After Easy Draw, Chamberlin Gets Becker

Times Staff Writer

Until now, until Boris Becker, Paul Chamberlin has lived a charmed life to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

It has been nice getting this far without playing a seeded player, but that’s over for Chamberlin.

Still, the 27-year-old from Del Mar isn’t overwhelmed with the task ahead.

“I’m just out there,” he said. “They say this guy is just great and sure he’s got a great serve, but he puts his pants on one leg at a time.”


That’s true, but the person in those pants is a two-time Wimbledon champion. After four matches, Chamberlin hasn’t had to worry about beating anyone of Becker’s caliber.

Chamberlin advanced to the quarterfinals with a victory over Leif Shiras of Milwaukee and has not played anyone ranked higher than 101. Becker is No. 2 in the world.

“When I looked at the draw, I figured I had a pretty good shot to get where I am now,” Chamberlin said. “The only seeds I had to worry about were (Jakob) Hlasek and (Kevin) Curren, and they weren’t exactly (Stefan) Edberg and (John) McEnroe.”

Luckily enough, for him, both Hlasek and Curren lost early.


Born in Toledo, Ohio, Chamberlin grew up in Newport Beach and graduated from Foothill High School in Santa Ana. He spent one year at Foothill Community College in Los Altos Hills, where he played as the No. 2 player behind Brad Gilbert.

Chamberlin transferred to the University of Arizona, where he was an All-American in 1984.

Last October, Chamberlin decided to rededicate himself to tennis and began with a quarterfinal appearance in Tokyo. Along the way he scored his biggest victory by beating Slobodan Zivojinovic.

That’s not Boris Becker, however.


“I think I’ve got a pretty good shot at it if I have my composure,” Chamberlin said.