Match Stats/Report - Becker vs Edberg, Queens semi-final 1990


Hall of Fame
Boris Becker beat Stefan Edberg 6-4 6-4 in the semi-final of Queens Club, 1990 on grass

The two went on to contest their third successive Wimbledon final a couple of weeks later, with Edberg emerging the victor on that occasion. In this tournament, Becker went on to lose the final to Ivan Lendl ( )

Both players serve-volleyed on all their serves - 1st and 2nd

(Note: I'm missing serve direction for two of Edberg's serves and so, two of Becker's returns. One serve was returned, the other was not... These have been included in relevant totals but excluded from breakdowns of those totals)

Becker won 70 points, Edberg 58

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (34/59) 58%
- 1st serve points won (27/34) 79%
- 2nd serve points won (17/25) 68%
- Ace 1, Service Winner 1
- Double faults 3
- Unreturned serve percentage (23/59) 39%

Edberg. ...
- 1st serve percentage (40/69) 58%
- 1st serve points won (27/40) 68%
- 2nd serve points won (16/29) 55%
- Aces 2
- Double faults 4
- Unreturned serve percentage (18/69) 26%

Serve Pattern
Becker served...
- to FH 14%
- to BH 75%
- to Body 11%

Edberg served...
- to FH 23%
- to BH 67%
- to Body 10%

Return Stats
Becker made...
- 49 (16 FH, 32 BH), including...
- 4 winners (2 FH, 2 BH), all passes
- 16 Errors (3 FH, 12 BH), all forced with Edberg always serve-volleying
- Return Rate (49/65) 75%

Edberg made...
- 31 (8 FH, 23 BH), including...
- 4 winners (1 FH, 3 BH)
- 20 Errors (1 FH, 19 BH) all forced with Becker always serve-volleying
- Return Rate (31/56) 55%

Break Points
Becker 2/5 (4 games)
Edberg 0/2 (2 games)

Winners (including returns)
Becker 26 (7 FH, 5 BH, 9 FHV, 3 BHV, 2 OH)
Edberg 21 (1 FH, 5 BH, 7 FHV, 6 BHV, 2 OH)

- For Becker, all 12 groundstrokes were passes.

- 4/5 BHs were down the line (including 1 hit at net and 1 was cross court (a return)

- 4/7 FHs were down the line (including a running down of a drop volley and a running FH), 2/7 were cross court (including a return) and 1/7 was inside-out (also a return)

- For Edberg, 5/6 groundstrokes were passes and 1 volley

- the non-pass groundstroke was a put-away BH at net

- the volley pass was a BHV born of a bold move, where he moved forward as Becker was half-volleying up a good return and put it away from about the service line

- of the 5 groundstroke passes, 4 were returns - 3 BHs (1 cross court, 1 down the line and 1 inside-out) and 1 FH (dtl)

- the non-return pass was an interesting runaround BH inside-in. Running to his right (i.e. FH side) he ran past the ball to play the unusual but wholly effective shot choice

The majority of volleys from both players were relatively easy ones or put aways

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Becker 16
- 2 Unforced (1 FH, 1 OH)
- 14 Forced (3 FH, 6 BH, 1 FHV, 1 FH1/2V BHV, 1 BH1/2V)

Edberg 17
- 3 Unforced (1 FHV, 2 BHV)
- 14 Forced (3 FH, 6 BH, 3 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 1 BHV)

The distinction between 'forced' and 'unforced' is of course, always a judgement call - and in 100% serve-volley matches like this one, clear UE's are rare

I would describe the 3 UEs I've given Edberg as "make-able" rather than classify them as forced/unforced... within the framework of commonly used terms, I'd have to say they were unforced

Becker's FH was a pass attempt on match point on the Edberg serve. He had time to line up the shot, step in to take it early ... and he netted it (I would say it was highly make-able)

Becker's OH was tricky as far as OHs go (i.e. not a put-away) but still a shot he'd be expected to put in play at the very least

(Note: all 'xx.1/2V' instances refer to such shots played at net, which I think deserve a category of their own. 1/2 volley groundstrokes by contrast are included within regular groundstrokes)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Becker 45/57 (79%) at net, including 41/53 (77%) serve-volleying

He was 4/4 on non-S/V points. Of these -

- 2 forced an at-net Edberg back with lobs and then approached himself

- 1 run down a drop volley

- 1 ran up to dispatch a flub volley

Edberg was 42/65 (65%) at net, including
41/63 (64%) on non-S/V points

He was 1/2 on other approaches

- 1 he ran up as Becker was making a third ball 1/2 volley and volleyed away a winner

- 1 was the last point of the match,where he chip-charged, only for Becker to firmly volley a winner behind him

The two instances Edberg was forced away from net by lobs have been included in his numbers as he was forced back

I would exclude these as net points if a player appears to retreat to baseline on his own accord
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Hall of Fame
Match Report
100% serve-volleying encounters between the two most consummate serve-volleyers of the day is bound to be interesting. The match - and those of its kind - remind me of a tiebreaker; just a few moments to decide the outcome

In this one, Becker was the better player in all areas. He played a somewhat uncharacteristic game

His volleying in particular was a step up from his norm. As I recall, he was prone to missing a few not-difficult ones and his serve set up a lot of easy ones

Neither was the case in this match

He didn't even seem to be trying to win points outright with the serve. Most of his serves, even the 1st's were placed safely away from the lines. Just the 1 ace (and 1 virtually-an-ace). In the final to come against Lendl by contrast, he definitely was trying for cheap points (albeit mostly unsuccessfully ), even before Lendl started hitting ROS winners for fun

He targeted the Edberg BH return - 42/56 serves went there, the highest I've seen in the small # of matches I've done stats for so far. Given Edberg's reputation for having a significantly better BH than FH, I found that interesting.

And justified. Edberg could only return about 50% of serves directed at his BH (23/43, with 1 service winner) but fared much better on the FH (8/10, aced once)

Becker had a good day at the net too. He made several good volleys (most of which forced errors) and no bad ones

He was superior to Edberg from the baseline. Becker's pass attempts were clearly more powerful and a shade more precise. He used the lob to force the Swede away from net twice - one of these was particularly elegant, just a little under-chip. By contrast, Edberg's lob attempt mostly led to put-away smashes

Edberg for his part didn't play badly. He forced a few volleying errors with dipping passes (mostly chips that were dying on Becker) but couldn't get a single clean pass through in the first set

He also targeted his opponents BH return, though to a lesser extent (67%, as opposed to 75% for the Germans.) He was at least willing to try serves out wide to the FH to drag Becker off court and look for the first volley winner into the open court - a standard tactic that the German largely eschewed

He volleyed well, as you'd expect, could have been better of course. Becker's returns and pass attempts reaching him mostly around a comfortable waist level (sometimes powerfully)

One shot demonstrated Edberg's preferance for his BH wing. Becker made a difficult angled FHV, which left him off-balance long enough for Edberg to run to his right and set up the pass

With Becker recovering to a central position, the natural shot for Edberg would have been FH dtl. Instead, he ran past the ball and put it away BH inside-in

All in all, a good match from both players, perhaps with an experimental eye from Becker in particular
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Becker better than Stefan both on the net and in return.
Boris seems not to have forced the need to get to the net and close the match there. Strategy.