Boris Becker defeated John McEnroe 6-4, 7-5!
Becker bounces McEnroe in exhibition
September 7, 2002
By Santosh Venkataraman
SportsTicker Staff Writer
FLUSHING, New York (Ticker) After his 1995 loss to Pete Sampras in the Wimbledon final, Boris Becker said he wanted his last match at the All-England Club to be against Sampras. It wasn't.
Becker never said he wanted his last match at the U.S. Open to be a forgettable exhibition against John McEnroe. But it was.
The 34-year-old Becker rode his serve-and-volley game to a predictable 6-4, 7-5 victory over the 43-year old McEnroe in an exhibition match that preceded the women's singles final.
"I've played a number of matches," Becker said. "I played a tournament or two the last last week or two. It shows."
Becker kept the pressure on early and often and earned $50,000 for the charity of his choice, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. The 74-minute match featured no-ad scoring and a no-nonsense attitude from each player, which resulted in little of McEnroe's infamous histrionics.
With McEnroe failing to engage in any arguing with the chair umpire or linesmen, most the best lines came from the sparse crowd at Ashe Stadium. McEnroe gave a "thumbs up" sign to one fault call from a linesman, which prompted a fan to scream, "You cannot be serious!"
Afterward, Becker was more eager to talk about his charity than his crumbling backhand that resembled a weekend hacker.
"We started Sport for Good Foundation three years ago," he said. "We have a charity where we support young kids in social areas where they never had the chance to do sports. So we have projects from all around the world, from Asia to South Africa. I'm the chairman of that charity."
McEnroe, a four-time U.S. Open champion, displayed the cutting angles and soft hands on the court that he is known for. But the lack of outbursts and personality left bored expressions on numerous spectators, including his long-time girlfriend, singer Patty Smyth.
"Everything was great, except the way I played," the ever-competitive McEnroe said.
Becker did not apologize for defeating an opponent nine years older than him, even though Sunday's men's final features contemporaries of his in 32-year-old Andre Agassi and the 31-year-old Sampras.
"I'm proud of my generation," Becker said. "I'm proud to see that players I used to get beaten up by, or sometimes I did give the beating back, that they are still out there and still have a chance to win Grand Slams."
Last edited by treufreund; Sep 8th, 2002 at 05:30 AM.