Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by guedoguedo, Feb 16, 2007.
Celeb Game, on espn now.
He said that Sampras and Laver are/were better than Federer.
Becker is just jealous. He sucks compared to all of them
Is there a transcript?
Way to go - a highly-educated post - and your tenth too. Big things await you Junior.
saw Becker play on Tennis Classics against Agassi last week. It was a davis cup match from the 90's. Would love to see Boris compete against today's stars. He hit unbelievably hard off the ground and followed his serve in against one off the all time returning greats. Because of the pressure he kept putting on players, (except on clay) I believe he could consistently beat Nadal and most other players and give Federer all he wanted most days.
Agreed. I posted a while back that with the dearth of grass court players in the world today - players that REALLY know how to play on grass - BB could come back right now and make an impact.
Some of my favorite matches were Becker/Sampras. That was a collossal match up and one of the best rivalries of all time. Epic.
Hail to Becker - he is sorely missed.
Becker was a fantastic player but I recall he did not have much luck against Sampras. He could beat everyone but not Sampras.
Becker did win some matches.
49 Titles and 25mill in prize money for BB.
Yea BB blows...[Sarcasm off]
I believe you are the one who is jealous.
Becker was the first superathletic tennis players. Acoording to Brad Gilbert, Becker intimidated the other players. I remembre his bleeding knees and elbows in several matches. He had great matches against Sampras. The final of the Masters Cup in Hamburg in 1996 (not sure the date) is a classic.
I had the privilege of watching his last professional single match at the Ericsson Open at Key Biscayne. Lost to Safin 7/6 6/0. In the same tournament he reached the doubles semifinals partnering with Gambill.
He was an hybrid between Safin and Nadal plus Sampras volleys.
imagine if philiopoussis trained as hard as ferrer and you get an idea of becker.
it was hannover not hamburg*
his last professional match was wimbledon 1999 vs rafter*
Totally agree. Another good example.
why is becker not someone's coach?? he would make a great coach
maybe he doesn't need the money or doesn't like to travel the globe anymore
You're right. Sorry the mistake.
Becker lost to Sampras in the final of the 1996 ATP Tour World Championships in Hannover, Germany, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4. Becker saved two match points in the fourth set and held serve 27 consecutive times until he was broken in the penultimate game. Sampras, who had lost to Becker a month earlier in a five-set final in Stuttgart, later called Becker the best indoor player he ever faced. that says enough...
I'm guessing that he never had the pleasure of getting a beat down from Federer. He retired shortly after Federer turned pro.
Becker is 4-10 lifetime against Agassi with the first 3 wins coming before 1990 or before Agassi turned 20. Considering that Becker is only 2 and a half years older than Agassi and their careers had a great deal of overlap that's a rather pathetic record, plus Agassi slacked off during stretches in the 90s. Becker could'nt handle Agassi's return and could'nt consistently hang with him from the baseline. Federer returns pretty well and could outrally Agassi. Federer handles power very well too as evidenced by his consistent success returning Roddick's serve and handling the groundstrokes of power baseliners like Gonzalez. He also has great passing shots on both sides and is a very good volleyer himself. Federer is at or near the top in both holding and breaking serve stats and that probably makes him unique among all past great champions.
Federer does everything equal or better than Becker. The only area Becker is arguably better is maybe the serve but while his serve was considered among the biggest for most of his career more players with big serves started to come out in the 90s so that Becker did'nt even have as much of an advantage anymore even on his biggest weapon. Federer has an underrated serve and was 3rd on the tour in aces last year. Federer has a much better return and return game in general. His forehand is probably the best overall and his backhand one of the best.
In short, I think Federer would win at least 8 out 10 matches against Becker if both were in their prime. It would be closer on grass or fast indoor surfaces but Federer would still have an overall edge. Federer would win almost all of the matches on medium speed hardcourt and absolutely own Becker on clay or slow hardcourt.
The weakest part of Sampras' game was his backhand and his return game overall. Sampras relied so much on his serve and volley game that he did'nt break serve often and had many close sets and matches. While Sampras won most of those matches his backhand and return game cost him a number of matches every year which made it tough for him to keep his losses in the single digits in a year unlike Federer who has done it for 3 straight years and counting. Sampras had at least a few early round exits every year and while he finished number 1 for 6 straight years he temporarily gave up the top spot a number of times during those 6 years because his points advantage was usually slim compared to Federer's stranglehold in the rankings.
Agreed. Rarely have I witnessed two players so evenly matched in skill. I really miss that period.
As much as I appreciate Federer, everyone (especially the tennis PTB/commentators/writers, et al) should admit Roger simply does not have the high level of competition faced during the McEnroe/Becker/Sampras overlapping eras. Roger has it easy with a field of laughably one-dimensonal, one-note players and a sea of never-going-to-be half-asses.
I think there's no question that Agassi was a greater player than Becker, and that the American posed particular match-up problems for the German. But we shouldn't overlook who Becker DID beat. He went 5-1 in Grand Slams against Lendl, one of the all-time baseliners; he beat Lendl at Wimbledon in 1986, 1988 and 1989, as well as at the US Open in 1989--and these were during Lendl's very best years! On the flipside, Lendl seemed to own Agassi on the big stages: he won easily in both of their Grand Slam meetings, at the US Open in 1988 and 1989. Of course, both of these matches were before Agassi really hit his stride, and he did manage to win his last two matches against Lendl in 1992 and 1993. But it's hard to say how these two would have done had they played each other in their respective primes; even harder to say how Becker would have fared against Federer. Pure, idle speculation.
One of the best matches I have ever seen. Incredibly electric atmosphere. If people haven't seen it, they should buy it on DVD. I think there's a pretty good recording out there with German commentary.
ridiculous.By your logic federer should OWN Safin, but he doesn't, it's all about the match up.
Becker also beat Lendl at the final of the australian Open. I believe it was 1991.
Yeah, it was the 1991 AO final. I didn't include it only b/c one could argue that Lendl was past his prime, whereas the other defeats came at times when he was indisputably in peak form.
Wierdly, Becker had a fairly dominant record against Edberg overall (25-10), but in the Slams, (where they surprisingly didn't play that much), Edberg was the clear winner (3-1) (Edberg won the '88 and 90' Wimbledon titles and beat Becker in the '89 French semis, and lost the '89 Wimbledon final.) He also beat Becker to win the '89 Masters. Also, a huge percentage of their matches were played indoors and Becker dominated. Of the 20 indoor matches, Becker was 15-5.)
Fed leds Safin 7-2. is that ownage?
nadal leds Fed 6-3, some folks call this ownage.
u be the judge
Becker's brain was too big. He had many off-court interests and distractions, which often resulted in his losing prior to his seeding. It wasn't surprising to see Boris flame out in the 2nd round of some random Tour event. The only player of that era that surprised you that way was Lendl, and Lendl doesn't have the natural skill, grace, and talent cocktail of Federer.
Face it - we all loved Becker, but let's agree that one of his major charms was that he never was a perma-focused automaton (sorry, but the shoe fits) like Federer.
You Federer Freaks as funny, alliteration intended...
To have an idea of how real S&Vers would attack and occasionally dismantle Federer, I refer you to the 2001 pasting (6-3, 6-1) Federer received at the hands of a late in his game Patrick Rafter. He made Federer look like a junior in that match and exposed Federer's weaknesses against a true, skilled S&Ver.
This match also showed how important for Federer's games the new, more powerful Wilson racquets are. Federer had virtually no pace from the ground or on his serve with the Sampras 85.
Boys, you've been decieved by the weakness and redundancy of today's players.
Federer would have taken many lumps from the great S&Vers of the 90s.
And if you want to see him handled by a baseliner, I refer you to the 2004 RG match against a still-recovering Kuerten.
Federer should be happy he's playing at a low-point in the men's game. His all-around skills make him next-to unbeatable against these cookie-cutter players.
Flame on, but if you have the guts, buy the match and watch your boy-idol have his azz handed to him on a silver platter. Rafter didn't do anything special, certainly nothing Becker, Edberg, Krajciek and a few others couldn't have done.
And Sampras would've done the same to him, BTW, just like he did to Safin and Roddick...
And an Agassi from '95-2000 would've been a toss-up against a Federer of today. Agassi would've have played him like Nadal and Kuerten, mentally and physically.
Becker lost to Agassi because he tried to S&V against Andre, which is Andre's strength. How many times have you seen Federer even play around with S&Ving against Agassi??? Maybe twice and he was smoked on both points. If Federer tried to S&V with Agassi he'd be lucky to take 4 out of 10.
At least Federer is smart enough to know how to attack the old man. All of it just goes to show how brilliant Sampras was.....
Tennis is a game of match-ups, likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. Other than Nadal, Federer hasn't face a player with strengths that neutralize his and take advantage of his weaknesses.
Has Federer improved? Of course. Does he still have the same weaknesses that can be exploited? DEFINITELY.
Ask Nadal if you don't believe me. And he doesn't even have a serious serve or volley, let alone chip and charge.
If you watch this match against Rafter and still think Federer is the GOAT by judging him against today's competition, especially Roddick, you're delusional.
becker had 2 issues that ruined a potentially greatER career:
1. issue with focus on career
becker had a poor record against agassi not because he played S&V. Rather, it's because he didn't play S&V. up until 1989, becker played agassi with pure serve-volley (at least on his own games) and was leading 3-0 H2H. their 1989 davis cup match was an all-time classic which fans of both becker and agassi should watch. becker won 6-7,6-7,7-6,7-5,6-3 or some thing of the sort.
from 1990, becker was not the same as he was before. he started having those distractions with women, liquor etc. on the day of the 1990 wim F against edberg, he said (in his autobiography) that he couldn't sleep till 10.30 PM. so, he took a sleeping pill with whiskey but he woke up at 4.30 while the match was still 8 hrs away. so, he took another pill with whiskey. so, when the time came to practice around 10.30, he was so groggy that he hardly did anything. he said it wasn't until the end of the second set that the effects of the drug wore off.
becker also was very stubborn right from the beginning. he used to get a kick out of beating baseliners like wilander, lendl etc. at their own game. agassi also mentioned a couple of things. in the book "winning ugly", agassi said he was often surprised about becker's strategy in rallying with him from the baseline, particularly bcos becker was a poor mover. in another interview after a match with sampras sometime in 1998-1999, agassi was asked if he feared sampras from the beginning or something of the sort. he replied in the negative. he said that becker was the guy he feared. his exact statement was "when i lost my first 3 matches against boris, i was like "how am i going to beat this guy ?". i've never felt that way about pete.".
pete also, during his Semi-final interview in the 1990 USO, said "becker had the wrong strategy. instead of trying to come to the net as soon as he can, he tried to play from the baseline against andre."
becker was a decently fast mover till 1989. due to his poor work ethics, his mobility took a serious decline from 1990 onwards and he never regained his earlier athleticism. otherwise, becker's game was good enough to beat agassi on grass and the faster HC.
his income tax case with the german government ruined his career.
also, it's ridiculous to expect federer to have the same problems that he had against s&v'ers in the past just bcos he lost to rafter in 2001.
people forget that in the same year, fed beat the greatest serve-volleyer in the open era on grass.
the whole scenario about this peak sampras vs. peak fed is absurd. Sampras will probably not be able to
play a purely S/V game against Federer, because Federer is a great
counterpuncher; he has too much firepower, defense, accuracy and
variety from the baseline. Peak Federer absolutely detests someone who
has the gall to come up to him at the net and try to force the issue
on him. He is so confident in his baseline game that he actually lures
guys into the net so that he can pass them. It's been demonstrated
time and time again.
Federer will probably force Sampras to retreat back to the baseline
and commence baseline battles, denying him to make approach shots. If
Sampras tries to force the issue by hitting big shots, Federer has the
defense to salvage him. Firstly, Sampras will almost certainly not
have as many point-ending big winners from the baseline because
Federer is so quick and has such a superior defense. Secondly, if he
does make inroads into Federer's defense in order to come to the net,
he better take into account Federer's combination of anticipation, quickness,
positioning, and the natural instinctive ability to produce
killer counterpunching shots from the baseline, something that Sampras
has never faced against anyone in his career.
Sampras used to force the issue on his own service game by dishing up
big, unreturnable serves. But even here he will be tested severely by
Federer's excellent return game. Federer doesn't return to end points (unlike agassi, who is more of a hit-hard-or-miss returner), but he returns the big serves exceedingly well, slicing them low and to the side, his floaters don't
float high above the net, so if Sampras decides to come behind his serve, he will have to be willing to play shoe-string volleys or very low volleys most of the time, and after his foray into the net, he can be very sure that Federer already has a game plan in passing him from the basline. When Sampras did the same thing against Agassi, coming to the net and forcing the issue, Agassi's replies from the baseline weren't very creative. Agassi tried to force the issue back by using brute force and hitting as hard as possible, without thinking too much about angles and spins, which reduced his accuracy and Sampras made light work of Agassi's unthinking, fight-or-flight responses most of the time. But Federer's baseline game is much more refined and well-thought-out than Agassi's, he is very confident and calm from the baseline, so the scenario will be much, much different.
there also remains the other aspect that sampras' returns are not as good as the rest of his game. so, it's not going to be easy for him to break federer either. in their only match, federer had 25 aces to sampras' 26.
I don't think he'd be a good coach at all for the same reason I don't think Mac was a good coach -- the game came too easily to him. He played on instinct, pure talent, not saying he was a dummy but he never had to think out there the way a Gilbert did.
I pretty much agree with the guy who said Federer is better than Becker in every respect except for maybe the serve. It's a bad matchup for Becker. For one, Federer wouldn't be intimidated by Becker, and Federer just has too many answers, too much variety, too much speed... etc. Becker was a great player but he never dominated his time. It's legitimate to wonder if Federer could dominate Sampras, but I don't think it's legit to wonder who would own who when it comes to Federer and Becker, or Lendl, or Agassi, and even Edberg. Yeah, maybe serve and volley would give Nadal or Roddick problems, I'm willing to entertain that. But Federer is one of the best returners I've ever seen, most certainly top 3, arguably THE very best. And his passing shots are among the best of all time as well, he stays so calm when people charge the net. You want to see how he might return and pass against Becker? Just watch the Sampras match. See what he does against the best server of all time when he was still a shaky talent, not the fully evolved tennis freak King Federer or today.
Darn... i was going to bring that up... especially the Becker/Sampras Masters in Germany right??? Super Classic, one of the best ever!:grin:
Interesting. It's the first time I heard this. Where did you hear this or get this from? I don't remember Becker beating these guys from the back court.
Your post however is right on about Becker. He had such an awesome game. I wished he lived up to his potential. I know 6 slams and being one of the greats is freaking awesome but I do believe he could have accomplished much more.
i was a big becker fan. i have a book about him, titled in english as "boris" and released in 1987 prior to the FO, that was written by his first coach, gunther bosch. it has plenty of info about becker's childhood, his training, incidents with other players, his wimbledon triumphs etc. In that he mentioned about how becker used to get a kick out of playing against wilander from the baseline, playing "artsy" tennis against mecir etc.
here are a couple of really interesting excerpts for other fans, reproduced verbatim:
"In the top ten, only the swedes are an exception. Boris feels most at home with them. Stefan Edberg, number six in the world, is possibly a kind of friend. Stefan and Boris knew each other as kids. They played in tournaments together. Until Boris was sixteen, he had never beaten Stefan. At an ATP tournament in Rosenhiem, Stefan slept in the changing rooms in a sleeping bag. Either he was broke or there were no more rooms. When Boris saw him, he asked, 'Can we help you ? Do you need anything ?'
They are definitely friends. If they meet at tournaments, they train together, and play against each other in the evenings. I'm pleased they are friends - but then again, I'm not. Stefan plays like Boris: an aggressive serve and volley player, his keenest future opponent. I have a feeling that in the struggle for the world tennis throne, the main battles are going to be between these two."
Another interesting excerpt or two:
"For all our training in the mountains of Switzerland, there is one thing we have never been able to improve to any extent: Boris's basic speed. Out of the top ten, Boris is number nine for speed. He was born that way; it's something we have to put up with."
"Noah is the player who inspires Boris. Noah is one of the top ten players in the world, has a wife, a child and a restaurant in New York. For Boris, Noah is a phenomenon because he manages to stay at the top of the world and live as well.
I like it when they train together. In training with Noah, Boris manages shots which wouldn't be out of place in a circus. And suddenly, he runs easily. Against players like Annacone or Wilkinson, his legs seem heavy and stumpy. Against Noah, he is incredibly agile, and elegant. Noah spurs him on to play like Noah himself: easily and elegantly.
This ease has to do with his masochism. Let me explain. Boris gets a kick out of beating Wilander from the baseline with high topspins. Baseline play is Wilander's weapon. Boris tries to beat him at his own game. He also tries to beat Noah with artistic tennis. Stefan Edberg, for instance, is a born serve-and-volley player. Boris just plays Stefan at his own game. Lendl's greatest weapon is his forehand. Boris doesn't play to his weaker backhand, but lets himself in for a forehand duel because he wants to show lendl that his forehand is better. He could just play to Lendl's backhand, but he doesn't. He plays to his forehand. Forehand in Wimbledon, backhand in Chicago. It's masochism: he deliberately makes things hard for himself."
Oh, and do you guys also know something else ? Becker never had a coach till he was 15. That's right, Gunther Bosch, the guy who wrote the book became Becker's coach in 1982. In fact, Becker was part of a five man team, and he was the last among them. Do you know who was the best ? It was a guy called Uli Pinner. Patrick Kunhen and Carl-Uwe-Steeb were also part of the four man team. And there was another player called Udo Riglewski.
yes, you are right. becker could have accomplished much more. here's a hint. in 1996, when becker was 29 yrs old, he beat sampras in 5 sets at Stuttgart, beat him in two tie-breaks in the YEC RR, and lost an all-time classic in the YEC Final. And 1996 YEC was sampras at his peak. After the 1994 Wim, becker got serious about the game again, hired Bollietieri temporarily, and went to make the 1995 Wim F, 1995 USO SF, 1995 YEC winner, 1996 AO winner.
Just think what he could've really achieved had he put in the same effort 3 yrs earlier ? I mean, in 1993 becker was out of the top-ten for the first time since 1985. that shows u how he neglected practice. becker was sampras before sampras: a big game and a ton of heart. too bad, he didn't have the same dedication as sampras.
Becker peaked too early. He was a child in a man's body. This explains why he won Wimbledon at 17 AND 18 and reached the SW19 finals six times. He shouldn't be judged in the same way as other players.
Becker's power, athleticism and focus back in 1985 gave the world of tennis a type of player that had not been seen before. He's one of the greats.
I really shouldn't get into it now; there may be kiddies reading! Suffice to say that Internet slang can sometimes produce dubious results ...
Very sorry to hear about your leg, BTW. Do get well.
You're a dirty man
LOL!!!...people tell me about that all the time...i actually dont kno how it came to b part of my widespread usage...but wutev...it is wut it is now...LMFAO!!...but i totally c how that can imply sumthin TOTALLY different from wut i intended...and thanks about my leg....i go to c the orthopeadic doctor on monday and i pray hell clear me to start playin again
Id like Becker's chances on an Indoor court or at Wimbledon with the speed the grass was 7 years ago.
Becker would serve and volley all day long to Federer's backhand. On a fast surface hed have a lot of success if Federer just chipped his returns.
Becker in his prime had to face::
all who won at least 3 grand slams.............
Federer has to face nadal and safin(talented but doesnt care)))
bit different guys. Thats why it is hard to say best ever.
Brugera won 2 French Opens, 1993 and 1994. He did not win three grand slams.
That's why he says Sampras was the best. If it was so difficult for him to beat him, he has to be the best; get it?
Separate names with a comma.