Becker pressed by British journalists after dispatching Bergstrom

June 30, 1994|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Sun Staff Writer

WIMBLEDON, England -- Boris Becker has this Wimbledon trauma figured out.

"The main problem is Andre Agassi is out of Wimbledon, and you have to find a guy to fill in the space and you find him here in me," Becker said.

It all started when Becker received the now famous minute's worth of "unethical" stretching help from his trainer on a bathroom break during his match Saturday. The controversy showed no sign of abating yesterday.

British journalists spent most of their day asking past, present and future Becker opponents if the former Wimbledon champion uses illegal distracting and delaying tactics.

Yesterday, after Becker defeated Christian Bergstrom, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-3, to advance to the semifinals, the British press tried to nail him again for an incident on set point during the first-set tiebreaker.

The pair were in a rally when Bergstrom came to the net and smashed the ball. Becker and half the crowd on Court 1 thought the ball was long. As Becker stretched to make the return, he also raised his free arm to note the ball was out.

Bergstrom said he was distracted by Becker's arm action and missed his forehand volley because of it.

"But I wouldn't go as far as calling it cheating," said Bergstrom. "In every match, you do what you have to do and what is best for you to win.

"I didn't lose the match because of anything Boris did. I lost because he was the better player."

Becker called the incident "unfortunate on set point" and then told his inquisitors exactly what he thought of their questioning.

"I want to make one thing clear," he said. "I don't like what's going on for the past two or three days. I'm doing the same things for the past 10 years. All of a sudden, this is not supposed to be fair play. I'm within the rules. Everybody has their way of doing things on the court. Everybody knows how I'm doing them.

"Maybe the main reason why [my opponents] speak up is because they lost. . . . This is no small, little tournament, where we go to have some fun. This is the most important tennis tournament for all the players in the world. Everybody is trying their hardest to win. I'm doing everything within the rules -- sometimes I don't do things as fast as the other guys on the court, but I never have.

"I don't delay anything. I've always been the guy who walks around the court a little bit. It's just my way of doing it. But I'm doing it in the first point, I'm doing it after two hours and I'm doing it after four hours. It's just my style. I want to make that clear."

Rockville gold

Paul Goldstein, 17, of Rockville moved into the third round of the boys singles championships yesterday, with a 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 victory over Tomas Zib of the Czech Republic.

Stoic Goran

After moving into the semifinals and discovering his next opponent will be Becker, Goran Ivanisevic seemed unruffled.

Asked what he will do if Becker calls for a timeout when he's about to serve, Ivanisevic said:

"That's OK. I will stop and try to hit an ace after ace. I play him a lot. I know him. He can do whatever. He can stop me serving. He can go to the locker room. He can do whatever he thinks he wants to do. I mean, I'm going to play my game. If he beats me, he's too good."

Record speed

It isn't an auto race, but speeds are being broken. First Markus Zoecke hit a serve at 134 mph to tie the record of Marc Rosset.

Then, yesterday, Ivanisevic served at 136 mph during his match with Guy Forget.


Centre Court

Women's semifinals

* Martina Navratilova (4) vs. Gigi Fernandez

* Lori McNeil vs. Conchita Martinez (3)

Men's doubles


* Wayne Ferreira and Michael Stich (16) vs. Marius Barnard and Brent Haygarth

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