Tennis Fool· Registered
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Becker, three others inducted into Hall of Fame
NEWPORT, R.I. -- Boris Becker looks like he still could be out on the court, contending for titles.
Boris Becker won Wimbledon in 1985 at the age of 17.
Instead, he's enjoying retirement, and Saturday he became the second-youngest person inducted to the Tennis Hall of Fame.
Becker never considered a comeback, even after watching Martina Navratilova win the Wimbledon mixed doubles championship at age 46 last weekend.
"For me, if I was to imagine coming back after 11 years and wearing shorts -- I don't think they would have shorts big enough,'' the 35-year-old Becker said. "When I retired in 1999, I left for good. I couldn't imagine coming back.''
Bjorn Borg was the youngest Hall of Famer, inducted at 31 in 1987.
Becker entered the Hall along with Francoise Durr, Nancy Richey and Brian Tobin. It's appropriate that the induction ceremony took place on a grass court, because that's the surface where Becker made his mark.
He won Wimbledon three times, doing so first in 1985 at 17, making him the youngest player to take the title at the All England Club. The German also was the first unseeded man to win there.
"Defending it in 1986 might have been my most important Grand Slam victory,'' he said. "I couldn't imagine when I was a little boy winning Wimbledon at 17 and 18.''
He also won Wimbledon in 1989.
His six career major titles include two at the Australian Open (1991, 1996) and one at the U.S. Open (1989).
But Becker never did win the fourth Grand Slam tournament: the French Open.
"That was the only one I didn't win,'' he said. "I was in the finals a couple of times, but that doesn't count. You have to win.''
Becker leaned over to Durr -- the French Open women's champion in 1967 and doubles titlist from 1967-71 -- and joked about a trade.
"Maybe we can swap a little bit,'' he said. "I can give you a Wimbledon, and you can give me a French Open.''
He was a member of Germany's Davis Cup teams from 1985-89, capturing the crown in 1988 and 1989. He finished his career with 49 singles titles and 15 doubles. In addition, he and Michael Stich won the doubles gold medal at the 1992 Olympics.
Durr, 60, won 12 Grand Slam titles, 11 in doubles. Richey, also 60, was the world's No. 2 player in 1969. A San Angelo, Texas native, she won six Grand Slams, with two singles titles (1967 Australian Open, 1968 French Open).
Tobin, 72, was honored for contributions to the game, including guiding completion of a stadium for the Australian Open in 1988.