Duel Match Stats/Reports - Becker vs Edberg & Becker vs Wilander, Davis Cup final rubbers, 1989


Hall of Fame
Boris Becker (West Germany) beat Stefan Edberg (Sweden) 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 in a Davis Cup final rubber, 1989 on carpet in Stuttgart, West Germany

This rubber evened the match at 1-1, after Mats Wilander had won the opener against Carl-Uwe Steeb

Becker won 98 points, Edberg 66

Becker serve-volleyed off all serves, Edberg all but 1 first serve and all but 5 seconds

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (41/76) 54%
- 1st serve points won (34/41) 83%
- 2nd serve points won (22/35) 63%
- Aces 12 (1 second serve), Service Winners 2
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (33/76) 43%

- 1st serve percentage (61/88) 69%
- 1st serve points won (35/61) 57%
- 2nd serve points won (11/27) 41%
- Aces 2, Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (25/88) 28%

Serve Patterns
Becker served...
- to FH 38%
- to BH 35%
- to Body 27%

Edberg served...
- to FH 39%
- to BH 38%
- to Body 24%

Return Stats
Becker made...
- 60 (24 FH, 36 BH)
- 6 Winners (5 FH, 1 BH)
- 22 Errors, comprising...
- 1 Unforced (1 BH)
- 21 Forced (10 FH, 11 BH)
- Return Rate (60/85) 71%

Edberg made...
- 41 (13 FH, 28 BH), including 4 return-approaches
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 19 Errors, all forced...
- 19 Forced (7 FH, 12 BH)
- Return Rate (41/74) 55%

Break Points
Becker 5/11 (6 games)
Edberg 0/2 (2 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Becker 21 (11 FH, 3 BH, 2 FHV, 3 BHV, 2 OH)
Edberg 20 (1 FH, 5 BH, 4 FHV, 7 BHV, 3 OH)

Becker 9 from serve-volley points
- 5 first 'volleys' (1 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH, 2 FH at net)
- 3 second volleys (1 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH)
- 1 third volley (1 BHV)

- FHs (all passes) - 3 cc (2 returns), 3 dtl (2 returns), 1 inside-out return, 1 longline and 1 running-down-drop-volley dtl at net
- BHs (all passes) - 1 dtl, 1 inside-out return and 1 longline/cc (that hit Edberg)

Edberg had 14 from serve-volley points
- 12 first 'volleys' (4 FHV, 5 BHV, 2 OH, 1 BH at net)... 1 BHV was a net chord dribbler
- 2 second volleys (1 BHV, 1 OH)

- 2 from return-approach points (1 BHV, 1 BH at net)... the BH at net was a cc pass

- FH pass - 1 dtl
- BHs (all passes) - 1 cc and 2 dtl (1 return)

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Becker 19
- 6 Unforced (4 FHV, 2 BHV)
- 13 Forced (1 FH, 6 BH, 2 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 1 BHV, 1 BH1/2V, 1 OH)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-volley at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 51.7

Edberg 41
- 18 Unforced (1 FH, 2 BH, 3 FHV, 12 BHV)
- 23 Forced (5 FH, 7 BH, 1 FHV, 1 FHV1/2V, 8 BHV, 1 Tweener)... with 1 non-net BHV lob
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 50

(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...
- 45/63 (71%) at net, including...
- 43/60 (72%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 22/28 (79%) off 1st serve and...
- 21/32 (66%) off 2nd serve

Edberg was...
- 45/83 (54%) at net, including...
- 42/76 (55%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 32/57 (56%) off 1st serve and...
- 10/19 (53%) off 2nd serve
- 3/4 (75%) return-approaching
- 0/1 forced back

Match Report
Straightforward win for Becker in on quick-ish court. Its significantly faster than the Masters, where the 2 had just played (Edberg won)

Match is virtually 100% serve-volley. Becker serve-volleys 100% of the time, Edberg all but once off 1st serve and 79% off 2nd serve, while serving at 69%

Its not a great match. Typically, a high-end serve-volleying match showcases some combo of -

- efficient handling of regulation volleys
- against big server, some small number of return winners
- against normal server, regular low returns and some number of winners
- high quality finishing first volleys against regulation returns
- systematic dispatching high volleys for winners
- threatening passing when there's time to hit from stationary position
- occasional threatening passes on the run against volleys placed wide

Almost none of that is on show here, even from the winner, somewhat due to it not being needed

Becker's Serve Games
12 aces, 2 service winners, 43% unreturned serve for Boris. His winning 66% 2nd serve-volleying isn't good from Edberg's point of view. Good 2nd serve by Boris... not this good. Blackmarks against Edberg's returning. Initially, Edberg returns decently... putting balls in play about net high

This is the bread and butter of good returning against serve-volleying. Regularly getting balls in low or with high power isn't usually feasible (and comes with low return rates) but consistently putting balls around net high at high return rate is high percentage. Even the best of volleyers will miss a few

Against 2nd serves though, its not enough. Edberg would need to return more damagingly (getting balls low or hitting winners). Basically, Edberg's best returning in the match does to Becker's 2nd serve what he'd need to do against the 1st to have a good chance at breaking - sans high return rate

And that's his very best returning. As match wears on, he returns a bit higher - not floaters, but comfortably over the net, without great power or width. Some bold return-approaching wins him 3/4 points - a good, low percentage change-up

Efficient volleying from Boris. He's in 2-volley mode (i.e. not going for winner with first volley). Just 7 volley/OH winners (+ 2 FHs at net), which is conservative against Edberg's returning. Also just 6 UEs (Edberg has 15) and 6 FEs (Edberg 10). He does well against the few low and/or wide volleys Edberg gives him, placing them wide and getting them in play most of the time

27% body serves is very high for Boris and lends itself to 2-volley play. Against Edberg, he usually serves wide more. He'd been tied up by Edberg's body serving in the Masters final. Maybe he wanted to return the favour

Boris doesn't place volleys above net particularly well and leaves Edberg decent shots on the pass. Edberg can't make them.. 12 passing FEs is a bad percentage for the shots he had

In a nutshell, power first serving aside, Becker's showing is solid and steady rather than brilliant. Credit to him, a good amount of discredit to Edberg on the return and pass too

Edberg's Serve Games
Edberg also dishes out high 24% body serves, though for him, its normal. And serves at excellent 69%, which isn't abnormal either

Next two acts though are mundane: Becker's return and Edberg's volley

Boris' returning is practical. He focuses on consistency with power of shot held in check (though still slightly greater than Edberg's). 71% return rate on quick court against constant serve-volleying is high. Returns tend to reach Edberg around net high - some a bit higher, some a bit lower - the lower ones usually dropping (i.e. less hard hit), the higher ones firmer

This is a great starting point to test the volleyer, especially in closed court situation coming out of body-ish serving. Volleys can be made without undue difficulty, but killing points with just 1 isn't easy and outside absolute top-drawer showing, there are always a few UEs that follow

Edberg is far from being top drawer. He's got twice as many BHV UEs as Boris has total UEs. UEFI of 50 is very low given 15/18 of his UEs are volleys. Just 1 winner attempt UE (and that was a baseline shot), to 16 attacking ones. High proportion of his 12 first 'volley' winners come at unimportant times

Edberg's also mostly in 2-volley mode, though he's pressured to be to a greater extent with the way Boris returns. As UEs go, his tend to be tricky. Still, 15 is far too high

With Edberg playing so, there's little reason for Boris to go for return winners. He returns second serves the same way and Edberg has about the same success serve-volleying off it (56% off 1st serve, 53% off 2nd)

Placing volleys, Edberg's a bit better than Boris, usually away from baseliner but short of into corners. Boris has to move to make passes more

On the pass, Boris is far better than Edberg , making Edberg make a second volley and hitting with power. Between that and Boris handling difficult volleys better, there's a sizable gap in how well each player does after the first volley in Boris' favour

Match Progression
From 2-2, Boris wins 6 games in a row. Couple of passing winners for the 1st break, along with Edberg missing a high, not too hard reaction 2nd volley and double faulting on break point. In 2nd break game, Becker hits Edberg with a BH pass down the center hit from near the service line, Edberg again throws in a double and on break point, misses a makeable volley from under the net

Break to love opens the 2nd set. Back to back, not difficult volley UEs from just under net start the game but the last point is an impossible volley miss. Feeling the need for something edgy, Edberg takes to advancing forward slightly on return games and pushes Boris to 10 points (1 break point, saved with a service winner) as Boris consolidates the break

Boris adds a 2nd break to love - a precisely wide placed, not hard hit BH inside-out return pass, a net chord dribbling return that leads to Edberg being forced away from net and missing a tweener start the game and an easy BHV miss ends it

3rd set is a more respectable 6-4 but little changes in play. Edberg serves 46 points, Boris 28

Summing up, strong serving from Becker, along with efficient returning and volleying - doing enough to make things not easy for Edberg. Edberg's down in all areas he would need to be competitive in (volleying, returning, passing). Credit Boris for a fine showing more than discredit Edberg, but some of the latter too
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Hall of Fame
Becker beat Mats Wilander (Sweden) 6-2, 6-0, 6-2 in a second-leg rubber

The rubber gave West Germany the title, after Becker had teamed with Eric Jelen to win the doubles rubber over Jan Gunnarsson and Aders Jarryd. Wilander was ranked 12th at the time, Becker 2nd. Wilander would beat Becker soon afterwards in the quarters of the '90 Australian Open

Becker won 93 points, Wilander 50

Becker serve-volleyed off all serves

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (39/67) 58%
- 1st serve points won (33/39) 85%
- 2nd serve points won (17/28) 61%
- Aces 14 (1 second serve - not clean), Service Winners 2
- Double Faults 6
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (33/67) 49%

- 1st serve percentage (45/76) 59%
- 1st serve points won (22/45) 48%
- 2nd serve points won (11/31) 35%
- Aces 1
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (15/76) 20%

Serve Patterns
Becker served...
- to FH 46%
- to BH 52%
- to Body 2%

Wilander served...
- to FH 35%
- to BH 51%
- to Body 14%

Return Stats
Becker made...
- 59 (25 FH, 34 BH), including 5 runaround FHs & 13 return-approaches
- 5 Winners (4 FH, 1 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 14 Errors, comprising...
- 8 Unforced (8 FH), including 1 runaround FH
- 6 Forced (1 FH, 5 BH)
- Return Rate (59/74) 80%

Wilander made...
- 28 (10 FH, 18 BH), including 1 runaround FH & 2 runaround BHs
- 5 Winners (1 FH, 4 BH), including 1 runaround BH
- 17 Errors, all forced...
- 17 Forced (9 FH, 8 BH), including 1 runaround BH
- Return Rate (28/61) 46%

Break Points
Becker 7/11 (8 games)
Wilander 0/3 (2 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Becker 26 (10 FH, 4 BH, 5 FHV, 2 BHV, 4 OH, 1 BHOH)
Wilander 16 (4 FH, 7 BH, 2 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)

Becker had 8 from serve-volley points
- 2 first 'volleys' (1 FHV, 1 FH at net)
- 6 second volleys (1 FHV, 1 BHV, 3 OH, 1 BHOH)

- 3 from return-approach points (2 FHV, 1 OH)

- FHs - 3 cc (1 return), 3 dtl returns (1 runaround), 1 inside-out pass and 2 inside-in
- BHs - 3 dtl and 1 inside-in return pass

Wilander's FHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl pass, 1 inside-out and 1 inside-in return pass
- BHs (all passes) - 1 cc, 3 dtl (2 returns - 1 runaround), 1 dtl/inside-out and 2 inside-out returns

- 2 from serve-volley points - (1 FHV, 1 BHV), both first volleys

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Becker 13
- 7 Unforced (2 FH, 2 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH)... with 1 FH at net
- 6 Forced (2 BH, 2 FHV, 2 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 51.4

Wilander 32
- 6 Unforced (3 FH, 3 BH)... with 1 FH pass
- 26 Forced (8 FH, 13 BH, 1 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 2 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)... with 1 FH running-down-drop-volley at net & 2 BH running-down-drop-volley at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 43.3

(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...
- 50/67 (75%) at net, including...
- 34/45 (76%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 18/24 (75%) off 1st serve and..
- 16/21 (76%) off 2nd serve
- 9/13 (69%) return-approaching

Wilander was...
- 8/19 (42%) at net, including...
- 3/7 (43%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves
- 0/1 forced back

Match Report
Could be the tennis dictionary illustration of what 'overpowering is'. Boris annihilates Mats Wilander

Becker again serve-volleys 100% of the time and serves better than the Edberg match. Unreturned rate is up to 49% and standard serve is stronger than the earlier match. His second serves are stronger than Mats' firsts

Volleys near perfectly. Just the 4 forecourt UEs and volleys into corners leaving Mats with hopeless passes (on top of 13 forecourt winners). On rare times Mats can get a low or wide return/pass off, its usually volleyed well away from him too

Initially, Mats serves gentle first serves. He holds opening game after being taken to deuce and all 3 unreturned first serves in the game have been marked unforced. Pretty much right after that, he beefs up the shot out of necessity. Becker is rushed and has to move to return it, but still not too difficult to put in play (looks even more so given the regular stream of unreturnables that rain down at the other end)

Mats has little hope after return. 15/33 service points he wins are unreturned serves. In other words, when Becker makes the return or Mats misses both serves, Boris wins 46/61 points or 75% of points. And his unreturned rate is just 20%... its a hopeless situation

Mats plays around strategically on his first serve points. Nothing works much or even a little for that matter. He just doesn't seem to have the game needed to cope with a rampaging Becker

Initially, he looks to initiate passive BH-BH rallies. He slices more often than not but even the top spin shot is neutral. Becker plays along for a bit and finishes with BH dtl point finishers or movearound, extra hard hit FH inside-outs. Fail

The weak returns he draws from Boris, Mats charges forward to hit point ending groundies from well in the court. This works, but he doesn't get many weak returns. Even serving hard as he can - his first serve percentage is just 1% higher than Becker's - his serve is regularly neutralized with by the return. On third balls that would require some initiative to play an attacking groundie to, he tends to go the neutral route instead... with results along lines described in previous paragraph.

He comes to net from neutral situation and a serve-volleys a bit. Fail and fail. serve-volleying he wins 3/7 or 43%, coming in off rallies, 5/12 or 42%. That's down to Becker's powerful passes. 0 volleying UEs for Mats, but 5 FEs (including 3 on half-volleys)

Late in match, he serves a quite a bit to the body. They catch Becker out briefly but its not something that was likely to trouble him for long. Becker's one of the best returners of body serves there is - the Edberg match is a typical Becker showing - and with Wilander's serve, its not likely to be too troublesome. Still, probably better than giving Becker a free swing

As Becker serves out the first set, Mats hit 3 runaround BH returns (misses 1, hits 1 winner dtl). Not something you see everyday, for good reason. He doesn't try anymore in the match and it is a nice change-up

Wilander has an even bigger problem with his second serve. Boris hammers them and follows the hammering to net. Note 13 return-approaches, winning 9. Returns are strong enough to force errors even without the approach... the approaches make matters doubly sure. Becker has 3 winners coming out of such plays an Mats wins just 35% second serve points. When holding serve, only twice does he not have to go to deuce

Becker's overall stats are good indicator of his utter dominance and the way he takes charge of match

- 49% unreturned rate, 16 aces/service winners (that's 38% of time off first serves). Mats returns as well as he's allowed. 6 double faults are Becker's only drawback, the price of strong second serving (he has 1 ace off second serve)

- 80% return rate with 5 winners, 5 runaround FHs (all at least attacking shots) and 13 return-approaches (which are point threateningly strong even without approach). Mats serve isn't strong, but more credit Becker's returning than discredit Mats for this

- 26 winners in play to 13 total errors (7 UEs, 6 FEs). Even limited to just consistency, he trails Mats by just 1 UE

- Not bad in play from Mats. He's got 16 winners to 6 UEs... which looks top class. What sinks him is 26 FEs, which are Becker's credit. The groundies are hard forced passing errors, the volleys are extremely difficult

Summing up, If Boris Becker is a bulldozer, then Mats Wilander throws a few twigs (serve-volleys, body serves, runaround BH returns) to halt his progress. Becker is vastly stronger in all areas - Mats second serve stands out as weak, but even there, Boris attacks it with exceptional vigour and consistency

Too good from Boris - one of his best showings. When he's on like this, he can't be contained but Mats doesn't have the game to fight fire with fire

Stats for pair's '85 Cincinnati final - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-becker-vs-wilander-final-cincinnati-1985.608641/
Stats for other Becker-Edberg Davis Cup matches -
- '85 final - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-becker-vs-edberg-davis-cup-final-rubber-1985.659504/
- '88 final - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/match-stats-report-becker-vs-edberg-davis-cup-final-rubber-1988.658526/
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