Boris Becker's Wimbledon Dynasty: A Champion at 17, Dominant at 18

Boris Becker became a two-time Wimbledon champion in 1986 at 18

by Jovica Ilic
SHARE
Boris Becker's Wimbledon Dynasty: A Champion at 17, Dominant at 18

In 1985, the young German Boris Becker stunned the tennis world after becoming the youngest and the first unseeded Wimbledon champion at 17! That's one of the most significant achievements in the game's history, and Boris had to face an even more challenging task a year later, having to prove that the title was not a one-time miracle.

Becker passed the test in style in 1986, losing just two sets in seven encounters to defend the crown and become a two-time winner of the most prestigious tennis event at 18! It was the 100th edition of Wimbledon, and there were some surprising results before the semi-final.

There were no Americans in the last four for the first time since 1970, while four Europeans left in the title chase for the first time since 1909. Jean Borotra, the oldest Wimbledon champion still alive, presented the trophy to Boris, while Don Budge and Fred Perry were also in the stands during the title encounter.

In the final on July 6, Boris ousted world no. 1 Ivan Lendl 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 in two hours and two minutes in a serve & volley contest that left no room for more extended exchanges. Boris claimed 94 points, nine more than Ivan, with both creating nine break points.

The German converted five while the Czech scored two, losing the edge in the pivotal moments to stay empty-handed in another Major final. Both players rushed forward on every occasion, with over 70 points at the net for each.

It was a high-quality contest with under 30 unforced errors mixed up with quick exchanges. Almost 80% of the points ended within three shots, and only three rallies went beyond the sixth stroke! Becker had to dig deep right from the start.

He fended off three break points in the encounter's first game before Lendl found a way to secure a break at 2-2 with a backhand down the line winner. Becker broke back instantly to gain the mental advantage and repeated that at 5-4 to clinch the opener.

Boris Becker defeated Ivan Lendl in straight sets in the 1986 Wimbledon final.

Boris hit two return winners to kick off the game and forced Lendl's errors to wrap up the first part of the match in style. The Czech had some troubles on serve early in the second set before earning a break point in game five.

Boris denied it with a good attack and stayed on the positive side. Like in the rest of the encounter, Boris used his chances much better than Ivan and broke in game eight to forge a 5-3 advantage. Becker held at love in the next one to clinch the set 6-3, dropping only six points behind the initial shot and moving a set away from the title defense.

Lendl did his best to remain composed and focused. He broke in the third set's second game to forge a 4-1 lead, dropping only two points in the first three service games and settling into a fine rhythm. Becker raised his level to pull the break back in game seven and delivered a nice hold a few minutes later to level the score at 4-4.

The Czech had 30-30 on return in the last three games after breaking Becker but failed to take another step and increase his advantage. As it turned out, that single break was not enough to keep him safe until the end of the set.

Ivan held at love in game nine and forced Boris to serve to stay in the set. Lendl earned an immense opportunity to break Becker and reduce the overall deficit. The Czech went 40-0 in front with three winners before the German fired three volley winners to return to deuce.

Boris won the following two points and made a crucial hold to level the score at 5-5, sending all the pressure back to Ivan. World no. 1 could not deal with it and lost serve to push Boris ahead. Lendl grabbed the first two points on the return in game 12 before Becker claimed one of the best points in the Wimbledon finals to make the result even at 30-30.

The young gun gained a boost and sealed the deal with two service winners, celebrating back-to-back Wimbledon crowns at 18.

Boris Becker Wimbledon
SHARE