Boris Becker Reveals He Cried In Jail Watching Novak Djokovic Win Wimbledon
Boris Becker has revealed he started crying in jail as he watched Novak Djokovic win Wimbledon in 2022.
Becker, who used to coach the current Australian Open champion until 2016, told press at the Berlin Film Festival that he continues to regard Djokovic as a member of his family.
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He explained: “While I was inside (jail), Novak supported me, he supported my family. I started crying when he started winning. I’m very proud that probably the best player of all time is part of this story.”
‘This story’ is Boom! Boom! The World vs. Boris Becker, a two-part documentary on Becker’s life directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney, set to premiere on Apple TV+.
Becker took the chance in Berlin to reflect on his life since being released from jail in the UK at the end of last year, after serving six months for tax evasion.
He said: “It feels great to be free, and at peace with myself. We all have to improve ourselves. Whether that is possible is another question.
“I’m very pleased that after six months I was able to leave prison. I see the world with a different perception. I’m able to rebuild my life, and I hope the film shows a facet of my life that is not so known.”
Boom! Boom! The World vs. Boris Becker is a comprehensive look at the rollercoaster story of Becker’s life, including taking him back to the center court at Wimbledon, where he became the youngest ever men’s singles champion in 1985.
Oscar winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) revealed he had to reconstruct the narrative of his film in the light of Becker’s jail sentencing for tax evasion in 2022. Of the process, Gibney said he realised, “A documentary is like fiction, except you write the script at the end.”
Becker was interviewed for the film in 2019 and again in 2022, just a few days before his sentencing. He said his career as a tennis player helped him deal with life behind bars:
“The only thing that saves you on a tennis court is your mind – you’re afraid, you respect your opponent, you don’t know how it’s going to be, and life in jail is like that. You never know what is around the corner.
“The wins and losses (of tennis) have prepared me for my life after. There have been ups and downs, but I’m still sitting here and I’m okay.”
As the subject of his own documentary, Becker named his own favourite film stars as James Dean and Marlon Brando – “both rebels,” he added.
Other contributors to the film include Becker’s former rivals on the court including John McEnroe, Mats Wilander. Bjorn Bjorg, Michael Stich, and his wry Romanian former manager, Ion Tiriac.
Becker said that Tiriac “is a father figure for me up to this day. My father died in 1999 and Ion Tiriac was there for me, I could always call him and usually he gave me the right counsel.
“Sometimes it takes a while before the son realises the father was right. He took his time and was also right to criticise me but I do know that if push comes to shove, I can call him and he will take that call.”
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