In the latest of the GiveMeSport series looking back at Boris Becker’s most memorable Wimbledon moments, he recounts possibly his lowest point at the championship.
In 1987 Becker arrived in SW19 as number one seed and defending champion, looking to become only the third man at the time to win a hat-trick of titles.
All seemed fine in the first round encounter with Czech Karel Nováček, as the German looked in good shape and he cruised to a straight sets victory.
Becker’s second round opponent was world number 70 Peter Doohan from Australia and another simple victory was expected in Court Number One.
However, all did not seem well from the start for Becker, as his unseeded opponent was playing out of his skin and was producing a level of tennis that was not expected of him.
Not only was Doohan playing above himself, he was hitting the lines and volleys with astonishing consistency for someone of his ranking.
Becker looked flustered when he lost the first set tie break and, but he recovered his composure to take the second set and, much like everyone else watching, probably assumed he would see out the match.
It was not be, however, because Doohan came right back into the game and produced the performance of his life to take the next two sets with relative ease – his victory supposedly landed him the nickname ‘The Becker Wrecker’ in his homeland.
The champion did not look right throughout and many would excuse him for feeling a little sorry for himself after being on the end of one of the biggest upsets in Wimbledon history.
No chance. As we have seen before in Becker’s previous memorable moments, self-pity is something that happens to other people.
It was after the match that he gave one of the best and possibly most philosophical post-match interviews by a top level sportsperson that had just suffered a huge shock:
“I didn’t lose a war, nobody died; I lost a tennis match. He was just the better player today.”
It is easy to forget Becker was only 19 years old at the time, as his levelheadedness and maturity one would typically associate with a person much older than he was.
Click here to see Boris Becker’s previous memorable moment and watch the brilliant post-match interview below...
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