Match Stats/Report - Agassi vs Becker, Year End Championship semi-final, 1990


Hall of Fame
Andre Agassi beat Boris Becker 6-2, 6-4 in the Year End Championship semi-final, 1990 on carpet in Frankfurt, Germany

Agassi would go onto win the event, beating world number 1 Stefan Edberg in the final. Becker was ranked number 2 at the time

Agassi won 62 points, Becker 41

Becker serve-volleyed off most first serves

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (20/45) 44%
- 1st serve points won (18/20) 90%
- 2nd serve points won (19/25) 76%
- Aces 8, Service Winners 2
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (16/45) 36%

- 1st serve percentage (33/58) 57%
- 1st serve points won (24/33) 73%
- 2nd serve points won (9/25) 36%
- Aces 5, Service Winners 2
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (21/58) 36%

Serve Patterns
Agassi served...
- to FH 28%
- to BH 70%
- to Body 2%

Becker served....
- to FH 34%
- to BH 50%
- to Body 16%

Return Stats
Agassi made...
- 35 (17 FH, 18 BH), including 3 runaround FHs
- 2 Winners (2 BH)
- 14 Errors, comprising...
- 3 Unforced (2 FH, 1 BH)
- 11 Forced (5 FH, 6 BH)
- Return Rate (35/56) 63%

Becker made...
- 27 (9 FH, 18 BH), including 4 runaround FHs & 5 return-approaches
- 2 Winners (1 FH, 1 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 6 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (4 BH), including 1 return-approach attempt
- 2 Forced (1 FH, 1 BH)
- Return Rate (27/43) 63%

Break Points
Agassi 3/10 (6 games)
Becker 0

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Agassi 19 (7 FH, 7 BH, 3 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH)
Becker 8 (2 FH, 2 BH, 2 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH)

Agassi's FHs - 3 cc (1 pass), 1 dtl pass, 3 inside-out and 1 inside-in pass
- BHs - 5 dtl (3 passes - 1 return), 1 inside-out pass and 1 inside-in return pass

- 2 FHVs were swinging shot. 1 was a third ball from significantly behind the service line and has not been counted a serve-volley or net point

Becker's FHs - 1 dtl/inside out and 1 runaround inside-out return
- BHs - 2 dtl (1 return)

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

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
Agassi 10
- 4 Unforced (4 FH)
- 6 Forced (3 FH, 3 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 50

Becker 25
- 14 Unforced (4 FH, 7 BH, 3 FHV)
- 11 Forced (3 FH, 5 BH, 2 BHV, 1 Tweener)
- 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
Agassi was...
- 8/8 (100%) at net

Becker was...
- 17/31 (55%) at net, including...
- 13/19 (68%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 12/15 (80%) off 1st serve and...
- 1/4 (25%) off 2nd serve
- 0/5 return-approaching
- 0/1 forced back

Match Report
Close to perfect from Agassi as he squashes a decent (and smart) playing Boris Becker in fast conditions. There are a number of surprising and/or impressive stats coming out of this match

- Agassi out-acing Becker 8-5, made even more remarkable by Agassi's low first serve in count (44%, with just 20 first serves in). Becker serves at 57% and has 33 first serves
Including service winners, Agassi serves an unreturnable serve 50% of the time when the first serve goes in

Round about this period, Agassi was doing very little offensively with the serve, it was little more than a point starter. Something seems to have gotten into him in this tournament
He out-aced Pete Sampras and Stefan Edberg in the round robins, and would go onto do so over Edberg in the final again

He serves about as hard as Becker does in this match, which is confirmed by regular showings of average first serve speed of the two players throughout the match. Furthermore, Agassi mixes up his first serves and sends down a few at average pace... for his average speed to still be within 2-3 miles of Becker, who hits hard first serves all the time, his biggest serves must've been timed as at least as fast as Boris'

- Agassi 90% first serve points won, 76% second serve points won. Complete dominance on serve and Becker doesn't see a break point. The first serve points are indicative of the quality of his first serving, which the ace count already shows, the second his superiority in play (also partially substantiated by Becker winning just 36% second serve points)

- 4 unforced errors for the match. In fact, just 10 errors total... while he has 19 winners (and forces 11 errors out of Becker)…. he's hitting both more winners and forcing more errors than making errors of any kind in play

- 8/8, 100% net points won

Becker isn't even playing badly... but other than winning points via unreturned serves - there's nothing he can do to keep up with Agassi, from the baseline, at net or hitting passing shots

Serve & Return
Strong serving by Agassi, as outlined above. And good returning from Becker. Other than the unreturnables, he makes just 2 forced errors against the same strong serve that's dishing out so many unreturnables. What more can he do?

He's also got 4 unforced return errors through trying to be aggressive on the shot, but that was necessary. From neutral starting positions, he was getting beaten down from the back. That being the case, going for more on the return is smart

Note the 4 runaround FH returns and 5 return-approaches... all attempts to attack off the second shot. He loses all 5 of the latter type - 4 to winners, 1 a forced volleying error. Among the winners are FH inside-in and BH inside-out... not common shot choices against return-approach plays. That's what Becker is up against

Anything short of a stupendous, powerful, wide serve from Becker gets the full treatment from Agassi's return. Initially, Becker doesn't serve volley much off first serves. Still gains a few unreturned serves of course, but what doesn't go unreturned tends to get hammered back deep. Its strong enough to make it readily understandable why Boris would hesitate to serve-volley

Second serves are almost all hammered back that way, often to the baseline. Becker tries to half-volley a few, without success. The alternative was to fall back off the baseline

In second set, Boris serve-volleys a lot more after going down a break. He actually wins his last 15 first serve points, including all 12 after he's broken and while he's serve-volleying, but the break comes in a game where he misses all 6 first serves. Most of the unreturned first serves post break - 10 of 12 are unreturned - would very likely have been unreturned sans serve-volleying

This is an improvement from first set, when serve-volley first serves were regularly hit back firmly to strongly, giving tough first volleys

In a nutshell, Agassi thoroughly ahead in serve-return complex - both sides of it and his showing in both areas top notch. The returning might not surprising, but the serving certainly is


Hall of Fame
Play - Baseline & Net
Thorough and commanding from Agassi

Pounces on weak returns to take charge, or finish points. Off both wings
Passes Becker every which way on return-approach points
Off points that start neutrally with a decent Becker return... Agassi commands the points, mostly with heavy, consistent BH cc's. Amongst the staple solidity, he also throws out extra angled ones wide enough to be forceful

Agassi's not slow to end points with FH in particular either. Or even dash to net to finish points after overpowering Boris and/or pushing him back

0 BH UEs for the match. Becker has 7... BH-BH, he's badly outmatched. In the circumstance, he's again smart to go for BH dtl attacking shots but usually misses. This isn't unusual for him

On the FH side of things, Becker does better going toe to toe and his shot is about as powerful. But its Agassi who dictates baseline play, and mostly keeps things BH-BH

Big difference in the two players' movement too. Becker's a bit slow, even by his standards. Agassi is whizzing around court like a jack rabbit

Becker also dashes to net when he's gained an advantage from the back but is faced with very strong passing, even from an off balance or on the move Agassi. Still, Becker's not too good on the volley, with 3 UEs and not placing the ones he makes particularly well. Again, well within his norm... in general, Becker has good days and bad days on the volley. This is somewhere in between - a 'not good day' as opposed to 'bad'

Match Progression
Agassi breaks to start the match, twice taking net to force passing errors and striking a perfectly placed, short angled FH cc passing winner

In his first service game, Agassi bangs down 2 aces. The game after that, he whacks 3 winners - a BH dtl pass, a FH inside-out and a third ball swinging FHV from mid-court. And then breaks again... points he wins include forcing Boris back from net and into a tweener error and on a break point, a BH inside-in passing winner

Boris is in trouble next service game too, but manages to serve his way out of trouble and save two break points. Then Agassi serves out the set in a game featuring an awkward OH winner and a third ball BH dtl

Not much changes at the start of the second. Becker saves 2 break points with strong serves and is broken next chance with Agassi taking net to win two points and striking a BH dtl winner after opening court with a FH inside-out. At changeover, Becker kicks something over and gets a warning for unsportsmanlike conduct

Agassi holds game 8 with 4 successive winners - FH inside-in pass and BH dtl pass to return-approaches, a third ball FH inside-out and a running FH cc from defensive position

Becker gets to deuce for the only time as Agassi serves for the match with a tremendous, runaround FH inside-out return winner played from well out of court. Couple of points later, Agassi finishes the match with a FH inside-out winner after bossing Becker about from the baseline

Summing up, one of Agassi's very best performances, with the serving in particular standing out. Everything else - groundstrokes, passes, returns - are also top notch, but that's less uncommon. Very good net instincts too. Becker's not at his best but doesn't play badly either... just gets his clock cleaned comprehensively

Stats for the final between Agassi and Stefan Edberg -
Stats for the pair's recent US Open semi -
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