Boris Franz Becker is a German former world No. 1 professional tennis player. He was successful from the start of his career, winning the first of his six major singles titles at age 17. He also won five year-end championships, 13 Masters Series titles and an Olympic gold medal in doubles. Tennis magazine ranked him the 11th best male player of the period 1965–2005.
Since he retired from the professional tour, media work and colorful aspects of his personal life have kept him in the headlines.
Boris Becker is the only son of an architect who built the center where he learned the game. As a youngster, he was often the weakest of the boys in the area's tennis program, and therefore often ended-up playing the strongest of the girls in the program who was usually another future star, Steffi Graff in training matches. Becker turned professional in 1984, and won his first professional doubles title that year in Munich.
The redheaded teenager took the sports world by storm in 1985. He won his first top-level singles title in June at Queen's Club and then, two weeks later, became the first unseeded player, the youngest-ever male, and the first German to win the Wimbledon singles title, defeating Kevin Curren in four sets. At the time he was the youngest-ever male Grand Slam singles champion at 17 years, 7 months (broken by Michael Chang who won the French Open when he was 17 years, 3 months). Two months after his triumph, Becker went on to also become the youngest winner of the Cincinnati Masters.
Becker's game was based on a huge serve that earned him the nicknames "Boom Boom" and "Baron von Slam". His penchant to throw himself at everything with diving volleys endeared him to the crowds. His heavy forehand and powerful return of serve were also very significant factors in his game.
In 1986, Becker successfully defended his Wimbledon title, defeating Ivan Lendl (world #1 at the time) in straight sets. Becker also helped West Germany win its first Davis Cup in 1988.
Becker reached the final of the Australian Open for the first time in his career in 1991, where he defeated Lendl to finally claim the World No. 1 ranking. He would be ranked No. 1 for several weeks during 1991, though he never managed to finish a year ranked as the World's No. 1 player. His sixth and final Grand Slam title came in 1996, when he defeated Michael Chang in the final of the Australian Open.
Becker and Stich teamed up in 1992 to win the men's doubles Gold Medal at the Olympic Games in Barcelona.
Over the course of his career, Becker won 49 singles titles and 15 doubles titles. Besides his six Grand Slam titles, he was also a singles winner in the year-end Masters championship in 1988, 1992, and 1995, and at the Grand Slam Cup in 1996. He won a record-equalling four singles titles at London's Queen's Club. In Davis Cup, his career win-loss record was 54-12, including a 38-3 in singles. He also won the other two major international team titles playing for Germany, the Hopman Cup (in 1995) and the World Team Cup (in 1989 and '98).
In 2003, he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Becker now plays on the Senior ATP Tour and Billie Jean King's World Team Tennis tour. He remains a hugely popular figure at Wimbledon and commentates there for the BBC each year. Since 2000, Becker has been the principal owner of the tennis division of Völkl Inc, a tennis racquet and clothing manufacturer. Becker published his autobiography, *Augenblick, verweile doch... * in 2003. Becker is a noted poker player and has appeared in the European Poker Tour and the World Poker Tour; by 2013 he had won more than €90,000 in career earnings from poker.
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