Tennis - German tennis legend Boris Becker has been in the news often in recent times - mainly for his financial troubles. But in a no-holds-barred interview with The Times, Becker says that he takes full responsibility for his current situation but is confident that he will come out of it.
Becker says he has struggled to deal with the fame and celebrity status that followed his first Wimbledon triumph at the age of 17 but adds that he had nobody's footsteps to follow when he broke through to become the youngest ever Wimbledon champion. “You live and you learn. I think I have a much better professional legal team around me than probably ever. Maybe I was taking it too lightly, being Boris Becker. Maybe I’m too optimistic. Maybe I’m naive. My life is unique. The things I’ve done, no one has done before. It’s difficult to ask somebody, ‘How do you behave?’ when you’re as famous as I am. How do you behave when you make your first million at 17? When just because you are famous, women offer themselves to you? You’d like to believe because I’ve made all this money all my life, that I didn’t know how to handle it and what to do with it? This bankruptcy is against me privately, not professionally, meaning that my companies in the UK and in Switzerland, they run as before. I have general managers, I have employees, I’m allowed to pay them.”
Becker says he does enjoy the fame and fortune and would not change winning Wimbledon at the age of 17. "Do I like [fame and fortune]?” Of course. Am I vain? Of course. I brush my teeth three times a day. It’s part of being vain. I like to clean myself, too. What I don’t have is a need to tell you, ‘I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread.’ I’ve lived a pretty intense life. Do I go borderline, sometimes over the border? Of course. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have won Wimbledon at 17. I wouldn’t have become No 1 in the world. I wouldn’t have done what I have done if that wasn’t part of my personality. And that means I take chances. I take chances because this is who I am. Ultimately it is my fault. I take full responsibility for where I am today. It shouldn’t have come this far. But I am only half the story. If the bank would have played doubles with me, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you. Where’s the blueprint life guide for a teenage Wimbledon winner? How do you cope with the fact that most people in the world have an idea [of me] when they see me? Who is Boris Becker? It’s a frightening thought. Think about it. I just have to take it as what it is. I don’t say, ‘Why me?’ I’m very aware of the world we live in. Ninety-nine percent of people have far more problems than I have. So I’m not living the life of luxury and complaining. No. It’s bad. It’s embarrassing. It’s not great. But compared with what? That’s how I see it. There are a lot of people talking bullshit about me. And this situation really gives me the chance to put down my fence. Who am I? How much do I owe? How much am I worth?”