Boris Becker

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameBoris Franz•Becker
Used nameBoris•Becker
Nick/petnamesBoom Boom / Baron Von Slam
Born22 November 1967 in Leimen, Baden-Württemberg (GER)
Measurements192 cm / 85 kg
AffiliationsTK Grün-Weiß Mannheim, Mannheim (GER)
NOC Germany

Biography

German tennis player Boris “Boom Boom” Becker only played one Olympic tournament, at Barcelona in 1992, where he sensationally won the doubles title with Michael Stich. This was more remarkable because the two were not the best-of-friends, and their rivalry was well publicised by the yellow and sports press in Germany throughout their careers. In the Barcelona single’s tournament, Becker surprisingly lost his third-round match to Frenchman Fabrice Santoro, despite being one of the pre-tournament favourites.

Becker and Steffi Graf were mainly responsible for the tennis boom in Germany in the 1980s and 90s. At Wimbledon in 1985, Becker won the first Grand Slam title by a German. He was just 17-years-of-age at the time and was the youngest Wimbledon winner ever (as of 2022), and was also the first unseeded player to win the men’s singles title, since the introduction of seedings in 1924. Becker defended this title in 1986, and won it again in 1989. He also won the Australian Open in 1991 and 1996, and the US Open in 1989. He never won the French Open, however, or any other major tournament on clay. From 1991, he was world ranked #1 for 12 weeks and won the tour finals in 1988, 1992, and 1995. In total, Becker won 49 single’s tournaments.

Becker won his first Grand-Prix tournament at Queen’s in 1985 only a few weeks before Wimbledon. He was then coached by Romanian-born Günther Bosch and managed by former ice hockey and tennis player Ion Țiriac. Becker was the Sportsman of the Year in Germany that year, and again in 1986, 1989, and 1990. He also helped Germany win the Davis Cup in 1988 and 1989, and partnered with Anke Huber to win the Hopman Cup in 1995. Becker was European Sportsman of the Year in 1986 and 1989. From 1997-99, he was captain of the German Davis Cup team.

Becker was awarded the Silver Bay Leaf, Germany’s highest sports award in 1985, when he also received the German media prize Bambi. In 1999 and 2018, he received the German TV prize together with Steffi Graf and Michael Stich, respectively. In 2003, Becker was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and in 2015, into the German Sports Hall of Fame.

Becker later briefly turned to coaching and coached Novak Đoković from 2013-16. Since 2002, Becker has been a commentator for the BBC at Wimbledon and from 2017, as an expert on the German Eurosport TV channel. That same year he was named head of men’s tennis by the German Tennis Federation.

At times Becker struggled with his early success and fame and his personal life has been turbulent. He tried to play poker professionally and worked with an online poker company, had tax evasions, and was declared bankrupt in London. Becker was sentenced to two years’ probation and received a fine of 300,000 euros by the München district court for tax evasion in 2002. He also fell foul of the planning authorities for permissions in Mallorca for his multi-million euro villa near Artà, which he eventually gave up in 2020 after further problems with builders and squatters. In 2022 he was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for breaching bankruptcy laws during his bankruptcy proceedings in London.

Becker had several relationships that were heavily reported on in the yellow press. From 1993-2001 he was married to former actress Barbara Feltus, raising three children. He later married Sharlely “Lilly” Kerssenberg (2009-18) and had another son. He divorced in both cases. Becker also had a sexual encounter in a broom cupboard with waitress Angela Ermakova at a London restaurant, which resulted in the birth of his daughter Anna. Becker was later engaged to, among others, German rapper Sabrina Setlur, and models Heydi Núñez Gómez, and Sandy Meyer-Wölden, whose father was Becker’s former adviser and manager.

Becker lived in Wimbledon, within walking distance of the championship grounds, which he called his “living room”. He also owned apartments in München, Monaco, Miami and Schwyz.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1992 Summer Olympics Tennis GER Boris Becker
Singles, Men (Olympic) =9
Doubles, Men (Olympic) Michael Stich 1 Gold

Special Notes