Former world number one and three times Wimbledon Champion, Boris Becker, told GiveMeSport in an exclusive interview, that winning the title as a 17-year old was a life changing experience and a mark that has been left on his life forever.

Wimbledon is the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world and the one that all players without question want to win the most.

Journey begins

The traditions of a strict dress code, no advertising and of course strawberries and cream enjoyed by impeccably dressed spectators make it feel like a real English occasion, setting it apart from the other three Grand Slams in Australia, France and the United States.

Wimbledon is unquestionably a special place, but none more so then for Boris Becker, one of the great Wimbledon Champions of all time, with three titles, and a place where it all began for the German.

"My official public journey really started at Wimbledon almost 30-years ago," Becker recalled.

"I always call July 7, 1985 my second birthday. An unknown West German guy from Leimen until then, and then I became a sporting superstar and hero to some on that day. It is a place I call home."

Back in Wimbledon competition

Becker has returned to SW19 this year for the first time in a competitive capacity since he bowed out in 1999, when he lost to Australian Pat Rafter in the fourth round.

This time round he sits in the players box as part of Team Djokovic, a new experience for the former champion that has done practically everything that Wimbledon has to offer over the years.

"I feel like i have done the rounds now, having played the qualifying at Roehampton, lifting the trophy as a player and I have done the commentary for the Wimbledon final for 12-consecutive years."

"I have sat in the Royal Box but never sat in the Players Box, so that was a first. I felt honoured, something I have never done before after doing everything else at Wimbledon."

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Queens

Winning the 1985 title as an unseeded player, an unprecedented achievement, is when most remember him actually bursting on the scene, which is partly true, however some forget that in the traditional warm up tournament of Queens in the same year, he lifted the title with a straight sets thrashing of Johan Kriek.

1985 Wimbledon Champion

The win by no means placed him as one of the favourites to go on and cause an upset at Wimbledon, however it was enough to get his opponents thinking about how much they would want to avoid him through the earlier rounds.

"To tennis insiders I was somebody on a good day, with the power I had and the serve I had that I could be dangerous. I wasn't seeded but in the locker room you could say I was feared."

The German managed to avoid John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors in the later rounds, being in the opposite side of the draw, however he advanced through to the final with four-set wins over Henri Leconte and Anders Jarryd, setting up a final with the accomplished Kevin Curran, who had stunned both McEnroe and Connors in the quarter and semi-finals.

On July 7, over four sets, Centre Court belonged to the 17-year old, as he announced himself on the biggest stage, beating Curran in a composed and powerful performance that captured the imagination of tennis fans around the world.

Youngest Wimbledon Champion

Life changing

The win was the beginning of an incredible 14 year journey for the previously unknown German, a journey that would see him go on and lift 49 professional titles including six Grand Slams, a life changing moment as he recalled.

"You can't put it into an interview or ten about how much it changed my life."

"As I said two birthdays. One was November 22, 1967, and the other one was July 7, 1985. It is really like that my life before didn't exist, and my life afterwards is surrounding that title. It definitely left a mark on my life forever."

Topics:
#ATP World Tour Finals
#Boris Becker
#Tennis
#Novak Djokovic
#Wimbledon