Duel Match Stats/Reports - Becker vs Edberg, Paris finals '89 & '90

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
In 1989, Boris Becker beat Stefan Edberg 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 in the Paris Indoor final on carpet

Becker had beaten Edberg in the final at Wimbledon earlier in the year and Edberg had also lost in the French Open final in Paris

Becker won 97 points, Edberg 74

Becker serve-volleyed all but twice off first serves and very rarely off second. Edberg serve-volleyed the majority of time off first serves and about half the time off second

(Note: I'm missing two points on Becker's serve - one won by Becker, one won by Edberg)

Serve Stats
Becker...
- 1st serve percentage (43/73) 59%
- 1st serve points won (39/43) 91%
- 2nd serve points won (16/30) 53%
- Aces 11 (2 non-clean), Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 5
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (30/73) 41%

Edberg....
- 1st serve percentage (63/96) 66%
- 1st serve points won (36/63) 57%
- 2nd serve points won (19/33) 58%
- Aces 3 - including 1 second serve
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (22/96) 23%

Serve Patterns
Becker served...
- to FH 38%
- to BH 49%
- to Body 13%

Edberg served....
- to FH 25%
- to BH 69%
- to Body 6%

Return Stats
Becker made...
- 71 (18 FH, 53 BH), including 3 runaround FHs and 3 return-approaches
- 10 Winners (1 FH, 9 BH)
- 19 Errors, comprising...
- 2 Unforced (2 BH)
- 17 Forced (6 FH, 11 BH)
- Return Rate (71/93) 76%

Edberg made...
- 38 (15 FH, 23 BH), including 2 runaround BHs and 4 return-approaches (not a typo - they were runaround BHs, to body serves)
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 18 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (1 FH, 3 BH)
- 14 Forced (8 FH, 6 BH)
- Return Rate (38/68) 56%

Break Points
Becker 5/20 (8 games)
Edberg 1/5 (2 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Becker 34 (10 FH, 14 BH, 6 FHV, 4 BHV)
Edberg 20 (5 BH, 6 FHV, 5 BHV, 1 BH1/2V, 3 OH)

Becker

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Becker 27
- 7 Unforced (3 FH, 2 BH, 1 FHV, 1 OH)
- 20 Forced (10 FH, 8 BH, 1 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.1

Edberg 28
- 12 Unforced (5 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 3 BHV)
- 16 Forced (3 FH, 9 BH, 4 BHV)
- 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...
- 36/44 (82%) at net, including...
- 28/32 (88%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 27/30 (90%) off 1st serve and...
- 1/2 (50%) off second serve
----------------------------------
- 1/3 return-approaching

Edberg was...
- 46/76 (61%) at net, including...
- 41/68 (60%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 31/51 (61%) off 1st serve and...
- 10/17 (59%) off second serve
--------------------------------
- 2/4 return-approaching
- 1/2 forced back from net
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Match Report
A grooved performance from Becker. He's at his best and Edberg is at normal. My feeling is the biggest difference between the two is Becker's vastly superior serve. Due to this difference, Becker generally can return more effectively/damagingly than Edberg... and how the two stack up in other areas - volleying, passing and even groundstrokes - snowballs down to give Becker the overall advantage. And that's what happens here

The first set is an excellent watch. The two men combine for 23 winners in play (Becker 13, Edberg 10) and only 2 UEs (Becker 1, Edberg 2). Both serve well, too (Becker 67%, Edberg 76%). The difference that makes the difference is in Becker's superiority on the serve. He gets 10 unreturned serves (37%), while Edberg can only muster 6 (18%). Throw in the returns actually made being much heavier from Becker's end.... and you can see where Edberg is having a problem

Edberg is broken in the very first game. Down 30-0, Becker makes 3 consecutive passing winners - and wraps up by drawing a very much forced volleying error. While quality of play remains high from both men, Becker is clearly the one in the lead. He earns 4 more break chances (including reducing Edberg to 0-40) with excellent passing and returning. Edberg is able to stave these off - but he struggles to make a dent against the Becker serve.

The level drops slightly in the second set (sustaining the level off the first set wasn't realistic), but Becker remains in control. He breaks early with a BH dtl return winner and adds another in a game where he strikes 3 superb winners (FH lob, FH running-down-drop-volley and BH return pass). Typically clutch, the German climbs out of a 0-40 hole in the next game to hold - and even puts Edberg in the same hole in the game after that. Staring at going down 6-1 in the set, Edberg produces some fancy clutch play of his own. Becker is fully attuned to Edberg's standard BHV cc and tends to move in that direction rather swiftly. But the Swede goes BHV inside-out for the winner, drags Becker to net and forces an error and finally lets loose with a second serve ace to erase the break points. He faces another in the game, but goes on to hold.

Edberg even snatches a break back, but Becker breaks again to take the set. He's struck 4 BH return of service winners over the last two games.... and Edberg can't seem to find a safe spot to land his serve

Just the one break in the third set. A poor game from Edberg. He saves two break points to get to deuce, but then misses an unnecessarily attacking BH inside-out and yields the break by missing a makeable enough BHV that I've marked it a UE (though it wasn't easy). And Becker nurses the break to the end to finish a comfortable straight sets winner

Playing Dynamics & Statistics
Becker's movement - the one area where he trails Edberg significantly - is as good as I've seen it in this encounter. He slows down after having his thigh strapped (and is broken for the only time immediately afterwards), but no slow-poking about he court in this match from Boris.

With Boris staying back on almost all his second serves and Edberg doing so not infrequently even off his firsts, there's a healthy dose of baseline exchanges. No dawdling though.... both player look to open the court and aggressively finish the point. These come out about even, but the unreliability of the Edberg FH is evident (5 UEs... the most of any groundstroke on show). Its not threatening (unlike Becker's) and when looking to be aggressive, the shot is prone to error.

Note Edberg outdoing Becker on second serve points won (58% to 53%). This indicates that in terms of pure court skills, Edberg may be superior. But far, far away from overriding the handicap he has on the first serve -

First serve points won - Becker 91%, Edberg 57%
Aces/Service Winners - Becker 12, Edberg 3
Unreturned serve percentage - Becker 41%, Edberg 23%
1st serve volley points won - Becker 90% (mostly via unreturned serves), Edberg 61%

Summing up, it all starts and ends with Becker's superiority on serve. Because of it, he can return, volley and pass better. His returning is impressive (10 return winners)…. and would likely top Edberg's even against equal opposition. As it is, he can do double the damage to the Edberg serve (making forceful returns) as Edberg can to his (barely getting the ball in play). His volleying is very good - and has variety that Edberg's lack (drop and stop shots). His passing is powerful and on occasion, balanced with excellent touch. All in all, a clear demonstration of all round superiority from the German

(Will post up stats and report for the '90 final shortly....)
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
In 1990, Edberg beat Becker 3-3 retired in the Paris Indoor final on carpet

The two had just come off playing the final in Stockholm (https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...becker-vs-edberg-stockholm-final-1990.646188/)

Edberg won 24 points, Becker 22

Both players serve-volleyed off all but 1 first serve and about half the time off second

Serve Stats
Edberg...
- 1st serve percentage (12/20) 60%
- 1st serve points won (10/12) 83%
- 2nd serve points won (4/8) 50%
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (4/20) 20%

Becker....
- 1st serve percentage (15/26) 58%
- 1st serve points won (11/15) 73%
- 2nd serve points won (5/11) 45%
- Aces 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (6/26) 23%

Serve Patterns
Edberg served...
- to FH 26%
- to BH 58%
- to Body 16%

Becker served....
- to FH 23%
- to BH 62%
- to Body 15%

Return Stats
Edberg made...
- 20 (4 FH, 16 BH), including 1 return-approach
- 5 Errors, comprising...
- 1 Unforced (1 FH)
- 4 Forced (4 BH)
- Return Rate (20/26) 77%

Becker made...
- 15 (4 FH, 11 BH)
- 2 Winners (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 4 Errors, comprising...
- 1 Unforced (1 BH)
- 3 Forced (1 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (15/19) 79%

Break Points
Edberg 0/5 (3 games)
Becker 0

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Edberg 7 (1 FH, 1 BH, 2 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)
Becker 5 (1 FH, 1 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV)

Edberg had 5 from serve-volley points
- 3 first 'volleys' (1 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 FH @n net)
- 2 second volleys (1 FHV, 1 OH)

- 1 pass - a BH dtl slice

Becker had 3 from serve-volley points
- 1 first volley (1 FHV)
- 2 second volleys (1 FHV, 1 BHV)

- 2 passes, both returns - a FH inside-out and a BH inside-in

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Edberg 10
- 3 Unforced (3 BHV)
- 7 Forced (3 FH, 3 BH, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 53.3

Becker 13
- 6 Unforced (3 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV)
- 7 Forced (1 FH, 3 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.7

(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
Edberg was...
- 13/19 (68%) at net, including...
- 11/16 (69%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 9/11 (82%) off 1st serve and...
- 2/5 (40%) off second serve
----------------------------------
- 1/1 return-approaching

Becker was...
- 13/21 (62%) at net, including...
- 12/17 (71%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 9/12 (75%) off 1st serve and...
- 3/5 (60%) off second serve
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Match Report
Becker retires injured after just 6 games to hand Edberg the win

The German receives treatment to his thigh after holding in game 5. Prior to this, his movements didn't look particularly bad... I wouldn't have noticed a problem if I wasn't aware of how the match ended. He is a bit slower than usual.

Game 6 is a farce. Becker makes feeble returns (2 errors, one to a relatively simple second serve Edberg stayed back on) and when he gets the ball in play, simply remains stationary as Edberg puts away 2 volleys. He's limping severely too - and decides to call it quits

In the short span of time the match went on, it didn't look great. Both players making 3 volleying UEs in such a short match when they're both capable of going a full match making the same number. Becker does hit two nice return winners - a FH inside-out and a BH inside-in

Edberg has break points on all three return games. In fact, he wins the first three points of the match to leave the serving Becker down 0-40 by forcing two volleying errors, while Becker makes an unforced one. Becker saves himself with good serves and serve-volleying. Interestingly, he stays back on a first serve point down break point.... but the serve draws an error anyway.

Edberg's first service game isn't a walk in the park either. Though not facing any break points, the game does go to 10 points

Becker saves a break point in his second service game by forcing a return error (first serve, serve-volleying). He saves one more in the game after when he serve-volleys off a strong first serve to the body. Edberg boldly approaches off the return and meets Becker net-to-net... but hits the fourth ball BHV wide

Its after this game that Becker seeks treatment and one game after, he's done. Can barely move and calls it quits
 
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andreh

Professional
The no. 1 spot was on the line in this match. Shame it ended the way it did. I believe Edberg was in better form here than he had been in both Stockholm and Sydney the weeks before. Could've been an exciting match to seal the deal on the Edberg - Becker rivalry in 1990.

This was the last match in core part of their rivalry. Next time they met was a year later on Stockholm. Edberg was then clearly ahead in the rankings and Courier was about to move ahead of both of them. They played many times after that, but neither of them were contenders anymore by that time.
 
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Waspsting

Hall of Fame
The no. 1 spot was on the line in this match. Shame it ended the way it did. I believe Edberg was in better form here than he had been in both Stockholm and Sydney the weeks before. Could've been an exciting match to seal the deal on the Edberg - Becker rivalry in 1990.
Didn't know - or had forgotten that. Yes, a great shame for such a match to end this way

Do you know if number 1 was still open going into the World Championship?

This was the last match in core part of their rivalry. Next time they met was a year later on Stockholm. Edberg was then clearly ahead in the rankings and Courier was about to move ahead of both of them. They played many times after that, but neither of them were contenders anymore by that time.
Will post stats for that one too. A much more competitive match (would be hard to not be), but not too competitive at any given point. At times Edberg clearly playing better, at times Boris

Odd that Becker thoroughly dominated Courier head-to-head but got overtaken by him. Against Edberg too when they were the top two guys just after Lendl passed the torch along
 

andreh

Professional
Do you know if number 1 was still open going into the World Championship?
It was to a certain extent. Edberg sealed it by beating Sampras in the RR. After that he would be YE no. 1 regardless. Becker lost in the semi against Agassi, a guy that used to do to Becker what he himself did to Edberg (except of course in certain key matches).
 
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