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Becker: You’ve to beat yourself before your opponent

There were words of wisdom from German tennis legend Boris Becker to all youngsters. The German, a legend not just in his playing days, but even now, told a TV channel and a studio audience that if making money was the main intention, then people would be approaching playing sport the wrong way.

There were lessons galore for many parents too, especially those who want to push their kids into cricket or tennis or golf for a quick turnover in terms of making money.

“If parents think sports is about making money then it’s the first wrong step.”

“I would not suggest any teenager to leave school for professional sport,” he added.

“Study and sports should go in tandem, studies are also important.”

Becker was the poster boy of power tennis in the mid-1980s. In 1985, a year after making his professional debut, the German claimed his first Wimbledon title at the age of 17 years and 227 days, the youngest ever to win a Grand Slam, till the record was broken by Michael Chang.

He had six grand slam titles in his career, and also has the 1992 Barcelona Olympics gold to his name.

After ending his professional career, Becker coached Novak Djokovic from 2013 to earlier this year, in what was one of the most successful partnerships in professional tennis.

“You have to use your emotions in a positive way. Tennis is not only about height and power but more about how much you are willing to do.

“You have to first beat yourself and then your opponent in tennis. You need to have right attitude and mindset to play big tournaments,” Becker added.

Unfortunately, Indian tennis does not really impress him. “I think you don’t have great tennis teachers in this country.”

Speaking of his partnership with Djokovic, Becker said it was great that they had come together.

“It was a very proud moment when Novak won the first Grand-Slam under me. I’m happy that Novak and I came together for tennis.”

What next? “I haven’t thought about my future coaching plans after splitting with Novak,” the German stated.

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