Boris Becker: 'In tennis there is a lot more focus on money'


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Boris Becker: 'In tennis there is a lot more focus on money'

Boris Becker spoke about how money is becoming more and more important in tennis. The six-time Major winner said: "I think in the junior tournaments there is a lot more emphasis on money. If you are 15 or 16 years old and you are one of the best juniors in the world, he is gonna get your contract with Adidas or Nike.

He is gonna get his guarantees, so there is a lot more focus on money and it matters more. In our day's money was not an issue, we wanted to play to win. Now I see a lot of juniors, they want to play to get rich. So total different mindset and if that's the focus, of course, there is a lot much pressure because the prize money doubles every round.

In our days, we wanted to make more points to be higher in the rankings and the other prize money was fine, but it did not make a difference. Now I am happy with the system, but winning this tournament changes your life. That adds a lot of pressure to the young players."

Rod Laver agreed: "That's because of the structure of the game now, the amount of money that is at stake." The French Open chief Guy Forget praised Laver: "Rod won two Grand Slams in '62, didn't play the majors for a long time, and came back in '69 and won our tournament again.

Yesterday he was confessing to me that when he first started to come on the clay, all the Spaniards were giving him a hard time. He just couldn't get them. He was losing to these guys. He said, Guys, I'm going to work, I'm going to play all these clay court tournaments, and you'll see.

One day I'm going to get you. That's why he did such a great career. It's once again an honour for the French Tennis Federation, for me, for all the French people, to have Rod Laver here."