Murray out of Paris, but practicing

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The bad news is that Andy Murray is officially out of the Paris Masters.

Which means his 2017 season is over.

The good news, according to various reports out of the U.K., is that the current world No. 3 is back on the practice court – albeit gingerly.

Murray hasn’t played since the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. But he and Roger Federer are scheduled for an exhibition in Glasgow, Scotland, Nov. 7. 

The Telegraph reports he has seen six specialists for his ongoing hip issue. The Brit is scheduled to officially return to the court at the Brisbane tournament in early January.

Becker news not getting better

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The London media is on the Boris Becker bankruptcy story  like a loan shark on a late payer.

The latest bit is that the 49-year-old, who lives in Wimbledon part-time, took out a $2.6 million US loan from a British billionaire – three years ago.

Per The Telegraph, via the Times of London, Richard Caudwell’s daughter worked in Becker’s London office.

But here’s the eye-opening part: the interest rate on Caudwell’s loan was a reported 25 per cent. The Telegraph said it was repaid, albeit behind schedule.

This weekend, Becker is playing in a poker tournament in Vienna.

McEnroe not pleased at movie portrayal

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Neither Bjorn Borg nor John McEnroe had much to do with the new movie about their rivalry – i.e., creative input, consulting fees.

Still, McEnroe isn’t too impressed. “A lot of it is not accurate. I mean, I don’t know why they couldn’t make it accurate. … There is plenty of stuff – if they wanted to make me look like a jerk at times, they could have come up with something far better than they came up with, in my humble estimation,” he said at Laver Cup.

Here’s what it really looked like: 

Extra grass care on middle Sunday

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Despite the head groundsman proclaiming all is well, the All-England Club definitely went about administering some special TLC on the grass courts during the quiet middle Sunday.

There have been quite a few complaints from players during the first week – even from local hero Andy Murray – about the condition of some courts. 

The grounds crew went around and watered the courts by hand on Sunday. And the Centre Court roof was closed all day, until 4 p.m., to “relieve the stress on the grass,” according to The Telegraph.

Becker (not Boris) retires after qualies loss

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Germany’s Benjamin Becker is 36.

After blowing three match points in a three-set loss to Illya Marchenko in the second round of Wimbledon qualifying Wednesday, he retired.

Just like that. If he hadn’t randomly spoken to a journalist from the Telegraph, we might not even know.

“I already knew I was going to retire. But retiring after this kind of match? … Right now, I’m just really angry,” he said.

Becker won one title and $4.3 million. He might be best known for beating a banged-up Andre Agassi in his final US Open, in 2006.

Bankruptcy for Boris Becker

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London’s The Telegraph newspaper reports former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker was declared bankrupt Wednesday.

The 49-year-old is the former coach of Novak Djokovic, and an ambassador for a poker company.

As the German gets ready to take on a high profile role as an analyst during Wimbledon for the BBC and other outlets, it probably doesn’t come at the best time for his professional image.

“He should have thought about that a long time ago,” the judge in the case said.

The declaration came in the Bankruptcies and Companies Court in London. It concerns a debt owed to a London private bank that has been outstanding for 20 months.

The next step is to have Becker’s assets liquidated to pay his creditors. The amount of the debt was not disclosed, but was described as “substantial”.

Becker will have all this hanging over his head as he prepares for plenty of camera time during Wimbledon. He has a home in the area. (Stephanie Myles/Tennis.Life)

Becker issued a statement, also broken down into multiple Tweets for his 656,000 Twitter followers (read bottom to top).

Boris

Boris

Becker’s attorneys asked for the proceeding to be postponed a month, so that he could remortgage a property he owns in Mallorca to help pay off the debt.

His lawyer said, of his 49-year-old client, “He is not a sophisticated individual when it comes to finances.”

Not the first money miscue

The Telegraph story outlines many of Becker’s previous financial … misadventures. They include a tax evasion conviction and divorce and paternity suits. There also was Dubai real-estate venture named after him that went belly-up. As well, a host of contractors” bills related to the construction of his Mallorca home reportedly were unpaid.

Becker has five children with three different women, including two wives.

The judge didn’t find the evidence that Becker would repay the money in short order credible enough to issue a stay.

 “One has the impression of a man with his head in the sand,” she said. 

Becker coached former No. 1 Djokovic for three years, until the end of the 2016 season, when he was relieved of his duties. (Stephanie Myles/Tennis.Life)

There’s lots of detail in this well-reported story. Worth a read.

“Poisoned” Taylor gets Wimby wild card

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The young British player involved in the strangest story of last year’s Wimbledon will be back this year, having been granted a wild card into the qualifying.

Gabriella Taylor, now 19, spent four days in the ICU during last year’s event. She was diagnosed with a disease caused by bacteria that can be transmitted by … rat urine.

Scotland Yard investigated, as her mother said she may have been deliberately poisoned – perhaps by a competitor. “No evidence of any crime scene, motive or suspect(s) who deliberately administered any substances to the victim” was found.

 

Judy Murray: a memoir, and a tattoo

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Judy Murray, mother of Andy and Jamie, is on a roll.

The 57-year-old not only has a new memoir of bringing two sons to No. 1 in tennis against daunting odds in the bookstores, she has also taken the tattoo plunge.

The spider is on the nape of her neck. It’s the perfect tribute to a Scottish fable about the spider who wouldn’t give up. The spider inspired Scottish king Robert the Bruce to win the battle to drive England out of Scotland and be recognized as a separate country.