Boris Becker Puts his Weight Behind Woods

ABU DHABI — Tennis legend Boris Becker put his weight behind embattled Tiger Woods and said that the golfer name on the list of Athlete of the Decade was because of his achievements and not because of his private life.

By James Jose

Published: Thu 11 Mar 2010, 12:06 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 9:05 AM

The six-time Grand Slam champion Becker is an Academy member of the Laureus World Sports Awards.

“He’s on the list because of his great achievements and not because of his private life. He is potentially the greatest golfer ever. We heard a story or two that we didn’t expect. But that shouldn’t matter. His next challenge would be to come back. True champions have to come back from difficult situations. This is going to be his greatest challenge to come back and I’m sure he will,” Becker said of Woods, on Tuesday.

Regarding the Athlete of the Decade, Becker tipped Roger Federer as the favourite. “I will stick to my guns. I’m from tennis, male tennis. I don’t know much about women’s tennis, but I consider Roger Federer as the greatest champion of the decade. He has been the No.1 for a record time. Coming from tennis, I know how difficult it is to win more than 16 Grand Slams over seven years. Now, in , individual sport, everything depends on you. We have other great guys, but, in my opinion, Federer is the one,” said Becker, an Olympic gold medallist.

Becker, the youngest ever winner of the men’s singles title at Wimbledon at age 17, said it was unfair to compare him and Sampras to the generation of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. “You cannot compare generations. There have been lot of changes since then in terms of racquets, the speed of the game. It was slower earlier. But it is unfair to compare. You can’t diminish the level of Federer or any other athlete. In Formula One, if Michael Schumacher’s car breaks down, he wouldn’t be able to win. Winning a Grand Slam year in and year out is just outstanding. But we will never know who was the greatest. Both were great. To call him greatest is right because he has won two more Grand Slams than Sampras,” said Becker.

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