Wimbledon tennis champion Boris Becker says that he prefers living in Britain because he can’t find any privacy in his home country of Germany.
The German former tennis star and commentator, who won Wimbledon when he was just 17 years old, says that people in Germany have a hard time accepting that he is “no longer one of them”, but he is happy to have chosen to live next to the venue that made him famous.
“We speak English at home,” he says in the latest issue of Radio Times. “I don’t live in Germany because of complete loss of privacy. Here I’m given space. People will politely say hello, nice you’re here, and then walk on. I’m not national property. German people feel an entitlement, that they own me.”
Becker was a regular feature as a BBC commentator after retiring from professional tennis, but has recently returned to the circuit to coach world number one Novak Djokovic.
However, he says he still spend six months of the year at his London home in Wimbledon, preferring to live in the UK rather than in Germany.
“I wouldn’t say I feel alienated from Germany, but I’ve moved on,” he says. “It’s not sad for me, just a mature decision. I haven’t fallen out of love with my own country, and I don’t think they have with me. I was in Germany and I spoke about brands, Europe, politics… and I was told that my German is very good. What did they expect?” Becker asks.
“They love me, but they fell in love with a 17-year-old from a small town and have a hard time accepting that boy is now 47 and is no longer one of them.”
Read the full interview with Boris Becker in this week’s issue of Radio Times magazine, available from 9th June in shops and on the digital newsstand