Becker d. McEnroe 4-6, 15-13, 8-10, 6-2, 6-2 The surprise about this match is how short it was. It contains only 31 more points than the 2008 Wimbledon final -- yet it took up an hour and half more than that match. The official elapsed time ended up as 6 hours 20 minutes. What really drained so much time (besides some disputes about line calls) was McEnroe's deliberate manner in his service games. He took his time between points and particularly when getting ready to start a service game. My stats: Becker won 234 points overall, McEnroe 210. SERVICE Becker won 138 of 204 points on serve. He won 103 of 133 on first serve (77%) and 35 of 71 on second (49%). McEnroe won 144 of 240 points on serve. He won 107 of 151 on first serve (71%) and 37 of 89 on second (42%). (McEnroe's percentage on second serve rose from 27 to 39 to 57 in the first three sets. It might be interesting to watch how he adjusted to get such a high success by the third set; nothing in particular struck me watching the match once). Becker served at 65.2%, making 133 of 204 first serves. By set: 17/28 - 61% 49/80 - 61% 33/48 - 69% 20/29 - 69% 14/19 - 74% McEnroe served at 62.9%, making 151 of 240 first serves. By set: 25/36 - 69% 56/89 - 63% 35/63 - 56% 12/22 - 55% 23/30 - 77% Becker converted 9 of 27 break chances (4 of 13 in the second set alone). McEnroe converted 6 of 17 break chances (3 of 9 in the second set). Becker made his first serve on 10 of 17 break points (59%). He was broken twice on first serve and 4 times on second. McEnroe made his first serve on 17 of 27 break points (63%). He was broken 5 times on first serve and 4 times on second. McEnroe looked mentally discouraged in the last games of the second set, having failed to convert 5 break points that were also set points. Becker failed to break McEnroe after 5 chances in the third set and lost his concentration in the last game. It seemed to me that the players had a letdown after the second set and made many poor returns. No one broke in the third set until the last game. I wonder if McEnroe suffered from simple physical exhaustion after the third set, or whether he was also missing the crowd's support. Later he would complain that much of the crowd left as the match had worn on. What was left of it gave him a standing ovation as the fifth set was about to start and it seemed to help him hold to 2-all (he'd been broken in the fourth set right off the bat, coming back from the break). Becker had 18 aces, 9 df's. McEnroe had 16 aces, 12 df's. (Becker double-faulted twice on break point in the first set. His next service break also came on a double-fault. He also served a double-fault to go down set point in the second set. But he served no df's in the fifth set.) Becker drew 50 return errors (11 with second serves). McEnroe drew 66 (15 with second serves). Out of all these serves I gave Becker 10 service winners, McEnroe 8. WINNERS Becker had 74 clean winners: 27 FH, 27 BH, 9 FHV, 7 BHV, 4 OV. McEnroe had 50 clean winners: 11 FH, 11 BH, 11 FHV, 8 BHV, 9 OV. Becker's winners by set: 6, 27, 19, 11, 11 Mac's winners by set: 7, 26, 12, 2, 3 Becker made 21 return winners (12 off 2nd serve): 7 FH’s and 14 BH’s. 19 returns were passing shots. On top of these he made 22 passing shots, 11 from each side. Altogether he passed McEnroe 41 times. McEnroe made 3 return winners: two BH’s off second serves and a FH pass off first serve. In addition he made 11 passing shots (4 BH’s). Altogether he passed Becker only 12 times. There were two big differences between the two men: Becker went for winners on the returns and could pull them off; and Becker stayed back more often. In the end a large majority of Becker’s winners were ground strokes. ERRORS (forced and unforced) Subtracting the winners and aces from the total points won: Becker made 144 total errors. Of those I counted 66 return errors and 9 double-faults. That leaves him making 69 errors in points that had at least a successful return, that is, in rallies. McEnroe made 142 total errors. Of those I counted 50 return errors and 12 double-faults. That leaves him making 80 errors in rallies. With the two men so close in errors, the difference between them was the (non-service) winners. However in that stat the two men were nearly equal after three sets. AFTER 3 SETS Becker served at 63.46% and won 174 points overall. He won 103 of 156 points on serve: 76 of 99 on first (77%) and 27 of 57 on second (47%). He hit 14 aces, 52 other clean winners, plus 9 service winners. He passed McEnroe 30 times. He made 112 total errors (50 returns, 8 df’s, 54 rally errors), and converted 5 of 20 break chances. McEnroe served at 62% and won 170 points overall. He won 117 of 188 points on serve: 85 of 116 on first (73%) and 32 of 72 on second (44%). He hit 13 aces, 45 other clean winners, plus 4 service winners. He passed Becker 10 times. He made 108 total errors (42 returns, 7 df’s, 59 rally errors), and converted 6 of 16 break chances.

Stats from ESPN My count agrees with these, but I didn't take any net stats: At 6-all in the second set, each man had won 71 points. At 11-all in the second set, each had won 102 points. At 5-all in the third, 289 points had been played – 169 in the second set. After four sets 395 points had been played. At 1-3 in the fourth set, Becker had made 18 return winners, McEnroe 3. Becker had won 54 of 86 net approaches (or 63%), McEnroe 106 of 177 (or 60%). In the press it was reported that Becker went on to win 22 straight points on serve in his first two sets against Mayotte (serving at 79% in the first set, 81% in the second.) That's the highest streak I know of, up to that time.

If anyone wants to help by proofing my numbers, please have a go at it. I'm confident in my counts but with such large numbers it would be natural to have a mistake somewhere.

This is sort of on the high end for both players, no? Esp for such a long match. Of course we haven't done many matches where they played another S&V type player, but its surprising to me how low their serve %'s were when they played Lendl & Wilander in some matches. I wish I could find out what the serve %'s were for the entire year for Mac in '84 & Becker in '89, I'm guessing less than 60%. Were there a lot of love games? It seems to me that Mac's pace of play really fluctuated over the years. He played rather quickly vs Lendl & Connors(even in the 5th set) at the '84 USO, but played slowly vs Connors(& I think Borg) at '80 W & USO. And then played very slowly vs Lendl in some of their late 80s matches(their Dallas WCT '89 Final took forever despite very quick points) any chance you're doing the '82 Mac-Wilander DC match?

Why bother?? You're very thorough. Of the matches you've done which I compared to my own, all were almost identical. Plus you seem more accurate than the ATP website anyway. The only discrepancy I've had with you is grounstroke and volley winners. I remember the 2002 US Open F we both had the same ammount of winners overall for Sampras, but 3-5 were dispersed differrently between groundtrokes and voleys. We talked about half volleys, etc. But you're on point damn near all the time.

1984 average As it turns ESPN put up a graphic displaying Mac's "1984 average": 1st serve percentage - 57% Success on 1st serve - 75% Success on 2nd serve - 55%

On my sheet I've got 16 love games (12 were service games by Becker -- but note that two of those games were breaks at love). There were 72 games played, so an average of 6.2 points per game -- not an unusual number.

Just wanted to add that although I have McEnroe passing Becker "only" 12 times, and getting passed 41 times himself, McEnroe was coming in a lot more. ESPN's stat above has him approaching about twice as much.

Additional stats Success on serve, in rallies of 2 or more successful shots: Becker 61% on first serve (47/77) and 46% on second (23/50). McEnroe 48% on first serve (40/84) and 35% on second (22/62).

Anyone who's interested in this thread should try to get a copy of their 1986 Stratton Mountain, VT final. Exceptional, big-stakes tennis in a smaller, best-of-3-sets package.

looks like Mac relied on getting more free points on serve than Becker, sorta surprising. have you noticed any patterns on this stat so far? like players winning __% of points when the serve is returned end up winning the match?

Mac really should have won that match. He was up 6-3 in the final tiebreak with two serves coming to him. But he double-faulted and then put out a volley. Becker took away the third match point with an ace, and that was that. It's too bad he let that match slip away, because a win would have given him more confidence in his later matches with Becker.

I was surprised too, but then again McEnroe got a lot of unreturned serves. Not seeing a pattern yet. I'll be posting more of these as I calculate them, maybe a pattern will emerge.

Just wanted to add, this difference between them is mainly due to the last two sets. In the first three sets Mac was winning 52% of the time when his first serve was returned; Becker was at 57%. On second serve, Mac was at 38%, Becker at 44%. That's generally true of all the stats -- Becker gets a windfall in the last two sets.

Yes, Mac had his chances on serve, and Boris turning those chances around just adds to the match's greatness.