Points won by each set: | 31-28, 36-40, 14-27, 51-47, 27-13 |
Points won directly on serve:
27 % Becker – 40 of 146
23 % Mattar – 40 of 168

One of the biggest Davis Cup upsets of the 90s as Germany (champion 1988-89 and 1993) was eliminated by Brazil in the first round. The first problem for the Europeans appeared before the tie when Stich had to withdraw due to shoulder injury. The Germans were big favorites anyway because Steeb was still much higher ranked than two Brazilians who were supposed to play singles.
Germany miraculously won the first rubber as Becker (his first trip to South America) withstood six match points and the hostile crowd. After the first two sets the German [5] couldn’t deal with high humidity (85%) for more than an hour playing terribly and suddenly trailing 2:5* (15/40) after 3 hours 18 minutes, and 4:5 (0/40) he played his best tennis! He saved six match points on return in total:
2:5 – forced FH error; backhand passing-shot; 17-stroke rally and Mattar [136] makes FH error (the only adv. MP)
4:5 – three forehand passing shots to save the triple match point (two crosses and down the line)
Becker was exhausted after one of the most amazing Open Era comebacks from 1-2 in sets and couldn’t fully help Jelen in doubles. He withdrew from the fourth match against Oncins. Nikki Pilic surprised a bit appointing the debutant Zoecke [56] instead of much more experienced Jelen [118], who was finishing his career. Zoecke played better than could have been expected, but squandered a match point at *5:3 in the fifth set to lose after 5 hours 16 minutes! “I don’t even know how to describe what I’m feeling.” Oncins said. The Brazilian heroes (Mattar & Oncins – they had been preparing themselves for two weeks before that tie) faced each other a few days later in the Maceio first round; Mattar won 7-6, 5-7, 6-1. They contributed in similar fashion to defeating Italy two months later in the quarterfinals – Mattar lost the opening rubber after 5 hours 47 minutes (!), but Oncins won another two singles while the Motta/Roese pair triumphed in doubles again. # Two weeks after the Davis Cup weekend, Becker survived another extraordinary five-setter.

BRAZIL d. GERMANY 3-1 in Rio de Janeiro (clay)
Boris Becker (GER) d. Luiz Mattar (BRA) 6-4, 5-7, 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-0 – 6 m.p.
Jaime Oncins (BRA) d. Carl-Uwe Steeb (GER) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(5)
Cassio Motta / Fernando Roese (BRA) d. Boris Becker / Eric Jelen (GER) 7-5, 6-4, 6-3
Jaime Oncins (BRA) d. Markus Zoecke (GER) 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(3), 2-6, 7-5 – 1 m.p.
Luiz Mattar (BRA) vs. Carl-Uwe Steeb (GER) cancelled

# Comparison of Becker’s two extraordinary five-set victories within two weeks of ’92:
Davis Cup (1R): Becker d. Mattar 6-4, 5-7, 1-6, 7-6, 6-0 – 6 m.p… 4 hours 22 minutes… Total points: 159-155
Brussels (F): Becker d. Courier 6-7, 2-6, 7-6, 7-6, 7-5 – 3 m.p…. 4 hours 54 minutes… Total points: 193-198

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply