July 7th,1985 it seems like such a long time ago.
It was a blisteringly hot Sunday afternoon and Boris Becker was about
to launch himself into the limelight by winning his first Wimbledon title.
With the exuberance of youth and the total lack of fear that comes
with it ,overpowered Kevin Curren and became the first unseeded champion
,the youngest champion and the first German to win Wimbledon.
Powered by his gigantic serve Boris ruled the tennis courts of the world.
Suddenly he became a superstar . He had more money than your average seventeen
year old, he had the media begging for information , anything from what
he ate to what he told his mother everyday. Compared with the life of any
other seventeen year old this was not normal.
And through it all boris appeared such a nice young man,he was polite and
and modest. He was young and successful and managed by the smoking moustache
Ion Tiriac . By the time he could vote he was living in the millionaires
retreat in Monte Carlo. In those days his every he never had to about where
he was going he minions to do that for him .Boris didn't mind his contribution
was to win tennis matches and lots of them.
But then Boris started to realize a few things
. Through his early twenties he found certain things
that had to be sorted out. As the press started to search for quotable
lines from the German hero , Boris's confused thoughts on the state of
the world and the meaning of life became the stuff of newspaper stories
. He was proud to lead Germany to victory in the Davis Cup , but feared
the patriotic nationalistic fervour it encouraged . Suddenly Franz Beckenbauer
and his boys were not the only sporting gods in the news. Germany in the
shape of Boris and Steffi Graf was now a tennis nation and the punters
expected success . As everyone demanded a piece of him , Boris had become
a troubled man . Fame had become a straitjacket , and he didn't like it.
But back on the tennis court he was still in control as he headed towards
the terrible twenties . More or less his invincibility at Wimbledon was
shattered by Peter Doohan in the second round in 1987 .It was the
first match Boris had lost at the championships, his 1984 challenge ended
by injury not defeat . But no matter he spent it like a trooper , spent
the next year racking up seven titles and taking Germany to their
first Davis cup victory.
He won them the davis cup in 1989 too , the year he recaptured
the Wimbledon crown and added the US open to the list as well. At last
he proved he could he could win a grand slam either than on grass . Things
were looking up . By 1991 he was ranked no1 in the world , admittedly
only for 12 weeks and that split into two stints , and he had proved
to himself and his critics that he could be the best .
But that year he lost to Michael Stich in the final; at
Wimbledon. It was Boris's sixth final and he looked a very different man
from the young lad who bounded to victory in 1985 . He was as ever as sporting
in defeat , but it was the beginning of boris's barren patch . The thinking
was beginning to catch up with the playing and with Boris that meant trouble
. He spit with Tiriac and changed coaches more often than his socks, and
he lost his edge. He was not a 100 percent sure what he wanted , but he
did not know what did not want . And one thing he could not stomach anymore
was interference in his private life .
His new girlfriend Barbara Feltus was both beautiful and stylish
. She was also black . Hardly suprising racism became a new worry to add
to the list of world problems Boris was carrying . While he sorted out
his relationship with Barbara and tried to protect the pair of them
from the bigotted , the racist and the just plain stupid. Tennis took a
back seat. By 1993 he dropped out of the top 10 for the first time in eight
years and lost his no1 German ranking to Stich . Marriage and the arrival
of his son Noah in January 1994 signalled that he had dealt with
his personal life and was ready to think about something else . By teaming
up with nick Bolletieri he fond a mentor who was as single minded as he
was . As bolletieri said at the time , you dont try to change the
winner of 5 grand slam titles you just provide a little motivation. Right
Boris were thinking about tennis now .
And it worked . He reached the semi's at wimbledon and told the world
that last year he had been thinking about his family and , seeing that
it was fine now he was ready to concentrate on tennis. He won marseilles'
and the ATP Tour World Championships' in 1995. The next year
wasn certainly a year to remember for Boris' fans . He won his sixth
Grand Slam , the Australian Open in style by beating Chang in the final
in straight sets . He later added another Queens title to his collection.
However disaster struck at Wimbledon ,during a third round match Boris
where seriously injured his wrist , which would keep him away from tennis
for the next few months. Boris announced his comeback by winning
the Vienna indoor title in October and continued to thrill his fans by
winning the Stuttgart indoor title by beating Sampras in a majestic five
set final. Sampras would get his revenge by beating Boris in another
thrilling five set final at the World Championships in Hannover. 1997 was
not a so good year for Boris . He lost his Aussie Open title to Sampras
and was plagued by injury most of the year . After being beaten by
Sampras in the Wimbledon quarterfinals he announced that he would not be
playing tennis full time in 1998. And today he is just enjoying playing