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The Player: The Autobiography Paperback – July 26, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Becker uncovers it all and doesn’t pull any punches.” -- Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Boris Becker was born in Leimen, West Germany, in 1967, and burst onto the international tennis scene in 1985 when, as an unknown 17-year-old, he rewrote the record books by beating Kevin Curren and winning the men’s final at Wimbledon. On the back of his enormously powerful serve, he took the world of tennis by storm and by 1991 he was the world’s number one player. His extraordinary career includes three Wimbledon men’s singles titles (he reached the final seven times in ten years) among a total of 49 singles and 15 doubles crowns, and he became the second youngest player (after Bjorn Borg) to be inducted into tennis’s Hall of Fame. Retiring from the pro-tennis scene in 1999, Becker refused to fade away — his name simply moved from the back pages of newspapers to the front.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Publishers (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553817167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553817164
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,718,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gaetan Lion on May 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent autobiography about one of my favorite tennis stars of the Open era. His book compares favorably to Mac's "You Can't Be Serious." Although both personalities are equally intriguing, Becker opens up more. Mac remains more focused on the tennis. Becker engages in depth into all his demons, the tax evasion scandal, the wrenching divorce, and the sleeping pill addiction.

With Becker you feel the heights and lows of fame. It is an extremely charged bipolar life. You also feel that Becker found it physically and emotionally exhausting. His body was crippled with tendon injuries resulting in several surgeries. His lingering tax evasion case lasting years took a heavy toll on his tennis career. His marriage to Barbara was a casualty of fame.

Many relationships he experienced have gone through Faustian dramas. This is true with his coaches and his women. He always seems to share a very strong bond and trust at the onset. Invariably, they don't meet expectations (his or theirs). Then, things fall apart. But, somehow they often recover and end up as mature friends. This was the case with both Ion Tiriac and Barbara (his former wife).

Becker is full of contradictions. For instance, when he is in court to fight over the terms of a bitter divorce he states that he lived all his life in Germany. This was in an effort to transfer the divorce case from the U.S. where his wife filed the divorce paper to Germany where he would benefit from more lenient financial disclosure. But, when the German government goes after him for back taxes. All of a sudden, he has supposedly not set foot in Germany for decades. What gives?

The description of life on the tour and the limelight seems really existential at best.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Anurag Chatrath on October 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
I would imagine that most of the autobiographies of sports personalities (and perhaps movie stars) in todays day and age are ghost-written. This book doesn't seem to be an exception.

Being a great fan of Becker, I picked up the book as soon as I saw it in a bookshop. However, I was reasonably disappointed. The book talks very little about his tennis (which is what a fan would like to read about). I wanted to read about his epic matches, and his wimbledon wins.

Instead of writing about tennis in this book, Becker writes more about the off-the-court aspects of his life (his misunderstandings with his coaches, with other players on the circuit). He seems to be making a point that he was never in the wrong but that he was misunderstood. The book seems to be his attempt to set the record straight.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Maynard on December 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
It's much more about his personal life and business pursuits than tennis. The extent to which he has burned out on the game really comes through in the lack of interest he seems to have in writing about it. Few matches get any more than a sentence or two. Pretty disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Davis on May 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
I found the book pretty interesting. I was a major Becker fan back in my teens & as such I've heard so many stories about him over the years. Problem was none of the stories involved his side or his view of the events. So I enjoyed learning about the events from the major player's point of view. He is a gentlemen about his relationships with women, including the mother of his daughter out of wedlock. I respect that, in today's "Jerry Spring" environment it would have been easy for him to get too personal or [...] to try & increase sales & he refrained from that. I hope Becker finds the happiness that seems to have eluded him all these years. (But if your looking for pictures the only ones in the book are on the front & back cover)Good book overall.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zaedvl on November 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very interesting book, giving an inside look in the world of a top athlete, who became rich and famous almost overnight. Boris shares his views on the world of sports and other side of normal human life (social inequality, racism, love, etc.). A great read!
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Format: Paperback
Boris Becker is my favorite tennis player, period, so this was a must-read for me. It is pretty well written and does give you insight to his thinking and personal life. Many people here complain that there is not much about his tennis matches, well, not too many people would remember this or that match and would probably bore non-tennis fans to death. I mean, how boring is it to talk about a tennis match with just words. I rather enjoy his story though. I thought it might have been better if it was in a more chronological order. Story moves out of time line and may confuse the reader. I also felt some parts seem repetitious and could be cut out. Part of the reason for some of its repetition is because it was out of chronological order and the writer feels a need to fit the events with previously discussed events just to give context. Compared to an average person, Becker definitely lives a rich and lively life with many beautiful women, riches beyond most people's reach, and exclusivity, exclusivity. Of course, there is a negative side: zero privacy, pressure from country and press, loneliness. But I doubt there will be any sympathizers as many people would see only the glamour, money, and fame. Still, I feel this is not interesting or exciting enough for a 300+ page book. Any A-list star would probably have a similar life if not more exciting. I just think for one to write an autobiography, there should be something different and telling that the reader would not been able to read from any other autobiography. Such is not the case here. Becker is quite an exciting player on the tennis court in terms of skill and personality which rivals an Agassi or McEnroe, but his personal life is a dud.
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