The German Becker, whose mother is Jewish, is indisputably one of the greatest players of the modern era, and a legendary Wimbledon champion. Becker, himself, professes no particular religious beliefs, and never identified himself as a Jew. Becker says it is because of his background that he is tolerant of everyone: "If you just look at my background, I have from my mother's side a Jewish background, from my father's side a very Catholic background. My mother had to defect in the Second World War when the Russians invaded her town in Czechoslovakia. She was in a camp in Germany."
In 1985, Becker won Wimbledon at the age of 17, thus becoming the youngest champion ever, as well as the first unseeded one, to capture this particular English crown. His headlong, reckless style made him a crowd-pleasing player. Boris, a husky German, hurled his powerful body around the court like a frisky puppy delighted to be playing on the grass. In his storied career, Boris won five other Grand Slam titles, including two more at Wimbledon, but he was as celebrated for his ebullient, charismatic personality and boyish energy as for his engagingly adventurous playing style. On July 12, 2003, when he was still only 35 years old, Becker was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
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