newyork85_86lendl_becker (masters)

Points won by each set: [ 27-16, 44-35, 29-22 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
20 % Lendl – 18 of 87
27 % Becker – 24 of 86

1986 it was the only year in which two ‘Masters’ finals were played: both were consisted of the same participants and similar scenarios… Over the course of the 1986 year, the event changed its format (from play-offs to ’round robin’) and appearance of the court (tramelines were removed because the doubles Masters was moved to London).
The West Germany teenager employed different tactics on both occasions. On January 19, 1986, he had been often moving forwards; 323 days later (December 8, 1986 – Monday!) he was serving harder and trying to outmanoeuvre Lendl from the back of the court (especially in the 1st set). In their first ‘Masters’ final, Becker led 5:2* (15-all) in the 2nd set, then squandered a set point at 6:5 – Lendl served his last ace and won the ensuing tie-break easily with the help of Becker’s two double faults. “I broke him down in that tiebreaker” Lendl said. “I was a little bit quicker, I counter-punched on his approaches. Becker is doing great and there is no question that with the serve he has, he can beat anyone anytime. But his game is up and down and it is difficult to answer how big the gap is between us. For me, it is never wide enough.” It is a measure of Becker’s determination that he did not concede. He crashed into the railing trying to chase down Lendl’s forehand volley winner in the 3rd game of the final set, bloodying his knee. Lendl helped Becker to his feet, and after a 3-minute injury delay, the match resumed. “The doctor said I need some stitches,” Becker said. “But the knee didn’t bother me. I won three straight games after that because he thought the match was over.” Masters ’85 – the only YEC with 16 participants.

Lendl’s route to his 53rd title:
1 Tomas Smid 6-1, 6-0
Q Tim Mayotte 6-3, 6-3
S Andres Gomez 6-4, 7-5
W Boris Becker 6-2, 7-6(1), 6-3

Points won by each set: [ 36-27, 36-25, 35-26 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
35 % Lendl – 26 of 73
32 % Becker – 36 of 112

In their second ‘Masters’ final, Lendl totally controlled his own 15 service games losing just 12 points (3, 4 & 5 in sets respectively). Becker entered the match with his career-best winning streak – 21 (all wins indoors), including a 4-set victory over Lendl in Sydney. If the West German had won the final, he would have become the best player in the world (in the fans perception because Lendl despite winning one Slam less had already clinched the No. 1 ranking before the final). He needed another four years to do that though… “He was better in the first six months, I was better in the last six months,” Becker said. He was eager to prove himself the best, and Lendl was determined to show the world otherwise. Beaten and somewhat bowed, Becker said after the match: “He is No. 1, he deserves it.”

Lendl’s route to his 62nd title:
rr. Andres Gomez 6-3, 7-5
rr. Stefan Edberg 6-3, 6-4
rr. Yannick Noah 6-4, 6-4
S Mats Wilander 6-4, 6-2
W Boris Becker 6-4, 6-4, 6-4

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1 Response to newyork85_86lendl_becker (masters)

  1. Voo de Mar says:
    The 1985 edition is the only one featuring SIXTEEN participants (TWELVE in the years 1982-84… EIGHT in the years 1972-81 and 1986-onwards)

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