TORONTO – The Rogers Cup Hall of Fame inducted its newest member today as the legendary Boris Becker graciously accepted the Canadian kudos.
The German player answered questions at an afternoon press conference about being included amongst so many tennis greats.
“It’s a great honor, what’s happening for me today,” Becker said.
The former Rogers Cup champion (who claimed the title in 1986) will be playing in an exhibiton match against Canadian Daniel Nestor late tonight. He said that while he hoped to play a competitive match, that wasn’t the point of his match today.
“I’ve practiced and I’m in good enough shape to play a good match tonight, but that’s not what this day is about,” he said. “It’s about celebration and me being inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame.”
Although the day’s press conference was dedicated to Becker’s achievements, it didn’t take too long for the tournament’s most popular question to be asked when the now-Canadian Hall of Famer was asked to predict the winner of the 2008 Rogers Cup.
“Obviously our focus will be on Roger (Federer) and Rafa (Nadal), how they recover from the Wimbledon final,” he said. “It’ll be exciting how both men recover and how others will come close and challenge them… Tennis is in a good place right now having Federer and Nadal really at the very top of their careers. You know, back in the day, it was my time was [sic] Edberg and myself, it was Lendl.”
Becker did defend his post-Wimbledon position that Nadal was the man to beat (despite Federer’s #1 ranking).
“Obviously in the world rankings, there is still a No. 1 called Federer, but I think if you talk to anybody in the world of tennis who is considered for now the No. 1 player in the world, it’s the winner of the French Open and Wimbledon (Nadal).”
Speaking of Nadal, he also took time to answer questions from the media on Monday and addressed the same issue about whether he believed himself to be the best current player in the world.
“I don’t think so, no,” Nadal said. “First of all, I never going to say something like this from me. Second, I don’t think so, no?”
The Spaniard continued by saying that he didn’t want to lose focus on why he was in Toronto.
“I want to be No. 1 for sure, but right now I don’t want to be No. 1,” he said. “Right now I only want to play a very good tournament in Toronto.”