It's been a rough year for German vet Benjamin Becker, who started 2013 ranked #65.
He made R32 in Auckland then R64 at the Australian Open, losing in straights to Delpo. He made quarters at the Heilbronn Challenger, then lost first round in Zagreb, then he fell to Istomin in the R16 in San Jose after beating Harrison.
Ten tough losses in a row followed. First round in Memphis to F-Lo 4-6 in the third.
First round in Delray Beach to Istomin 5-7 in the third.
First round in Indian Wells Masters to Bob Reynolds 4-6 in the third.
First round at Dallas Challenger to Robby Ginepri 4-6 4-6.
First round in Miami Masters to Aljaz Bedene 3-6 2-6.
Then another first round loss to Reynolds at Guadalajara Challenger 3-6 2-6.
First round loss to eventual champ Alex Kuznetsov 2-6 2-6 at Sarasota Challenger.
First round loss to Malek Jaziri at Tunisia Challenger 1-6 4-6.
First round at Dusseldorf to Tobias Kamke 3-6 2-6.
First round loss to Jeremy Chardy at French Open, 4-6 2-6 5-7.
Finally, out of nowhere, Becker got back on the winning track at the Nottingham Challenger, beating Mattias Bachinger 6-3 in the third. Then he beat Steve Johnson 6-2 in the third, then Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-1, then in the semis he beat Kenny DeScheeper 6-2 6-1 before losing the final to Matthew Ebden 5-7 in the third.
Back on track with some tough wins under his belt, Becker headed to Queens Club at defeated Bernard Tomic in the first round 6-4 6-7 7-6. Today in the round of 32 Becker beat Lukas Rosol 7-6 7-5. His next matchc in R16 will be against Alex Dolgopolov.
11 losses in row - ten straight first round exits is near Spadea-like. Heckuva comeback by Becker to right the ship.
Got to talk with Becker in Sarasota before one of his doubles matches and what a super cool and nice guy he is. Some of the things he told me: He lives in Fort Lauderdale near the ocean. He also lives in Munich and prefers life in Germany but he loves the weather of Florida.
He says he tried yoga a few times but hurt himself doing it and thus stopped. He said Agassi used to joke about how inflexible he was, showing how Agassi would try to bend over, but Agassi could only bend over about an inch or two, that's how stiff his back was.
Becker said after he ended Agassi's career at the US open, when he came to the locker room after all the hoopla, everyone in the room greeted him with stares and silence. At the time Becker was a new kid on the tour out of Baylor University and most players didn't know him. He said some players were even crying for Agassi.
At a Davis Cup match in Germany vs. Argentina, he said the Argentine contingent only numbered about 30 people but they were so much louder than the Germans, with their singing and enthusiasm, he was very impressed by the Argentine's passion and support.
He said German tennis is struggling now to produce young talent, tennis is not as popular now like it used to be there, and the Federation invested a huge amount of money for the roof at the Hamburg stadium.
Just talking with Becker for 15 minutes or so, made me a big fan of him, he's such a nice decent guy.
Good to see him back winning at the ATP level, his ranking is currently at 105 but it should go up with the success in London this week.