Becker lays into German players

HAMBURG - German tennis icon Boris Becker lamented the lack of dedication from the nation's current players in an interview with yesterday's edition of the Sport-Bild weekly.

HAMBURG - German tennis icon Boris Becker lamented the lack of dedication from the nation's current players in an interview with yesterday's edition of the Sport-Bild weekly.

Becker, 42, said he could not understand why many players were not available for a recent first-round Davis Cup tie in France that Germany lost. They now face relegation from the World Group.

"Unfortunately (captain) Patrick (Kuehnen) always has to field a B team. The Davis Cup is not that important for the players," Becker told Sport-Bild. "They have (sponsorship) contracts with German companies, they have been supported by us and then they don't manage to play for Germany for two weeks a year because there is too much pressure."

Philipp Petzschner, Florian Mayer, Mischa Zwerew and Michael Berrer did not want to play against France and top player Tommy Haas was injured.

Former world No 1 and three-time Wimbledon champion Becker suggested the current generation was not hungry for success and that decentralised training centres did nothing to form domestic rivalries that make players better. Becker helped Germany win the first two of three Davis Cup titles in 1988 and 1989, but was not always available. - Sapa-DPA

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