Duel Match Stats/Reports - Agassi vs Becker, Wimbledon quarter-final & semi-final, 1992 & 1995


Hall of Fame
Andre Agassi beat Boris Becker 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in the Wimbledon quarter-final, 1992 on grass

Agassi would go onto win the title, beating Goran Ivanisevic in the final. Becker had reached the final the last 4 years, winning once in 1989

Agassi won 164 points, Becker 141

Becker serve-volleyed off all but 4 first serves and all but 2 seconds

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (87/151) 58%
- 1st serve points won (63/87) 72%
- 2nd serve points won (38/64) 59%
- Aces 4, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (43/151) 28%

- 1st serve percentage (91/154) 59%
- 1st serve points won (66/91) 73%
- 2nd serve points won (25/63) 40%
- Aces 18 (1 second serve), Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 10
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (52/154) 34%

Serve Patterns
Agassi served...
- to FH 37%
- to BH 61%
- to Body 3%

Becker served....
- to FH 42%
- to BH 53%
- to Body 5%

Return Stats
Agassi made...
- 92 (36 FH, 56 BH)
- 21 Winners (12 FH, 9 BH)
- 33 Errors, all forced...
- 33 Forced (19 FH, 14 BH)
- Return Rate (92/144) 64%

Becker made...
- 104 (34 FH, 70 BH), including 26 return-approaches & 2 drop-returns
- 4 Winners (1 FH, 3 BH)
- 38 Errors, comprising...
- 20 Unforced (10 FH, 10 BH), including 7 return-approach attempts
- 18 Forced (9 FH, 9 BH), including 1 return-approach attempt
- Return Rate (104/147) 71%

Break Points
Agassi 6/12 (8 games)
Becker 3/8 (6 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Agassi 61 (21 FH, 33 BH, 3 FHV, 2 BHV, 2 OH)
Becker 40 (8 FH, 4 BH, 14 FHV, 7 BHV, 1 BH1/2V, 6 OH)

Agassi has 43 passes - 20 returns (11 FH, 9 BH) and 23 regular (5 FH, 18 BH)
- FH returns - 4 cc, 6 inside-in and 1 longline
- BH returns - 6 dtl, 1 inside-out and 2 inside-in
- regular FH passes - 4 cc and 1 inside-in
- regular BH passes - 10 cc (1 not clean, 1 net chord pop over), 5 dtl (1 at net), 1 inside-out, 1 lob and 1 running-down-drop-shot cc at net

- regular FHs (including returns) - 1 cc/inside-in, 1 dtl, 1 inside-out and 1 inside-in return
- regular BHs - 4 dtl (1 at net), 1 longline and 1 drop shot

- 1 from a serve-volley point, a 2nd 'volley' FH at net

Becker had 23 from serve-volley points -
- 12 first 'volleys' (5 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 BH1/2V, 2 OH, 3 FH at net)
- 8 second volleys (3 FHV, 1 BHV, 4 OH)
- 3 third volleys (2 FHV, 1 BHV)

- 7 from return-approach points (3 FHV, 4 BHV)

- FHs - 1 cc pass, 1 dtl/inside-out pass, 2 inside-out and 1 inside-in return
- BH returns - 2 cc (1 pass) and 1 dtl
- regular BH - 1 cc pass

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Agassi 45
- 15 Unforced (6 FH, 8 BH, 1 BHV)... with 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- 30 Forced (8 FH, 20 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)... with 2 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46

Becker 50
- 27 Unforced (7 FH, 12 BH, 3 FHV, 5 BHV)
- 23 Forced (7 FH, 6 BH, 4 FHV, 4 BHV, 2 BH1/2V)... with 1 BH at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 51.1

(Note 1: All 1/2 volleys refer to such shots played at net. 1/2 volleys played from other parts of the court are included within relevant groundstroke numbers)

(Note 2: the Unforced Error Forcefulness Index is an indicator of how aggressive the average UE was. The numbers presented for these two matches are keyed on 4 categories - 20 defensive, 40 neutral, 50 attacking and 60 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Agassi was...
- 18/33 (55%) at net, including...
- 2/3 (67%) serve-volleying, both 1st serves
- 0/2 forced back

Becker was...
- 91/153 (59%) at net, including...
- 71/119 (60%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 47/69 (68%) off 1st serve and...
- 24/50 (48%) off 2nd serve
- 16/26 (62%) return-approaching

Match Report
Top class showing from Agassi, particularly on the return and the pass. Becker serve-volleys virtually always, looks to return very aggressively (going for winners or chip-charging) and utilizes a lot of touch to keep up, without too much success. He plays well - Agassi is just that much better and in control of action

It seems to be high dose of respect or fear for Agassi's returning, passing and ground game that shapes Boris' approach to play. The fear/respect is justified by action

With the return, Agassi pulverizes the serve-volleying Boris. Boris with 18 aces, Agassi with 21 return winners... is not likely to end well for Boris

When he's not hitting winners, Agassi's returning very powerfully, drawing weak first volleys that he can wade into and he's top drawer on the pass in play to follow up. Agassi with 43 passing winners to Boris with 31 'volley' winners (counting a half-volley and 3 FHs at net as volleys)... is not likely to end well for Boris

Starting on the baseline, Agassi with 13 UEs to Boris' 19 doesn't look too bad from Boris' point of view. Throw in Agassi with 8 winners to Boris' 2 and it looks worse. The hidden key to all that is Agassi rallying to net 30 times to just 8 times by Boris, though Boris is in a particular rush to get forward. He doesn't get much chance... Agassi hammers him down from the back

Nominally, Agassi wins just 16/30 at net. That's deceptive due to a large proportion of those approaches being forced by drop volleys (in other words, mostly hopeless points in Boris' service games). From baseline rally starting point, Agassi overpowers and outsteadies Boris comfortably, and rarely fails to win the point when coming in on his own terms. Boris doesn't have that choice as he's usually beat down from the back

Note Boris with huge 26 return-approaches - and he wins a large 16/26 or 62% of those points. Its a good move because he's so outmatched from the back. And he seems to have known he would be. Right from the start he's chip-charging and less often, hitting and approaching behind the return. In very first game of match, he does so 8 times (also makes 2 errors trying). With total 8 return errors trying to return-approach, realistically, Boris is 16/34 or winning 47% of points he tries to return-approach on. That's a very good figure because Agassi is a monster on the pass and 2nd serves wide nicely to keep Boris from indulging the play too much. Boris also shows good judgement in not overdoing the move. Lots of good, wide second serving from Agassi to keep Boris honest

Becker's service games
Boris serve-volleys virtually always (stays back off 4 first serves and 2 seconds). Even staying back that little is a big step for him, the quintessential 100% serve-volleyer on grass.

He's not serving all out with the first serves, and thus, manages a high for him 59% in count (actually shading Agassi's by 1% on that front). The balance he strikes between being damaging with the first serve and holding back to have a higher in-count is virtually perfect. He gets his fill off cheap points - both unreturned serves and easy first volleys to putaway - 17 aces, 1 service winner, many extremely hard forced return errors drawn, 12 first 'volley' winners (including 3 FH at net and 2 OHs... in other words, complete putaway balls). And wins 73% first serve points

For him, 73% isn't particularly good. The way Agassi returns though, its a huge success. What is returned and not a putaway is hit hard (also taken early to take still more time from Becker) and Becker's left with not-easy first volley. Typically, slightly under net and hit powerfully. The kind that's not easy to putaway and even good volleyers miss some lot of. Relatively few returns to the feet... Agassi's more damaging returns tend to be wide rather than low, and most just go through for winners

Good stuff from Boris on the volley. He's got fairly low 8 UEs on the volley and these tend to be on hard side for being marked UE. He also controls these not-easy volleys well, directing them well away from Agassi and going on to win the point. Agassi isn't particularly proficient on the running pass

A lot of drop and stop volleying from Boris, not something he usually indulges in much. He's likely wary of Agassi's ability on the running pass, though that at least, isn't justified by play. It makes for a more elegant showing from Boris than his norm, without any loss of effectiveness

Just 11 FEs on the 'volley' from Boris too. For a constant net rusher to have more FEs than UEs in forecourt is usually sign that he's volleyed consistently and that he's faced great passing. The first part is true enough... the second is trebly true, but not because of the relative proportion of UEs to FEs. Agassi's passing and returning goes beyond that and he's belted 43 passing winners - more than double all of Boris' forecourt errors

Boris does well to make the tough volleys, but once he 'just' puts the volley in play, Agassi's lethal on the follow up pass... all credit to Agassi, and well done by Boris too. He does about as well as he's allowed to on the volley

Boris 2nd serve by contrast, gets some terrific stick and Agassi belting winners right left and center all match. Huge 21 return winners from Agassi - 8 are against first serves (1 non-pass), 13 against 2nds. He doesn't even hit them that wide... overwhelming power is the key. 1 FH winner is hit longline, close to center line and goes through so fast Becker doesn't have a ghost of a chance of touching it. Several more of the bulk 7 FH inside-in return winners aren't particularly wide, but still, sure fire winners
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Hall of Fame
Hitting this powerfully, Agassi doesn't have to hit too wide to be forceful. Just a bit has Becker scrambling like a monkey to make contact. Nothing wrong with Boris' movement or net coverage... just too powerful and good from Agassi. Boris' is pressed to go for more on 2nd serves and double faults high 10 times. Just 40% second serve points won (Agassi has 59%). There's a very good reason Boris checks his 1st serving... his 2nd gets destroyed. And that's while serving a good second serve, good enough to serve-volley behind with confidence

Boris' 2nd serve-volley points though looks like Agassi is attacking and he's defending... not good prospects for Boris and he volleys particularly well to keep points lost down to 40%... all credit Agassi

34% unreturned rate for Boris would be healthy if the returns being made were giving him regulation volleys. He'd need the figure to be up around 50% to hold regularly, given what kind of returns actually come down... brutally, overpowering stuff

When return is made, Boris wins just 39/92 or just 42% points. Including double faults, which he's largely pressured into, that drops to 39/102 or 38%.

In nutshell, good volleying from Boris to handle the power passes reasonably. Much of it though is unplayably strong... too good from Agassi on the return and the pass

Agassi's service games
The way Agassi ends up serving and playing from the baseline might well be shaped by Boris' play. Initially, Agassi serves his normal, average way. Right from start, Boris is chip-charging returns almost desperately. He does so 8 times (+ 2 errors trying) in first game of match, which lasts 20 points. Couple of those return-approaches are also drop-returns

Its not long before Agassi starts to serve bigger off both serves. Good, wide second serving from Agassi. Though not particularly bothered by the return-approaches (including errors trying, Boris wins 16/34 on the play), its still more troublesome for Agassi than points starting on baseline

No more drop-returns or attempts at it by Boris after first game. Its unlikely he could keep making the shot without making more errors than its worth and once Agassi is on to it, even successful shots aren't likely to win points. Its a nice touch to start the match though

Boris continues to return aggressively, both with return-approaches (against hefty serving by Agassi to prevent it) or winner attempt returns (particularly, though not exclusively dtl). He's 4 return winners himself and only 1 is a pass

On the whole, the aggressive returning doesn't pay. Note the 20 return UEs, mostly missing very aggressive returns. He's still got 4 return winners and wins 16/26 return-approaching (for which he needs to volley extremely well). Calculated, high-risk, high-reward returning from Boris. Doesn't seem to fancy trading groundstrokes from the back, has a very hard time finding net from rallies - so comes in first chance he gets off the return itself

Boris also makes a particular effort to put the third ball on Agassi's BH, likely more to avoid the FH than fancying his chances trading BHs. Agassi hammers BHs much harder than Boris, who regularly slices, sometimes short to try to draw Agassi forward. Like his volleying, quite elegant of style from Boris. Which isn't to say its particularly effective, but likely as much or little as his usual brand of hard hitting would be

From the baseline, Agassi is more powerful, more consistent and successfully beats down Boris. He also comes forward to finish points at net efficiently. Rarely having to make a tough volley, but doing the needful up there without discomfort

Agassi's first serve is better than his norm and often a genuine weapon. Boris does well to return most of the more powerful ones, but serve does its job, leaving Agassi in command of point. He wins 72% first serve points, just 1% less than Boris

High 59% 2nd serve points is product of Boris missing his aggressive returns, Agassi passing the chip-charge return play or baseline rallies playing from Agassi with mild advantageous starting position similarly to the 1st serve points

Match Progression
Becker makes his intent known from game 1, as he follows the return to net 8 times, a couple of times of drop-returns + hits a return winner. He's out for the kill right off the bat. Agassi's no slouch on the pass though and upto handling it and eventually holds the 20 point game, saving 3 break points along the way

He gets the break in game 7 to 15. Agassi misses a high, wide FHV (marked FE), double faults and on break point, Becker hooks a FH cc passing winner.

Tough time consolidating the break, as Agassi pounds passing shots, hitting 2 winners to bring up 2 break points. On the first, his heavy return catches top of tape and Becker does very well to adjust and put the volley in play. Agassi runs it down and Becker lob volleys that rejoinder. Agassi sprints back, hits a turnaround pass that Becker deftly stop volleys for a winner. Beautiful from Boris. The 1 break proves enough to take the set

Boris has break point in opening game of set 2 also. Agassi takes net to hold the game. Thereafter, Agassi goes on a zoning spree on the pass. His normally placed returns are challenging on power alone and the better ones just go through for winners. On serve, Agassi starts serving harder, Becker isn't able to attack with the return, Agassi hammers groundstrokes from the back and often comes in early to end rallies at net

He breaks with 3 passing winners in a row (BH lob, BH cc and BH return dtl). The next 2 Becker serve games last 14 points each, with more of the same. Becker stays back 4 times in those games, losing 3 of those points, including to a return winner and Agassi taking net to whip away a BHV winner. Agassi breaks again to end the set with 3 more return-pass winners

More of the same in second set, if anything, even higher octane by Agassi. The power, net high returns make way for returns to the feet. Becker copes, but has no answer for the next passing shot. And still a stream of return winners. Agassi ups his serving some more too and his first serve is a genuine weapon here. 2 more breaks see him to a 2 sets to 1 lead

In 4th set, Agassi actually starts netting passing shots. It comes as a surprise and speaks to just how well he'd been striking the ball for 2 previous set. Still, Becker's hard pressed to make in-roads to actually getting a break. The last 3 points of the only one he can muster are a very strong return to the baseline that forces an error, a diving FHV winner after riskily taking net and a backaway FH inside-out winner. That's a lot of work to be doing to get a break

He has break point in opening game of the 5th. Agassi hammers him down with BH cc's and comes in behind a particularly strong one to draw passing error. And then Agassi resumes hammering returns and passes - breaking twice with a series of stunning (for the match, normal) passes and taking Becker to deuce in between.

He's unable to serve out match at 5-1, a questionable chair overrule giving him a double fault having a hand in it. No such problem second time around as he serves out to love, thrashing a pair of passing winners to Boris' 2 approaches in the game

Summing up, an extraordinary showing from Agassi who blasts returns and passes so cleanly and consistently that it looks like Becker, serve-volleying behind his cannon of a serve, is the one defending and trying to hold the fort. Also, up from norm power serving and good, wide placed 2nd serves to keep Becker from attacking returns too much and very hard hitting baseline play which he utilizes to take net to finish still more aggressively

Good showing from Becker too - volleying into corners against what little is there that allows it and handling the power of the returns as long as its not too wide. Nothing to be done when it is. He looks to be very aggressive with the return - going for winners or charging net behind the 2nd shot - with fair success, buts Agassi beefs up the serve to make it harder and remains in top passing form to thwart the play

A lot of touch shown by Becker, both on the volley and in his BH play to keep ball low or draw Agassi forward. Looks nice, but doesn't bother Agassi, who hammers his own groundies regardless of how low the ball stays

This match, the semi with John McEnroe and the final with Goran Ivanisevic showcase counter-serve-volleying returning and passing of the highest calibre from Agassi. Seemingly unsustainable clean, power hitting against net rushers... only he does sustain it against some very big serving and very capable volleying

Stats for the final between Agassi and Goran Ivanisevic - (7) Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Ivanisevic, Wimbledon final, 1992 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
Stats for Agassi's semi with John McEnroe - (7) Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs McEnroe, Wimbledon semi-final, 1992 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
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That was a good match. I was rooting for Boris -- always liked Boris -- but well played Andre. Back then, it was uncommon to see a guy winning from the baseline -- no one did it since Borg pretty much 10 years before. Available on Youtube, top-notch quality.

Their 1995 re-match was great also.


lets talk Agassi 92 vs Pete 94 ...
Agassi's still goes down as one of the greatest Wimbledon victories, beats Becker,Mac+Goran on lightning fast grass

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
It was a glorious time. Yeah, I know, maybe these grass legends were not at their best. Kid me kept thinking Agassi would get knocked out, but it just wasn't happening.


Hall of Fame
In 1995, Becker beat Agassi 2-6, 7-6(1), 6-4, 7-6(1) in the Wimbledon semi-final, on grass

The win put Becker into his then Open Era record 7th Wimbledon final, where he would lose to Pete Sampras. Agassi and Becker would meet again in the US Open semi, with Agassi winning

Becker won 151 points, Agassi 147

Becker serve-volleyed off all but 2 first serves and all but 6 seconds

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (87/143) 61%
- 1st serve points won (63/87) 72%
- 2nd serve points won (28/56) 50%
- Aces 22 (3 second serves), Service Winners 2 (1 second serve)
- Double Faults 10
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (49/143) 34%

- 1st serve percentage (102/155) 66%
- 1st serve points won (74/102) 73%
- 2nd serve points won (21/53) 40%
- Aces 4
- Double Faults 6
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (33/155) 21%

Serve Patterns
Becker served...
- to FH 38%
- to BH 53%
- to Body 10%

Agassi served...
- to FH 35%
- to BH 64%
- to Body 1%

Return Stats
Becker made...
- 116 (37 FH, 79 BH), including 1 runaround FH & 15 return-approaches
- 4 Winners (2 FH, 2 BH)
- 29 Errors, comprising...
- 13 Unforced (5 FH, 8 BH), including 1 runaround FH & 5 return-approach attempts
- 16 Forced (9 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (116/149) 78%

Agassi made...
- 84 (31 FH, 53 BH)
- 14 Winners (7 FH, 7 BH)
- 25 Errors, comprising...
- 2 Unforced (2 BH)
- 23 Forced (13 FH, 10 BH)
- Return Rate (84/133) 63%

Break Points
Becker 3/16 (8 games)
Agassi 4/14 (10 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Becker 49 (10 FH, 6 BH, 13 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 10 BHV, 9 OH)
Agassi 49 (23 FH, 18 BH, 6 FHV, 2 OH)

Becker had 28 from serve-volley points -
- 17 first 'volleys' (5 FHV, 5 BHV, 4 OH, 3 FH at net)... 1 OH on the bounce
- 10 second 'volleys' (4 FHV, 2 BHV, 3 OH, 1 BH at net)... the BH at net was a running-down-drop-shot
- 1 fourth volley (1 OH)

- 6 from return-approach points (3 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 2 BHV)

- FHs - 1 cc return, 2 cc/inside-in, 2 dtl, 1 inside-in/cc return and 1 lob
- BHs - 1 dtl/inside-out slice, 2 inside-out returns, 1 lob and 1 net chord dribbler

Agassi had 27 passes - 13 returns (6 FH, 7 BH) and 14 regular (6 FH, 7 BH, 1 FHV)
- FH returns - 3 cc, 1 dtl, 1 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- BH returns - 3 cc, 1 dtl, 1 inside-out/longline (that Becker left) and 2 inside-in
- regular FH passes - 2 cc, 3 dtl and 1 inside-out
- regular BH passes - 3 cc, 3 dtl (1 at net) and 1 lob
- the FHV was a lob and not a net shot

- regular FHs (including returns) - 2 cc (1 at net), 1 dtl, 2 inside-out (1 return), 4 inside-in and 1 net chord dribbler
- regular BHs - 3 cc

- 1 from a serve-volley point, a first 'volley' BH at net and a drop shot

- 2 other FHVs were swinging shots

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Becker 55
- 28 Unforced (10 FH, 12 BH, 2 FHV, 3 BHV, 1 OH)... with 1 BH at net & 1 baseline OH on the bounce
- 27 Forced (4 FH, 12 BH, 8 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 3 BH1/2V)... with 1 BH at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.1

Agassi 47
- 22 Unforced (8 FH, 11 BH, 2 FHV, 1 OH)
- 25 Forced (8 FH, 17 BH)... with 2 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.5

(Note 1: All 1/2 volleys refer to such shots played at net. 1/2 volleys played from other parts of the court are included within relevant groundstroke numbers)

(Note 2: the Unforced Error Forcefulness Index is an indicator of how aggressive the average UE was. The numbers presented for these two matches are keyed on 4 categories - 20 defensive, 40 neutral, 50 attacking and 60 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Becker was...
- 81/129 (63%) at net, including...
- 62/101 (61%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 41/65 (63%) off 1st serve and...
- 21/36 (58%) off 2nd serve
- 11/15 (73%) return-approaching
- 0/1 forced back

Agassi was...
- 23/30 (77%) at net, including...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve

Match Report
Another excellent match and action is if anything, closer than the '92 match despite being a set shorter. Some points of similarity with the '92 match - for a set and a half, it could be a direct continuation with Agassi zoning on the return in particular (he doesn't have to pass much in play, the return does almost all the work) - but more differences. Using the '92 match as a frame of reference -

- Becker returns much better. Agassi's 1st serve has improved and is above average in its force and placement (as opposed to below average to average at best). Becker though is a wall returning and returns very consistently and orthodoxly (as opposed to low-percentagely attackingly) against first serve. This sets up baseline rallies

- From the baseline, Becker plays normally (as opposed to reactively and avoiding Agassi's FH) and well. Agassi's showing is a step down from previous match too.
In '92, Becker stayed away from Agassi's FH, making most rallies BH based. And Agassi barely missed a BH while hitting beat down hard
Here, Becker plays dual winged. On the FH, he's near even with Agassi on hitting. On the BH, he trails the hitting, but there's some looseness in Agassi's play

baseline-to-baseline UEs read
- FHs - Becker 10, Agassi 8
- BHs - both 11

Points ended forcefully baseline-to-baseline are still rare (Becker has 6 winners, Agassi 10 - both with 1 net chord dribbler), Agassi forces a few more errors and is able to come to net to finish much more readily (rallying to net, Agassi's 22/29, Becker 8/13... with Agassi losing more forced approaches then he wins)

In short, Agassi still has lions share of baseline points. But not by much. And with Boris returning so consistently (i.e. not many frees, Agassi's unreturned rate is just 21%), not to the the extent he'd need to be confident of holding indefinitely. From Boris' point of view, good prospects

They're even better when Agassi's 2nd serve comes into it. Boris again return-approaches excellently and this time, exercises better judgement in so doing. In '92, there's a desperate feel to it as though he's as keen to avoid baseline rally as he is to be at net and a lot of risky attempts at the chip-charge which leads to errors. Here, he's fine from the back and comes in as an extra ploy. Agassi's second serve is not as good as '92, where he hits some tough, wide serves to keep Boris in check. Fewer of those here, though in typical situation (i.e. with returner not looking to chip-charge), 2nd serve might be better here

Boris wins a superb 11/15 or 73% return-approaching (as opposed to 61% in '92 match). Including errors on the return, that falls to 52% won (as opposed to 47% in '92). Excellent stuff from Boris but the difference in success between the 2 years is down to Agassi not passing as well here. In fact, he doesn't pass particularly well in play in the match (big step down from '92 when he was unsustainably good)... its mostly the return

Here, Agassi's passing winners comprise 13 returns and 14 in play - almost all the latter being set up by strong returns
In '92, it was 20 returns and 23 in play... with more 50-50 passes made (i.e., without as much aid from the return to draw weak first volley)

Not discrediting Agassi for his passing in play. What he shows here is a normal, good showing that's trumped by excellent net coverage and sure volleying from Boris. On these knee-high bouncing courts, that's normal... what happened in '92 was not

In nutshell, Boris...
- returns very solidly (78% return rate and putting in play moderately strong serves) and with judicious aggression [selective and successful chip-charging, occasional big attacking return (he has 4 winners)]
- holds up from the baseline (errors are near even, though Agassi's stronger hitter), with Agassi a bit loose at times (big part of reason for errors being near even)


Hall of Fame
Becker's service games are again, virtual 100% serve-volley. He stays back off 2 first serves (wins both points) and 6 seconds (wins 3, loses 3)

For a set and a half, Agassi's return-passing quality is off the charts, even better than the '92 showing. 8/14 return winners come in Becker's first 6 service games (he also adds a break to love right after with 3 passing winners set up by big returns). So 8 return winners in first 6 games, and just 6 in remaining in remaining 21 games (23 if you count the tiebreaks as games... Boris wins all 8 service points, all 8 of them first serves in them)

For rest of match, Agassi's return-passing falls to just normal, good level. Again, what he does in the opening is extraordinary. What he does after is good.. and Becker needs to be sharp in the forecourt to keep holding. And he is

Just the 5 volleying UEs from Boris (+ a BH at net), and those aren't particularly easy (e.g slowly dropping low balls or a bit wide) and he makes the many more-than-firmly-hit returns around net high first volleys he's faced with extremely well, volleying them well away from Agassi. He's got 12 FEs by contrast and most are extremely difficult - bullets to the feet, often wide. He also puts a lot of these types of difficult volleys, including several half-volleys in play with reasonable direction. And covers the net for Agassi's upcoming pass well too - though slight blackmark on Agassi for just missing the follow-up passes. And whatever's there to be putaway, he puts away... great job by Becker on the volley - covering the net, making tough volleys, putting away easy ones and handling regulation + ones

It would take a zoning showing on the pass like what Agassi pulled off in the '92 match to get through Boris' forecourt showing

Like most close grass court matches, there's a large element of 'who-plays-the-big-points-better' involved in the final result. Its not too eye catching because its usually the server who does. Agassi saves a number of break points aggressively, by taking net and slamming the door in Boris' face. Boris saves a number of break points making very tough first 'volleys' - balls he'd be as likely to miss as not. Boris plays 2 flawless tiebreaks, particularly on the serve. Boris sends down some wonderful second serves in a crunch

The standout change from both players norm would be Agassi's. He plays a bit sloppily from the back to be broken twice in a row - just maintaining his standard would have been good enough. And gives up the sole break of the 3rd set by missing a regulation OH. At times, he seems flustered and cranky

There's some needle and gamesmanship going on in this match, particularly from Boris. Both players get irritated with close line calls, Boris more. 1 or 2 not friendly exchanges, some minor time wasting by Boris

There's some light moments in the '92 match. There was a lot of noise coming from an adjacent court with the crowd seemingly in raptures to the point of being distracted. As Becker (justifiably pauses to wait for noise to die down), Agassi lightly suggests they call off play and go over to watch the match on the next court to laughs all around, including from a good natured Becker. Both take line calls they don't agree with a resigned smile

Contrast with here. There's a potential light moment when Becker is complaining about a line judge calling his serves out. Agassi comments that he can't see the serve, how is the line judge supposed to? - to laughs all around, save from Boris who is not amused. Both players are irritable in handling calls that go against them

Match Progression
For a set and half, Agassi blasts Boris to kingdom come with brutally powerfully returns as he opens up a set and 4-1 lead (2 breaks). Both players with high first serve in counts in first set (Boris 67%, Agassi 73%) but both getting destroyed on their second serve points (Boris wins 2/9, Agassi 1/9). Agassi's returning is too good and Boris' chip-charges stump Agassi

Match opens with a break - Boris double faulting twice and Agassi spanking a return winner. Agassi saves a break point with a swinging, third ball FHV winner in consolidating. Boris is under the gun to hold for rest of set, and gets broken again (2 return-pass winners and ending with a FH1/2V error) and Agassi aggressively erases 3 break points to serve out the set

Agassi obliterates Becker to open up 4-1 lead in the 2nd set. First break is to 15 and ends with 3 consecutive return winners following up an impossible volley error. Next game is a break to love with 3 passing winners and BH1/2V error

Play shifts on a dime with Becker winning next 4 games. He hangs in from baseline, gets a couple of sloppy errors out of Agassi as a reward (Agassi's first UE comes in game 6, set 2 to indicate how clean he'd been up to that point), takes a couple of net points and strikes a FH cc/inside-in winner in each of the 2 games he breaks in

Flawless tiebreak from Becker to take it 7-1, though the sloppiness from Agassi continues and he misses 2 third balls to give up mini-breaks

Both players are quite petulant in the 3rd set. Agassi seems irritated and appears winded at times. Becker carries on about minor line calls. Some sloppy errors from the back from Agassi and some double fault trouble. Agassi saves a break point by coming to net to force an error, Becker saves 1 with a 2nd serve ace

The break comes to 15 - poor game from Agassi - 2 groundstroke UEs and a double fault put him down break point. On it, Becker scrambles to keep himself in the point before Agassi misses an OH. Becker serves out to 30 while missing all 6 of his first serves. It doesn't matter too much - he still serves an ace and a service winner

Tough 4th set, with Agassi having most of the chances. Break point figures for the set read -
- Becker 0/7 (2 games), Agassi 0/6 (4 games)... and break points are earned through strong play by returner, and saved by strong play by server. Great grass court tennis

Tiebreak is another flawless one from Boris on serve and he whacks a perfect FH cc return winner while hanging tough from baseline to draw a running FH error on match point

Summing up, another great match. Some incredible, unsustainably super returning from Agassi to race out to lead. Excellent volleying from Becker to cope with still very strong returning (and passing) for rest of the match in all ways - dispatching easy ones, handling not-easy 'regulation' ones and coping with very difficult ones. On the return, Becker is part wall in getting back not easy first serves and part artiste in return-approaching with great success. From the baseline, Agassi is stronger on the whole, but Becker steps up to take his fair share of points. Becker's FH play is particularly good to hang about even on that side, Agassi's BH is prone to loose errors to keep him from getting too far ahead on the other

Very strong player in a hole from both players too. In the tiebreaks, Becker is unstoppable to take the win

Taking the 2 matches together, a good study in the prospects of top quality serve-volleyer vs baseliner on grass

For Agassi to win, he needs to be highest of high ends on the pass and return. Can't count on Becker's help by missing regulation or easy volleys. And he needs to thoroughly boss/dominate baseline rallies and hope for Becker to miss returns

Maintaining the kind of zoning calibre returning and passing over course of match is unlikely and even when Agassi manages, he needs 5 sets to take the match in '92, albeit, fairly comfortably in the 5th set

For Becker to win, he can count on a good lot of cheap points, needs to hold steady on the volley and hanging in from the baseline while putting returns in play regularly is likely to eventually get him what he needs to break

No certainty of outcome - and Agassi's lapses cost him the '95 match to a greater extent than anything Becker does wrong in '92 - but prospects favour the big serving, serve-volleyer

Stats for the final between Becker and Pete Sampras - (1) Duel Match Stats/Reports - Sampras vs Becker, Wimbledon final & semi-final, 1995 & 1993 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
Stats for the pair's '95 US Open semi - (1) Duel Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Becker, US Open semi-finals 90 & 95 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)


Hall of Fame
Remember that Becker was up a break in the decider (of the '92 match)
He had a break point in the opening game (Agassi went on to hold) but wasn't a break up at any point

He was down 2 breaks and his only hold was a deuce game before he broke with Agassi serving for the match the first time

big ted

from what i heard becker really got in agassi's head during that '95 match flirting with brooke shields
which caused the animosity at the USO.. i dont think becker would have won if he didnt use these "tactics" lol.
agassi even blamed his AO loss too from this the next year...


I remember that in the 1995 match, Agassi started at a extremely high level with astonishing returns, which murdered Boris' net game. I had to leave after a set and a half, and it looked, that Agassi would win easily in 3. When i came back after a small hour, suddenly Boris was leading 2-1 and it was a struggle in the 4th. I think, what Boris won the match, was the deep and low bh approach down the middle. It gave Agassi no angles, he needed for his passing, he had to pick up the low shots and couldn't control them.


from what i heard becker really got in agassi's head during that '95 match flirting with brooke shields
which caused the animosity at the USO.. i dont think becker would have won if he didnt use these "tactics" lol.
agassi even blamed his AO loss too from this the next year...
Agassi said a lot in that book. Not sure how much I believe him.

big ted

Agassi said a lot in that book. Not sure how much I believe him.
true, idk about the AO part, but i did hear the same wimbledon story from somewhere else either a becker or bollieterri interview...
bollieterri was coaching becker at this time and was in beckers box now so there was extra animosity lol..
becker asked nick point blank how to beat andre and nick said "the only way you have a chance is if you get in andres head lol"

edit - found it lol... it was in the love means zero documentary.. both becker and nick talk about it lol
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I do think that letting the QF against Pioline going unnecessarily too long did affect Becker in the rest of the tournament (he never face a break point once in that match, yet the match somehow went five).


I do think that letting the QF against Pioline going unnecessarily too long did affect Becker in the rest of the tournament (he never face a break point once in that match, yet the match somehow went five).
You are right in stating that Becker left too much energy in the QF.
But Becker was down 2-4 in the decider, so he certainly faced a break Point!


He had a break point in the opening game (Agassi went on to hold) but wasn't a break up at any point

He was down 2 breaks and his only hold was a deuce game before he broke with Agassi serving for the match the first time
Thank you dir correcting me regarding the opening Game.
But If Beckers'only' hold was the Game before the rebreak at 5-1, then there ist still one Game missing, cause the Score was 6-3.


Hall of Fame
But If Beckers'only' hold was the Game before the rebreak at 5-1, then there ist still one Game missing, cause the Score was 6-3.
I wasn't clear

"Becker's only hold" refers to before he went down breaks - first 1, then 2 - after which its not possible for him to have been up a break as you remembered him being

He held once more after his sole break to make it 3-5, but was still down a break... then Agassi served it out

Basically, he was down breaks all last set - first 1, then 2, then 1 again... nowhere near being up a break in last set


You are right in stating that Becker left too much energy in the QF.
But Becker was down 2-4 in the decider, so he certainly faced a break Point!
Anyway, it was a match he should have won in straight. He really did not faced breaks in the first 4 sets, though. This is a guy whom Becker eventually led 9-0 in H2H - some of his wins were even in 1998 and 1999.
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I wonder what would have happened had Sampras somehow been forced to retire in QF and the duo met again in Wimbledon 1993 - Becker was tired in the Stich QF, but Agassi was actually carrying an injury - in fact he should have lost against Krajicek in 4R. IMO, Becker might have beaten Courier in the final - his game proved to be a very bad matchup for Jim historically, but Agassi would have lost.