Now this will be difficult. Say for example in the women’s tournamemt, with Steffi and Seles, and then Venus and Serena at times just toying with the oppponents in the earlier rounds…. similarly Agassi, Pete or Federer more recently…. but that is not a true measure, methinks, since one can never find out if the player was really that good, mostly because the players on the other end could not put up a formidable challenge, mostly because they lacked the basic werewithal to do so….. And this does not exclude the grand slam finals, with the 1988 French Open 6-0 6-0 rout of Zvereva by Graf failing to get a mention because considering Zvereva’s ability as a singles player, and Graf’s form at that point, it owuld have been a no-match come whatever may. Similarly Henin’s recent wins against a choked Ivanovic etc.
So here’s the list I have:
3. Becker beating Edberg in the 1989 Wimbledon finals (6–0, 7–6, 6–4). The greatest in their era, at their best. Becker at his best could blow over almost everyone in Grass. And he did. The second greatest performance ever on Grass, second only to….
2. Sampras beating Agassi in the 1999 Wimbledon finals (6–3, 6–4, 7–5). Agassi, playing at his best, did not have a chance. This was, in my opinion, Pete at his best. And the best ever performance by a male player in any surface against any opposition. Question, what would I think would happen if Becker of the 1989 finals played Sampras of the 1999 finals? Becker is my favourite player of all time, but, well, Sampras would have prevailed, I am sure, in 3 hard-fought sets….
1. Mary Pierce beating Graf in the 1992 French Open Semi-Finals (6-2, 6-2). Graf is the best woman player the world has ever seen, but in this match, she was blown off the court by Pierce, in one of very few instances when she played at her best. Very similar to Becker in the sense that her best was rare, her best was rarer still to be seen than Boris. But this was one match when she strung it all together. As would be expected, she lost the finals to the doughty Spanish counter-puncher Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario.
(Honourable mention: The first set and a half of Agassi vs. Becker, semi-Finals of Wimbledon 1995 (6-1, 4-1). The match ended with Agassi just losing it soon after, and Becker winning in four sets)