Boris Becker has been telling GiveMeSport about his ten biggest memories from his time as a player at Wimbledon – today’s moment is the very first.
A 16-year-old Becker travelled to London to take part in his first ever Championships at the All England Club in 1984 and even made a mark then.
Blaine Willenborg’s career high singles ranking was 50, which he reached later on in the year he met Becker at SW19.
The American was more of a doubles specialist, but he still can’t have expected to come across the kind of performance he was on the end of.
Young Becker was sensational as he dismantled Willenborg in straight sets, thumping him 6-0 6-0 6-4 to set up a clash with another man playing the best tennis of his career.
Nduka Odizor of Nigeria did not have enough to cope with the energetic German and eventually had to retire injured after falling two sets and a break down.
Becker’s next opponent was a different proposition all together; number 14 seed Bill Scanlon, another American, would provide a step up in level for the qualifier.
Becker showed he was ready for the increment in quality, however, and recovered from losing the first set 6-2 to take the second by the same score.
Scanlon claimed a close third set through a tie-break, but he was far from being on top against his powerful opponent.
Becker’s good form made the fourth set incident that would end his tournament all the more agonising, especially as it put to bed any thoughts of a shock and a possible high-profile meeting with John McEnroe in the fourth round.
A nasty slip saw Becker go down and it was later revealed he had torn ligaments in his ankle, ending his dream for that year.
Though it was a disappointing end to his first outing at Wimbledon, Becker certainly made an impression and he would certainly do better in the following year.
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