Tennis news
into your inbox

Thousands have already subscribed


“Did I make mistakes? Plenty” – Boris Becker opens up on his tumultuous 2022

In one of his first media appearances since his release from prison for bankruptcy-related charges, Becker talks to Fraser Masefield about the challenges he has been through

Boris Becker interview Rene Lamb

There’s something about the game of tennis that seems to provide drama like no other sport on the planet. 

During the course of a match, a player is not only competing against the opponent at the other side of the net but also against themselves. They must fight their own inner demons and doubts whilst putting those thousands of hours of practice into the only goal. Winning. 

It should be no surprise, then, that in such a stressful individual sport, players can often end up on the front and back pages of national newspapers worldwide. From ‘Super Brat’ John McEnroe to Las Vegas showman Andre Agassi and the tragic case of Vitas Gerulaitis, tennis often delivers stories that are equally dramatic away from the court. 

Boris Becker being interviewed by Fraser Masefield at CloudFest 2023 @ Rene Lamb

Becker beginning to rebuild his life

Most recently, six-time grand slam men’s singles champion and darling of Wimbledon’s Centre Court, Boris Becker, has occupied most of those back and front-page headlines. Jailed in London for 231 days in 2022 for a breach of bankruptcy rules, Becker is now in the stages of rebuilding his life. 

Appearing as a special guest at the technology event CloudFest 2023 in Europa Park, Rust, close to where he was born, Becker opened up about his recent life struggles. 

“Life lessons. If you know mistakes beforehand, you wouldn’t do them,” Becker said. “With hindsight you’re always smarter. Did I make mistakes? Plenty. Is there anyone here that has been perfect? Probably not. When you’re that famous or in the headlines, everything looks a little bigger, a little larger.” 

Becker says he was unprepared for fame at 17

Becker was only 17 years of age when he burst onto the world stage, winning Wimbledon as an unseeded player in 1985 and repeating in 1986 and 1989. In retrospect, Becker admits he was unprepared for what was to follow. 

“When you’re a young player… I made my first million when I was 17 years old in 1985. That was a lot of money. Probably even now. But in 1985, it was huge. Then you surround yourself with the agents and the lawyers and then you’re running a business called ‘Boris Becker inc.’   

“But you’re 17 years old, you’re 20 years old, you’re 25 years old and that goes on. Then you finish your career and then ultimately you haven’t studied finance, business…you are a sportsman and then you have good faith with the people that are with you and of course they show you a contract and you can read but you have to trust your own judgement, your parents’ judgement and your lawyer’s judgement.” 

“Ultimately you have to take responsibility for your life and I have”

The Boris Becker of today cuts a cathartic figure. Was he ill-advised? Almost certainly. Did he make his own mistakes? The man admits to that and takes responsibility for it.  

“Mistakes are bound to happen, and I’ve paid dearly for mine. But I’m a tough cookie, I’m a survivor. I’ve done a lot of different things in my life, and I’ve got through it. 

“Ultimately you have to take responsibility for it, and I have. You have to accept it. Once you understand this is part of your own journey, you come through with it and hopefully you come out as a better man. So in these last couple of years, I hope I’ve learned a lot more than in my tennis years. It’s OK to make a mistake once. You are very foolish if you do it again. 

“I think the fiercest rival I think for all of us is the man or the woman in the mirror in the morning, isn’t it? The one you have to see every morning. We all have our inner demons, we all have our own little battles that nobody knows about, so once you’re in your own little sanctuary where it’s just you and the mirror, I think that’s the toughest battle.” 

Friends and rivals to appear in Becker documentary

So, what is next for Boris Becker? The Lion of Leimen may well be roaring again very soon with several projects in the pipeline, most notably a documentary about his life. ‘Boom Boom – The World vs. Boris Becker will be released on April 7 on Apple TV. 

“It’s a five-year project with an Oscar Winning Director called Alex Gibney, who is a big tennis fan and wanted to do a story about my life.  

“My life has been interesting to say the least. So, he wanted to hear from me and some of my other friends. We mentioned Djokovic, so he’s in there, McEnroe is in there, Bjorn Borg is in there, my long-time manager Ion Tiriac is in there. They speak their truth. It was important from the timing that it comes out now. A nice summary of the last 50-something years.  

“There is part 1 and part 2 where the first part you see little Boris in his hometown of Leimen, winning my first tennis matches before part 2, the more difficult years. But one of the things that comes with me, for good or bad, I’m an honest guy, I’m authentic. It’s easier for me to live that way.” 

The World vs Boris Becker is available on Apple TV to stream from April 7.

People in this post

Your comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *