Andy Murray vs Boris Becker

Kalin

Legend
Times change and now the Olympics are important, unlike in the past.
Then you are certainly well aware that the top award at the Olympics is the title of Olympic Champion which comes with a gold medal. All Olympic Champions are equal in status, regardless of sport, gender and number of participants in the discipline. It is one of the most sacred principles of the Olympics. An Olympic title is forever; there is no such thing as an ex-Olympic Champion.

Well, Boris Becker is an Olympic Champion too; he became one in 1992. He won his Olympic Champion title playing together with Michael Stich. So the Olympic count is 2-1 in favour of Andy, not 2-0 :cool:

@George Turner So, you should amend your otherwise great stats comparison ;)
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
As for peak, it's between Donskoy and Haas.

From Jan 16, 2017 through Wimbledon of 2017, Federer was:
0-2 vs Donskoy and Haas
31-0 against the rest of the field, which includes 9-0 vs top 10, 3-0 vs Nadal, and 2-0 vs Stan.

Donskoy was the only player to beat Federer on hard courts during the Winter/Spring hard court season. Fed learned so much from Donskoy during that match, that he reeled of 12 straight wins on hard courts. He won 10 of those 12 matches in straight sets, which includes two straight set blowouts of Nadal and a straight set blowout of Stan. Fed really should have hired Donskoy as his coach.

Tommy Haas trounced Fed on grass. But Fed learned so much from that trouncing, that he won his next 12 matches on grass in straight sets to win Halle and Wimbledon.
Federer vs Haas: 0-1
Federer vs the rest of the ATP on grass in 2017: 12-0 with 0 sets lost.

Legend has it that Federer called Donskoy his daddy. But after Haas shredded him, he called Tommy his master.

Peak is a wonderful thing.

MurrayGOAT is still the case, however.
 

Lew II

Legend
Career win %: Murray > Sampras, Becker, Agassi, Edberg, Wilander

Big Tournaments win %: Murray > Agassi, Edberg, Wilander

Grand Slam win %: Murray > Becker, Wilander, Edberg
 
Murray on the other hand played almost 50% of his top 10 matches vs Big 3 players.

He has no losing H2H over 5 matches vs anyone other than Djokovic, Nadal or Federer
True - but remember he only has a marginal winning record over Wawrinka (11-8), who was the 5th best of that generation, albeit far less consistent than the other 4.

Murray’s positive H2Hs against everyone else largely show how poor they are. They don’t prove he is as great as Becker.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
True - but remember he only has a marginal winning record over Wawrinka (11-8), who was the 5th best of that generation, albeit far less consistent than the other 4.

Murray’s positive H2Hs against everyone else largely show how poor they are. They don’t prove he is as great as Becker.
Murray has a higher winning% than Becker on every single surface.

2 hypotheses.

1. Murray is at least in the same general ballpark of quality as Becker (one player stat means something about that player)
2. Murray only has higher winning% because the entire field was worse (one stat means something for the entire field)
 
Sorry and I am a big Murray fan but not even close.
Boris won 6 and came close at Roland Garros.
Boris was in 8 Wimbledon finals and I don't even know how many atp finals. On that fast old carpet he was untouchable.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Murray has a higher winning% than Becker on every single surface.

2 hypotheses.

1. Murray is at least in the same general ballpark of quality as Becker (one player stat means something about that player)
2. Murray only has higher winning% because the entire field was worse (one stat means something for the entire field)
3. Tour wide conditions including surfaces, seeding changes, technology has nudged up the stats for everyone.
 
As for peak, it's between Donskoy and Haas.

From Jan 16, 2017 through Wimbledon of 2017, Federer was:
0-2 vs Donskoy and Haas
31-0 against the rest of the field, which includes 9-0 vs top 10, 3-0 vs Nadal, and 2-0 vs Stan.

Donskoy was the only player to beat Federer on hard courts during the Winter/Spring hard court season. Fed learned so much from Donskoy during that match, that he reeled of 12 straight wins on hard courts. He won 10 of those 12 matches in straight sets, which includes two straight set blowouts of Nadal and a straight set blowout of Stan. Fed really should have hired Donskoy as his coach.

Tommy Haas trounced Fed on grass. But Fed learned so much from that trouncing, that he won his next 12 matches on grass in straight sets to win Halle and Wimbledon.
Federer vs Haas: 0-1
Federer vs the rest of the ATP on grass in 2017: 12-0 with 0 sets lost.

Legend has it that Federer called Donskoy his daddy. But after Haas shredded him, he called Tommy his master.

Peak is a wonderful thing.

MurrayGOAT is still the case, however.
also sprach Lew III :oops:

 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
3. Tour wide conditions including surfaces, seeding changes, technology has nudged up the stats for everyone.
Considering it's a zero-sum game, that's impossible.

I'm still not sure how to assess the overall field strength at a given time when every stat recorded is in relation to that same field.
 
250 titles
Andy Murray 16 titles 6 runners up
Boris Becker 16 titles 5 runners up

500 titles
Andy Murray 9 titles, 1 runner up
Boris Becker 9 titles 5 runners up

Masters titles
Andy Murray 14 titles, 7 runners up
Boris Becker 13 titles, 8 runners up

Major titles
Andy Murray 3 titles, 8 runners up
Boris Becker 6 titles, 4 runners up

Becker leads Murray 3-1 in year end titles, but murray has 2 olympic gold medals in singles.

Overall titles
Andy Murray 45 + 2 gold medals
Boris Becker 49

Take away Murrays losing record in major finals and their careers are remarkably similar. Murray is 0-5 in AO finals having faced an ATG in top form every time. This is the equivalent of Becker facing Sampras in all his Wimbledon finals, who Becker admitted he couldn't beat at Wimbledon.

This does alot to show how unlucky Murray has been to play in this era.
It's not necessarily luck. Without those great players, Murray may not have been the Murray we know.; he may have toiled in mediocrity without those guys motivating him to work harder.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
It's not necessarily luck. Without those great players, Murray may not have been the Murray we know.; he may have toiled in mediocrity without those guys motivating him to work harder.
Assuming this logic would only apply to Murray and not to hundreds of other players in the field.
 

tudwell

Legend
Take away Murrays losing record in major finals and their careers are remarkably similar. Murray is 0-5 in AO finals having faced an ATG in top form every time. This is the equivalent of Becker facing Sampras in all his Wimbledon finals, who Becker admitted he couldn't beat at Wimbledon.
Sort of, but Becker beat Lendl in three of his slam finals (including two on hard courts, where Lendl is much more accomplished) and also played three straight Wimbledon finals against Edberg, so it's not like he was just beating up on lesser players. Plus, Murray completely wet the bed in his first three slam finals. Maybe that was only due to the faces he saw across the net from him, but I think it's also evident that Murray tightens up or loses steam in slam finals in a way he tends not to elsewhere, so the problem was not solely his competition.

I think on the fastest surfaces of his day, grass and carpet, Becker was deadlier against top players than Murray has managed to be anywhere. But Murray was more consistent and had more variety to fall back on if his A-game wasn't working.
 

TheFifthSet

Legend
I love Stan but I think people falsely take for granted that his in-match peak is higher than Murray’s..it’s really only decisively higher on clay...but there’s an even bigger gap on grass in favour of Murray. On indoor HC Murray has the edge too.

On outdoor HC, Stan has exploited a comparatively good match-up and has beaten Djokovic in two matches where he frankly wasn’t very good.

I can definitely see arguments for Wawa but I think Andy gets the short end of the stick from some.
 
I love Stan but I think people falsely take for granted that his in-match peak is higher than Murray’s..it’s really only decisively higher on clay...but there’s an even bigger gap on grass in favour of Murray. On indoor HC Murray has the edge too.

On outdoor HC, Stan has exploited a comparatively good match-up and has beaten Djokovic in two matches where he frankly wasn’t very good.

I can definitely see arguments for Wawa but I think Andy gets the short end of the stick from some.
No different from Murray's slam victories against Djokovic, really.
 

tudwell

Legend
I'd also point out that despite Lendl finishing as the computer-ranked number one, the ATP actually gave Becker its Player of the Year award (as did the ITF since he won two slams). And most tennis journalists and analysts consider Becker to be the top player of that year, so the No. 1 disparities aren't as significant as the numbers would have them appear.
 

Third Serve

Legend
Boris Becker (on court)- a supreme combination of power, flair and utter excitement
Andy Murray (on court)- a stifling combination of pushing, boredom and watching paint dry in very humid weather

Boris Becker (off court) - impulsive, stupid decisions both in private and in business life
Andy Murray (off court) - smart, considerate (maybe a touch too much) and hardly putting a foot wrong

You could not have found two more different players if you tried :p However, both seem to possess a great sense of humour, so not all is lost.

In seriousness, excellent comparison; Andy has been indeed quite unlucky. But, whom would you rather watch play the game??

Note: @Mainad Please don't send assassins... I still love Judy Murray
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Considering it's a zero-sum game, that's impossible.

I'm still not sure how to assess the overall field strength at a given time when every stat recorded is in relation to that same field.
Not impossible if return games won is lower in general?

It seems logical to me that the effects on serve from poly would help the consistency of the best players relatively more.
 

Third Serve

Legend
How did the video finish, who won in the end? Sorry, dozed off a bit...:p
It ended with one of the best match points in recent history.

Anyway, I get why you think Murray’s a bit boring. It’s really mostly when he plays Djokovic, though. Those matches were annoying. But Sir Andy has his moments, and this is coming from a non-Murray fan
 
They are quite equal, you'd have to say, although you've got to give the nod to Becker for getting the slam wins. I do still think Becker had it somewhat easier in a lot of his finals. Murray would have thanked the gods to play the 1991 version of Lendl in an Australian Open final or even, instead of Djokovic on his favourite court, Chang in 1996.
 

Kalin

Legend
It ended with one of the best match points in recent history.

Anyway, I get why you think Murray’s a bit boring. It’s really mostly when he plays Djokovic, though. Those matches were annoying. But Sir Andy has his moments, and this is coming from a non-Murray fan
Of course he has; I was just being annoying myself :) It was the comparison to Boris that triggered it. Boris was the consummate entertainer; most players look bland next to him.

However, Andy's SF vs Wawrinka at RG a couple of years ago was also truly bad... it cost Wawrinka whatever chance he may have had in the final vs Rafa and may have exacerbated Andy's hip injury.

The main reason I dislike Andy's playing style is that he is truly capable of playing aggressive, entertaining tennis... but he more often doesn't. Same as Rafa, actually. I have no problem with players playing defensively when they don't really have an option B. Andy does have several options; he just seldom uses them :(
 
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Third Serve

Legend
The main reason I dislike Andy's playing style is that he is truly capable of playing aggressive, entertaining tennis... but he more often doesn't. Same as Rafa, actually. I have no problem with players playing defensively when they don't really have an option B. Andy does have several options; he just seldom uses them :(
Back up until about 2011 Murray had a great, really aggressive game. It troubled Fed a lot, I know. Same with Djokovic. But Murray is simply a better player with his “boring” style of play than without. That could be the sole reason.
 

BorgTheGOAT

Professional
We are in 2019, not 1992. Times changes and now the Olympics are important, unlike in the past. Following your logic, according to which only matters what was important in the past, then the Australian Open is irrelevant. Many players skipped the Australian Open before the 1990s.

Álex Corretja won the ATP finals back in 1998.
This is true of course but you cannot hold it against Becker that he did not win it, since during his time nobody cared about it.
 

BorgTheGOAT

Professional
Boris Becker (on court)- a supreme combination of power, flair and utter excitement
Andy Murray (on court)- a stifling combination of pushing, boredom and watching paint dry in very humid weather

Boris Becker (off court) - impulsive, stupid decisions both in private and in business life
Andy Murray (off court) - smart, considerate (maybe a touch too much) and hardly putting a foot wrong

You could not have found two more different players if you tried :p However, both seem to possess a great sense of humour, so not all is lost.

In seriousness, excellent comparison; Andy has been indeed quite unlucky. But, whom would you rather watch play the game??

Note: @Mainad Please don't send assassins... I still love Judy Murray
Murray was one of the most boring players on the court. But outside the court he is even more boring/unlikeable.
 
for those talking about murrays olympic medals, olympics
in tennis wasnt even that big deal back then...
in 1992 marc rossett won the olympic GOLD
Rosset beat the #1 player and reigning Roland Garros champion Jim Courier in straight sets on clay in route to his gold. It's also kind of contradictory to say Olympics was meaningless in 1992 when Becker played it and lost.
 

George Turner

Hall of Fame
Ofc i was talking purely about results in this thread. In terms of entertainment there's no comparison. Just very interesting how close their careers are and it makes me wonder if Murray could have got two or three more majors without such extreme elite competition he faced.

Becker won his Australian opens against 1991 lendl, who had seen his best tennis days, and chang, whom Murray almost certainly would have beaten. Becker also had a terrible record against Agassi (four wins, three of which were when Agassi was very young) Murray would have done better than that in a rivalry againat Agassi.

Overall i'd say Murrays game isnt quite Beckers equal but its pretty close. And its superior to Couriers on account of having much better longevity. Once Sampras peaked Courier stopped being a contender.
 
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Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
Not impossible if return games won is lower in general?

It seems logical to me that the effects on serve from poly would help the consistency of the best players relatively more.
Yes, there's definitely a redistribution of games under the new circumstances.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
for those talking about murrays olympic medals, olympics
in tennis wasnt even that big deal back then...
in 1992 marc rossett won the olympic GOLD
As I said in another thread a while ago, this argument is completely bogus.

In 1992, the whole elite of tennis including the following top players was in the draw:
#1 Courier; #2 Edberg; #3 Sampras; Ivanisevic; Becker; Chang; Stich; Muster; Bruguera

So it is not Rosset’s faults to have won this highly contested tournament.

The argument must rather be: Because it was so highly contested (and on clay), it was not a big failure for Becker not to have won it. But just like Federer he wanted the gold medal so badly that he even partnered with Michael Stich to win it in doubles.

These two German champions were somewhat like "mortal enemies" and there is a story that they had an agent who changed between both hotel rooms before matches to communicate with both of them about match tactics, so that they didn’t have to talk to each other. Becker talked about Stich as distant as possible and called him "The player Stich" ("Der Spieler Stich").
 
As I said in another thread a while ago, this argument is completely bogus.

In 1992, the whole elite of tennis including the following top players was in the draw:
#1 Courier; #2 Edberg; #3 Sampras; Ivanisevic; Becker; Chang; Stich; Muster; Bruguera

So it is not Rosset’s faults to have won this highly contested tournament.

The argument must rather be: Because it was so highly contested (and on clay), it was not a big failure for Becker not to have won it. But just like Federer he wanted the gold medal so badly that he even partnered with Michael Stich to win it in doubles.

These two German champions were somewhat like "mortal enemies" and there is a story that they had an agent who changed between both hotel rooms before matches to communicate with both of them about match tactics, so that they didn’t have to talk to each other. Becker talked about Stich as distant as possible and called him "The player Stich" ("Der Spieler Stich").
Yet he didn't play 4 years earlier and later
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Yet he didn't play 4 years earlier and later
4 years earlier I cannot understand as well. 1988 was the only Olympic tournament which was really not that highly contested (still guys like Edberg were present though). 1996 Becker was injured after his Wimbledon retirement.

Another strange thing is Sampras trying it on clay in 1992, but not at home in USA (Atlanta) on hard court, letting Agassi win it. I don’t know if he was injured as well.

But as I said, despite there may be a few anomalies, generally Olympic tennis was always big. Remember not even at the Super 9 tournaments (the 90s equivalent of Masters) every top player was present as they were not mandatory back then.
 

Cortana

Hall of Fame
Murray is a very underrated player. Without the Big3 he would easily sit on ~8 slam titles. He was just unlucky to face the 3 gratest tennis players of all time.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
I love Stan but I think people falsely take for granted that his in-match peak is higher than Murray’s..it’s really only decisively higher on clay...but there’s an even bigger gap on grass in favour of Murray. On indoor HC Murray has the edge too.

On outdoor HC, Stan has exploited a comparatively good match-up and has beaten Djokovic in two matches where he frankly wasn’t very good.

I can definitely see arguments for Wawa but I think Andy gets the short end of the stick from some.
Djokovic was pretty good in AO 14 match.
At the AO, Stan's peak level > Murray's.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
Becker clearly better on grass
Becker way better indoors
Becker with higher top level at the AO, even if less consistent than Murray there.
Murray better at the USO
Murray better on clay.
 
250 titles
Andy Murray 16 titles 6 runners up
Boris Becker 16 titles 5 runners up

500 titles
Andy Murray 9 titles, 1 runner up
Boris Becker 9 titles 5 runners up

Masters titles
Andy Murray 14 titles, 7 runners up
Boris Becker 13 titles, 8 runners up

Major titles
Andy Murray 3 titles, 8 runners up
Boris Becker 6 titles, 4 runners up

Becker leads Murray 3-1 in year end titles, but murray has 2 olympic gold medals in singles.

Overall titles
Andy Murray 45 + 2 gold medals
Boris Becker 49

Take away Murrays losing record in major finals and their careers are remarkably similar. Murray is 0-5 in AO finals having faced an ATG in top form every time. This is the equivalent of Becker facing Sampras in all his Wimbledon finals, who Becker admitted he couldn't beat at Wimbledon.

This does alot to show how unlucky Murray has been to play in this era.
Olympics didn't have the same status back then. Nowadays all the greats play olympics but in the 80s and 90s many greats skipped it.
 
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