Boris Becker: Der Spieler (2017) Movie Script

I think that when you get close to
50 as man, you start to think about
the good and bad decisions
and how you reached this success,
which is something
I never imagined possible.
I have been a celebrity
for the last 30 years.
There is a price for that.
London. Wimbledon District.
Becker gets on and it's over!
There is Becker,
he raises his arms towards
Tiriac and Bosch, his coaches.
He runs towards the net
and raises a fist up into the air.
Standing ovations for Boris Becker.
The biggest win so far for Boris Becker.
This looks like it could be really
the start of a great sports career.
I wish to be buried
right here where I am at.
Not in Germany or the United States,
or someone takes my ashes
and throws them into the deep sea,
like some other people have done.
I would like to be buried here.
Boris Becker and his wife, Lilly,
live very close to the Center Courts.
It's where everything began.
She understands well
that her husband belongs here.
The only thing she knew
when she first met him
was that he had won here in the past.
The first impressions about Boris?
Boris is tall, blond, kind of scary
if you don't know him.
He can be very distrusting
at times and has
borderline anger issues,
but he is funny.
The house serves as
a place of remembrance
for their patchwork family.
Three sons, one daughter.
News about a debt crisis
that started in summer 2017
have put pressure on the family.
To be alongside Boris Becker,
you have got to take it.
The good times and the bad times.
I think Germany forgets sometimes that
when he won, he was Germany's darling.
And now, everyone
tries to bring him down.
That was very hard for me to swallow.
But because he took it on the chin,
it made me love him a little bit more.
When your family is attacked,
you can't help but protect
everything around you.
Lilly and Boris have a son,
They speak English to each other.
Amadeus is the center of attention.
He is his happiness.
Becker gets excited
every time he hears his voice.
I have a lot of friends,
but I don't have a best friend.
Nobody knows all of my secrets.
I count my true friends on one hand.
I have friendships
with people about specific things.
I share everything
about a specific theme with them.
We share all the information
about it with each other.
I would not feel good
if one single person
would know everything about me.
Flashback to London, December 2016.
Boris Becker was one of the best
tennis players in the world.
He understood the sport
like no one else did.
He can make even the best, better.
The tennis circus is my home,
I know my way around there.
It's my passion,
and I have a lot of fun.
That's why I'm doing it.
Sometimes it's also exhausting,
unnerving, emotional, chaotic,
and also frustrating.
Boris Becker has a meeting
with Novak Djokovic.
He is still his coach.
They meet each other.
Boris Becker helped him
to become
number one in the world
They both cried after he won.
I think only a few people
really understand this sport.
I think a lot sports reporters...
well, how could they know?
They never
played professional tennis.
Surely some of them
observed tennis for decades,
but it's a different story
to watch or to play professional tennis.
There are no books or schools
to learn that.
You have to play
in order to feel the emotion,
the frustration, and the fear to lose.
There are moments
when even a Grand Slam winner
gets nervous.
Like Novak had a problem last night
where he could not
hold the racket anymore.
Nobody noticed, only me and him.
Secret practice,
in a separated court
of the Queen's Club of London.
No witnesses,
and all doors are secured.
Djokovic wants to be alone with Becker.
Despite their success together,
there is a problem...
because he trusts his guru
more than he trusts his coach these days.
He is like a volcano,
charged, full of energy,
full of power, anger...
and emotion.
I have to guide him carefully
through this training session.
I am glad he has this
aggressiveness and fire in him.
But it has to be controlled
or it's going to blow up in his face.
He gives clues through
his posture and gestures
that need to be
understood the right way.
I got better at it after some time.
Becker gained some advantage
by working with Djokovic.
It helped his reputation,
but every coach has a limit.
Becker is missing
to see his motivation.
He wants him
to give it all he has.
Boris Becker considers himself
too good for half-motivated players.
I gave him a good piece of last advice,
and I hope he took it to heart.
He is a so-called shining light,
he is the sun.
A lot of people around him
get some sunlight,
who never got any before.
Some people cannot handle...
that kind of thing.
I have my own sun.
I don't need his sunlight.
When I give him advice,
it comes from the heart.
Shortly after, a decision was made:
Becker quits his job as a coach.
You can prevent losing
if you go out of your comfort zone.
That was always Becker's tenet.
His shuffling gait reveals that today.
Nobody can ever forget
how he used to carry
his heavy body over the court...
London, 1985.
The city gets ready
for the Wimbledon tournament,
the most important
tournament in the world.
Everyone wants to win here.
The year before,
Becker used public transportation
to get the tournament.
He was not a nobody,
but he was unseeded.
He was 17, and had won
the big tournament in Queen's.
He got a lot of attention there,
but he was not the favorite
for this tournament.
He was unseeded
and there were some games
with borderline performance.
It was important to win the first round.
Every round is like an endgame,
every game of this tournament.
There were three games
that looked like a loss.
Round 3,
Becker vs. Joakim Nystrm,
one of the favorites.
Nystrm. He had two match balls
and then it was Becker's turn.
Becker played the best
when he was losing and under pressure.
He was always a fighter
who never gave up.
I've said it many times, Becker won
a lot of games that he should have lost.
He's always fighting,
grasps for any chance that is given.
The next opponent: Tim Mayotte.
Tie Break.
He falls, and he doesn't get up.
Boris was in shock.
Not so much for the pain,
but more the memory of
what had happened the year before.
Damn! Not the same foot again.
Not the same ankle again.
He hobbles towards the net
and puts his hand out
to signal that he wants to give up.
Luckily, Tim Mayotte
was too far away from the net.
I told Bosch:
Go and take his hand and call a doctor.
He got five minutes,
and till the doctor arrives,
another 15 minutes.
That way he can rest.
"Boris, Boris."
"Gnther! Go over there!"
You could hear Bosch and Tiriac
calling him: Don't do it!
I went in and told him
to call for a doctor.
That's what he did.
It was not as organized as it is today.
He had to walk through
a mass of people to another court.
He got a bandage.
Mayotte did not know what was going on,
he did not score once after.
He lost the fourth set.
That was it.
He had confidence without arrogance.
He was still boyish, 17 years old.
He was clean cut, he looked like
he may have just came out of school...
...or even the church choir,
and yet here he was
throwing himself around
all over the place.
He was dramatic, he was charismatic.
The newspapers go crazy.
Damn it! The Germans did it again!
The verdict is in:
This boy is fantastic.
They are wondering: Who is this guy?
Leimen. A cute little town
close to Heidelberg.
The birthplace of Boris Becker.
He grew up here.
He started with sports here.
If you can afford it, you build a house.
His father is an architect,
the mother helps out in the office.
Boris has an older sister by four years.
She takes care of him.
He went to my husband
and took a big tennis racket.
He was standing in the club
in front of a wall
and was playing against the wall.
My mom would sometimes
give me a sunhat for him
to put it on him
so he wouldn't get a sunstroke.
One time I went back home
and said to my parents
that I was concerned about my brother.
He would play for hours at end.
Once he beat one opponent,
the next one was standing in line.
She mentioned it often,
"Mother, you have to come see,
I played a match with Boris...
...he is a great player."
She is the one who taught him how to play.
Sometimes we played a match,
nobody wanted to be the loser,
and, yeah...
My brother could not take it, to lose.
He never wanted to lose a match.
In order to cope with that,
he sometimes
threw his racket onto the court
and was angry.
When he was throwing his racket,
we told him that's not nice,
trying to explain to him
that everyone loses sometimes.
Sometimes he left the court angry.
He could not take a loss.
I was angry and had emotional outbreaks.
I still have them,
but now I've learned to hide it.
He is a fair player.
His parents taught him that,
and that's why they are very proud of him.
Their little one.
His mother takes care of all the prizes,
trophies, and medals from three decades.
He wrote on here: Bad Salzuflen, 77.
When I first discovered him, I noticed
that he had an incredible ability
to concentrate on the ball.
He wanted every hit
to be as precise as possible.
He could see everything,
and had the ability--
We discovered later on
that he was able
to scan his surroundings very well.
He was able to get to every ball
because of his ability to anticipate
and move quickly.
The experts from the German
Tennis Federation did not see it that way.
He was good enough
to play in the provinces,
but not for much more.
He left as a failed youth player.
That was a real tragedy for him.
Every young adult who fails like that
gets angry and desperate.
He was crying.
But Boris does not give up so easily.
He wants to rise to the top.
He keeps playing.
The parents don't get involved.
They let him do what he wants.
Tennis is a game for lone fighters.
Only one can be at the top.
You cannot hide behind the team.
Boris Becker always liked that.
Boris was not the best player
in the state of Wurttemberg.
When they observed him, they decided
he is not under the top four...
...he should quit.
They are very strict
in how they rate the players.
That's how they operate
within that league.
I went to Leimen and noticed
that he was only playing against girls,
young girls, and not boys.
He was too weak.
They are telling you
that you are not good enough
in order to play among the best four.
Because of that, you have to play...
with girls who are up to
two years younger, like Steffi Graf is.
That hurt Boris a lot. It hurt him,
but he used the negative energy
and turned it into a positive.
Steffi was the youngest of all,
and whomever lost a match
had to play against her.
That's just how it was,
and if you are unlucky,
you lost against Steffi, too.
The whole day was destroyed.
Boris Becker keeps up.
It enabled him even more when he lost.
He was very quick to flip the switch,
and to tell to himself,
"I am going to show them."
He also worked a lot on his body.
Looking at him,
he was not really built
to become the number one in this sport.
In any sport, for that matter.
Yes, he had baby fat on him.
A little nice round tummy.
He had sluggish and thick legs.
He worked on that a lot.
You can see in the pictures
how much he tried to stretch,
and he put a lot of extra effort
into training and stretching his body
to become more elastic.
His hand was amazing.
The racket was an extension
of his arm and hand
like very few are able to do.
He grew strong in his hometown,
but that soon became too small for him.
He knows every corner of his town.
Boris Becker wants to get out of Leimen.
He is 15 years old...
and participates internationally already,
as far as the United States.
Sometimes, he gets homesick.
When he was traveling very far,
like to New York,
he would always call me in the evening
to check if his mother was still there.
His dad was mostly out of town.
He wanted to hear my voice,
that's why he was calling.
I can still feel how much it hurt him
being homesick when he was calling me.
German-Romanian Gnther Bosch,
who was the youth coach
for the German Tennis Federation,
becomes his coach in 1984.
He builds on his base.
He liked my brother very much
because he was different then his father.
Bosch did not have a son.
He only had a daughter.
I think he--
Yes, I think it was
a great experience for him,
having him like a son.
Boris Becker wins
and earns prize money for the first time.
His time becomes more valuable.
He needs a manager.
Bosch knows a guy.
A guy who lives now in Monte Carlo.
Ion Tiriac.
He manages a lot of high-profile players.
Gnther Bosch was from
the same town in Romania.
He grew up only a couple
blocks away from my home.
He left Romania to Germany
and became the youth coach
for the German Tennis Federation.
He told me at a tournament in Monte Carlo
that he knows a very good junior player.
I told Gnther that the Germans
have always had good players,
but when they hit 15 or 16,
they would start drinking lots of beer...
...and finish their career then and there.
He said, "No, no, no,
this one is a good one.
This one is good."
I saw Boris Becker, a youngster,
who could not move at all,
but he had a lot of willpower.
He was scraped bloody
on his knees and elbows,
but despite that,
he was jumping all over the court.
He was hitting the ball harder
than anyone else I had observed by then.
They both came from
very different backgrounds,
but despite that,
they were getting along nicely.
Both wanted to be successful.
Becker acknowledged
Tiriac as his boss.
This gave him a big break,
different rules for him.
Everything got easier because Tiriac
took a lot of pressure off of him.
His rules changed,
that was the difference.
His manager demands strict discipline.
Alcohol or drugs were forbidden
for the young professional.
Tiriac was fast to intervene.
Ion broke a glass and bit into it
and was chewing the shards.
That's when I found out
that this guy really means it.
He was brutal.
I think I made a huge impression on him
because of my rules.
I used to tell him:
"Boris, show me something good
and I will give you everything I've got."
Becker plays tennis,
Tiriac takes care of the contracts.
If someone wants something from Becker,
he has to go through his manager.
They are out to conquer the world.
Leimen is history.
Boris Becker now lives in Monte Carlo,
as a neighbor close to Ion Tiriac.
Thirty years later.
Boris Becker spends a weekend
with his family in Monaco
in search for traces of his past.
He wants Lilly and his son
to see how everything started.
Amadeus is the same age
when his dad took the big racket.
I want to thank my parents,
who allowed me to live my life
according to my passion and beliefs.
I do the same with my kids,
and they are all different.
They all have different strengths,
weaknesses, and passions.
I don't hold the master plan
for their lives,
that Amadeus starting school
and has to deliver certain grades,
then study law, medicine, or whatever.
It's his life and he has a right
to decide the same way I had it.
This is how I see the things.
Monte Carlo is a good place to meet.
Formula 1 driver Flavio Briatore is here.
It's amazing
that he still gets recognition
for something that he did 35 years ago.
That should tell you,
he worked really hard for it.
He won Wimbledon
not only once, but three times
at a very young age.
I am glad that the people
still admire and congratulate him on that.
Exactly here was my first apartment.
Without parents, only little Boris
as a 15-year-old who thought
he was at the top of the world,
just because he was able
to rent an apartment
on the second floor of the Bahia.
It was a world unknown to me till then.
Monte Carlo is far away
from Leimen, not only in distance,
but also the lifestyle.
I was never in a village
that had so many skyscrapers,
so many noisy cars.
That was impressive.
This is the building where my manager
Ion Tiriac used to live.
I was there very often.
What do you do as a 16-
or 17-year-old here during the evening?
We spent many evenings on his terrace
having dinner together.
It's where he taught me about life.
Becker takes his manager's advice
slowly to heart.
He grows up,
but he is still under close supervision.
Tiriac is right there
every time he has a slip-up.
Boris was sometimes arrogant
on the court.
I told Bosch
to take him out of the tournament.
"Oh, take him out
of this big tournament...?"
"Take him out, now!
I don't want a guy like this!"
Bosch let him play.
I went to talk to him after the game.
We talked, man to man.
I told him that I won't
tolerate such attitude.
For one month, I discussed
with the young man every day
six to eight hours.
About God, about the sun,
about religion, about women,
about anything else.
I didn't have to impose something to him,
because at that time,
he was such a young baby.
Whatever I said was the rule.
Tiriac called me at 2:00 a.m.
in Monte Carlo...
...asking me why my student
is partying at Jimmy's,
a club in Monte Carlo.
"It's 2:00 a.m.
and he plays a game tomorrow,
go and get him out of there,
or something worse is going to happen."
Tiriac contradicts himself
by telling him all the time
that he has girls in every town.
But when Boris went to find one,
all hell broke loose.
When Becker is traveling,
he sometimes takes an unexpected turn.
He changed his route to visit a church.
I was once an altar boy.
I was in church every Sunday
to assist the Pastor,
giving out the bread and wine.
I did that for a while.
Everyone has a conscience
that makes us who we are.
I believe in prayer.
I like to pray for myself.
I like a quiet place or a pretty church
to reflect upon myself.
Becker wants to be undisturbed
spending the weekend with his family
in Monte Carlo.
But Prince Albert heard
that his former resident
Boris Becker is in town.
He really wants to meet him.
That's why we are here.
Sometimes he does
master the art of small talk.
Becker wants to know
how life after 50 feels.
"You will be fine," said the prince.
The meeting lasted only ten minutes.
That's enough to renew their friendship.
Their age brings them
closer to each other.
I think it took 50 years for me
to say for the first time
that I am a man now.
I have the incredible chance
to live the remaining years I have
the way I want to.
People call me Mr. Becker,
and only if you know me
really well and long,
I may allow you to call me Boris.
It's not the other way around.
From Leimen to the Cte d'Azur.
Easier said than done.
He quit college
despite being a good student.
He put everything into tennis
and wanted his dreams to come true.
He made his first steps
here on this promenade.
I walked on these stones when I was 16,
very often in the evening.
I was walking around
and was thinking and dreaming
of how would it be
when I win my first big tournament.
Right here, it's true.
Standing ovations.
Everyone is on their feet.
A well-deserved victory
and a personal win for Boris Becker.
A fantastic achievement
for the 17-year-old Boris Becker.
There is something astonishing
about Boris Becker,
and it's something
that makes a great player:
He knows exactly when to score,
and after this win, we have to admit
that we totally underestimated him.
The tournament takes two weeks.
Becker wins
against Leconte and Jrryd.
He reached the finals.
Big excitement.
Everyone wants to see him, touch him.
He will later state that the Centre Court
is his playground.
I always knew what to count on.
That's my strength and power,
and my serving hand.
Also the fact that a 17 year old
lives mostly in the now.
You don't think about the future.
I had no clue what was going to happen
after I won this tournament.
A 17-year-old from Leimen,
the youngest winner of all time,
and the first German.
I can't believe it, not yet.
I don't know,
but I think it's going to take
a couple days before it sinks in.
Everything will change from now on.
Boris Becker was not born in Leimen.
Becker was born in London that day.
Everybody knew his face,
and he was adopted in Germany
by everybody.
But nobody asked him
if that's what he wanted.
They are hugging Boris Becker
and don't let go.
Dear Boris, you have made tennis history.
We fired you up and you won for us.
There is a misunderstanding
that stems from this event, until today.
That I won for the country, Germany,
or at least that I played for them.
I am an adult now,
and they barely let me be one.
Like, you have your own opinion now
and you are able to articulate that.
When they say to me that I am their boy,
I tell them that I probably never was.
I was never their boy from Leimen.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
there is not much to say here.
See for yourself the excitement
here in Leimen
for their most famous son.
Becker is too young
to fight against that.
Everyone wants a piece of him.
He was not prepared for that.
But the Germans are in a frenzy.
Everything happened so fast,
and Tiriac told him
that he is not from Leimen or German,
but a hero for the whole world now.
He is a worldling now
and he has to grow up fast.
His winning streak
left the audience breathless...
even Becker himself.
There was a time
where our lives got elevated.
Private jet, Concorde.
From Paris to New York.
From London to New York.
He won three tournaments in three weeks
on different continents.
Once you are in there, it's easy to forget
that you are still a normal human being
and that you should live a normal life.
He had to withstand the pressure,
on the court and in general.
That's his life now.
That's the price for it.
Becker has to repeat his success.
He has to do it again next year
in Wimbledon.
Becker did it.
He will not return to Leimen.
Everything happened too fast.
It was the school of hard knocks for him.
His attitude and dreams did not match.
He came from a good family,
and just like that...
his thoughts and dreams...
...took off like a rocket.
From zero to hero, everything changed.
He is welcomed everywhere,
even by the Pope in Rome.
His tennis racket is always with him.
Everyone wants to meet him.
Chancellor Kohl in Bonn.
Federal President Friedrich von Weizscker
in the weekly sport report show.
Boris Becker gets invited
to the White House in Washington, D.C.
Lady Diana also wanted to meet him.
At that time, in 85, Boris Becker
had five times more exposure on television
than the U.S. president.
Boris Becker
changed the face of tennis forever.
Tennis became an industry.
Becker closes advertising deals
worth millions.
Everyone wants to use his name.
He made a lot of people very rich.
Ion Tiriac, too.
One of the richest people of Romania.
A billionaire with an assortment
of classic cars, unique on the planet.
Becker profited as well.
He made his first million at age 18.
He made 15 percent on the court
and 85 percent of his money off the court.
I always thought that a big athlete
like Mr. Boris Becker would know
to better deposit his money in a bank
or somewhere else.
The interest on that alone
should have been enough
for a luxury life for him
and the next five generations.
It's all about that in the Summer of 2017.
What's left?
All that glitters is not gold sometimes.
The newspapers report
that Boris Becker is bankrupt.
Journalists are camping
around his house.
His wife can't take it anymore
and leaves for a couple of days.
Becker is left behind alone with his son.
He does not want us to know
how he really feels.
How does he cope with that?
It's the question of that summer.
His financial situation was an open secret
among the tennis press for a long time.
We knew he had an office in London,
but no one really knew what he did.
I don't wish to be disparaging.
He has lived that part of his life
and he has not been
particularly successful.
But we sort of expect
that if you're a very successful person
in one walk of life,
you're automatically going to be
successful in another.
Well, not necessarily.
He may bring a champion's mentality
to everything he does,
but it doesn't mean it will always work.
A private bank
in the London financial district.
Becker got a multimillion loan here.
They say that Becker
cannot fulfill his liabilities.
I am in litigation with an English bank.
Not because of the loan,
that's very well secured with properties.
That is not the problem.
The problem is that this bank
would like to collect interest from me,
a lot of it.
They are outrageously high
and in the double digits.
We say that it's even illegally high.
It's all about one creditor,
one bank where I owe something.
The bank does not back down.
The news of Becker's finances
are all over during the summer of 2017.
Becker insists
that his claims are credible.
I am solvent.
I am not broke.
I can pay my staff and everything else.
My accounts are not frozen
and my life goes on.
Becker is not able to silence
the discussion about that.
For a while, he lived in Switzerland,
after his tennis career.
He found a business partner there.
Hans-Dieter Cleven.
We founded a corporation together.
He was like a mentor,
a mentor and an experienced manager.
I learned a lot from in my first years.
We had contracts and conditions,
and I believe that I fulfilled them all
before we parted ways many years ago.
The court in Zug, a Swiss city,
has to find a verdict today.
And they do.
The court has to examine a claim
from Hans-Dieter Cleven
regarding a loan repayment
that Becker still owes.
A loan that goes into the millions.
The verdict shows
that the loan is not due yet.
The legal battle continues on.
It felt like the perfect storm,
the procedure for declaring
bankruptcy was initiated in London,
and on top of that,
I get a claim from Mr. Cleven.
The verdict shows clearly
at the end that he lost,
but nobody cared much about that.
I really had a tough time with that.
Boris Becker tries
to hold the family together.
It made us stronger,
it made me stronger for sure.
Boris was always strong,
you know, he was just like, "Bring it!"
I've learned from Boris to just,
when it gets tough let's go.
And I think,
if you're ever in a position that you feel
that your family is attacked, you go,
you go to war.
A hard battle for Becker,
but he is fighting it.
His life's achievements and reputation
are on the line.
Boris Becker in a debt trap
Boris Becker owns
debt for the past 16 years
That was a character assassination.
That was manslaughter.
It was all about destroying a human being
and his life's achievements.
And, yes, that is...
Sometimes I sit there and think,
"Who could profit from that?
Who does such things?"
When I make a mistake, I own up to it.
When I owe something, I gotta pay it back.
But I never thought to see
such viciousness and aggressiveness,
and I wonder what did I do to
these journalists to deserve that?
What did I do to the publishers?
Germans like to ride the wave.
When the tide is up and the wave is right,
they will give you everything they got.
But when you drown,
they will push you under,
every day, over and over.
Two months later,
Boris Becker is in bigger trouble
than he thought.
His tactic is to admit
only what he has to and not more.
The truth comes out, piece by piece.
He has to endure the time.
After a year of declaring bankruptcy,
he will be debt free in the U.K.
All his financial woes were gone.
I would be foolish
to explain here my strategy,
or the stage of the game I am in.
There is a lot of information
floating around.
I am in the middle of a bankruptcy.
That is my chance to clean house.
I can finally clean house
after all the things that happened
in the last couple decades.
I can be financially clean
by June 20, 2018.
It resets, and I will be able
to create a new game plan and strategy.
That strategy could change
within weeks or months,
but the goal is always the same,
to win at the end.
If that happened,
a lot of creditors will be unhappy.
The English bankruptcy law allows that.
Would that be a real win
for Boris Becker?
Frankfurt. Rmer.
Boris Becker gets hired
by the German Tennis Federation.
He gets the title:
Head of Men's Tennis.
They want him to save German tennis
as a tennis whisperer
for the Davis Cup team
for the junior talents.
That's a good sign.
We can start now.
He was not in the public eye for a while.
He gets a lot of attention.
The job is strictly on a voluntary basis.
My role now is being a mentor
for the German Tennis Federation,
and I want to give
all my knowledge forward
in order to make Struff, Stebe, Zwerev,
better in what they do and as a team--
In this case, Team Germany.
--in order for them to win the game.
This is how it's always been.
Hartford, Connecticut, 1987.
It was not a game,
but more of a bloody battle.
Unforgettable scenes.
Davis Cup, USA vs. Germany.
Losing the rank is on the line
for these professionals.
Boris Becker plays against John McEnroe.
Boris Becker vs. the USA.
The atmosphere was hostile,
that the only way to describe it.
BECKER'S PHYSIOTHERAPIS The Americans would cheer on John McEnroe,
very loudly.
We had some German audience,
but we were still outnumbered.
I think the court
could hold 15,000 people,
or closer to 14,000.
14,700 against one guy.
That is pretty impressive,
the walls where shaking.
The face of tennis changed.
It gets harder.
Every trick is allowed.
Becker knows how to get to McEnroe.
The more they were booing him,
the more he wanted to fight.
He was not impressed at all.
McEnroe took in a break
and gave one back,
when he turned around to the audience
and was using his arms
to heat up the audience.
He was running up and down and said,
"We have the chance to defeat Boris."
And that was kind of a key scene.
Boris, on the other hand,
took this and turned on his ego.
The more difficult a game was,
the better he played.
If he saw the slightest hesitation...
FORMER DAVIS-CUP PARTICIPAN ...from his opponent,
he used that to punch his way through.
That's an art form by itself.
He punches you where it really hurts,
and like no other,
he knows to find that spot.
Becker and McEnroe
played for 6 hours and 39 minutes.
A game that made its way
into the history books.
Boris was the first competitor
who then dared to run around with a flag.
He even wrapped himself in it.
A German flag.
That was unseen.
This is something
that you should not do normally.
Running around with your flag,
to show the Americans!
He did that because McEnroe was so cocky.
We went to the locker room,
and the physiotherapist...
took the bandages off his foot.
All of his skin was gone.
It was all raw meat.
The Davis Cup
made Boris Becker a team player.
He never wanted that,
but for this team, he did.
It was clear that he was the team leader.
Everyone knew that.
He showed that on the court.
We should not forget
that there was a lot of pressure on Boris,
people expected a certain performance,
and as a team leader, he had to win.
He told the team
that he would win his games...
...and for the others not to worry,
but to get their points and depend on him.
He not only said that, he did it.
He had a great amount of confidence,
and lead his team to the win with it.
One for all and all for one.
The four musketeers from Germany.
He also did not want
any extra privileges because of it.
Boris told us from the beginning
that the winnings would be split by four,
it doesn't matter who plays.
Even if someone
does not get to play at all,
he would still receive his share.
That was great for the team spirit
and much needed.
The audience likes that a lot,
but not Becker.
It was obvious for him to share.
He played for himself
and did not care what others thought.
He was famous,
in a good and in a bad way,
but he always tried to lift himself
off this picture.
FORMER DAVIS-CUP PARTICIPAN Even at the height of his career,
he always tried to distance himself.
He would say:
"Guys, that's my life,
and I want to do things
the way I want to do them."
That goes both ways,
and because of it,
I am sure he missed out a bit,
and others missed out on him,
but this is the way he wanted it.
Everyone wants to have Becker close.
He tried to give as much as he could,
even if sometimes he really disliked it.
A virus has caught the Germans.
It's already beyond just the sport.
The whole nation went crazy for tennis.
Especially a lot of women...
...who did not care much about tennis,
but only cared about Becker.
My neighbors would always ask me,
"How was little Boris doing?"
Mothers, fathers,
and grandparents loved him
because he suffered so much.
He endured a lot of hard times
with injuries to his body that he got
and that he self-inflicted
to get the adrenalin rush
to be better than anyone else.
That made him special.
Paris 2017.
Roland Garros, French Open.
The best players of the world meet here,
and Boris Becker is still among them.
It's like time is standing still.
The opponents of the past
have become friends.
Even John McEnroe and Mats Wilander.
Becker commentates the games in German.
He works the microphone for the BBC.
The hiring manager
for the BBC commentators told me once,
"I would never want to commentate
the Wimbledon finale
without someone on my side
who never experienced it himself.
Becker was godsend.
Becker experienced firsthand
what's important in this sport.
Nobody can tell him how tennis works,
not even John McEnroe.
But it's much more about that.
He became the beloved German
for the Brits.
He helped to shape the picture of Germany
in the eyes of the British public.
He likes his new role
as a tennis ambassador.
He likes the attention he gets now
on German television.
I am glad that the Germans
are slowly starting to get it.
I got the chance to work
at a big international channel
and be able to commentate
the sport I love in my native language.
That has not been possible
all these years.
It took so long, despite the fact
that I was able to show my skills
that I have in tennis
and under any circumstance.
I did not come this far
because I was the most talented,
or because I could serve the ball
the best, or because of my feet. No.
I came this far
because I knew when to score.
Boris Becker, measure of all things,
even as a critic.
That was her weakness,
she was not able to deliver a topspin,
and that made her too passive,
giving the game pretty much up.
You could feel and see the contact
between her and her coach
through the eyes, and sometimes verbally
during the whole game.
That shows how important it is
to have a coach during these situations.
It's home time.
When in Paris,
Becker stays at a hotel for gamblers.
He walks the short distance.
Does he wants us to see that?
He told us to keep the camera going.
It's the truth.
It's a shame that he is not able,
now that he has reached 50,
to do whatever he likes.
It breaks my heart.
It hurts my soul.
It was part of his sport to use his body.
That was normal, and he never complained
or whined about it.
He had blisters so severe
that they would bleed trough the shoes.
That was the animal in him.
Sounds brutal, but it's true.
He forgot his body
the moment he set foot onto the court.
He became a different person
and forgot all the pain and sorrow.
There is a price to be paid
for such a performance.
For jumping and falling
in thousands of tournaments.
Becker found just out recently
what that means.
When is it time
for the surgery he needs to have?
Becker flies from Paris to Switzerland
to visit a specialist.
Surgeries in the past
did not relieve his pain.
He continues to suffer, again and again.
You can see here
that your tarsus has suffered greatly
from your career in tennis.
You can see right here how the joint
has been destroyed over time
due to arthritis, and the impacts
it had sustained while playing.
You can see clearly
that the tarsus is completely destroyed
and the whole foot pivots.
That leads to your instability
that is visible.
It's completely crooked now?
Your whole foot is unstable,
changed due to the arthritis
and totally destroyed.
Did he sacrifice his body
for his tennis career?
Does he pay the price now,
that is his health, for his career?
Was it worth it?
The damage he sustained is a damage
that would push most people...
...into the wheelchair.
At least crutches or a wheelchair.
That person would think
about walking 15 feet or not.
It's amazing that Mr. Becker
is able to work in the Wimbledon Stadium
and walk up and down the stairs,
a lot of miles, almost a half marathon.
It's amazing he is still able to do that.
It shows how high his pain threshold is,
that he learned to endure
by playing tennis.
It's amazing that he can endure that.
It's a price that I would pay
any time again.
That's very common among top athletes.
Even Mr. Federer has pains sometimes,
and I know Mr. Nadal does.
Does not matter
if it's basketball or soccer.
All the top athletes
have to push themselves over the edge
in order to win.
The hours before the surgery
are calm and without fear.
The surgeon promised Becker
that he would walk again
after the procedure,
maybe even play a match.
That's all that counts.
The surgery went well.
Becker shares the info
on his Instagram page.
He calls it marketing.
He wants to stay afloat.
That's all his capital.
He wants to be his own boss.
I would not care
if no newspaper in Germany
would ever write anything again
about me, believe me.
I would never want
to get on German television again,
if it was my choice.
Believe me.
I don't have a choice.
Boris Becker is a great business model.
Newspapers sell better,
and the television station
meets its quota.
The media in general
makes a lot of money off of me.
Boris Becker is the most sought-after
bachelor of Germany,
maybe of the whole world.
Everyone wants to read his story.
He looks really good
when you first see him.
People always say it.
When he arrives, it's like a light
is turned on, he shines so bright.
I think we were sitting here together,
and he started to drink my beer
and eat my food...
...without asking me first,
and I told him,
"Since you started eating
my food and drinking my beer,
maybe time to have a little talk."
He said, "I don't think
we need to talk much about it."
We flew to Tokyo to catch a tournament
right after his dinner.
BECKER'S PHYSIOTHERAPIS We were standing around the kitchen
for the next ten hours
despite him having a first-class seat
and me being booked
into the business class.
He was talking about Barbara.
The couple gave the media
all the attention they wanted.
It's a two-way street.
The newspapers increase their sales.
Boris was always fighting for me.
He was always on the lookout
and never backed off
when people attacked me,
sometimes in a racist way.
He was really defending me.
He has a very stable personality.
Like everyone else,
he has rough edges,
but he always does what he says.
Barbara is now part of the family.
Everyone can see that.
I made a bet that he would be married
before his 25th birthday.
He waited.
He got married exactly a week later.
The CEO of Mercedes-Benz
sold me a 300 model
from his own museum.
I paid and gave the car to Boris.
Becker wins a total
of six Grand Slam tournaments,
Three times at Wimbledon.
We were sitting in the audience
and knew when it was time
for him to decide the game.
He was breathing tennis,
and we did, too. We played along.
Parents, sister, everyone around him.
Wimbledon, 1991.
His toughest game.
The final match against Michael Stich.
The game started for him the moment
he set foot into the locker room.
I can use the Wimbledon finale
as great example.
We had a unique situation because
it was just the two of us who were left.
He has a ritual he follows,
and he never deviates...
BECKER'S PHYSIOTHERAPIS ...especially in Wimbledon.
He had the same locker,
I believe it was locker number 3,
in the corner of the room.
Nobody and nothing
should disturb him there.
No greetings or best luck wishes, hugs,
that sort of thing.
He did not want that.
He was focusing, preparing for the match,
and all of the sudden,
Michael comes in and hugs him!
Right before the final match!
He was distraught and disturbed.
The ref came in to tell us
that the time has come.
The royal family arrived,
and I was ready with my bag
over my shoulder.
I was about to walk out and Boris said,
"Hold on, I have to go to the washroom."
Michael broke Boris Becker
in the locker room
by hugging him
and telling him how great it is
that two German players
are in the Wimbledon finals.
That took Boris off his focus,
that's what happened.
Michael Stich was a great player.
Great technique, amazing.
He won Wimbledon,
he defeated Boris Becker.
I would have bet my life on it
that this would never happen.
We hugged each other after.
We did have
a mutual feeling of friendship,
not sure about the level of it,
but he was an extremely good loser.
A painful loss for Becker.
Here, at his own playground.
But you would not notice it.
Rudyard Kipling said once,
"Treat those two impostors just the same."
Treat winning and losing just the same.
It's hard sometimes, but you should accept
that someone else was better that day.
He never blamed his opponents
for his loss.
He would rather search
to find the mistakes he made.
He was angry and would bicker.
He would show everyone his emotions
and despair.
A lot of people liked that about him.
I played for more than a year after that.
That's how long it took me
to get off the drug that is tennis.
I noticed that I needed one more match,
a final match.
I can't just quit and play my last match
in Salzgitter, or the last in Buxtehude.
I have to return to the place
where I was born.
The problem was that I had sustained
an injury on my ankle in '99.
My physician told me that
I would not be able to play in Wimbledon.
I told the doctor, yes, I will.
Find a solution and do something
that you've never done before.
I have to play this summer one more time
in Queen's and that is what I did.
In Wimbledon,
even if I have to play with only one leg.
Reality quickly caught up with me.
I lost 6:1, 6:2, 6:2,
but it enabled me to make it my decision
to say goodbye...
for my fans in the Center Court
and the world.
It was not a great day for him.
Barbara was late,
that threw him off his routine, too.
At the start of the match--
He had four seats in a box in Wimbledon,
four seats in the players box.
He expects the seats
to be occupied, but Barbara was late.
That was it.
The game should be repeated
with everything in order.
Boris Becker remembers this day well.
He is free at last. No more tournaments.
No training, no appointments.
He stays in London.
For the first time in a long time,
there is no more goal,
and he lets himself go.
I met the mother of my daughter
the night after the game,
and the rest is history.
I don't have to give you guys details,
but that is what happened that night.
June 30...
my new life started that day.
I never felt in any way betrayed...
...or cheated, or had the feeling
that I can't leave him alone.
That whole thing does not really
match his personality.
No more tie breakers.
No second serve.
Wimbledon does not exist.
His new life is about to start.
In a way, that is a metaphor...
...for just how much
being a top-level tennis player
had held his life together
up to that point.
And the challenges
he was going to face
after that, by being Boris Becker,
without being the tennis player.
Becker organizes his days differently.
He tries being a businessman,
and purchases a car dealership.
He has no reservations.
Life is still a game for him.
He looks around in search
of a new aspect in life.
Today's target is a casino
near the Czech border to Germany.
Becker knows the owner.
They both love poker.
It's getting late,
and the elegant ambience fades away.
Becker sinks into a deep focus.
He does not even notice his fans
at the table.
The only thing that matters is his hand.
Gambling is for amateurs, poker is not.
Poker is not a game of luck.
In poker, you have to constantly count,
you have to think strategically and fast.
Your position is important,
and you need to have
a very good knowledge of human nature,
since your opponent
is a real player and not a machine.
Poker requires a lot of self-discipline
and strategy.
You need a lot of patience
and perseverance.
A good poker session
can last 6, 7, 8, 12 hours.
Becker plays a round.
He puts on his poker face
and you can't tell a thing.
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
The golden rule for the next morning.
The poker face is important for the game.
That way, your opponent
cannot tell how you're doing,
what kind of hand you have.
Good poker players
have great poker faces.
I can look them in the eye
and still not be able to tell.
The same thing happens
on the tennis court with the best players.
If you look Federer in the eyes,
you cannot tell if he is scared or not.
If you look Nadal in the eyes,
the only thing you see
is his passion, nothing else,
not even if he has self-doubts.
That's a talent you can use
for the rest of your life,
and I can use it to play poker.
Was he happy with his game?
He says yes.
Maybe it's true.
He is all alone in his room.
He looks lonely.
The TV is running for hours at end.
where the elite send their kids.
Becker got invited
to give a speech to students and alumni.
The theme: Boris Becker.
How do you master life?
What good advice
can he give to the young people?
Emma Thompson
gave a speech here as well,
as well as war reporter
Christiane Amanpour from CNN.
He answers questions for an hour.
He talks about the pressure,
and about his ups and downs.
Everything that you can learn
from playing tennis about life.
He looks over to his wife
after someone asks
what his favorite dance is.
They are strong together.
That's what he meant by it.
Ibiza is the island of choice
for his wife, Lilly.
She wanted to spend the summer here.
Boris Becker also liked to go.
All the media and news
about his alleged debt,
they do not reach this place.
It's my personal happy place.
I get to the airport and it's just like...
You can go crazy, you can go party, relax,
go out, be romantic, everything.
I think now I am older,
I can understand exactly
what I want and what I need.
I definitely want to enjoy my life.
'Cause you only have one.
A day at the beach
makes everything better.
His lawyers in Germany
prepare counter-statements for the press.
Attack mode.
Becker seems to have fun
showing everyone how good things are.
The summer was not bad, not at all.
The summer brought us together.
Yes, we had stress, obviously.
Because people were following us.
All the lies and stories.
It was a little bit stressful,
but I still had my beautiful holiday.
It brought us closer to each other.
It bound us together.
It's like...
Who is Boris Becker?
Everyone knows him, or they think they do.
After 1985, they do.
Maybe we are wrong, and only today
he showed us who he really is,
and what's in him.
What if the champ is not much better
than you and I in his second life?
Would that be so bad?
Boris Becker would become, finally,
Boris Becker.
I have been a celebrity
for the last 30 years.
There is a price for that.
There is also a misunderstanding
I wanted to set straight.
I was never your Boris.
I was always myself.
The only people who would come close
to say I am their Boris,
that would be my parents
and my sister, my wife and kids.
Nobody else.
That's a misunderstanding
that floats around for 30 years.
I am not your Boris.
You don't have to be worried about me.
I will be fine, I am a grownup now.
Subtitle translation by
Konstantinos Arvanitakis