For­mer Aus­tralian ten­nis pro Peter Doohan dead at 56

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - OBITUARIES -

For­mer ten­nis pro­fes­sional Peter Doohan, whose best­known vic­tory was over Boris Becker at Wim­ble­don in 1987, has died aged 56, Ten­nis Aus­tralia said in a state­ment on Satur­day.

Doohan was di­ag­nosed nine weeks ago with a par­tic­u­larly ag­gres­sive form of mo­tor neu­rone dis­ease.

On July 1, the Aus­tralian cel­e­brated the 30th an­niver­sary of his vic­tory over Becker in the sec­ond round at Wim­ble­don, which was then con­sid­ered one of the big­gest up­sets in the tour­na­ment’s his­tory. It was the ear­li­est de­feat by a de­fend­ing men’s cham­pion in 20 years.

Becker was the top seed and two-time de­fend­ing cham­pion while Doohan was ranked 70 af­ter be­gin­ning the year ranked 301. He won 7-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, earn­ing the nick­name “the Becker Wrecker.” Becker said at the time: “I think I’m a bet­ter player than he is, but he was like magic, guess­ing ev­ery­thing I would do.”

Doohan won one ATP sin­gles ti­tle and five dou­bles ti­tles, and reached a best sin­gles rank­ing of 43 and a dou­bles rank­ing of 15 be­fore he re­tired in 1996.

Becker on Satur­day tweeted a pic­ture of him­self with Doohan with the mes­sage “RIP mate! You were the bet­ter player.”

Be­fore turn­ing pro, Doohan played at the Univer­sity of Arkansas where he won an NCAA dou­bles ti­tle and made All Amer­i­can.

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