Tennis: Becker poised to follow Graf

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BORIS BECKER, the three- times Wimbledon champion, may follow in the footsteps of his German compatriot, Steffi Graf, by cutting back on his tournament appearances next year.

With his fiancee, Barbara, expecting their first child in January, the world No 3 has has already pulled out of the Australian Open in January.

'I don't know how I will handle the situation. It's obviously going to change my life very much,' Becker said after a practice session before next week's Australian indoor championships in Sydney.

'It probably will affect the number of tournaments I will play in, but it's the biggest thrill of my life so far. I haven't made my mind up about (playing) the Davis Cup (in the future).'

Jermey Bates' revival in the Salem Open in Kuala Lumpur came to an end yesterday when the British player lost

6-3, 6-2 in the quarter-finals to the Australian, Neil Borwick.