INTERVIEW: Becker: Two Wimbledons a unique chance for Federer, Nadal
By Sebastian Fest Nov 25, 2011, 9:14 GMT
London - Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have the best rivalry in tennis history and are the top contenders when it comes to the unique chance of winning twice at Wimbledon next year, former great Boris Becker says.
Becker told the German Press Agency dpa at the ATP Tour World Tour Finals in London that the Wimbledon Grand Slam and the Olympic tournament of the London Games at the same venue a few weeks later offered the chance of a lifetime for players.
'It is the dream of every player to win Wimbledon and the Olympics on the same court. Federer can achieve it but Rafa can do it as well. I have no favourite,' said Becker, who turned 44 on Wednesday.
'But it is unique in tennis history that you can win Wimbledon twice within a few weeks.'
Becker is the youngest Wimbledon champion, having won the first of three titles at the All England Club at age 17 in 1985 on the centre court he famously used to name his living room.
He appeared in six Wimbledon finals between 1985 and 1991, including three straight against his Swedish rival Stefan Edberg.
But neither the Becker/Edberg showdowns nor other famous rivalries come close to the battles the Swiss Federer and Spain's Nadal have fought over the past years, the German icon admits.
'I believe it is the best tennis rivalry of all time. I rate it higher than that between (Bjorn) Borg and (John) McEnroe, between (Pete) Sampras and (Andre) Agassi or between Edberg and myself.
'Nadal and Federer have won 26 Grand Slams between them. That is unbelievable. Apart from this year one of the two was always number one over the past seven years. That has never happened before in tennis.
'I am a big fan of Roger and Rafa, especially their personalities. They show in an impressive way how to be the best in your profession and in winning matches still show respect for the other (player),' Becker said.
Novak Djokovic is the current rankings leader but Becker said the Serb must next year confirm at least some of his remarkable 2011 results, with three Grand Slam titles, to leave a lasting impression.
'I hope that he continues winning at least one Grand Slam. That would confirm the year 2011. If not, you would look back in 10 years and say: There used to be this Serb who had one unbelievable year but apart from that was average. That would be a pity,' Becker said.
'To confirm his status he must have a good year in 2012. A good year means winning one Grand Slam and playing for the number one ranking until the end of the year. I would consider that a very good year.'
While Djokovic has made a huge impression this year, Becker stops short of including Andy Murray in the pantheon of the current tennis generation - at least as long as the Scotsman hasn't won a major.
'Tennis is a very democratic sport. Once you have won (a major) you belong to that group, like Djokovic achieved this year. Therefore I see no Fab Four right now because Murray hasn't won a Grand Slam. I only see a Fab Three,' Becker told dpa.
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