Becker casts doubt on Muster's 'recovery'

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Boris Becker found himself embroiled in controversy in Munich yesterday, after he cast doubt on Thomas Muster's "miracle'' comeback win against him in the final of the Monte Carlo Open on Sunday.

The German, who lost the five-set final to the Austrian a day after Muster had collapsed on court and been rushed to hospital suffering from dehydration, questioned how he had recovered in time.

"I don't want to know what he did [Saturday night or Sunday morning]. He has been known to be very fit but [Saturday] on the court he almost seemed to be dying,'' Becker said.

"Just 24 hours later he is down two sets to love and is running quicker in the fifth set than in the first. Either he is a good actor or something unbelievably magical happened overnight."

Becker, who takes part in the Munich Open today against his compatriot, Hendrik Dreekman, was asked if he realised how serious his allegations were. "I am a serious guy. I am just talking about what everybody can see, including myself, '' Becker added.

However, his remarks were immediately criticised by the Monte Carlo Open medical chief, Dr Coudert, who said his first responsibility was to know the list of banned products which could not be administered to players.

Coudert said Muster, who won the match 4-6, 5-7, 6-1, 7-6, 6-0 had been given salt solutions to rehydrate him. "This condition has very spectacular symptoms but the results of treatment are often as spectacular, even if it is medically simple,'' Coudert said.

Muster's win stopped Becker, the three-times Wimbledon champion and a winner of 43 titles, from taking his first title on clay.