Bates, the British No 1, had a few hiccups in his first- round tie against the Frenchman Guillaume Raoux, but won comfortably in the end 7-5, 6-3. Becker, the sixth seed and world No 10, will be a different proposition today. Bates has never taken a set off the German in four previous meetings over nine years.
But just a day after reaching the final of the Direct Line tournament at Beckenham, Bates' pre-Wimbledon warm-up on grass continued to go well.
Against Raoux, Bates, who had lost in both previous meetings, missed three break points in the Frenchman's first service game. He held on to his serve by saving two break points. He saved two set points in the eighth game, then broke Raoux in the ninth, going on to win the set.
In the second, Bates broke Raoux twice, the Frenchman receiving a code violation from the umpire for swearing.
'I seemed to play well on the big points,' Bates said. 'These days I'm not panicking when the crisis arrives, because I know in every game there is going to be a crisis.'
Chris Bailey, the British No 5 returning after a four- month spell out with a knee injury, got through his first- round match, beating America's Doug Flach 6-3, 6-4.
Arantxa Sanchez Vicario yesterday accused Mary Pierce of arrogance before they met in the final of the French Open.
Sanchez Vicario, the world No 2, who beat Pierce 6-4, 6-4, on Sunday said on her return home to Barcelona: 'When she beat Steffi (Graf) she seemed to think that she had it sewn up, but she had one more match to play to be champion.
'My victory gave Mary Pierce a smack in the face and now she should have a bit more respect for her opponents.'