Becker left in the dark
Simon O'Hagan sees the German giant struggle against a Romanian qualifier
In his time, Becker has been the supreme exponent on grass, hard courts and indoor surfaces, but put him on clay and the effect, as with so many players whose game is founded chiefly on power, is emasculating.
For that reason the French title has always eluded him. In eight attempts the best he has managed is three semi-final appearances, in 1987, 1989 and 1991. Last year he pulled out on the eve of the tournamant with a back injury, but there was little disguising Becker's indifference to what had happened.
This year, seeded No 3, he started promisingly. His first-round match, against the clay-court specialist, Javier Frana of Argentina, was exactly the sort he might have lost, but he disposed of him in straight sets. In the second round Becker had to go the distance (8-6 in the fifth) to overcome Jared Palmer of the United States.
The challenge of Voinea has so far proved tougher still. Ranked 128 in the world, Voinea came through qualifying to beat Karol Kucera of Slovakia and Johan Van Herck of Belgium in the first and second rounds respectively. His whippiness and mobility in establishing a 6-3 6-4 lead made Becker look particularly lumbering on this surface.
Now based in Perugia in Italy, having left his native land in 1989, Voinea has only ever played in two Grand Slam tournaments - last year's French when he was knocked out in the first round, and this year's Australian Open when he was knocked out in the second. Whatever happens now against Becker, and the odds must be in Voinea's favour for all his opponent's powers of recovery, he has already exceeded his expectations.
One other men's third-round match will need completing today, when Sergi Bruguera, the holder, resumes against the New Zealander, Brett Steven, with a 6-3 6-2 3-3 lead. Notable among the matches that were completed was the continuing progress of the exciting young Australian, Scott Draper, who beat Richey Reneberg of the United States in four sets, and the straight- sets victory of the unseeded Andrei Chesnokov of Russia over the No 14 seed Todd Martin.
There were also wins for Michael Chang, Magnus Larsson, Renzo Furlan and Michael Stich. To the disappointment of the Centre Court crowd, Stich saw off the last home player, Arnaud Boetsch, but needed five sets to do so. So of the 17 Frenchmen who entered, not one got further than the third round.
Actress isn't a fan of Ed Miliband
Do you qualify – and how do you get it?
The Mayor of London's sister, Rachel Johnson, apologises for shocking tweet about the PM
Latest in Sport
Phil Hughes head injury: Cricket world reels as Australian opener fights for his life
Sam Wallace: Players of Suarez’s standing just don’t sign for clubs like Liverpool
Phil Hughes injury: Batsman had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him
Manchester City vs Bayern Munich comment: Frank Lampard's part in City win shows folly of letting him leave
Manchester City vs Bayern Munich: Nasri admits City stars will be sold if they fail in Europe
- 2 Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 4 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 5 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
£25000 per annum + Benefits: Langley James : Trainer, Technical, Field Based, ...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Banqueting Head Waiter / Wait...
£20000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a newly launched web b...
£25000 per annum + benefits: Langley James : Trainer, Technical, Field Based, ...