Duel Match Stats/Reports - Edberg vs Agassi & Becker vs Agassi, Masters round robins, 1989


Hall of Fame
Stefan Edberg beat Andre Agassi 6-4, 6-2 in the Year End Championship (Masters) round robins, 1989 on carpet in New York, USA

This was the first match between the two. Edberg would go onto win his sole title at the event, beating defending champion Boris Becker in the final and world number 1 Ivan Lendl in the semi. Agassi was eliminated in the group stage, losing all his matches
The two would meet twice at the event the following year, with Edberg again winning the round robin match but Agassi winning the final

Edberg won 66 points, Agassi 43

Edberg serve-volleyed off all first serves and most seconds

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (28/49) 57%
- 1st serve points won (20/28) 71%
- 2nd serve points won (12/21) 57%
- Aces 5
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (15/49) 31%

- 1st serve percentage (36/60) 60%
- 1st serve points won (15/36) 42%
- 2nd serve points won (11/24) 46%
- Aces 1
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (6/60) 10%

Serve Patterns
Edberg served...
- to FH 30%
- to BH 50%
- to Body 20%

Agassi served...
- to FH 33%
- to BH 64%
- to Body 3%

Return Stats
Edberg made...
- 52 (17 FH, 35 BH)
- 5 Errors, comprising...
- 2 Unforced (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 3 Forced (3 BH)
- Return Rate (52/58) 90%

Agassi made...
- 31 (13 FH, 18 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 10 Errors, all forced...
- 10 Forced (3 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (31/46) 67%

Break Points
Edberg 6/10 (6 games)
Agassi 3/4 (3 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Edberg 21 (2 FH, 6 BH, 7 FHV, 5 BHV, 1 OH)
Agassi 9 (3 FH, 2 BH, 2 BHV, 2 OH)

Edberg had 12 from serve-volley points
- 9 first volleys (5 FHV, 4 BHV)… 1 BHV can reasonably be called a BHOH
- 2 second volleys (1 FHV, 1 OH)
- 1 fourth volley (1 FHV)

- 1 other BHV was running-up-to-a-floater from significantly behind service line and has not been counted a net point

- FHs - 1 dtl pass and 1 inside-out
- BHs - 5 dtl (1 pass) and 1 inside-out

Agassi's FHs (all passes) - 1 inside-in, 1 dtl/inside-out and 1 lob
- BHs (both passes) - 1 dtl return pass and 1 cc

- 1 BHV was a drop

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Edberg 25
- 12 Unforced (5 FH, 3 BH, 4 BHV)… with 2 FHs at net
- 13 Forced (6 FH, 4 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 BHOH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.7

Agassi 28
- 21 Unforced (7 FH, 8 BH, 3 FHV, 2 BHV, 1 OH)
- 7 Forced (2 FH, 4 BH, 1 BHOH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 49.5

(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
Edberg was...
- 28/41 (68%) at net, including...
- 25/35 (71%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 15/23 (65%) off 1st serve and..
- 10/12 (83%) off 2nd serve

Agassi was...
- 12/21 (57%) at net, including...
- 3/7 (43%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves

Match Report
A poor and clueless showing from Agassi while Edberg does the needful with customary style

Match starts with 3 breaks on the trot, with Agassi losing both service games to love. After series of comfortably holds, Agassi break in game 8 on the back of Edberg missing 2 routine volleys and a FH winner attempt. Edberg breaks right back though in an even worse, error filled game by Agassi - and goes on to serve out the see set

Edberg returned all 24 Agassi serves in the set

In second set, Agassi takes to coming to net more, including serve-volleying fairly often. Edberg for his part gets more comfortably serve-volleying off second serves. Poor volleying from Agassi and continued erratic baseline errors stand out, while Edberg volleys more surely despite Agassi hitting more meatily in this set

Players trade breaks in middle of set, with Agassi broken first making volleying errors. He breaks back strongly, working Edberg over on one point with two very powerful passes and two adroit lobs, the second of which forces a BHOH error and finishing with his sole return winner. Edberg also double faults and misses an easy volley

Its the last game Agassi wins. Edberg breaks twice more, with errors from Agassi - in the first game off the baseline and in the second, from net - being the main cause

Edberg's Play
Edberg's short of his best serve-volleying and misses a couple of easy ones early on. Thereafter, not much to fault. Agassi's returning isn't what it can be, but some very hard hit passes and returns that Edberg controls nicely... along with the usual flawless putting away of balls above the net

It off the ground that Edberg is particularly good. Agassi leads with BH cc's and Edberg holds up against the heavier two-handed shot. And excels with BH dtl point killers - 4 of them, plus another inside-out. Otherwise, he's content to let Agassi hit the heavier shots and direction changers... just runs them down and puts them in play, seemingly without strain. He does do more of the running

On the return, Stefan tends to fall back to Agassi's second serve and swing at it from well behind baseline. On the pass, he just puts the ball in play - and Agassi's poor volleying does the rest, though there is a stunning, running BH dtl pass winner from the winner

Cliff Drysdale on commentary says that he's seen statistical analysis that indicates Edberg's FH is just as effective as his BH. Finally, somebody gets it. Not that he sounds convinced and other commentators joke about possible reasons for the finding

Agassi's Play
Off in all areas just about from Agassi. He plays like its a practice match

The serve is gimme, with nothing threatening about it. For that, 60% first serves in is low... it looks an 80%+ in serve

He returns from close in, usually on the line against first serves and a step in against seconds. He isn't beaten for pace of the serves, but mostly can't connect with great force. And the few he does, Stefan handles

Off the ground, Agassi looks to control with BH cc's, which plays out as described earlier. Doesn't do much dtl himself of that side. Some moving Edberg around stuff also doesn't cut it. Later, he takes to just hammering balls as hard as can... good number of errors doing this. Some wild misses of third balls too

And he takes to coming in to net, serve-volleying 7 times and approaching 14 times from rallies. By contrast, Edberg comes in 6 times other than on serve. Terrible stuff serve-volleying... he misses routine volleys and has 6 forecourt UEs

He does cover the court well. I'm always a bit surprised to see how fast Agassi was in his younger days, in stark contrast to what his movements would become
Summing up, straightforward match with Edberg more or less in groove serve-volleying and splendid with the BH from the back. Agassi's play being scattered and poor takes the eye more though

Stats for the final and round robin match between Edberg and Boris Becker - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...t-edberg-vs-becker-masters-final-1989.623707/
Stats for pair's final and round robin the following year - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...-championship-finals-round-robin-1990.646450/
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His 89 Masters win was a nice consolation after losing French and Wimbledon finals and getting thrashed by Connors in the 4th round of the USO - where he really looked desultory - which was rare for Edberg.
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Hall of Fame
Later in round robins, Boris Becker beat Andre Agassi 6-1, 6-3

It was their third match with Becker winning them all. Agassi would go onto win 10 of the remaining 11 matches the pair were to play

Becker 61 won points, Agassi 39

Becker serve-volleyed off about half his first serves

(Note: I'm missing 2 points on Agassi serve - 1 won by either player
Missing points - Set 2, Game 8, Points 1-2... a return was made in point 2)

Serve Stats
Becker ...
- 1st serve percentage (29/48) 60%
- 1st serve points won (26/29) 90%
- 2nd serve points won (10/19) 53%
- Aces 7, Service Winners 3
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (21/48) 44%

- 1st serve percentage (30/50) 60%
- 1st serve points won (14/30) 47%
- 2nd serve points won (12/20) 60%
- Unknown serve points (1/2)
- Service Winners 2
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (7/51) 14%

Serve Patterns
Becker served...
- to FH 34%
- to BH 57%
- to Body 9%

Agassi served...
- to FH 23%
- to BH 73%
- to Body 4%

Return Stats
Becker made...
- 42 (12 FH, 29 BH, 1 ??), including 5 runaround FHs
- 6 Errors, comprising...
- 1 Unforced (1 FH), a runaround FH
- 5 Forced (4 FH, 1 BH)
- Return Rate (42/49) 86%

Agassi made...
- 26 (15 FH, 11 BH), including 6 runaround FHs
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 11 Errors, comprising...
- 2 Unforced (1 FH, 1 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 9 Forced (3 FH, 6 BH)
- Return Rate (26/47) 55%

Break Points
Becker 4/8 (5 games)
Agassi 0/3 (1 game)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Becker 15 (6 FH, 5 FHV, 3 BHV, 1 OH)
Agassi 17 (10 FH, 4 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHOH)

Becker had 4 from serve-volley points
- 1 first volley (1 FHV)
- 3 second volleys (2 FHV, 1 OH)

- FHs - 1 cc, 1 dtl, 3 inside-out and 1 net chord dribbler

Agassi's FHs - 3 cc (1 pass at net), 2 dtl passes, 2 inside-out, 1 inside-in return, 1 lob and 1 net chord dribbler
- BHs - 2 cc (1 pass), 1 dtl and 1 drop shot at net

- 1 from a serve-volley point - 1 first volley, swinging FHV

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Becker 13
- 8 Unforced (2 FH, 6 BH)
- 5 Forced (2 FH, 2 BH, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45

Agassi 22
- 17 Unforced (9 FH, 7 BH, 1 BHV)
- 5 Forced (3 FH, 2 BH)… with 1 BH at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.5

(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...
- 18/25 (72%) at net, including...
- 11/11 (100%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 10/10 (100%) off 1st serve and..
- 1/1 off 2nd serve

Agassi was...
- 6/8 (75%) at net, including...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve
- 1/1 forced back

Match Report
Not a serious match with action more exhibition-y than most exhibitions. Not sure when the match took place - I would guess after Agassi had already been eliminated from the tournament. He's in full scale, try a few big shots, have a smile and entertain the crowd mode, and Becker wins very comfortably

For all that, its a reasonably entertaining watch

In first set, Becker 2 out of 3 Becker serve games go to deuce (no break points). He doesn't serve volley much. Agassi is broken all but once, and has to save a break point in the game that he wasn't

As early as game 4, Agassi's playing to the crowd. He wallops a return with an exaggerated grunt (and tremendous power), draws a weak reply and hammers a BH dtl winner with an even more, for-dramatic effect grunt. Crowd is pleased and Agassi shows off his bulging bicep as he takes in the applause. Next game, forced back from net he unleashes a tweener that Becker can't kill with his volley and Agassi makes a very good FH dtl pass winner. He bows and takes in the applause

Mid way through the second set, Becker unleashes with the big serve he'd been holding in check. He holds to love with 4 aces and next game, adds 2 more in going up 40-0. Agassi playfully stands behind the advertising boards to take the next return, Becker playing along serves gently, Agassi running up misses the return. Umpire has little choice but to call game... but on Becker's insistence, they replay the point properly

Becker misses his first serve and Agassi absolutely hammers the second serve FH inside-in for a winner - to even Becker's enjoyment

Play - Baseline & Net
Not indecent play

Becker serves within himself for the first set and stays back off most serves, allowing for baseline rallies. He's actually the sensible one in them. Agassi hits with overeager gusto, even his regulation shots are quite attacking and he goes for a number of point ending shots from regulation positions. And makes them not infrequently too - note the 14 baseline winners. He leads with FH... always a sign that he's in cavalier mode

Becker plays normally from the back. He goes toe-to-toe in FH rallies but is apt to be overpowered on the BH, on which he utilizes slices when pushed back

Highlights reels shots from Agassi aside, just too many errors from him. 17 UEs, to Becker's 8. His greater aggression hasn't come out well in UEFI difference of just 1.5, largely because a defensive error pulls down his score. UE types -
- defensive - Becker 0, Agassi 1
- neutral - Becker 4, Agassi 6
- attacking - Becker 2, Agassi 7
- winner attempts - Becker 1, Agassi 3

Near even on neutral errors - keeping in mind Agassi's 'neutral shot' is relatively attacking. Meanwhile on attacking shots and winner attempts, Becker has just 3 to Agassi's 10... a fair indicator of how each player played. Agassi heavy and aggressive, Becker quite normally

Both players are very good at coming into net to finish points starting from the baseline

Becker's numbers aren't impressive in this area (7/14 @ 50%), but he faces some very powerful passes... credit Agassi for this, not discredit Boris. Agassi is 5/7. A nifty BHOH winner from him is one of the highlights for the match

Note Becker's perfect 11/11 serve-volleying. 5 are unreturned serves, most others start with at least comfortable first volleys. The figure comes much more from the serve than the volley

Agassi's first serve is a point starter. No problems for Boris to get it back (86% return rate) and then they rally as described earlier (Agassi erratic of play, Becker steady)… Becker retains the edge

Note Agassi winning 47% first serve points and 60% second serve points. He seems to fancy hitting himself to advantage from neutral position as entertainment, more than nursing an advantageous starting position to an aggressive end (not that his first serve gives him too much of an initiative, but more so than his seconds)... just the kind of mood he's in

Summing up, an entertaining little match with Becker playing quite normally - a balance of steady and attacking - while Agassi looks to entertain with carefree, big hitting. Some overpowering serving from Boris and some excellent power hitting from Agassi, especially on the pass, but also erratically error prone

Stats for the pair's Indian Wells semi soon afterwards - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...s-becker-indian-wells-semi-final-1990.646611/