Sport Novak Djokovic celebrates a point in his first round victory against Lukas Lacko of Slovakia

Defending champion looked rusty by his high standards

Tennis: Becker bounces back

Boris Becker staged an impressive comeback to upset Michael Stich 6-2 7-5 yesterday in an all-German semi-final at the Volvo International in New Haven, Connecticut. Stich, the top-seed, was up 3-0 in the second set before Becker, seeded second, slowly crept back. The key to Becker's victory came when he broke Stich in the ninth game to cut his deficit to 5-4. He meets the winner of the second semi-final, between Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marc Rosset.

View from City Road: Mishandled from start to finish

At Wimbledon for the tennis yesterday, Sir David Scholey, chairman of SG Warburg Group, might have reflected on an old military truism as he watched Boris Becker being beaten in straight sets by Goran Ivanisevic; battles are not won, they are only lost. It would be hard to find a more fitting epitaph for Enterprise's botched pounds 1.6bn bid for Lasmo, which ended in abject failure yesterday as Becker was playing his last desperate shots on the Centre Court.

It's love-thirty at half time and three-nil in the final set

I HAVE received many letters from people who are being driven round the bend by the combination of Wimbledon and the World Cup. They want to know how how they can get away from them.

Tennis / Wimbledon '94: Memories of Forget fuel Briton's will: John Roberts on the singles encounters to savour on the first day of week two at the All England Club

THE deja vu is such that your correspondent makes no apology for recycling a line from two years ago: though the Centre Court scoreboard will say Forget Bates, we must regard it as a label rather than a directive.

Tennis: Bates brings house down: Britain's leading player flies the flag before a nine-times champion takes over Centre Court ovations

MIDDLE Saturday is when Wimbledon goes native. And it did so in a big way yesterday when Jeremy Bates produced a performance of wonderful skill and nerve to earn himself a place in the tournament's last 16 for the second time in three years and keep the Centre Court crowd enthralled.

Tennis: Sampras powers to title

PETE SAMPRAS, the world No 1, won the Japan Open for the second successive year when he beat his American compatriot, Michael Chang, 6-4, 6-2 in the final.

Tennis: Holm puts away Lendl

(Photograph omitted)

Tennis: Tiriac claims damages from Becker

BORIS BECKER, the three-times Wimbledon champion, was named in a pounds 11.3m claim for damages brought against him in New York by his former manager, Ion Tiriac, who was sacked by the German last summer after a 10-year association, it was reported yesterday. Becker's lawyers are likely to seek to have the case heard in Germany rather than in an American court where awards for civil damages claims are usually high.

Happy Anniversary: Another defeat for England

SOME of the dates you might otherwise have overlooked in the coming week, historically a period of mixed fortunes for composers, but generally good for women and tennis players.

Tennis: Becker misses out on ATP finals

Boris Becker will not be defending his ATP title in Frankfurt next week after a 7-6, 6-3 defeat by the Swede Magnus Gustafsson in the semi-finals of the European Community Championship yesterday cost him a qualifying berth. Becker was bidding for the last spot in the lucrative ATP finals, but his defeat put him out of the running.

327,000 lap up strawberries and sun at Wimbledon: Boris Becker fails to halt Pete Sampras, leaving way clear for an all-American final on Independence Day

AS TWO Americans, Pete Sampras and Jim Courier, made their way into the men's singles final at Wimbledon yesterday, the All England Championships prepared to celebrate the first tournament that has been uninterrupted by the weather since 1977, writes Matt Tench.

Big Brother is watching Boris Becker: How many statistics can tennis fans stomach? Computers now tell us more about a match than we ever need to know, says Susan Watts

IF YOU visit Wimbledon this week, you may notice the occasional pair of spectators hunched over what looks like a sawn-off computer keyboard. One will be tapping away furiously, the other glued to the match.

Today's Number: 125

The speed in mph of the fastest serve so far on Wimbledon's Centre Court. The server was Marc Goellner, who nevertheless lost to his German compatriot Boris Becker (119mph).

Tennis: Grandest of anniversaries

TENNIS looks forward to a year of anniversaries, highlighted by the 100th women's singles championship at Wimbledon (21 June to 4 July). The inaugural women's title was won in 1884 by Maud Watson, who defeated her elder sister, Lilian, in the final. Maud received a silver flower basket (value 20 guineas), Lilian a silver and glass hand mirror and silver- backed brush (value 10 guineas). Steffi Graf, the 1992 champion, received pounds 240,000.

Sport in Short: Tennis: Boris Becker has hired the Austrian Davis Cup captain, Gunther Bresnik, as his new coach

Boris Becker has hired the Austrian Davis Cup captain, Gunther Bresnik, as his new coach
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