Becker hopes for British triumph

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The Independent Online

As the youngest player to lift the men's championship there is not a lot Boris Becker does not know about what it takes to win Wimbledon. Encouragingly for Tim Henman, the German legend – who picked up the first of his three titles in 1985 when just 17 years-old – believes that the British Nol 1 can still triumph in SW19.

"There is no reason why Tim should not win it next year," said Becker on a flying visit to London to promote the Honda Challenge seniors tour event at the Royal Albert Hall in December.

"Tim was just a rainy evening away. If it had not rained he would have beaten Ivanisevic. And Goran won the whole tournament, so he was that close. That was probably the toughest loss he has had in his whole career. Maybe the loss this year will help him next year. Tim has improved each year and is at a stage where he is coming to terms with his ability."

The 33-year-old also repeated the familiar complaint that the modern game lacks characters, but refused to blame the players.

"I don't think the young players today are any different to 20 years ago," Becker insisted, "but the system doesn't allow them to show the side of their personality we all want to see. If you play 20 or 30 tournaments a year it just becomes a job. You only have a few tournaments like Wimbledon: the rest are not all on the same level."