This Date in Wimbledon History: July 7
Every morning during Wimbledon, we'll take a look back at a memorable match that occurred on that calendar day at the All England Club.
July 7, 1985: Boris Becker d. Kevin Curren
Final; 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4
A mere three weeks removed from his first ATP title at Queen's Club, 17-year-old Boris Becker made history on the strength of his ballistic serve-and-volley game. He became the youngest Wimbledon men's champion, the first German man to win Wimbledon, and the tournament's first unseeded champion.
The 27-year-old Curren, a 1983 semifinalist, upset top-ranked John McEnroe and third-ranked Jimmy Connors to reach his first major final, but Becker sensed the nerves in his veteran opponent at the outset.
"I was a very innocent young man. I think I showed in the beginning, in the first 10 or 15 minutes, when you would expect a 17-year-old to be really nervous and not be able to deliver," Becker recalled. "When in fact it was Kevin who started really nervous and who started badly in the first 10 minutes and I think that set the tone for the whole match."
When Curren won five straight points to seize the second set, Becker began to stress.
"I'm getting angry, starting to scream and throw the racquet—exactly what I shouldn't be doing," Becker wrote in his autobiography, The Player. "I'm yelling abuse at myself ... But it helps. The anger is releasing new energies."
Becker, who pulled off successive five-set victories over eighth-ranked Joakim Nystrom and 18th-ranked Tim Mayotte earlier in the fortnight, turned the outburst into catharsis, regaining his composure and slamming 21 aces to make history as the youngest champion in a life-altering moment.
"The last few points I knew I'm just about to do something dramatic, but I didn't know what it really meant, how big the scale was and how my life would really change," Becker said. "But I knew it was going to be a big difference on Monday morning."
June 25: Craybas stuns Serena (2005)
June 26: Rusedski falls to World's Biggest Loser (2000)
June 27: Zheng slays No. 1, reaches milestone (2008)
June 28: Henman's last hurrah (2007)
June 29: British Invasion: Wade beats Evert (1977)
June 30: Bjorn, Vitas collaborate on a classic (1977)
July 1: Tarango walks out (1995)
July 2: Borg fends off Connors in fifth set (1977)
July 3: Sharapova becomes a star (2004)
July 4: McEnroe finally beats Borg (1981)
July 5: Venus defeats, then defeats with, Serena (2008)
July 6: Rafter catches Agassi at the end (2001)
July 7: Becker becomes youngest champion (1985)
July 8: Mauresmo denies Henin Wimbledon (2006)