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2005 Apr 05 - Becker v McEnroe at Queen's

Legends Boris Becker and John McEnroe will face each other for the first time on a grass court to celebrate Boris' 20th Stella Artois anniversary on 12 June.

In 1985 Boris won the Stella Artois Championships at Queen's Club as a 17-year-old and then went on to win Wimbledon three weeks later.

The pair have played each other ten times and won eight Stella Artois and six Wimbledon titles between, yet it is ironic that they have never met on grass.

Mac is relishing the opportunity to play Boris. He said:

"I always wished I could play Boris on grass, so it's nice that I can get out there with him before it is too late! I'm looking forward to it quite a bit."

The last time Mac won a Wimbledon singles title was in 1984 but he chose not to defend his title in 1985 when the unseeded German claimed his crown. Mac added:

"I decided not to play in '85, the year that Boris won, because I wanted to stay in the States and train on the grass courts there, but the grass courts in New York were a disaster! In hindsight, that was a mistake."

Boris burst onto the scene so quickly that in 1985, Mac - in the prime of his career - showed little respect for Boris.

"I didn't realise how good Boris was at the time.

"The first time that I played Boris was in Milan in March that same year. He was complaining about calls, bitching and whining about everything, so I said to him during the match: ‘You know, you've got to win something before you can start complaining'.

"Little did I know that he would win the Stella Artois and Wimbledon back-to-back just four months later! He was so physically mature and mentally tough for his age, and in retrospect I would have loved to have had the chance to play him during that period of time."

Mac will be taking the Stella Artois match very seriously and will look to improve on his 2-8 win/loss record against Boris.

"I don't play any match that isn't competitive, especially against Boris – I had a lousy record against him. I lost to him most of the time in my career and one of my goals has been to turn that around."

Defending champion Andy Roddick, three-time winner Lleyton Hewitt and our very own Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski have all announced they will play in this years Stella Artois tournament starting 6 June.


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