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The Player: The Autobiography Paperback – July 26, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
It doesn't appear to be too ghost written and though the tennis is featured, it's not just about tennis, and that's inevitable. We all know Becker's physical tennis style - it was often the things happening off the court that threatened his place in the game and could well have distracted him. It's obvious that Boris has had many highs and lows, very early fame and success that he struggled to deal with, as he was suddenly thrust into the public eye. He overcame that to sustain a long and illustrious tennis career at a time the game was undergoing some key transitions which he describes well - the context of someone who witnessed and was at the middle of the change of a tennis era.
If there is anyone who bridged those two eras, it was Becker. Despite his serve dominant game, he was always entertaining to watch. And he makes a good point - at a time when most sports are being dogged and threatened by drug scandals and cheating, tennis remains a relatively untainted, predominantly skill based game, equal parts mental, emotional and physical. The main cloud over it at present is the increased commercialism and exploitation of the sport. Fair enough - professional top players deserve remuneration but at what point does it become more about the money than the game?
Boris is a contradiction - swinging between tightly controlled discipline, and extreme passion/drama; self assuredness and then self doubt/loathing. It is those shades that made him an interesting player and individual. His feelings towards his homeland veer from pride, affection and sentiment; to some disappointment, frustration and bitterness.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Disjointed writing style with events written out of chronological order make this a difficult read. This book is more about Boris's personal life than his on-court battles and... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
While we watched this champion burst upon the scene, pursue his career with dogged determination and eventually bow out on tennis' greatest stage it was easy to forget he was a... Read morePublished on May 3, 2014 by pbusharizi
As a Becker fan, It will always be interesting to learn about his achievements as well as his challenges as a sportsman (hero) and also as a man (mortal).Published on January 16, 2014 by Nivaldo Dutra Amorim Filho
A very interesting book, giving an inside look in the world of a top athlete, who became rich and famous almost overnight. Read morePublished on November 6, 2012 by Zaedvl
Book came in good condition and promptly too..I am very happy with the overall experience..Thanks Guys..Keep up the good work..Published on January 23, 2012 by Psehrawat
Boris Becker is the epitome of an attacking tennis player bursting onto the grounds of Wimbledon at 17. Read morePublished on November 2, 2010 by Rick Spell
This book is a good read. This is how an autobiography for a sportsperson should be written - AFTER he/she retires. Read morePublished on May 12, 2010 by Jayakumar Unnikrishnan
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. Read morePublished on January 12, 2010 by dasn0wman