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Boris Becker: John McEnroe’s first words to me ‘I’m going to beat the s— out of you’

Boris Becker was in India doing some press last week and shared many great stories, as well as some analysis of today’s game. One of the most amusing stories he told was about the first time he ever faced John McEnroe.

The subject of McEnroe came up when Becker was asked about his on-court behavior.

“My teacher in gamesmanship was a man from New York called John McEnroe,” Becker said at the Hindustan Times Leadership summit. “My English at 17, 18 was pretty limited. When I played [McEnroe] the first time in America, he won the first serve. At the changeover, he came to my chair. He said some words and I didn’t understand all the words, but I knew it wasn’t nice.

“After our tough battle, in the locker room, I asked him what was the meaning of what he said,” Becker continued.

Becker was interrupted by the moderator, who asked what McEnroe said. Becker provided an uncensored version.

“I’m going to beat the s— out of you.”

Becker happily noted that he fought off four match points to top McEnroe that match. He says being able to take the punches and overcome them helped him gain acceptance from some of the top players.

Becker, who won six grand slams and now serves as a tennis commentator for BBC, also shared many interesting thoughts about today’s game.

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