Boris Breskvar, the man who discovered German tennis stars Boris Becker and Steffi Graf, has died after a long illness, media reports said Wednesday. He was 70.
It was while he was trainer at Baden tennis club in Germany that Breskvar saw the potential of future Grand Slam winners Becker and Graf and nurtured their talent.
He was also responsible for developing other mainstays of the tennis circuit like Andrei Medvedev of Ukraine and Germany's Anke Huber.
"I am very sad to hear about the death of Boris Breskvar," Becker told German daily Bild.
"He was a passionate trainer, very disciplined, tough but fair," said the former world number one and six-time Grand Slam winner who became the youngest ever Wimbledon champion at the age of 17.
Becker started training with the Slovenian around the age of six and later turned professional in 1984, under the guidance of Romanian-born coach Guenther Bosch.
Breskvar, who also captained Slovenia's national team in the Davis Cup for many years and set up a tennis academy in Ljubljana with his son, had undergone brain surgery on several occasions in 2007.
According to his wife Karmen, he died in a nursing home.