Boris Becker burst onto the tennis scene in 1985 when, at 17, he became the youngest man to win a Wimbledon title.
Boris Becker burst onto the tennis scene in 1985 when, at 17, he became the youngest man to win a Wimbledon title. He went on to win twice more in 1986 and 1989 and he became one of the most popular players ever to appear at Wimbledon. His rocket-like serves, his aggressive agility behind the net and his superb serve-and-volley game made Becker a lethal player on grass.
Wimbledon was comfortably Becker’s favourite Grand Slam tournament and he became something of an adopted son to Wimbledon crowds. In addition to winning the singles title three times, Becker also appeared in four further finals. His last Wimbledon appearance was in 1999 when he lost to Patrick Rafter in the fourth round.
He always regarded the All-England club as his ‘backyard’ and when he considered playing there for the last time in 1999, he said: ""Wimbledon means more than just winning for me. I’ve had a great time here.""
Despite a perceived vulnerability on clay, he was a highly proficient hard-court player and, by the time he retired from the game in 1999, Becker had won 49 singles titles, 15 doubles titles and more than US$25 million in prize money. In addition to being a three times Wimbledon champion, he won two Australian Opens in 1991 and 1996 and the US Open in 1989. He was a finalist in the ATP Masters four times, winning in 1988, and he won the ATP Tour World Championships Finals in 1992 and 1995. He also won the Grand Slam Cup in 1996.
Becker led Germany to victory in the Davis Cup twice, their first ever win in 1988 and also in 1989. His career Davis Cup win/loss record stands at 54-12, including an impressive 38-3 in singles. Becker also won an Olympic gold medal in Barcelona in 1992 where he partnered Michael Stich to win the men's doubles for Germany.
Becker has never forgotten what he has personally gained from the game and he quickly assumed a role in Germany’s tennis association, both in the Davis Cup and in developing his country’s young players. Fellow Laureus World Sports Academy member Franz Beckenbauer also invited him to become a board member of Bayern Munich football club. He is the Chairman of Hamburg’s Master Series Tournament and also works as a TV commentator. Becker plays a significant role in the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and is Chairman of Laureus Germany.