London Real: Boris Becker Podcast Notes

ABOUT BORIS BECKER

Boris Becker (@borisbeckerofficial) is a former World No. 1 Professional Tennis Player who has won 6 Grand Slam titles in his career. He was the youngest player to win the Wimbledon Championship at the age of 17, a record he still holds to this day. His Grand Slam wins include two Australian Open titles, three Wimbledon titles, and one US Open title. He has also won five year-end championships, 13 Masters Series titles, and an Olympic Gold Medal in Men’s Doubles.

In 1989, Boris Becker was voted the Player of the Year by both the ATP and ITF. After retirement, he continued his association with Tennis through commentaries for popular television channels including the BBC. From 2013 to 2016 he coached Novak Djokovic who won 25 titles including 6 Grand Slams during the three years.

Boris Becker was the guest on the London Real with Brian Rose where he discussed his upbringing in West Germany, Wimbledon, achieving success early in life, rivals, personal life, and more.

Here are our takeaways from the conversation.

UPBRINGING IN WEST GERMANY

  • As a kid growing up, Boris Becker got a lot of freedom from his parents to pursue his interests
  • Apart from Tennis, he played other sports like Football, Basketball, Swimming, and Skiing
  • Without the Internet, there was not much pressure on Boris to pursue his dreams
  • He had to ask permission from the school principal f0r two years leave of absence to become a professional sportsperson

WINNING WIMBLEDON CHAMPIONSHIP AT 17

  • In 1985, Boris Becker became the youngest person to win the Wimbledon Championship
  • He didn’t know that he was too young to win it
  • Beating the person on the opposite side of the net was the big motivating factor for Becker during his teenage years

DEFENDING WIMBLEDON CHAMPIONSHIP AT 18

  • People thought that Boris Becker’s Wimbledon win in 1985 was a flash in the pan and that he could not defend the title
  • Even Boris Becker’s coaches and the team told him to be not upset if things didn’t go his way
  • However, Becker wanted to be himself and express himself on the court and not be distracted by other things
  • He defended his title by winning Wimbledon in 1986 and that moment gave him the faith in himself

WIMBLEDON 1987 & REDISCOVERING HIMSELF

  • Boris Becker lost in the 2nd round of Wimbledon in 1987 to Peter Doohan from Australia
  • The loss gave Becker the realization that even he is a mortal and can lose at Wimbledon
  • Becker clawed back and had great rival matches against John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl
  • His standout match against John McEnroe in the 1987 Davis Cup that went on for 6 hours and 22 minutes was one of his favorites. Becker won the match in 5 sets.
  • In his mid to late twenties, Becker had rivalries with Stefan Edberg, Andre Agassi, and Pete Sampras

ON PETE SAMPRAS AND RETIRING FROM TENNIS

  • Becker said that his 1995 Wimbledon final loss to Pete Sampras made him realize that Sampras was the successor
  • Becker felt really good about his game and was in good form before he was swept by Pete Sampras

COMMENTATING & COACHING NOVAK DJOKOVIC

  • Boris Becker is honest about his opinions as a commentator and voices them openly
  • He has commentated for German Television Channels and also for the BBC
  • In 2013, he got an opportunity to coach the then World No. 2, Novak Djokovic
  • He coached Djokovic until 2016 and helped him win 6 Grand Slam titles during the three years
  • Becker has been involved in the coaching of the German Tennis Team
  • He has also briefly coached the rising German Tennis Player, Alexander Zvarev

BORIS BECKER’S PERSONAL LIFE

  • The early success in life had its impact on Boris Becker’s personal life
  • He has 4 multi-racial children from two ex-wives
  • The media involvement in Becker’s personal life did not have a lot of impact on Becker. He maintained that his personal life was his personal decision.
  • Boris Becker lives in London and visits his children living away from him

BORIS BECKER’S ADVICES

  • His advice to a 20-year-old Becker would be to take a bit more time. Realizing that even though things feel like a race, it is not a race and that it is a marathon.
  • His advice to 20-year-olds is to respect others irrespective of their race, religion, and opinion without being afraid of forming their own opinions.

BOOKS MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE

PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE

  • Novak Djokovic
  • Roger Federer
  • Rafael Nadal
  • John McEnroe
  • Jimmy Connors
  • Björn Borg
  • Peter Doohan
  • Michael Jordan
  • Tim Mayotte
  • Ken Flach
  • Robert Seguso
  • Pete Sampras
  • Ivan Lendl
  • Mats Wilander
  • Andre Agassi
  • Nick Kyrgios
  • Puff Daddy
  • Jay Z
  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Lionel Messi
  • Conor McGregor
  • Anthony Joshua
  • Muhammad Ali
  • Vitali Klitschko
  • Wladimir Klitschko
  • Alexander Zverev
  • Kevin Anderson
  • Martina Navratilova
  • Andrew Castle
  • Tim Henman
  • Sue Barker
  • Venus Williams
  • Serena Williams
  • Angelique Kerber
  • Simona Halep
  • Naomi Osaka
  • Angela Merkel

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