Becker says runner-up can be proud
BORIS Becker has told Andy Murray he should be proud of his Wimbledon final display, describing the Scot as “spectacular” in spite of the defeat in four sets to Roger Federer.
“He played in a Grand Slam final very much like he belongs there,” Becker told BBC Sport.
“He’s not afraid of the occasion and he can go head-to-head with the likes of Federer and he should take all the positives from that. He should be very proud of his performance. He was spectacular.”
Murray lost 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 against Federer whilst appearing as the first British men’s singles finalist at Wimbledon since 1938. Victory for the Swiss brought him his seventh win at SW19 and 17th Grand Slam title overall.
Murray’s defeat took his number of Grand Slam final losses to four, having been beaten in three consecutive Wimbledon semi-finals.
“The poor guy is put under so much pressure throughout the whole championship,” added Becker, winner of six Grand Slams, including three Wimbledon titles. “He’s the only hope this country has for somebody seriously having a go at the title.
“He didn’t buckle, he didn’t falter. He played extremely well and he should build from there.”
Ivan Lendl, Murray’s Czech coach, appeared in 19 Grand Slam finals and Becker has detected the influence his old rival has had on Murray.
“The work Ivan has done is tremendous,” he continued. “You can see Andy’s whole attitude is more positive. He plays his forehand better but there is still a lot of work to be done.
“You can argue that this is one of strongest eras of all time but then the [John] McEnroe - [Jimmy] Connors era wasn’t too shabby, then you had [Andre] Agassi and [Pete] Sampras and I’d like to think my era was pretty tough - there is never an easy time in tennis.”
Meanwhile, Becker’s fellow BBC pundit Richard Krajicek – the 1996 Wimbledon champion – said: “It was Andy’s best effort so far to win a Grand Slam. It shows he is still growing and still improving. At 4-4 in the second set, he had two break points and had he made that he would have gone two sets up so he was really, really close. After Andy lost the second set it was an impossible task as the momentum changed and Federer did not give that away.
“Andy’s first serve percentages have to be better. I think maybe the only thing was the back-hand down the line. But as for the rest, Roger played some unbelievable shots and always had the answer.”
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