Match Stats/Report - Becker vs Lendl, Chicago final 1986


Hall of Fame
Boris Becker beat Ivan Lendl 7-6(5), 6-3 in the final at Chicago 1986 on indoor carpet

Becker was the reigning Wimbledon champion and would go onto defend the title later that year, beating Lendl in the final (, while Lendl was the reigning World number 1 - a position he would go onto comfortably retain for the year

Becker won 80 points, Lendl 72

Becker serve-volleyed off about half his first serve points

Serve Stats
- 1st serve percentage (54/81) 67%
- 1st serve points won (38/54) 70%
- 2nd serve points won (15/27) 56%
- Aces 2 (1 second serve), Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (26/81) 32%

Lendl. ...
- 1st serve percentage (45/71) 63%
- 1st serve points won (28/45) 62%
- 2nd serve points won (16/26) 62%
- Aces 3, Service Winners 2
- Double Faults 1
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (14/71) 20%

Serve Pattern
Becker served...
- to FH 53%
- to BH 47%

Lendl served...
- to FH 27%
- to BH 66%
- to Body 7%

Return Stats
Becker made...
- 56 (13 FH, 43 BH), including 4 return-approaches (3 chip-charges and 1 'delayed' return approach)
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 9 Errors, comprising...
- 2 Unforced (2 BH)
- 7 Forced (4 FH, 3 BH)
- Return Rate (56/70) 80%

Lendl made...
- 53 (32 FH, 21 BH), including 3 runaround FHs and 1 'delayed' return approach
- 23 Errors, comprising...
- 3 Unforced (3 FH)
- 20 Forced (9 FH, 11 BH)
- Return Rate (53/79) 67%

Break Points
Becker 3/6 (4 games)
Lendl 1/4 (5 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
Becker 23 (3 FH, 6 BH, 7 FHV, 5 BHV, 2 OH)
Lendl 16 (4 FH, 5 BH, 3 FHV, 1 OH)

Becker had 6 from serve-volley points - 3 first volleys (all FHVs) and 3 second volleys (all BHVs)
- 1 other FHV was possibly not clean
- 1 other BHV was a drop volley and 1 was a diving volley

- 2 regular FHs - 1 dtl and 1 at net
- 5 regular BHs - 2 net chord dribblers, 1 inside-in, 1 inside-out (a return) and 1 dtl

- 2 passes - a FH cc and a BH inside-out

Lendl had 6 passes (3 FH, 3 BH)
- the FHs - 1 dtl, 1 cc that clipped the net over Becker's volley attempt and 1 lob... all three shots were hit on the run
- the BHs - 2 dtl (1 on the run, 1 clipping the net), 1 cc

- 3 other groundstrokes - a FH net chord dribbler, a BH cc hit from mid-court and a BH drop shot

- 3 from serve-volley points (1 FHV, 2 BHV) - all first volleys. One of the BHVs was a stop volley

- 1 other FHV was a stop volley

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Becker 40
- 21 Unforced (4 FH, 12 BH, 2 FHV, 3 BHV)
- 19 Forced (8 FH, 7 BH, 1 FHV, 3 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.1

Lendl 30
- 18 Unforced (7 FH, 7 BH, 3 FHV, 1 BHV)
- 12 Forced (4 FH, 6 BH, 1 FHV, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.8

(Note: All half-volleys refer to such shots played at net)

(Note 2: The 'Unforced Error Forcefulness Index is a measure of how aggressive of intent the average UE made was. 60 is maximum, 20 is minimum. This match has been scored using a four point scale - 2 defensive, 4 neutral, 5 attacking, 6 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Becker was 32/47 (68%) at net, including 18/27 (67%) serve-volleying - off first serves 16/25 (64%), off second serves 2/2 - and 3/4 (75%) return-approaching

Lendl was 12/22 (55%) at net, including 5/8 (63%) serve-volleying - off first serves 4/7 (57%), off second serves 1/1 'delayed' serve-volley - and 0/1 'delayed' return-approaching
Match Report
A fine match, though it ends suddenly and anticlimactically. To put the match in perspective, according to telecast, Lendl was unbeaten in the year to date (25-0), had lost 1 of his last 61 matches stretching back to a point in 1985 and hadn't dropped a set in his last 14 matches. Becker was 10-3 for the year.

The carpet surface is medium of pace and both men hold serve reasonably comfortably. Lendl - as he did in the '85 Masters final, focuses his 'attack' on Becker's BH. I say 'attack' because a healthy chunk of it is just hitting routine BHs and even slices cross court and presumably, waiting for Becker to make the error. However, he does a hit a fair number of inside-out FHs too

Becker's BH holds up well to the challenge. While conceding more errors than his opponent, he gets the ball back most of the time and is able to change the dynamic with BH dtl shots

Becker probably has the better FH in the match. He hits with power off his favoured wings and takes charge of points with it. Lendl does too, but he holds back somewhat - and makes more errors than usual

The serve vs return dynamics play a crucial part in the result. Becker isn't serve-volleying much (about 50%), but still draws plenty of return errors. Now Becker's serve is a handful, even when he's staying back and he does serve a good percentage (67%)… but Lendl is capable of neutralizing, as he has in other matches between the two. I'd say Becker gets the credit here... Lendl's ability to neutralize the big serve on occasion is exceptional, not a reasonable norm to hold him (or anyone) to.

On the flip side, Becker returns particularly well - hitting with authority and as well as consistency

Lendl's passing is spectacular. He makes a number of running passing shot winners... all of which I would have favoured him to miss. Becker's volleying is also good - though I've given him 5 unforced errors on the volley, most are marginal and could just as readily have been marked forced (mostly, they're low-ish volleys to balls of average power)

Becker fails to serve out the first set, which instead heads to a tiebreak. He leads 6-3 in that before Lendl bangs down an ace and a service winner to make the score look closer than it was

The second set goes like the first.... both players comfortably holding serve, until Lendl is broken in a compactly played game by Becker. Lendl makes 2 volleying errors - 1 the first point of the game, the second the last - to yield the game.

Down a break and serving to stay in the match, Lendl plays a relatively sloppy game to get broken for the second time in a row. He makes 3 errors - including a double fault and a FH inside-in winner attempt on match point

One senses that Becker's solidity (i.e. not making many errors) forced Lendl to take a more aggressive approach than he would have liked. He's not slow to adapt, but his execution is less than ideal

Fine, consistent match from Becker - with a good blend of hanging in the neutral rallies, taking the initiative with strong FHs, serving and returning well and volleying judiciously. Nothing majorly wrong with Lendl's showing... just suffers let downs at inopportune times
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Moose Malloy

Interesting to see Becker with more non service winners than Lendl. In their 3 grand slam finals and the 88 YEC Final Lendl had more non service winners in all 4 matches despite losing all 4.

I'm old enough to remember this Chicago event, it was a pretty hyped final at the time(there were many big indoor events in the US early in the year back then)

67% is a pretty high serve % for Becker, it was pretty low throughout 1989(his best year)
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