When he was still playing tennis, Becker showed his talent and achieved success early on. At just 17 years old, he overcame all opponents to win Wimbledon in 1985. It was one of six titles that the German born in 1967 won in his career.
Because the glory came so quickly, Becker allowed himself to let loose. He ran a bad business and investments, was addicted to sleeping pills and was even sent to prison at the age of 54 in England. The reason why Becker had to “unmask” was that he was found to have intentionally concealed his finances during bankruptcy proceedings. Prior to that, the 1989 US Open champion was also found guilty of tax evasion in Germany in 2002.
After serving eight months of a two-year prison sentence, Becker was released early last year thanks to an amnesty program that the British government introduced to foreign nationals. Since then, Becker has been trying to rebuild his life.
He accepted the job as a commentator on television, trained and advised junior tennis players. On Friday, Becker also released a documentary about his life called “Boom Boom” (his nickname) that was shown on Apple TV+.
This is a work produced by two filmmakers Alex Gibney and John Battsek. The highlight in the film is that not only the good part but also the bad side of Becker’s life is exposed.
In an interview with a New York Times reporter in Dubai, the two-time Australian Open champion (1991/1996) said: “If you’re a co-producer, you tend to ‘show off good, bad. cover”. When the shadows are cut off, viewers will only see the positives and think you are much better than you really are. However, I always value honesty, so I won’t do that.”
Through the above statement, it can be seen that in Becker, there are clearly contradictions. He used to commit fraud that led to jail time, but he still values honesty.
Learn lessons from mistakes
As revealed by Becker, his time in prison gave him time to reflect on his life and the mistakes he had made. Becker admits he made a lot of bad decisions that ended up having sad consequences.
For example, Becker plans to retire when he is just over 20 years old, puts his trust in managers and advisors who do not have a heart, or “puts money down” to invest in deals without thinking carefully. In addition, Becker also had an affair with a woman at a restaurant in London when he was married. It must be emphasized that, before divorcing his black wife, Barbara Feltu in 2001 after 8 years of marriage, Becker was always considered a model man who loved his wife, children and family.
Now that he understands the cost of mistakes, Becker wishes that instead of spending so much time on tennis or sunny beaches, he was more focused on financial management in his youth. For Becker, investing in yourself brings much greater benefits than just playing, enjoying and sleeping on victory.
“If I think of life as four seasons, I am in the late summer phase and preparing to go to autumn. Although time is not as abundant as before, I still want to work wholeheartedly for another 25 years. I have played professional tennis, coach, commentator but still want to explore new areas. My immediate goal is like that,” Becker shared.
Having suffered a psychological shock when there was no careful preparation for retirement at the age of 35, Becker is now more mature. He is not afraid to commit and also has no shortage of opportunities to work and dedicate even though he is 55 years old. In addition to the documentary release, Becker recently accepted the Australian Open commentary for Eurosport.
What was Becker’s prison life like?
As a former tennis star who is so used to the high life, Becker is frustrated when he has to get used to the prison environment. Deprived of his liberty, he had to stay in his cell for up to 22 hours a day. Every day, Becker is only allowed to go out for lunch, dinner and shower for a short time before returning to the 4 walls. Life suddenly turned upside down, causing him to lose weight significantly during the period of house arrest.
Protected by reducing ego
According to Becker, he was very worried because he thought prison was a dangerous environment. The reality, however, was that Becker was secure until the time of his freedom. Becker’s secret is that he tries to keep his ego to a minimum. He was very lucky to have a group of inmates to protect him. “There is an implicit rule that you must not talk about your fellow prisoners when you are out. I have a lot of respect for them and am treated accordingly,” Becker revealed.