I think Borg ran Vilas close, but by the numbers I'd give it to the Argentine myself. However, I'm curious as to the quality of the 16 events he won. Was he "gaming the system"? How similar was it to Berasategui in 1994 ~ he won three or four tournaments in the autumn and I think only two of his opponents were inside the top 50.
Originally Posted by rkelley
I remember the end of the 1989 season. Becker was in the zone for a couple of months in the later part of the year. I saw him play Wilander after the USO (on TV). Wilander was still a great player then and had just come off his own incredible 1988 season. Becker destroyed him. He was going completely Federer before that was even a thing.
Lendl was super consistent, but Becker was the guy in 1989.
While I agree that Becker was the best player in 1989, your comment about Wilander isn't really accurate. He had a miserable year, reaching only one final (lost to Gomez), going 34-18 and dropping out of the top ten. Against Boris on indoor carpet and in front of a vociferous German crowd, it was hardly a shock result. He needed five sets to beat Steeb during the same Davis Cup final, and described that result as "a good end [to] a lousy year".[source
Becker comprehensively beating Edberg in straights in his other DC singles match, when Stefan was fresh off winning the Masters, was a lot more impressive IMO.