Boris Becker leads tributes to Wimbledon hero Peter Doohan after tragic death at age of 56
Boris Becker has led the tributes to former Australian tennis player Peter Doohan, who has died at the age of 56 after a short battle with motor neurone disease.
Doohan produced one of the greatest upsets in WImbledon history when he denied teenager Becker a third straight Wimbledon title with victory over the German icon in the second round out on the old Court One in 1987.
He was dubbed the 'Becker Wrecker' after his victory, and rose to a career-high of world number 43 and 15 in doubles, but he will always be remembered for his legendary victory 30 years ago. Becker paid his condolences with poignant words via his Twitter feed.
"RIP mate! You were the better player," said Becker in reference to the 7-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 defeat.
"My heartfelt condolences to the family of #PeterDoohan ! The tennis fraternity lost a great guy and wonderful player!"
Australia's governing body Tennis Australia released a statement on Saturday confirming Doohan's death.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends," said Tennis Australia.
“Peter was unbeaten in Davis Cup representation. He won the South Australian Open singles title and reached No.15 in doubles, winning five titles during his distinguished career.
“Following his retirement, Peter coached in the United States, after first studying at the University of Arkansas, where he was all-American and a NCAA champion. He returned to live in Australia in 2009.
Unseeded Australian tennis player Peter Doohan after his second-round victory against Boris Becker of West Germany in the Championships at Wimbledon, London, 26th June 1987. Doohan defeated the defending champion and top-seeded player, 7-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.Eurosport
“The tennis community rallied around Peter during his battle with a particularly aggressive form of motor neurone disease which was diagnosed just nine weeks ago
“A moving tribute to Peter, led by former Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald, along with a fundraising auction, were featured at the annual International Club Wimbledon Dinner at Kooyong last week.
“Peter is survived by his mother Thelma, his sons John (26) and Hunter (23), both based in the United States, and his sisters Cathie and Margaret.
“His funeral will take place in Newcastle with further details to follow.”