Becker–Edberg rivalry

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The tennis players Boris Becker (Germany) and Stefan Edberg (Sweden) met 35 times between 1984 and 1996.[1] Although Becker led their overall head-to-head series 25–10 and won all three of their Davis Cup matches, Edberg won three of their four meetings in Grand Slams.

The most defining aspect of their rivalry was the three successive Wimbledon finals that they played. In the 1988 meeting, Becker was the huge favorite, and stormed to the first set 6–4. The second set was to be the most memorable, when in a fit of courage and tennis acumen Edberg won a tight set in a tiebreaker 7–2. Edberg went on to win the next two sets 6–4, 6–2 to win his first Wimbledon title and deny Becker a third title in four years. In the 1989 meeting, Becker, having lost to Edberg a month earlier in the French Open semifinals, raced to win the first set 6–0. The second set was closer, but won in a tiebreak by Becker 7–1. Becker went on to win the third set 6–4. This was Becker's third Wimbledon title, which would be his last Wimbledon crown. In the 1990 meeting, Edberg swept the first two sets 6–2, 6–2. However, Becker rallied to win the next two sets 6–3 6–3. Becker broke Edberg early in the fifth set, setting up the possibility of being the first Wimbledon champion since Henri Cochet in 1927 to win the final after losing the first two sets. Yet, this was not to be as Edberg regained the break and then broke Becker in the ninth game of the set with a topspin lob winner, eventually serving it out for a second Wimbledon championship.[2][3][4][5]

Following his 2009 Wimbledon final, Roger Federer in the post-match press conference cited the Becker–Edberg rivalry in Wimbledon finals as his inspiration for choosing to play tennis over soccer.[6]

Head to head[edit]

Becker—Edberg (25–10)[edit]

Year Tournament Surface Round Winner Score
1984 Cologne Hard R32 Stefan Edberg 6–4, 6–4
1985 Philadelphia Carpet R32 Stefan Edberg 6–3, 6–1
1985 Las Vegas Hard R16 Boris Becker 6–3, 6–7(3), 6–2
1985 Germany vs Sweden Carpet F Boris Becker 6–3, 3–6, 7–5, 8–6
1986 Dallas Carpet SF Boris Becker 7–6(4), 7–6(7), 4–6, 7–6(2)
1986 Montreal/Toronto Hard F Boris Becker 6–4, 3–6, 6–3
1986 Tokyo Carpet F Boris Becker 7–6(5), 6–1
1986 New York City Carpet SF Boris Becker 6–4, 6–4
1987 Indian Wells Hard F Boris Becker 6–4, 6–4, 7–5
1987 Montreal/Toronto Hard SF Stefan Edberg 6–2, 6–4
1987 Cincinnati Hard F Stefan Edberg 6–4, 6–1
1988 Dallas WCT Carpet F Boris Becker 6–4, 1–6, 7–5, 6–2
1988 London (Queen's Club) Grass F Boris Becker 6–1, 3–6, 6–3
1988 Wimbledon Grass F Stefan Edberg 4–6, 7–6(2), 6–4, 6–2
1988 New York City Carpet RR Stefan Edberg 7–6(5), 3–6, 6–4
1988 Germany vs Sweden Clay F Boris Becker 6–3, 6–1, 6–4
1989 French Open Clay SF Stefan Edberg 6–3, 6–4, 5–7, 3–6, 6–2
1989 Wimbledon Grass F Boris Becker 6–0, 7–6(1), 6–4
1989 Paris Carpet F Boris Becker 6–4, 6–3, 6–3
1989 New York City Carpet RR Boris Becker 6–1, 6–4
1989 New York City Carpet F Stefan Edberg 4–6, 7–6(6), 6–3, 6–1
1989 Germany vs Sweden Carpet F Boris Becker 6–2, 6–2, 6–4
1990 London (Queen's Club) Grass SF Boris Becker 6–4, 6–4
1990 Wimbledon Grass F Stefan Edberg 6–2, 6–2, 3–6, 3–6, 6–4
1990 Sydney Hard (i) F Boris Becker 7–6(4), 6–4, 6–4
1990 Stockholm Carpet F Boris Becker 6–4, 6–0, 6–3
1990 Paris Carpet F Stefan Edberg 3–3, retired
1991 Stockholm Carpet F Boris Becker 3–6, 6–4, 1–6, 6–2, 6–2
1992 Brussels Carpet SF Boris Becker 4–6, 6–4, 6–2
1992 Frankfurt Carpet RR Boris Becker 6–4, 6–0
1993 Doha Hard SF Boris Becker 6–4, 6–4
1994 Frankfurt Carpet RR Boris Becker 6–7(3), 6–4, 7–5
1995 Basel Hard QF Boris Becker 6–4, 3–6, 6–3
1996 Doha Hard R32 Boris Becker 6–2, 7–5
1996 London (Queen's Club) Grass F Boris Becker 6–4, 7–6(3)
Legend
Grand Slam
Tennis Masters Cup
ATP Masters Series
Davis Cup
ATP International Series

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ten great tennis rivalries". The Independent. July 8, 2008. Retrieved 2010-12-08. "Boris Becker v Stefan Edberg. Time span: '84–96 (35 matches) Head to head: Becker 25, Edberg 10. Grand Slam finals: Three; Edberg won two. Wimbledon: Three finals, 1988, 1989, 1990." 
  2. ^ Rajat Jain. "Wimbledon Rivalries: Elegance vs. Charisma". Bleacher Report. Archived from the original on 24 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  3. ^ "Wimbledon’s greatest rivalries". Wimbledon. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  4. ^ John Parsons (2003-04-29). "Becker resumes Edberg rivalry". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  5. ^ "Most notable tennis rivalries (Open era)". The Boston Globe. 2006-08-25. 
  6. ^ Sarah Crompton. "Stefan Edberg's appointment as coach to Roger Federer helps revive memories of a past era". Telegraph. 

External links[edit]