was surpassed by the changes in the game and was nothing but a relic from the past in his later years.

I think you'll find almost everyone is a relic from the past in their later years! I certainly think Becker was!

Edberg was basically a better player overrall than Becker, I don't know how many times I have to say that head to head results is given far far too much emphasis by so so many people. You have to look at all results to make a proper analysis:)

Mustard
03-14-2010, 03:42 PM
Edberg was basically a better player overrall than Becker, I don't know how many times I have to say that head to head results is given far far too much emphasis by so so many people. You have to look at all results to make a proper analysis:)

I think Becker was better than Edberg, and I'd much rather have Becker's career over Edberg's:

1. Becker won Wimbledon at 17 in 1985, successfully defended it the next year in 1986, and went on to a third Wimbledon title in 1989 and also 4 other finals. Edberg's Wimbledon record is good and he did beat Becker in 2 of their 3 Wimbledon finals, but his overall Wimbledon record does not compare to Becker's.

2. Becker's 2 Australian Open titles were at the present location, Melbourne Park, on Rebound Ace hardcourt. Edberg's 2 Australian Open titles were at the old location at Kooyong, on grass courts. Although Edberg beat some excellent players to win his Australian Open titles, Becker played his way into form beautifully in both 1991 and 1996 after struggling earlier in the tournament. Becker's high points at the Australian Open were better IMO.

3. Although Edberg did beat Becker in the 1989 French Open semi final to get to the French Open final, something that Becker never managed to do, is that better than being a multiple time semi finalist at the French Open like Becker was?

4. I think Edberg's US Open career was a little better than Becker's overall, although Becker had his moments too, especially beating Lendl on "his court" in the 1989 final.

5. Becker won 3 masters titles and was runner-up on 5 occasions. Edberg did beat Becker in the 1989 Masters final, an excellent achievement, but overall, Becker's masters career is better.

6. Becker defeated Edberg in 5 Masters Series finals or their pre-1990 eqivalents (1986 Toronto, 1987 Indian Wells, 1989 Paris, 1990 Stockholm, 1991 Stockholm). Edberg defeated Becker in 2 Masters Series finals or their pre-1990 eqivalents (1987 Cincinnati, 1990 Paris) and also a semi final (1987 Montreal).

7. Becker defeated Edberg in 3 rubbers in Davis Cup finals (1985, 1988, 1989), the latter two being rather one-sided and ended in West Germany winning the Davis Cup, unlike in 1985. Becker's performances in Davis Cup finals were rather dominating where he seemed to raise his game to a whole new level.

8. I just think Becker has amazing career highs, highs that are better than Edberg's, while the lows are not too crushing on the whole. Becker also has some amazing wins over world number 1 Lendl in big matches. If I was Edberg, I'd been annoyed about that 1989 French Open final and getting blown away 25-10 by my biggest rival in head-to-head. I also think Becker's style has aged a lot better and he finished his career better in the latter years. Late 1996 indoors saw some of Becker's best ever tennis, especially in the Stuttgart Masters where he played at an insanely high level.

9. Edberg's style is much more old school, and he could have easily slotted into the 1950s and 1960s style of play. Becker's power game represented the tennis of the future, although the serve and volley style was of its time and has now gone out of fashion.

10. If I had Becker's career, I'd be far more content. Edberg's career has too many niggles, i.e. Never winning the Australian Open at Melbourne Park, blowing the French Open final in 1989, Becker's performance in the 1989 Wimbledon final being the best of the winning performances in those 3 Wimbledon finals from 1988-1990, being hammered in Davis Cup finals and a few other matches at Becker's hands, and being on the wrong side of a 25-10 head-to-head. Of course, Edberg can say he was number 1 for 72 weeks compared to Becker's 12 weeks and that he finished as the year-end number 1 twice compared to Becker's zero, but rankings are not as important in my mind as titles and those high points in your career.

britbox
03-15-2010, 04:55 AM
I think Becker was better than Edberg, and I'd much rather have Becker's career over Edberg's:

1. Becker won Wimbledon at 17 in 1985, successfully defended it the next year in 1986, and went on to a third Wimbledon title in 1989 and also 4 other finals. Edberg's Wimbledon record is good and he did beat Becker in 2 of their 3 Wimbledon finals, but his overall Wimbledon record does not compare to Becker's.

2. Becker's 2 Australian Open titles were at the present location, Melbourne Park, on Rebound Ace hardcourt. Edberg's 2 Australian Open titles were at the old location at Kooyong, on grass courts. Although Edberg beat some excellent players to win his Australian Open titles, Becker played his way into form beautifully in both 1991 and 1996 after struggling earlier in the tournament. Becker's high points at the Australian Open were better IMO.

3. Although Edberg did beat Becker in the 1989 French Open semi final to get to the French Open final, something that Becker never managed to do, is that better than being a multiple time semi finalist at the French Open like Becker was?

4. I think Edberg's US Open career was a little better than Becker's overall, although Becker had his moments too, especially beating Lendl on "his court" in the 1989 final.

5. Becker won 3 masters titles and was runner-up on 5 occasions. Edberg did beat Becker in the 1989 Masters final, an excellent achievement, but overall, Becker's masters career is better.

6. Becker defeated Edberg in 5 Masters Series finals or their pre-1990 eqivalents (1986 Toronto, 1987 Indian Wells, 1989 Paris, 1990 Stockholm, 1991 Stockholm). Edberg defeated Becker in 2 Masters Series finals or their pre-1990 eqivalents (1987 Cincinnati, 1990 Paris) and also a semi final (1987 Montreal).

7. Becker defeated Edberg in 3 rubbers in Davis Cup finals (1985, 1988, 1989), the latter two being rather one-sided and ended in West Germany winning the Davis Cup, unlike in 1985. Becker's performances in Davis Cup finals were rather dominating where he seemed to raise his game to a whole new level.

8. I just think Becker has amazing career highs, highs that are better than Edberg's, while the lows are not too crushing on the whole. Becker also has some amazing wins over world number 1 Lendl in big matches. If I was Edberg, I'd been annoyed about that 1989 French Open final and getting blown away 25-10 by my biggest rival in head-to-head. I also think Becker's style has aged a lot better and he finished his career better in the latter years. Late 1996 indoors saw some of Becker's best ever tennis, especially in the Stuttgart Masters where he played at an insanely high level.

9. Edberg's style is much more old school, and he could have easily slotted into the 1950s and 1960s style of play. Becker's power game represented the tennis of the future, although the serve and volley style was of its time and has now gone out of fashion.

10. If I had Becker's career, I'd be far more content. Edberg's career has too many niggles, i.e. Never winning the Australian Open at Melbourne Park, blowing the French Open final in 1989, Becker's performance in the 1989 Wimbledon final being the best of the winning performances in those 3 Wimbledon finals from 1988-1990, being hammered in Davis Cup finals and a few other matches at Becker's hands, and being on the wrong side of a 25-10 head-to-head. Of course, Edberg can say he was number 1 for 72 weeks compared to Becker's 12 weeks and that he finished as the year-end number 1 twice compared to Becker's zero, but rankings are not as important in my mind as titles and those high points in your career.

No problem with anyone ranking Becker over Edberg even though I have it the other way around. Their careers in terms of achievement are THAT close, but your points are a little contradictory IMO.

1) Agreed Becker has a better Wimbledon career than Edberg but most of your other points are directly related into how they matched up against EACH OTHER in specific tournamounts... and if you apply this to Wimbledon, Edberg held the edge 2-1 and all finals.

However, I'll go with your point as I agree, it's what you achieve overall against the ENTIRE field that counts when judging a players greatness, not an individual H2H.

2) I'm not sure why the location and surface of the Australian Open is particularly important to you, particularly as the surface has changed again since Becker won it. Edberg made 5 AO finals in total and won 2. If you are judging the AO like you have in the same way as you are assessing Wimbledon (above) then Edberg was clearly more succesful in Australia... and he repeated.

3) Not a whole lot of difference as it worked out, but it could have made a monumental difference. Edberg was 1 set away from a career grand slam. Edberg was the better of the two players on clay overall.

4) Sure Becker beat Lendl at the US Open, but Edberg won in twice - including wins over a close to prime Sampras and one of the dominating performances of all time against a prime Courier. Talking of career achievements, something must be said for Edberg's great run at the US Open where he took out Krajicek, Lendl and Chang in succesive 5 setters (he was a break down in the 5th in all 3) before despatching the Pistol in the final.

5) & 6) Yes, I'd agree. Although you have discussed H2H in depth when comparing... so bear in mind that Edberg won the big one (end of year) when they met that one time in the EOY final.

7) He did indeed. But Edberg was also a member of 3 Davis Cup winning teams.

8) Edberg has had some amazing wins over players in "big matches"... On the ATP tour, he was 3-1 over Becker in the "big matches". Again if you are talking H2Hs with Lendl... Edberg had a winning H2H and Becker a losing H2H, not that it's greatly significant.

9) Irrelevant.

10) Likewise, you could say Becker never won the AO on grass.

You also missed the one about Edberg winning 3 doubles majors and being the last man to be #1 in the world at singles and doubles simultaneously.

I'd argue that on achievements against the whole field that Edberg shades it marginally, but each to their own on how they interpret achievement.

anointedone
03-15-2010, 05:06 AM
Edberg had some horrible luck at the Australian on rebound ace. That 1990 title was all his without the injury I am sure. I hate to take away from Lendl's win but I that was pretty much how everyone felt at the time. The 1992 and 1993 finals he was hampered by a back injury, in 92 especialy he might have well otherwise.

Becker in 96 might have been a bit lucky in that he had a narrow escape or 2 IIRC, had a real cushy draw given the depth of the mens field at the time (eg- Mark Woodforde in the semis!?), and avoided playing either Sampras or Agassi who I have a hard time imaging him beating on a hard court. Still he did play some incredible tennis in the late few rounds that year all the same, and definitely deserved both his titles.

hoodjem
03-15-2010, 05:07 AM
Isn't there a 1993 match where Edberg spanked young Pete in three, mostly by giving Sampras a clinic on how to volley?

Here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4AR-_l-iAg

britbox
03-15-2010, 05:14 AM
Edberg had some horrible luck at the Australian on rebound ace. That 1990 title was all his without the injury I am sure. I hate to take away from Lendl's win but I that was pretty much how everyone felt at the time. The 1992 and 1993 finals he was hampered by a back injury, in 92 especialy he might have well otherwise.


I've always felt that way too, particularly about the Lendl final but I've always tried to shy away from dealing in "ifs and buts" when measuring achievements.

Another classic Edberg match which is rarely mentioned was the Davis Cup Final 1984 Doubles when baby Stefan and Anders Jarryd took out McEnroe & Fleming.
Somebody will correct me if I'm wrong, but was this the only time Mac and Fleming ever lost a Davis Cup doubles match?

Mustard
03-15-2010, 06:40 AM
Somebody will correct me if I'm wrong, but was this the only time Mac and Fleming ever lost a Davis Cup doubles match?

Yes. McEnroe and Fleming won 14 of their 15 Davis Cup doubles matches. That loss to Edberg and Jarryd in the 1984 Davis Cup final was their last match as a doubles team in Davis Cup competition.

shakes1975
03-15-2010, 11:18 AM
I would rank Becker higher, and not just because of his H2H. Their H2H in the most important events is kind of even, with Edberg leading 3-1 in slams and Becker leading 3-0 in Davis Cup finals.

However, I feel Becker is just a better, more rounded, player overall, while Edberg was the better S/V'er at his peak. Becker had a better return, and a better baseline game. He was a force even as late as in 1996 (beating guys like Kafelnikov, Krajicek, Sampras), despite being a road-roller as far as movement is concerned.

Also, as per their overall surface results (see link below), his career results are more balanced. He leads Edberg in win % in 3/4 slams.

http://www.tennis28.com/slams/winpct_slam.html

He won 2 slams in a year, something which Edberg never did.

davey25
03-15-2010, 11:47 AM
I agree Becker definitely had a better baseline game but I am not sure he had a better return. I always thought Edberg probably had the better return of serve actually.

shakes1975
03-15-2010, 12:09 PM
I agree Becker definitely had a better baseline game but I am not sure he had a better return. I always thought Edberg probably had the better return of serve actually.

I am pretty confident that Becker had the better return, esp. off the BH side. For instance, that was the main reason why Becker was so successful against Edberg himself. He was strong enough to come over the ball, even for tough kickers. Edberg usually chipped the return and played the point as it went.

Similar, in mind set and not in the level of execution, to the differences between Agassi and Federer. Agassi had the more attacking and devastating return, while Fed was the more consistent returner.

I remember Sampras saying this (and I paraphrase): "We all know that Andre has the best return in the game. But if I miss a first serve, Boris doesn't hold back on the return. He just takes a big wind-up and cracks it. That puts a lot of pressure on the volleyer. So when I play against Boris, I make sure that I move the serve around a lot and not give him a chance to take a swing at the returns."

Another reason why I put Becker over Edberg is based on their results against their peers. Becker leads all the other top players in H2H except for Lendl, Sampras, and Agassi. I think Edberg had very mixed results that way (his H2H was not so great against Connors, Mac, Wilander, Agassi, Courier, even Ivanisevic etc.).

snapple
03-16-2010, 04:42 PM
Very very close call here. While Edberg perhaps accomplished more over the course of his career, if they were both playing at peak form for all the marbles, I'd go with Boris despite Edberg's H2H in Slams. Just think Becker at his best was the more dominant player.

pjonesy
04-13-2010, 06:48 PM
Very very close call here. While Edberg perhaps accomplished more over the course of his career, if they were both playing at peak form for all the marbles, I'd go with Boris despite Edberg's H2H in Slams. Just think Becker at his best was the more dominant player.

I really enjoyed watching them play each other. Edberg had the great kick serve and was so quick to the net. He moved so well around the court and had such a smooth backhand. Becker was just power personified. The biggest serve in the world at that time. However, lets also give him credit for moving very well, especially for a man of his size. He was very solid from the back of the court and could just kill you with any stroke! Although Becker had the head to head advantage and Edberg was cooler under pressure against other players, they had some great matches against each other that will stand the test of time.

shakes1975
04-19-2010, 08:51 AM
I think you'll find almost everyone is a relic from the past in their later years! I certainly think Becker was!

Edberg was basically a better player overrall than Becker, I don't know how many times I have to say that head to head results is given far far too much emphasis by so so many people. You have to look at all results to make a proper analysis:)

I disagree, I think Becker is the better player overall. His performance at the slams is an indicator:

http://www.tennis28.com/slams/winpct_slam.html

He leads Edberg in 3 slams. Also, he aged much better. The year that Edberg retired (1996), Becker won the AO (beating Kafelnikov, Rusedski, Chang), played Sampras tough indoors (almost won a hatrick of matches against him), and finished the year in the top-10. He won slams 11 yrs apart. Only Sampras did better (1990-2002) and only Agassi was able to match that (1992-2003).

Becker was also more dominant at his peak. Won 2 slams in one year, something that Edberg never did.

Becker also did much better against the rest of the field, and nearly all his past-peers, same generation peers, and future peers. He only has a negative H2H against Agassi, Sampras, and Lendl. Edberg had some really strange losses even during his peak (lost to Connors - aged 37 - at the USO), lost to Mac, lost to Wilander, lost to Courier a lot. Becker had no such problems.

I think records, stats, and H2H indicate that Becker was the better player overall. But I think that Edberg was the better serve-volleyer.

hoodjem
04-19-2010, 10:01 AM
I think Becker was better than Edberg, and I'd much rather have Becker's career over Edberg's.
I'd take Edberg's career, brain, demeanor, ethics, and life--in a heartbeat.

shakes1975
04-22-2010, 12:46 PM
I'd take Edberg's career, brain, demeanor, ethics, and life--in a heartbeat.

I disagree and the stats show otherwise.

Like I said before:

http://www.tennis28.com/slams/winpct_slam.html

Slam win %:

Becker - Overall: 80.3%, AO: 76%, FO: 74%, Wim: 86%, USO: 79%
Edberg - Overall: 79.1%, AO: 85%, FO: 70%, Wim: 80%, USO: 78%

Becker's overall consistency in slams is better than Edberg's in 3 out of 4 slams.

And if you include their peak years (I define peak year as a year in which they either won a slam or made a slam final).

I am not counting matches in which they retired hurt and which are officially counted as a loss (1996 Wim 3rd rd for Becker, 1990 AO F against Lendl for Edberg).

Becker: (1985-1986, 1988-1991, 1995-1996) - 84.78% (117-21)
Edberg: (1985, 1987-1993) - 84.75% (139-25)

Becker was more dominant during his peak (winning 2 slams a year), has the much superior Davis Cup record, performed much better against the other top players, won more titles overall.

How they performed against their top peers:

Becker-Lendl: 10-11
Becker-McEnroe: 8-2
Becker-Connors: 6-0
Becker-Wilander: 7-3
Becker-Agassi: 4-10
Becker-Sampras: 7-12
Becker-Courier: 6-1
Becker-Chang: 5-1
Becker-Krajicek: 4-4
Becker-Ivanisevic: 10-9
Becker-Stich: 8-4

Overall: 75-57



Edberg-Lendl: 14-13
Edberg-McEnroe: 6-7
Edberg-Connors: 6-6
Edberg-Wilander: 9-11
Edberg-Agassi: 3-6
Edberg-Sampras: 5-8
Edberg-Courier: 4-6
Edberg-Ivanisevic: 9-10
Edberg-Chang: 12-9
Edberg-Krajicek: 3-4
Edberg-Stich: 6-10

Overall: 77-90

I am curious as to why people find Edberg to be the better player, when most stats lean towards Becker.

pjonesy
04-22-2010, 01:40 PM
I disagree and the stats show otherwise.

Like I said before:

http://www.tennis28.com/slams/winpct_slam.html

Slam win %:

Becker - Overall: 80.3%, AO: 76%, FO: 74%, Wim: 86%, USO: 79%
Edberg - Overall: 79.1%, AO: 85%, FO: 70%, Wim: 80%, USO: 78%

Becker's overall consistency in slams is better than Edberg's in 3 out of 4 slams.

And if you include their peak years (I define peak year as a year in which they either won a slam or made a slam final).

I am not counting matches in which they retired hurt and which are officially counted as a loss (1996 Wim 3rd rd for Becker, 1990 AO F against Lendl for Edberg).

Becker: (1985-1986, 1988-1991, 1995-1996) - 84.78% (117-21)
Edberg: (1985, 1987-1993) - 84.75% (139-25)

Becker was more dominant during his peak (winning 2 slams a year), has the much superior Davis Cup record, performed much better against the other top players, won more titles overall.

How they performed against their top peers:

Becker-Lendl: 10-11
Becker-McEnroe: 8-2
Becker-Connors: 6-0
Becker-Wilander: 7-3
Becker-Agassi: 4-10
Becker-Sampras: 7-12
Becker-Courier: 6-1
Becker-Chang: 5-1
Becker-Krajicek: 4-4
Becker-Ivanisevic: 10-9
Becker-Stich: 8-4

Overall: 75-57



Edberg-Lendl: 14-13
Edberg-McEnroe: 6-7
Edberg-Connors: 6-6
Edberg-Wilander: 9-11
Edberg-Agassi: 3-6
Edberg-Sampras: 5-8
Edberg-Courier: 4-6
Edberg-Ivanisevic: 9-10
Edberg-Chang: 12-9
Edberg-Krajicek: 3-4
Edberg-Stich: 6-10

Overall: 77-90

I am curious as to why people find Edberg to be the better player, when most stats lean towards Becker.

I honestly think it might have something to do with Edberg's calm, cool demeanor on the court. For some reason, people think that if you are that cool during a match (or any sporting event), you are winning. But, McEnroe and Becker were guys who could motivate themselves by being angry, critical of their own game and demonstrative. Tiger Woods is very loud and curses when he misses a shot, and he seems to be able to pull himself together. Honestly, as far as talent goes and what kind of career they had, there's not much separating Edberg and Becker. Becker is far beyond Edberg when it comes down to image, personality and just being an unforgettable tennis character.

s_andrean
06-19-2010, 10:45 AM
Boris! I'm a little bias though as I met him a couple of days back :)

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs057.ash2/36213_403490300823_503585823_4973330_6121654_n.jpg

I'm not that short, its just that Boris is 6'3!

Limpinhitter
06-19-2010, 11:54 AM
Becker had the better serve and forehand. Edberg had the better net game and backhand. Both were very athletic for big men, but, to my recollection, Edberg was a little more mobil. Close call, but, I'd put my money on Becker because of his serve advantage.

SusanDK
06-19-2010, 02:24 PM
McEnroe and Becker were guys who could motivate themselves by being angry, critical of their own game and demonstrative.

Actually, while McEnroe was able to turn his game around and win after an angry outburst, Becker was more likely to unravel and be his own worst enemy when he lost his temper when playing poorly.

For this poll, my vote goes to Edberg. He was far more consistent throughout his career and played such beautiful tennis. Great movement, athleticism, good first serve, killer second serve, unbelievable net game, fantastic backhand. I've always been surprised by the number of people who say he is boring and uncharismatic, because I think he is very charismatic in a subtle way.

Sure Becker has a lot of charisma, is exciting to watch when he dives for shots and does the dance after a big winner, and is more volatile. He was a great personality for the game of tennis, and the rivalry between he and Edberg was wonderful to watch due to their contrasting personalities.

But I would definitey put Edberg higher up in any all-time greats list. I'll cite the 'more weeks at number one' statistic as the objective argument, to support the more subjective explanation.

corners
06-22-2010, 09:34 PM
Becker.

Edberg has a slightly better record, had his best matches against Becker in the slams.

Becker's peak level was significantly higher than Edberg's: Becker's a guy who, on his best form, could beat anyone in history. I can't say the same about Edberg. Becker owned Edberg generally, which says a lot. He was also more fearsome to his historical rivals, which is reflected in the head-to-heads above. He was significantly better from the baseline and, had he been more consistent (maybe less parties before matches) and his body held up better, had the talent to win more grandslams than he did, perhaps 4-5 more, while Edberg got the most out of his talent.

BorisBeckerFan
06-22-2010, 10:25 PM
Obviously, I have to chime in on this. It pains may to say this but Edberg had the better career. Edberg's wins over Becker at Wimbledon outweigh all the other stats or insight one can come up with and breaks the otherwise virtual tie. Even though I love Edberg, I hate Edberg. Agree with corners that Becker's peak is quite a few notches higher than Edberg, not including volleys.

BorisBeckerFan
06-22-2010, 10:27 PM
I won't vote on this thread because I can't vote against Becker.

SirSweetSpot
06-23-2010, 12:43 PM
Everyone seems to forget that Edberg was the only player to win the Junior Grand Slam (until Gael Monfils achieved the feat.)