Role Right-handed serve-and-volleyer (one-handed backhand)
Boris Becker is a retired German tennis player who is famous all over the world for his dramatic rise to stardom as a teenager.
Becker made Wimbledon his home, winning the Championships as many as 3 times, and was one of the most popular players in the early 90s. His athleticism and tendency to dive while volleying made his matches a thrilling spectacle, and fans filled up the stands to watch him wherever he played.
Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams:
Australian Open: 2-time Champion (1991, 1996)
French Open: Semifinalist (1987, 1989, 1991)
Wimbledon: 3-time Champion (1985, 1986, 1989)
US Open: Champion (1989)
Highest Ranking: No. 1
No. of weeks at No. 1: 12
Style of play, strengths and weaknesses
Becker was a serve-and-volleyer by nature. Although he played a fair bit from the baseline too in the later stages of his career, his primary instinct was always to finish the point by rushing to the net.
The German had a powerful serve and lethal volleys, and could smother any opponent with his relentless attack. His style worked best on grass and other fast courts, which explains his tremendous success at Wimbledon and the year-end championships.
Becker could hit with power off both wings from the baseline, and occasionally tried to stay back and rally with his opponents - especially on slower courts. He was not the best at defense though, and his movement could be exposed by players who moved him around the court.
Significant Boris Becker records
Becker had a supremely impressive career despite playing in a very competitive era. Here is a list of his most significant records:
- One of only two players, the other being Goran Ivanisevic, to win Wimbledon as an unseeded player (1985 Wimbledon)
- One of only two players (along with Rafael Nadal) to win 19 or more matches against a World No. 1
- One of only three players (along with Roger Federer and Aaron Krickstein) to win 10 or more matches after going down two sets to love
Becker was born in Leimen, Germany, and first played tennis at the training centre established by his father Karl-Heinz. As a kid he occasionally played tennis with Steffi Graf, whose home town of Bruhl wasn't far from Leimen.
Becker was a child prodigy on the junior circuit, and had a well-developed game by the time he arrived at Wimbledon in 1985. His thrilling victory there earned him considerable fame and popularity, which he occasionally found difficult to deal with.
Becker has been involved in numerous tumultuous relationships, the most controversial of which was his marriage to Barbara Feltus. The two went through a very public separation and divorce, with Becker's infidelity becoming a huge talking point in the German media.
Becker was also the subject of a fatherhood claim by Russian model Angela Ermakova. The two have a daughter named Anna (born in March 2000), which Becker only acknowledged after the results of a DNA test were released.
The German has also struggled with his finances ever since his retirement. In 2018 he tried avoiding bankruptcy charges in the UK on the grounds of diplomatic immunity, by virtue of being an ambassador for the Central African Republic.
Not everything in Becker's post-retirement career has been controversial though. His work as the coach of Novak Djokovic - from 2014 to 2016 - produced one of the most dominant phases enjoyed by any player in tennis history. Djokovic won 6 Grand Slams during this period, and regularly gave credit to Becker for his success.