30 Jul 2006 05:27:33
Heroes' Heroes: Roger Federer, on Boris Becker

This is the reason why Becker will be recognized as one of the greatest
presences in the game though he just won 6 grand slams. The way he
filled the imagination and created electricity on court and for tennis.
LEndl may have won more slams but imagine someone of the stature of
Federer pointing to Lendl as an inspiration...

Heroes' Heroes: Roger Federer, Wimbledon champion and world No 1, on
Boris Becker
posted 03/20/05 (edited Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 11:44)
from Times Online
Interview by Barry Flatman

Roger Federer, newly crowned Indian Wells champion and world number
one, talks about his relationship with the Edberg-Becker rivalry

TEARS and Wimbledon finals: I guess for me, after failing to keep a
grip on my emotions as Sue Barker interviewed me minutes after
collecting my first title on Centre Court, the two will be forever
linked.

Yet I'm informed by my parents that I was crying about the outcome of a
previous final 15 years before my 2003 triumph. The reason? My first
sporting hero, Boris Becker, had been beaten. To a six-year-old, defeat
all seemed so tragic. How was I to know that Becker would go on to win
his third Wimbledon title a year later? Or that he would also collect
the champion's trophies at the Australian Open twice and the US Open?
Or that five-and-a-half years after he first threw himself to victory
on that most beautiful of tennis lawns, he would finally become the
world's No 1 ranked tennis player? I hadn't even started playing tennis
back then, but I knew that where I came from, Boris was everybody's
favourite player.

As I became more knowledgeable about tennis, I came to appreciate the
man who beat my hero was another great player. Stefan Edberg was a
wonderful stylist of the art of serve and volley and one of the most
fluent athletes ever to play the game. Friends tried to persuade me
that Edberg's game was classier than Becker's and more akin to my
style. If I wanted a hero, it should be the Swede whose kicked serve
and backhand were supreme.

I understood what they were saying and did not need any prompting to
respect Edberg. Nevertheless, Becker was still the man for me. Look at
the way he took the sport by surprise. He was just 17 when he won that
first title in 1985. But Becker's game was immense. It was the era of
'Boom Boom' and nobody was able to stand in his way.

With my home town of Basel situated on the Rhine, it's hardly
surprising that the German influence is strong, and the more I became
aware of tennis, the more Becker's fame struck me. Then, as indeed now,
he had an immense presence whenever you saw him on the television. Not
just playing tennis, but even being interviewed, he seemed to fill up
the screen and look every inch a star. He played in the same way, he
did everything big and must have been so intimidating to play against.

I have confronted him only once on the court, in an exhibition match
for charity in Geneva 18 months ago. It was an ambition fulfilled,
although I had already got to know him a little. To be told he admires
my tennis is a boost and I feel touched that he says so many nice
things about me. I am not alone when I say that Wimbledon is the most
special place in tennis for me. Although I revere the feats of Pete
Sampras in winning seven years out of eight as a magnificent
achievement, it is the memory of those three consecutive Becker finals
with Edberg that set my imagination racing and put me on course to
where I am today.

Return...



30 Jul 2006 09:47:49
coop-a-loop
Re: Heroes' Heroes: Roger Federer, on Boris Becker

Lendl was a source of inspiration for a guy named Sampras.



30 Jul 2006 11:46:42
Re: Heroes' Heroes: Roger Federer, on Boris Becker

And the great Petr Korda!

:)



30 Jul 2006 14:18:10
Shakes
Re: Heroes' Heroes: Roger Federer, on Boris Becker


looby.ling@gmail.com wrote:
> This is the reason why Becker will be recognized as one of the greatest
> presences in the game though he just won 6 grand slams. The way he
> filled the imagination and created electricity on court and for tennis.
> LEndl may have won more slams but imagine someone of the stature of
> Federer pointing to Lendl as an inspiration...

[SNIP]

becker will always remain as one of the most popular tennis players
whenever past greats are discussed. his was a case of potential
unrealized to some extent.



31 Jul 2006 19:59:18
John
Re: Heroes' Heroes: Roger Federer, on Boris Becker


"Shakes" <kvcshake@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1154294290.521463.179080@s13g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>
> looby.ling@gmail.com wrote:
>> This is the reason why Becker will be recognized as one of the greatest
>> presences in the game though he just won 6 grand slams. The way he
>> filled the imagination and created electricity on court and for tennis.
>> LEndl may have won more slams but imagine someone of the stature of
>> Federer pointing to Lendl as an inspiration...
>
> [SNIP]
>
> becker will always remain as one of the most popular tennis players
> whenever past greats are discussed. his was a case of potential
> unrealized to some extent.

No, Becker was not a case of potential unrealized but more because he was
stubborn individual who was incapable of thinking clearly in some of his
matches
and I was particularly frustrated with his effort in 1990 USO against Agassi
and
during that match he was thinking that he could actually outrally Agassi
from the
baseline and that plan clearly played into Agassi's hand. There were a
number
of Becker's matches followed similar trend during Becker's career. To me
Becker
has a lot of weapons in his arsenal but he was not a clear thinker as player
such as
Agassi or to some extend Edberg, thinking part of game is as important as
physical
skills for any tennis champion, it is his thinking and his mental weakness
that made
Becker less successful.
>




31 Jul 2006 15:47:30
Shakes
Re: Heroes' Heroes: Roger Federer, on Boris Becker


John wrote:
> "Shakes" <kvcshake@gmail.com> wrote in message
> > becker will always remain as one of the most popular tennis players
> > whenever past greats are discussed. his was a case of potential
> > unrealized to some extent.
>
> No, Becker was not a case of potential unrealized but more because he was
> stubborn individual who was incapable of thinking clearly in some of his
> matches
> and I was particularly frustrated with his effort in 1990 USO against Agassi
> and
> during that match he was thinking that he could actually outrally Agassi
> from the
> baseline and that plan clearly played into Agassi's hand. There were a
> number
> of Becker's matches followed similar trend during Becker's career.

[SNIP]

... effectively means his full potential was unrealized. doesn't matter
if it was physical or mental. it's one whole package. he didn't win as
many slams as he could've.

1985-1989, he was a thinking player. his 1989 davis cup match against
agassi was one of the best i've seen. from mid-1990, he became the
stubborn player that he remained till 1995-1996, when he regained his
form again.



04 Aug 2006 11:27:44
Re: Heroes' Heroes: Roger Federer, on Boris Becker

Its funny you should say that. I was just watching that match right
now. And before the match Becker was quoted as saying "Its too boring
to serve and volley all the time". What a contrast from Pete and Roger
where the only thing that matters is the most effective method of
playing to win as many slams as possible. Nothing wrong with
that...they must have seen the McEnroes and Beckers win far fewer grand
slams than their talent indicated and made sure they didnt make the
same mistake!


John wrote:
> "Shakes" <kvcshake@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1154294290.521463.179080@s13g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> >
> > looby.ling@gmail.com wrote:
> >> This is the reason why Becker will be recognized as one of the greatest
> >> presences in the game though he just won 6 grand slams. The way he
> >> filled the imagination and created electricity on court and for tennis.
> >> LEndl may have won more slams but imagine someone of the stature of
> >> Federer pointing to Lendl as an inspiration...
> >
> > [SNIP]
> >
> > becker will always remain as one of the most popular tennis players
> > whenever past greats are discussed. his was a case of potential
> > unrealized to some extent.
>
> No, Becker was not a case of potential unrealized but more because he was
> stubborn individual who was incapable of thinking clearly in some of his
> matches
> and I was particularly frustrated with his effort in 1990 USO against Agassi
> and
> during that match he was thinking that he could actually outrally Agassi
> from the
> baseline and that plan clearly played into Agassi's hand. There were a
> number
> of Becker's matches followed similar trend during Becker's career. To me
> Becker
> has a lot of weapons in his arsenal but he was not a clear thinker as player
> such as
> Agassi or to some extend Edberg, thinking part of game is as important as
> physical
> skills for any tennis champion, it is his thinking and his mental weakness
> that made
> Becker less successful.
> >