Boris Becker was climbing closer to the No. 1 position in the world's tennis rankings by reaching the final of a big tournament only to have it suddenly stop with an injury in the middle of the match.

Stefan Edberg knows the feeling.Becker was facing the Swede, now the world's top-ranked player, when the German was forced to withdraw Sunday from the Paris Open match 44 minutes after the final started with a strained left thigh.

During the Australian Open last January, the Swede had to retire in the final with a pulled stomach muscle, giving an eighth Grand Slam title to Ivan Lendl, at the time the world's No. 1 player.

"I felt I had a good chance," Edberg recalled. "I realized very soon my injury was going to make me struggle throughout the match."

"You feel bad a couple of days. You think, `Why should I get so unlucky on a final.'

"But I took it in two positive ways. I thought I played well at a time and let's try to play well again," Edberg said. "That's all you can do because you can't bring it back."

Becker also remains positive about improving from his present No. 2 slot.