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Boris Becker and his success story made tennis a national sport in Germany. In 1985, at the age of just 17 years, Boris Becker became and still remains the youngest ever winner of The Championships, Wimbledon, and he is a six-time Grand Slam singles champion, an Olympic gold medalist in doubles. He went on to win a total of 49 career titles.
Becker also won five major indoor championship titles including three ATP Masters World Tour Finals (played eight finals, second all-time to Ivan Lendl, who played nine; tied with Roger Federer) and one WCT Finals and one Grand Slam Cup. He also won five Masters 1000 series titles and eight Championship Series titles. Tennis Magazine put Becker in 18th place on its list of the 40 greatest tennis players from 1965 to 2005.
In addition to his success in the majors, Becker was a force in Davis Cup play. He led Germany to victory in 1988 and 1989, and at one point won 22 consecutive Davis Cup singles matches. Becker also won the year-end ATP World Championships three times, and secured Olympic gold with doubles partner Michael Stich in 1992.
But the powerful German is best remembered for his success on the famed grass courts of Wimbledon, where he rocketed to stardom. Fittingly, he announced his retirement after losing there in the fourth round in 1999, finishing with an outstanding 71-12 career record at the All-England Club. Overall he won 49 career singles titles, another 15 in doubles and walked away with over $25 million in earnings.
Becker started a tennis equipment and apparel business, and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2003, but he also generated headlines for controversial reasons after his retirement.