Tennis - The tennis world knows German tennis champion Boris Becker as 'Boom Boom' - thanks to his booming serve. But not many know that the person who gave Becker the nickname was Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj.
In an interview for the Indian Express, Amritraj explains the funny story as to how he gave Becker the nickname. "I was the first to play doubles with him and call him ‘Boom Boom’. There’s this little piece of television that Boris did recently where they asked him about it (the ‘Boom Boom’ tag) and he mentioned that he played doubles with me at Rotterdam… I played doubles with him there because (Ion) Tiriac asked me to.
I had said, ‘If I’m not making it to the singles’ semi-finals, I am going off to London’. He said do me a favour and play doubles with this guy. I ended up playing with this red-headed German kid. He looked like a tank.
He was only 17. We got to the finals of the doubles in Rotterdam. He would get very angry when the ball came back. So, he hit it harder the second time. It went ‘boom’ and then ‘boom’ again. He got really upset if it came back after that.
I told him, ‘Boom boom, listen now, the ball is rising as it hits the cheap seats. It’s still rising. Kind of hold back a little bit’. And he said, ‘No, I can’t’, in that typical German accent.
I called him ‘Boom Boom’ and then, three months later, in 1985, he won Wimbledon." Amritraj and Becker have shared commentary space covering Wimbledon in recent years and the Indian is clearly fond of the German. "He’s a great guy and had some great one-liners too.
I said to him once, ‘Have you ever met a funny German?’ ‘Just me,’ he said. He’s a lovely, lovely guy. Sorry he had some issues recently." Also Read - Rafael Nadal Asked for a Record Appearance Fee at Vienna Open