Wimbledon Re-Lived 1985: Boris Becker, Just 17

In 1985, a strawberry-blonde, unseeded, 17-year-old German named Boris Becker won Wimbledon, beating Kevin Curren in the final, and suddenly tennis had a new star.

In what way did Becker bring levels of power and athleticism which hadn’t been seen before on a tennis court? And how did people react to his arrival on the world stage?

We hear from Johan Kriek, the man who predicted Becker’s victory at Wimbledon after losing to him at Queen’s two weeks earlier, and Curren discusses his own run which saw him beat John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors without losing a set, before underestimating Becker’s big-match mentality in the final.

Becker went on to have a lot more success at Wimbledon, including a hat-trick of finals against Stefan Edberg. The Swede tells us about their rivalry.

Finally, we look at how fame changed Becker’s life forever, and not always for the better.  

The Tennis Podcast is presented by Catherine Whitaker and David Law, and features Matt Roberts. It is produced weekly year-round, and daily during the Grand Slam tournaments. It is crowdfunded by listeners each December. 

* TENNIS RE-LIVED *

We will be doing daily shows throughout the original Wimbledon dates, looking back on some of the tournament’s best matches and most important stories. The 1985 men’s final between Boris Becker and Kevin Curren is available on YouTube. On Thursday we will re-watch the epic 1991 final between Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini which is split into parts 1, 2 & 3.

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