The numbers speak for Boris Becker's 1985 unlikely accomplishment: He was the first unseeded player to win Wimbledon. He was the first German to win Wimbledon. He is still the youngest male to win Wimbledon, taking the title at age 17.
Becker had shown promise earlier. He reached the third round at Wimbledon the previous year before being forced to withdraw with an ankle injury, and he won the 1985 grass-court turneup at Queen's Club two weeks before Wimbledon.
But Queen's Club was the only 2007 tournament in which Becker reached the final, and he did not have to play John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl or Jimmy Connors in that event.
McEnroe, Lendl and Connors all rank among the top dozen male players of all time in the Tennis Channel rankings issued in 2012, and they were the top three seeds at Wimbledon in 1985.
Seven weeks before the 1985 Wimbledon tournament, Becker was ranked 65th in the world. He was still well outside the top 10, at No. 20, when Wimbledon began.
Hank Pfister, Becker's first-round victim at Wimbledon, was not impressed.
"I assumed he'd lose in the next round," Pfister told The New York Times years later.
Becker had the good fortune to avoid meeting McEnroe, Connors and Lendl in the tournament, but he was nearly eliminated in a fourth-round match against 16th-seeded Tim Mayotte.
Down two sets to one, Becker injured his ankle and nearly forfeited the match. But, according to the The New York Times story, his coach, Ion Tiriac, persuaded Becker to continue.
Becker pulled out that match, then beat Henri Leconte, Anders Jarryd and Kevin Curren to take the title.
He went on to win two more titles at Wimbledon, but he had established his reputation by then.