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Boris Becker

Within the charmed, golden circle of the 2011 World Cup win, we Indians inscribed an emotional nucleus: the zenith of Sachin’s glorious career being celebrated from atop the shoulders of his adoring teammates. Those moments, said the voting public at the Laureus World Sports Awards, was the ‘best sporting moment’ of the past 20 years. In Berlin, Boris Becker and Steve Waugh—creators of many winsome moments themselves—presented the award to Sachin.

Photograph by Getty Images

German tennis great Boris Becker, center, poses for a photo with his sons Noah, left, and Elias as they arrive for the 2020 Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin, Germany.

AP/PTI

We will never know if Boris Becker actually respected tradition and turned up in lederhosen, but his dirndl-clad friend in Mun­ich’s Oktoberfest sure inspired him to swill those gargantuan pitchers of beer effortlessly. The bankrupt tennis legend nearly ran into his nearly-divorced wife, they say. Ah, but then, we disapprove of unpleasant encounters.

You’ll feel doubly depressed if you superimpose this tale of Boris Becker’s utter penury with those indelible, faded-colour images from Wimbledon, 1985: hands aloft, the quivering frame of a flaxen-­haired 17-year-old after he won the championship point. Becker, who was declared bankrupt, is now selling off his silverware: replica grand slam trophies, medals, clothing, watches, racquets, socks...to raise money that would keep him afloat. Fiscal prudence might not be Becker’s strongest serve, but can they not organise a charity match for him?

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