Peter Doohan, who famously took down reigning champion Boris Becker at Wimbledon in 1987, has died aged 56 after a battle with motor neuron disease.
Tennis Australia (TA) said Doohan was diagnosed “with a particularly aggressive form of motor neurone disease” just nine weeks ago.
“The tennis family is deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Peter Doohan and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends,” a TA statement said.
“Peter is survived by his mother Thelma, his sons John and Hunter both based in the United States and his sisters Cathie and Margaret,” TA added.
A Facebook post on Doohan’s page from July 9 praised Cathie for her “total selflessness” in moving “halfway across the country” to care for him.
“Leaving behind your friends, way of life in Adelaide near your own two sons, your art classes you teach and even your beloved dog to come visit your brother in a nursing home daily as well as doing his laundry,” the post read.
“Did I mention spoon-feeding him and giving him drinks (mostly non-alcohol!) as well as fetching him this ‘n that then walking beside his wheelchair.
“Not to mention tackle paperwork from Centrelink, NDIS, MND Group, Nursing Home and mail for your brother while juggling your own bills from home.”
Doohan was labelled ‘The Becker Wrecker’ for ending the German’s attempt to defend his 1986 title at SW19 with a second-round 7-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 loss.
The Australian was number 70 in the world at the time, while Becker was seeded first and ranked second behind only Ivan Lendl.
Earlier this month Doohan was honoured at the International Club Wimbledon Dinner and Becker tweeted about Doohan’s 30-year-old moment in the sun.
Boris Becker tweet to Peter Doohan: You beat me fair and square!!! Wishing my buddy and his family only the very best
Doohan’s win was part of his best run at the tournament — he reached the fourth round — and surely helped pave the way for his compatriot, Pat Cash, to win the title that year.