Boris Becker has been slammed by tennis fans after “creepy” comments about a female chair umpire at the US Open.
The tennis legend was in commentary for Eurosport during Alexander Zverev’s win over Pablo Carreno Busta in their semi-final clash on Friday when he put his foot in it.
‘CHOP YOU’: Nick Kyrgios in spat with US Open semi-finalist
Noticing umpire Marijana Veljovic sitting in the chair, Becker reportedly thought it would be appropriate to comment on her appearance.
“I have to say, the umpire is extremely pretty,” Becker said, according to tennis journalist Petra Philippsen.
“You eat with your eyes.”
Needless to say fans were far from impressed by Becker’s comments, with many describing them as “creepy” and “disgusting”.
He always was gross, he’s staying on his (off) brand.— CindyLu'sNana (@WertmanAngela) September 11, 2020
It just proves he's a douche. Some people can't help themselves by just keeping quiet. Saying what he said only speaks to his nature and bad personality ... and I feel like it's even more creepy when it comes from someone of his age, for some reason ...— Angie Bee (@AngieB5) September 11, 2020
What is wrong with Becker? I watched that 1985 final and said to my parents, "Can I join a tennis clinic?" Ugh .... Twilight of the Idols stuff here— Dan Martin (@DanMartinTennis) September 11, 2020
Reminds me of when Nalbandian was losing his Wimbledon final and the camera focuses on his girlfriend, to wish Boris comments: “But at least a beautiful girlfriend he has...”— Adam Barker (@_adam_barker) September 11, 2020
You cannot be serious!! Please tell him it is 2020.— Kirk Thomas (@hillbillytennis) September 11, 2020
😳Not cool— Kristi D (@KristiDRafan) September 11, 2020
Disgusting— beth • ✨#TeamAngie ♥️ (@bethhhhh_xx) September 11, 2020
Veljovic drew similar attention during the Australian Open in January when she umpired a match between Roger Federer and Tennys Sandgren.
The Serbian umpire made worldwide headlines when she hit Federer with a code violation for swearing at a line judge.
However it was once again her appearance that really caught the world’s attention.
“The umpire in this roger/tennys match is super pretty,” Eugenie Bouchard tweeted at the time.
the umpire in this roger/tennys match is super pretty 😍— Genie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) January 28, 2020
Zverev advances to first grand slam final
German No.5 seed Zverev overcame a listless start to secure a thrilling 3-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 6-3 win over Carreno Busta to reach his first grand slam final.
Zverev, with his back against the wall, raised his game just in time to deny the Spanish 20th seed the upset and, in doing so, secured his first career victory from two sets down on his second match point.
The German looked headed for certain defeat after committing 36 errors through the first two sets but used his versatile game to pick himself up and looked like a completely different player the rest of the way.
“I was actually looking at the scoreboard when I was down two sets to love and I was like 'I can't believe it, I am playing in the semi-final where I am supposed to be the favourite and I am down two sets to love',” said Zverev.
“I knew that I had to come up with better tennis and I knew that I had to be more stable ... but I am through to my first grand slam final and that's all that matters.”
After Zverev levelled the match at two sets apiece Carreno Busta took a medical timeout to have his back tended to and the German, with a sudden swagger in his step, got the break he needed in the first game before cruising home.
Carreno Busta was locked in early as he held at love to open the match, turned aside a break point on his next service game, and broke twice for a 5-1 lead before securing the first set.
Things kept going the Spaniard's way in the second as he pushed Zverev's back to the wall with three consecutive breaks for a 5-0 lead during a lopsided set in which the mishitting German made 22 unforced errors.
But Zverev flipped a switch and suddenly looked the more confident of the two as he broke Carreno Busta four times over the next two sets while leaning on his serve to put the pressure on the Spaniard's shoulders.
The 23-year-old Zverev became the youngest grand slam finalist since world No.1 Djokovic, also 23 at the 2010 US Open, and the first German major finalist since Rainer Schuettler at the 2003 Australian Open.
Zverev is also bidding to become the first German grand slam champion since Boris Becker won the 1996 Australian Open.