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Today in history... teenage Becker stuns Wimbledon

12:00am | & News

Hard to believe, but it is 31 years ago today that fresh-faced German teenager Boris Becker became the youngest ever player to win the men's single title at Wimbledon.

At just 17, he had been an unseeded outsider before the tournament began, but went on to beat eighth-seeded Kevin Curren in a four set final on Centre Court.

Also the first German to win the title, Becker dominated the final from the start, winning the first set 6-3. Curren fought back to take the second set on a tie-breaker but Becker won the third, also on a tie -breaker, and broke Curren's serve to win the fourth set 6-4 and claim the title.

Played in bright sunshine, the final was made more spectacular by Becker's flamboyant style, hurling himself around the court and often diving headlong for baseline shots and volleys. For such a youngster he also appeared supremely confident, throwing unnervingly hostile stares at his opponent with almost the same ferocity as his huge serves.

Anyone who thought Becker's win was a flash in the pan was proved wrong the following year when he won Wimbledon again, taking a third title in 1989. Throughout his career he won a total of six grand slam titles and was world number one in 1991.

Longer term, his attacking style inspired many more up-and-coming players and is still emulated on court today. Becker retired from professional tennis in 1999, at the age of 31, but remained in the headlines, often for the wrong reasons. A messy divorce was followed by an admission that he had fathered a child outside his marriage, and then in 2002 he was given a two-year suspended prison sentence for tax evasion.

Today Becker remains active in the tennis world, where he is one of its most sough-after coaches, currently working with three-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic.

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