Who is greater: Becker or Wilander? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Who is greater: Becker or Wilander?

Lleyton_
07-16-2009, 05:57 PM
_________AU FR WB US Total Tour Finals Weeks at no.1 Career Titles h2h

Becker 2-0 0-0 3-4 1-0 6 3-5 12 49 7
Wilander 3-1 3-2 0-0 1-1 7 0-1 20 33 3




Seems like Becker to me.

Action Jackson
07-16-2009, 06:03 PM
Wilander 3-0 in the Slams over Becker.

Wilander won Slams on 4 surfaces, something Becker never did.

Goldenoldie
07-16-2009, 06:12 PM
Wilander heavily indebted to his success on clay. Becker my pick overall

Action Jackson
07-16-2009, 06:15 PM
Wilander heavily indebted to his success on clay. Becker my pick overall

Yes, of course he won less Slams, made less Slam finals, was 0-3 against Wilander in GS, spent less weeks at number 1.

Becker never won a clay title, Wilander titles on his worst surface.

duong
07-16-2009, 06:16 PM
Wilander 3-0 in the Slams over Becker.

Wilander won Slams on 4 surfaces, something Becker never did.

yes I know your arguments :rolleyes: (for the slams 2 of them were in Roland-Garros with the best Wilander on his best surface against a Becker who was less than 20 : in these conditions anybody but Lendl would have been beaten)

Becker (7-3 against Wilander) also beat Wilander 3 times in the Masters Cup, twice in Davis Cup and once in a "Masters Series" final (Cincinatti).

I don't really think that the H2H is a good argument in favour of Wilander :rolleyes:

Fortunately statistics don't say all :lol:

My opinion is Becker (even if I think Edberg had a better carreer than Becker, to please Action_Jackson :lol: , Wilander is different)

And if Roland-Garros had been as complicated as the Australian Open in that time, no doubt that Becker would have won it :lol:

I will not say anything more in this thread.

DrJules
07-16-2009, 06:43 PM
There was little in it.

Becker was better on grass and indoors while Wilander was better on Clay. The was little in it on hard courts.

Becker spent more years in top flight tennis. Wilander was basically from 1982 to 1988 a top player while Becker was top flight from 1985 to 1996.

Worst Grand Slam for Wilander was quarter finals at Wimbledon and for Becker semi-final at French Open.

Har-Tru
07-16-2009, 07:32 PM
Wilander 3-0 in the Slams over Becker.

Wilander won Slams on 4 surfaces, something Becker never did.

This.

straitup
07-16-2009, 08:00 PM
Wilander...more GS, won on all surfaces, and he was just so unplayable at his best. Definitely one of the most underrated players in history

Sapeod
07-16-2009, 09:26 PM
I picked Boris, but they're pretty similar IMO.

Arkulari
07-16-2009, 10:29 PM
I prefer Boris, but Wilander was no mug, so heart says Boris, head says Wilander :shrug:

MacTheKnife
07-16-2009, 10:45 PM
Interesting match up. Wilander was 3-7 vs Becker, but all three wins were in slams. I picked Wilander simply due to versatility.
I always felt like Mats just carried this burden of playing in the shadow of Borg.

Ouragan
07-16-2009, 11:54 PM
I'd tie them.

Har-Tru
07-17-2009, 12:55 AM
I'd tie them.

That's a rather unsportsmanlike tactic.

Kolya
07-17-2009, 04:25 AM
Wilander.

guga2120
07-17-2009, 04:37 AM
Mats, was the better all court player.

GlennMirnyi
07-17-2009, 04:43 AM
Becker.

Wilander only won a slam on grass because it was the MM slam.

Lillith
07-17-2009, 04:52 AM
This is like trying to choose between Sampras and Nadal, just too different players who flourished on different surfaces. They both had good careers, and are both in the 2nd tier of tennis greats, but really aren't that comparable to each other.

And Edberg was better than both, anyway. :)

GlennMirnyi
07-17-2009, 05:07 AM
This is like trying to choose between Sampras and Nadal, just too different players who flourished on different surfaces. They both had good careers, and are both in the 2nd tier of tennis greats, but really aren't that comparable to each other.

And Edberg was better than both, anyway. :)

No it's not.

You can't EVER compare Sampras to Nadull.

CyBorg
07-17-2009, 05:09 AM
I think Becker had a slightly better career than Mats. It's close and it's not wrong to go with Wilander either.

Becker's weak surface (clay) was weaker than Mats's (grass). Some have mentioned already that Mats won two grand slam titles on grass at the Australian.

Becker, however, excelled on two surfaces - grass and indoor carpet. Whereas Mats was great probably only on clay, but still very good on hardcourt/carpet types of surfaces (should I say Wilander was great on hardcourts? Hard to argue with Australian/US in 1988).

I think what gives Becker a bit of an edge to me is the excellent run he put together late in his career, particularly 95/96. That was a return to glory of sorts. Mats didn't age as well.

I might feel differently about this tomorrow. I far prefer Wilander as a player. I hated watching Becker. That painfully ugly serve was just unpleasant to watch and he also had a very overrated second serve - I loved watching Agassi destroy it ferociously.

guga2120
07-17-2009, 05:40 AM
I loved watching Agassi destroy it ferociously.

It was always very intresting to watch Andre, play him. Boris, just didn't know what was going on with somebody returning his serve like that.

Mimi
07-17-2009, 05:52 AM
Wilander 3-0 in the Slams over Becker.

Wilander won Slams on 4 surfaces, something Becker never did.

which 4 surfaces? it seems that he has never won Wimby?

Action Jackson
07-17-2009, 06:05 AM
which 4 surfaces? it seems that he has never won Wimby?

Do you have Mirnyi on ignore? In his own clumsy way he mentioned it, he won the Aus Open on grass and Rebound Ace, RG, US Open, yes 4 surfaces.

FairWeatherFan
07-17-2009, 10:41 AM
Becker gets my vote because he had greater longetivity at the top of tennis and in my opinion one can't read too much into Wilander's AO wins. Actually, the entry list for tournaments was quite good, but the AO was not taken very seriously at that time. And if Wilander had genuine ability on grass, one would think he would get past the QF of Wimbledon at least once, whilst Becker at least reached SFs of FO on several occasions...
I have respect for Wilander, but IMO he was lucky to avoid the power game...he could not deal with the changed nature of tennis when the big hitters arrived, and that is a mark against his name.

Action Jackson
07-17-2009, 12:15 PM
Becker only gets fairweather's vote because he won Wimbledon, never in doubt.

JolánGagó
07-17-2009, 12:31 PM
I will not say anything more in this thread.

Oh no, what a horrible loss.

Wilander.

FiBeR
07-17-2009, 07:03 PM
Benji by a mile.. he retired Agassi
end of discussion

lessthanjake
07-17-2009, 08:12 PM
Mats Wilander is the better player in my opinion.

He is the ONLY player to win 2 Grand Slams on all three surfaces. Agassi, Nadal, and Connors only won one on clay, while Nadal has only won one on hard. Wilander won 3 on clay, 2 on hard, 2 on grass. Pretty impressive.

The only argument against him is that his two Australian Opens on grass were not legit because players didnt go to those. This is actually just not the case, at least in the years he won it.

In 1983 Wilander had to defeat two-time defending champion Johan Kriek in the quarters, then a prime McEnroe, then Ivan Lendl in the finals. That's a really tough draw; let's be honest, and he only dropped one set total against those three players.

His 1984 draw was a lot easier. However, he still had to beat a young Stefan Edberg, Johan Kriek again, and then Kevin Curren who would make the Wimbledon finals the next year. I can find plenty of RG/USO/Wimbledon winners who went through a lesser draw than that to win those tournaments.

______________________________________

So Wilander gets lots of points from me for being so versatile that he could win multiple slams on every surface. He also gets points over Becker IMO for his brief dominance. Winning 3 slams in 1988 goes a long way in my opinion. Becker won two slams one year, but wasn't that close to 3.

Becker gets point from me for winning the Masters Championship 3 times to Wilander's 0. It shows that Becker was better on carpet. He also was good for longer. So I guess it is close, but to me versatility and dominance are a big deal.

Malul
07-17-2009, 08:12 PM
tight mat(s)ch,i say wilander for his consistence ´82-88

Action Jackson
07-17-2009, 08:21 PM
Oh no, what a horrible loss.

Wilander.

You are not a fan I see?

Malul
07-17-2009, 08:28 PM
No you say Wilander for this http://imgsrv2.tennisuniverse.com/tennisforum/images/flags/Sweden.gif

village fool?

jonathancrane
07-17-2009, 08:31 PM
Mats Wilander is the better player in my opinion.

He is the ONLY player to win 2 Grand Slams on all three surfaces. Agassi, Nadal, and Connors only won one on clay, while Nadal has only won one on hard. Wilander won 3 on clay, 2 on hard, 2 on grass. Pretty impressive.

The only argument against him is that his two Australian Opens on grass were not legit because players didnt go to those. This is actually just not the case, at least in the years he won it.

In 1983 Wilander had to defeat two-time defending champion Johan Kriek in the quarters, then a prime McEnroe, then Ivan Lendl in the finals. That's a really tough draw; let's be honest, and he only dropped one set total against those three players.

His 1984 draw was a lot easier. However, he still had to beat a young Stefan Edberg, Johan Kriek again, and then Kevin Curren who would make the Wimbledon finals the next year. I can find plenty of RG/USO/Wimbledon winners who went through a lesser draw than that to win those tournaments.

______________________________________

So Wilander gets lots of points from me for being so versatile that he could win multiple slams on every surface. He also gets points over Becker IMO for his brief dominance. Winning 3 slams in 1988 goes a long way in my opinion. Becker won two slams one year, but wasn't that close to 3.

Becker gets point from me for winning the Masters Championship 3 times to Wilander's 0. It shows that Becker was better on carpet. He also was good for longer. So I guess it is close, but to me versatility and dominance are a big deal.

Good post, I agree. Never liked Wilander as a player and Becker is one of my heroes, but in an objective way Wilander was the better player

Action Jackson
07-17-2009, 08:39 PM
Good post, I agree. Never liked Wilander as a player and Becker is one of my heroes, but in an objective way Wilander was the better player

Simple Becker played an attacking game and won Wimbledon, therefore he doesn't get overlooked. Wilander who had better numbers, but not as spectacular, therefore he is underrated.

DrJules
07-17-2009, 10:38 PM
Simple Becker played an attacking game and won Wimbledon, therefore he doesn't get overlooked. Wilander who had better numbers, but not as spectacular, therefore he is underrated.

Yes Wilander was ahead on many numbers and Grand Slams may be the most significant titles, but cannot avoid considering other aspects as well.

In many number Becker was ahead; more titles, higher match winning percentage, head to head, year end masters titles, number of weeks in top 10 and he won their 2 Davis Cup final encounters (they were indoors rather unlike their grand slam encounters on clay and rebound ace which has a lot to do with why Wilander won them). When they played the surface determined who was better rather than either player being actually better; Becker would win on grass or indoors and Wilander on clay and slow hardcourts.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Players/Head-To-Head.aspx?pId=B028&oId=W023

DrJules
07-17-2009, 10:43 PM
which 4 surfaces? it seems that he has never won Wimby?

Here is Austalian grass in 1983:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2WIBU6i-Ac

GlennMirnyi
07-17-2009, 10:50 PM
Wow, Johan Kriek.

Now I'm definitely saying Wilander.

:rolleyes:

lessthanjake
07-17-2009, 10:56 PM
Wow, Johan Kriek.

Now I'm definitely saying Wilander.

:rolleyes:

McEnroe and Lendl too. Obviously those two are the bigger deal than Kriek.

Beating Kriek, McEnroe, and Lendl in one tournament is about as tough as it gets given that you can't face other top players until the last couple rounds.

DrJules
07-17-2009, 10:58 PM
McEnroe and Lendl too. Obviously those two are the bigger deal than Kriek.

Beating Kriek, McEnroe, and Lendl in one tournament is about as tough as it gets given that you can't face other top players until the last couple rounds.

Lendl on grass in the first half of the 80s was rather interesting.

GlennMirnyi
07-17-2009, 11:03 PM
McEnroe and Lendl too. Obviously those two are the bigger deal than Kriek.

Beating Kriek, McEnroe, and Lendl in one tournament is about as tough as it gets given that you can't face other top players until the last couple rounds.

Lendl on grass... yeah, no.

Defeating McEnroe could've been a fluke. Even if it weren't, it's still his only decent win then.

Nobody cared for the AO those days.

DrJules
07-17-2009, 11:09 PM
Lendl on grass... yeah, no.

Defeating McEnroe could've been a fluke. Even if it weren't, it's still his only decent win then.

Nobody cared for the AO those days.

Here is some discussion.

http://wilandertribute.com/22.html

It seems the Australian Open followed the indoor season.

lessthanjake
07-17-2009, 11:29 PM
Lendl on grass... yeah, no.

Defeating McEnroe could've been a fluke. Even if it weren't, it's still his only decent win then.

Nobody cared for the AO those days.


The AO in those days was not a particularly strong tournament. For instance, Jimmy Connors did not go to it that year. HOWEVER, it is a legitimate win IMO if the draw he played against was GS quality and he won best of 5 set matches against all of them.

In this case, he beat the two-time defending champion Kriek in the quarters, prime McEnroe in the semis, and Lendl in the finals. That is totally legitimate.

-He beat Roscoe Tanner in the third round. Not a particularly great player at that point in his career, but he was a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon that year, so he was dangerous on grass.

-Kriek was obviously quite weak for a two time slam winner, but he was a top 10 level player who played very well and had a lot of confidence on the Australian Open grass. That is a tough player to play for a quarterfinal.

-McEnroe was IMO one of the top 5 players ever on grass and in his peak years. Enough said.

-Lendl was not the top player on grass obviously, but he made the semis of Wimbledon that year (losing to eventual champion McEnroe) and would continue to do quite well at Wimbledon without winning for many years.

Tell me what would have been a harder draw for that tournament in that year.

The only realistic thing I can think of is if he had to play Connors instead of Lendl, but Lendl made it two rounds further at Wimbledon that year than Connors, so its not like Connors was that much better that year on grass.

The semi-finalists at Wimbledon that year were McEnroe, Chris Lewis, Kevin Curren, and Lendl. Wilander beat McEnroe and Lendl at the Australian. Lewis was in the Australian draw but lost. The only Wimbledon semifinalist not in the Australian draw was Curren, but I hardly think thats a big deal as Wilander proved he could beat Curren on grass in the next year's Australian Open. Furthermore, Wilander beat Wimbledon quarterfinalist Tanner. That was a tough draw.

GlennMirnyi
07-17-2009, 11:53 PM
The AO in those days was not a particularly strong tournament. For instance, Jimmy Connors did not go to it that year. HOWEVER, it is a legitimate win IMO if the draw he played against was GS quality and he won best of 5 set matches against all of them.

In this case, he beat the two-time defending champion Kriek in the quarters, prime McEnroe in the semis, and Lendl in the finals. That is totally legitimate.

-He beat Roscoe Tanner in the third round. Not a particularly great player at that point in his career, but he was a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon that year, so he was dangerous on grass.

-Kriek was obviously quite weak for a two time slam winner, but he was a top 10 level player who played very well and had a lot of confidence on the Australian Open grass. That is a tough player to play for a quarterfinal.

-McEnroe was IMO one of the top 5 players ever on grass and in his peak years. Enough said.

-Lendl was not the top player on grass obviously, but he made the semis of Wimbledon that year (losing to eventual champion McEnroe) and would continue to do quite well at Wimbledon without winning for many years.

Tell me what would have been a harder draw for that tournament in that year.

The only realistic thing I can think of is if he had to play Connors instead of Lendl, but Lendl made it two rounds further at Wimbledon that year than Connors, so its not like Connors was that much better that year on grass.

The semi-finalists at Wimbledon that year were McEnroe, Chris Lewis, Kevin Curren, and Lendl. Wilander beat McEnroe and Lendl at the Australian. Lewis was in the Australian draw but lost. The only Wimbledon semifinalist not in the Australian draw was Curren, but I hardly think thats a big deal as Wilander proved he could beat Curren on grass in the next year's Australian Open. Furthermore, Wilander beat Wimbledon quarterfinalist Tanner. That was a tough draw.

What's important to analyze here is: were the players aforementioned really motivated? I doubt so.

lessthanjake
07-18-2009, 12:00 AM
What's important to analyze here is: were the players aforementioned really motivated? I doubt so.

It was still a grand slam tournament. Im sure they didnt wanna win it as much as they wanted to win Wimbledon, but it was a grand slam tournament, they got a lot of ranking points for it, a lot of money, and for these guys, if they went, they wanted to win.

GlennMirnyi
07-18-2009, 12:05 AM
It was still a grand slam tournament. Im sure they didnt wanna win it as much as they wanted to win Wimbledon, but it was a grand slam tournament, they got a lot of ranking points for it, a lot of money, and for these guys, if they went, they wanted to win.

Ok, but it's still not Wimbledon. That's the whole point.

lessthanjake
07-18-2009, 12:17 AM
Ok, but it's still not Wimbledon. That's the whole point.

Fine, but the Australian Open STILL isn't Wimbledon. But it does count as a slam.

GlennMirnyi
07-18-2009, 01:12 AM
Fine, but the Australian Open STILL isn't Wimbledon. But it does count as a slam.

It does count as a slam, but doesn't count to make Wilander greater than Becker. ;)

Lourdes
07-18-2009, 03:02 AM
The freaky German.

lessthanjake
07-18-2009, 03:10 AM
It does count as a slam, but doesn't count to make Wilander greater than Becker. ;)

So then it does count to make Wilander one of 5 people to have won a slam on all three surfaces, and the ONLY person to have one more than one slam on all three surfaces? If so, that puts him above Becker in my book, since I put a big premium on versatility between surfaces.

lessthanjake
07-18-2009, 03:59 AM
Let's go over the draws that Becker had for his slams if you still think that Tanner/Kriek/McEnroe/Lendl on grass wasn't tough. I'll list the last few players he had to play:


1985 Wimbledon:
-Nystrom, Mayotte, Leconte, Jarryd, Curren
1986 Wimbledon
-McNamee, Pernfors, Mecir, Leconte, Lendl
1989 Wimbledon
-Krickstein, Chamberlin, Lendl, Edberg
1989 US Open
-Mecir, Pernfors, Noah, Krickstein, Lendl
1991 Australian Open
-Ferreira, Forget, PATRICK McEnroe, Lendl past his prime
1996 Australian Open
-Steven, Kafelnikov, Woodforde, Chang

Most of those draws are WAY on the easy side for a slam. Not saying Becker didn't deserve the slams; you beat what is in front of you. But to denigrate Wilander's titles for lack of competition is absurd. Becker only ever faced two legitimate greats in a single slam once, 1989 Wimbledon. He beat Edberg and Lendl but you guys are saying Lendl was bad on grass, so that doesnt count either???

Let's compare this to Wilander's slams.

1982 French Open
-Lendl, Gerulaitis, Clerc, Vilas
1983 Australian Open
-Tanner, McNamee, Kriek, McEnroe, Lendl
1984 Australian Open
-Simonsson, Edberg, Kriek, Curren
1985 French Open
-BECKER, Smid, Leconte, McEnroe, Lendl
1988 Australian Open
-Saceneau, Jarryd, Edberg, Cash
1988 French Open
-Agenor, Sanchez, Agassi, Leconte
1988 US Open
-Curren, Pernfors, Woodforde, Sanchez, Cahill, Lendl

I think that Wilander's 1982 French Open, 1983 Australian Open, and 1985 French Open draws were DEFINITELY tougher than anything Becker faced. His 1988 French Open and US Open draws were weak, but IMO only Becker's 1989 Wimbledon and 1989 US Opens were definitely tougher than those.

Don't try to say that Wilander's Australian Open titles are not legitimate. His 1983 Australian Open draw was FAR harder than anything Becker ever went through to win a slam.

Action Jackson
07-18-2009, 08:16 AM
Lendl on grass in the first half of the 80s was rather interesting.

He was still better than Wilander on grass.

FairWeatherFan
07-18-2009, 09:28 AM
Let's go over the draws that Becker had for his slams if you still think that Tanner/Kriek/McEnroe/Lendl on grass wasn't tough. I'll list the last few players he had to play..

1985 Wimby was an admittedly weak draw for Becker. Also, he did not play any top players in 1996 AO (though Rusedski-Johansson-Larsson from the rounds you omitted makes it look more decent). The other wins were quite tough draws, especially 89 US Open and 89 Wimby (which I would put on par with Wilander's 1985 FO, though I gotta agree with you on the 1982 FO).

Both Wilander's AO wins were good draws, but nothing special. You overrate greatly the 1983 AO. I mean, McNamee, Tanner, Kriek? Really? The McEnroe win is admittedly impressive, but Lendl himself described the AO as a 'second-rate' tournament. Don't know how much you can read into wins over him there. The 1984 AO is weaker than any draw of Becker's except for perhaps 1985 Wimby.

At the end of the day, I would rate Becker and Wilander about equal in regards to slams. AO pre-1988 simply does not have the same weight as the other slams.

And then Becker wins on other contests.