Becker rises up to defeat Sampras - Sport - The Independent

Becker rises up to defeat Sampras

Tennis

Boris Becker proved yesterday that he is back to his impressive best after a serious wrist injury when he defeated the world No 1, Pete Sampras, in the final of the Stuttgart Open.

Becker delighted his fanatical home fans by coming back twice from behind to end Sampras's 21-match unbeaten run. He won 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Sampras had been seeking his fourth consecutive tournament victory, including the US Open, but he was stopped by a resurgent Becker who surprised himself in a final lasting just under three hours.

``I am a bit perplexed. I never expected to be able to beat him," Becker said. "But you try everything against Pete Sampras in a final like this. My legs hurt in the final set."

Becker's first victory over Sampras since the 1994 World Championship should see him qualify for the same end of season event in Hanover next month.

The contest was not all serve-and-volley despite the quick surface. Both Grand Slam champions were also prepared to play longer, tactical rallies from the baseline before picking their moments to move forward.

The 7,000 crowd roared every point Becker won. He played with their nerves before serving them up a victory to celebrate.

Becker made a perfect start, breaking Sampras's serve in the opening game when the American volleyed into the net. But Sampras bounced back with a break in the sixth game and effectively clinched the set with another break in the eighth game when Becker struck a forehand into the net to give the American a 5-3 lead.

Becker started the second set confidently, taking a 3-0 lead after an early break. This time, despite pressure from Sampras, he managed to hold on to his serve and clinch the set 6-3 with an ace.

Sampras, who beat Andre Agassi in the semi-finals, had the better touch and rhythm in the third set which he also clinched with an ace. But Becker is never more dangerous than when under pressure. He forced the match into a deciding set when he broke Sampras's serve to lead 5-3 in the fourth when his opponent netted a volley and then served out the next game.

At times it was like his younger days as Becker dived acrobatically across the court. The German made the vital break of service in the third game of the final set and held serve, eventually clinching the match with an ace.

"He was just too good today - a great comeback," Sampras said graciously. "There's only one king in Germany and his name is Boris. Becker is the best indoor player I've ever played."

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

Senior QA Engineer - Agile, SCRUM

£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...

Marketing Executive - West Midlands - £28,000

£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...

Retail Business Analyst

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week