Australian Open 1991,1996
US Open 1989
Boris Becker was tall and strong. He was the first of a new era of big hitters who dominated the game during the late 1980s and 1990s. He had an enormous serve and often served aces when break point down. In his younger days Becker would dive acrobatically around the net executing volleys. He was an intimidating opponent who showed his emotions on court as well as off court in his press conferences. Becker first entered a Grand Slam event as a 16-year-old at Wimbledon in 1984 and was forced to retire from his third round match against Bill Scanlon with an ankle injury. The following year Becker survived a long five set third round match against Joakim Nystrom, came from two sets to one down to beat Tim Mayotte in the fourth round, beat Henri Leconte in four sets in the quarters and Anders Jarryd in four sets in the semis. In the final he faced number 7 seed Kevin Curren and triumphed in four sets to become the youngest champion, first German and first unseeded champion. At Wimbledon '86 Becker beat Mikael Pernfors, Miloslav Mecir and Leconte before a straight sets victory over Ivan Lendl in the final. At the US Open he lost in the semis to Mecir in five sets. At the 1987 French Open Becker beat Jimmy Connors in the quarters before losing in straight sets to Mats Wilander in the semis. Becker failed to win a hat trick of Wimbledon titles as he lost in the second round to the lowly ranked Peter Doohan. At Wimbledon 1988 Becker beat defending champion Pat Cash in straight sets in the quarters and Lendl in four sets in the semis before losing in four sets in the final to Stefan Edberg. Edberg beat him again in the semis of the 1989 French Open in five sets. At Wimbledon Becker outlasted Lendl in five sets in the semis before thrashing Edberg in the final. At the US Open Becker beat Pernfors in the fourth round, Yannick Noah in the quarters and Aaron Krickstein in the semis before a four set win over Lendl in the final. At Wimbledon 1990 Becker beat Cash in the fourth round, Brad Gilbert in the quarters and Goran Ivanisevic in four sets in the semis before losing in five sets to Edberg in the final. Agassi beat him in the US Open semis in four sets. At the 1991 Australian Open Becker beat Pat McEnroe in the semis and Lendl in a four set final to take the title. At the French he beat Chang in the quarters before losing to Agassi in four sets in the semis. In the Wimbledon final Becker looked a lost soul as he was humiliated by fellow countryman Michael Stich in straight sets. This defeat hurt Becker deeply. It signalled the start of a mid-career decline. For the next few years Becker seemed unsure of what tactics to employ to win matches and the aura he had began to slip. At the 1992 Australian Open he lost in the third round to veteran John McEnroe and at Wimbledon he lost in the quarters to Agassi. At Wimbledon 1993 Becker had a satisfying five set win over Stich in the quarters before losing in straight sets to Sampras in the semis. At Wimbledon 1994 illegal bathroom breaks, stalling and raising his hand during a rally were amongst Becker's antics and they managed to put off Javier Frana, Andrei Medvedev and Christian Bergstrom. Ivanisevic was having none of it in the semis and thrashed Becker in straight sets. At Wimbledon 1995 Becker didn't need to resort to stalling, as he hit his best patch of form for four years. Becker survived an epic quarter final against Cedric Pioline 9-7 in the fifth set but trailed Agassi by a set and two breaks in the semis. However, Agassi went off the boil and Becker came back to win in four sets for a famous victory. In the final he lost to Sampras in four sets but Becker had shown he was a force to be reckoned with once again. At the US Open he lost in the semis to Agassi in four sets. At the 1996 Australian Open Becker fought back from two sets to love down to beat Thomas Johansson in the second round and went on to beat Chang in the final to win his first Grand Slam title for five years. At Wimbledon 1997 he lost to Sampras in the quarters and announced his Grand Slam retirement. He did return for one final farewell at Wimbledon 1999 and saved three match points in beating Miles McLagan in first round. He went on to beat Nicolas Kiefer and Lleyton Hewitt, before losing easily to Pat Rafter in round four. In 2002 Becker joined the BBC TV Wimbledon commentary team and his views are much respected. In 2014 Becker joined Novak Djokovic's coaching team.
© GRAND SLAM TENNIS ARCHIVE
HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: A.Agassi 1-4, P.Cash 2-0, M.Chang 2-0, J.Connors 1-0, S.Edberg 1-3, V.Gerulaitis 1-0, L.Hewitt 1-0, G.Ivanisevic 1-2, T.Johansson 2-0, Y.Kafelnikov 1-0, P.Korda 1-0, I.Lendl 5-1, J.McEnroe 0-1, C.Moya 0-1, T.Muster 1-0, Y.Noah 2-0, P.Rafter 0-1, P.Sampras 0-3, M.Stich 1-1, M.Wilander 0-3
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