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The Player [Format Kindle]

Becker Boris
3.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Extrait

THE MAN ON THE MOON

I'm serving for the championship. five steps to the baseline. My arm is getting heavy, wobbly. I look at my feet and almost stumble. My body starts to shake violently. I feel I could lose all control. I'm standing at the same baseline from where I served to 1-0 in the first set. 5-4; the end is getting nearer. I have to find a way to get these four points home.

My opponent, Kevin Curren, piles on the pressure. 0-15. 15 all. 30-15. 40-15. I want, want, want victory. I look only at my feet, at my racket. I don't hear a thing. I'm trying to keep control. Breathe in. Serve. Like a parachute jump. Double fault. 40-30. How on earth can I place the ball in that shrinking box over there on the other side of the net? I focus on throwing the ball and then I hit it.

The serve was almost out of this world, or at least its results were. This victory was my own personal moon landing. 1969 Apollo 11, 1985 Wimbledon 1. Back then, Neil Armstrong jumped from the ladder of the space capsule Eagle into the moondust and transmitted his historic words to the people of the world: 'That's one small step for man, one great leap for mankind.' But I couldn't muster words to meet the occasion. I could only think, Boy oh boy, this can't be true.

The tension disappeared instantly and I felt slightly shaky. My heart was beating fast. I left crying to the others, though: my coach Günther Bosch, my father and my mother. 'With the passion of a Friedrich Nietzsche or Ludwig van Beethoven,' wrote Time in its next issue, 'this unseeded boy from Leimen turned the tennis establishment of Wimbledon on its head.'

Although my Swedish colleague Bjšrn Borg was only seventeen when he entered the Wimbledon arena, he didn't win until three years later. John McEnroe started at eighteen but didn't hold the trophy until he was twenty-two. Jimmy Connors was twenty-one; Rod Laver, one of the greatest of our time, twenty-two. I was just seventeen years and 227 days old; I couldn't legally drive in Germany. I cut my own hair, and my mother sent me toothpaste because she was worried about my teeth. 'Boy King,' lauded the British newspapers. 'King Boris the First.' Meanwhile, King Boris was in the bath enjoying a hot soak. Back then, a physiotherapist was beyond my means.

From that day on, nothing in my life remained the same. Boris from Leimen died at Wimbledon in 1985 and a new Boris emerged, who was taken at once into public ownership.

Goodbye, freedom. Hands reaching out to you, tearing the buttons from your jacket; fingernails raking over your skin as if they wanted a piece of your flesh. A photograph, a signature - no, two, three, more . . . Love letters, begging letters, blackmail. Bodyguards on the golf course and on the terraces at Bayern Munich. Security cameras in the trees of our home, paparazzi underneath the table or in the toilets. Exclusive — see Becker peeing.

And everything I did had consequences. One word of protest would lead to a headline. An innocent kiss would appear on the front page. A defeat and Bild would cry for the nation. A victory and the black, red and gold of the German flag was everywhere. Our Boris.

The experts would write that it was my willpower and the 'boom boom' of my serve that got me through. But it isn't explained away so easily. On that day of my first victory at Wimbledon, forces were involved that went beyond mere willpower. Instinct made me do the right thing in the decisive moment, even if I didn't know I was going to do it. My heart was big, my spirit was strong, my instincts were sharp - only my flesh was sometimes weak. And no one can get out of their own skin.

In 1986 Ion Tiriac, my manager, arranged an audience with the Pope. Ion is a devout man, and when he asked me if I wanted to see the Pope, I thought, sure, why not? I took my racket with me to get it blessed. At the time this was treated as crass commercialism, some kind of PR campaign for Puma, my racket-maker. How innocent I was then. I was only on the lookout for a little luck. But in the end, neither the man on the moon nor the one on the holy chair brought me victory. It was the indescribable, the unexplainable, the unheard-of, that got hold of me and sent me into a different orbit.

And all I had to do was keep winning, again and again.


From the Hardcover edition.

Revue de presse

"

'Fascinating reading, mainly because he is that rare thing: a sportsman who opens up, who can articulate his emotions fluently, convey the pain of defeat and the elation of victory with eloquence, humour and resonance'

" (Gq)

"'His account of the pressures he endured as a boy-wonder, when Volkswagon was the only German name better-known than his own, is truthful and disturbing'" (Sunday Telegraph)

"'Never far from controversy, Boris Becker reveals all in the most eagerly-awaited tennis autobiography for many a year'" (British Tennis)

"'An extraordinary sports biography'" (Yorkshire Evening Post)

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 423 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 370 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0553817167
  • Editeur : Transworld Digital (30 novembre 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B005VQFRD8
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°166.864 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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3.0 étoiles sur 5 Pas si mal 19 septembre 2012
Par Stefcuv
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Livre plutot honnetement écrit et pas mal détaillé sur la vie de ce très grand joueur.

Becker apparait comme un homme dur, centré sur lui même, difficile a vivre et qui dans ce livre s'arrange pour se chercher beaucoup d'excuses et se présenter sous un jour plutot avantageux. Néanmoins Boris nous livre beaucoup de ses failles, de ses erreurs, de ses manquements, de ses galères et apparait tout simplement très humain. Difficile exercice de coucher sur le papier avec une complète honneteté les cadavres que l'on cache dans le placard.

A la lecture de ce livre, on a l'impression que Boris s'est fait fortement violence pour essayer de raconter la vérité mais n'a de toute evidence pas encore laissé tomber les barrières mentales qui le laisserait dire la vérité et rien que la vérité.On ne peut néanmoins pas le blamer d'avoir essayer de nous emmener aussi loin qu'il le pouvait dans l'exercice catartique.

Lecture conseillée donc pour connaitre mieux ce personnage qui apparaissait comme titanesque sur le court et en fait si fragile. On en peut nier tout de même que l'on ressent un gout de trop peu. Autre regret : Boris ne nous emmene que trop succintement dans ses plus grandes rencontres et n'arrive pas, à la manière d'un André Agassi dans Open, à nous faire rentrer de plein pieds dans les plus grandes rencontres de sa carrière.
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Amazon.com: 3.9 étoiles sur 5  13 commentaires
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 It is a lot more than about Becker or Tennis 4 mai 2006
Par Gaetan Lion - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
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. Becker suffered from the inability to make genuine friends with fellow tennis players. He found the resulting social isolation difficult. But, how could you be close friends when your livelihood depended on your killer instinct ability to beat your fellow pros.

The richness of the book is generated by all the chapters dedicated to other stars than Becker. One of them is by Ion Tiriac who describes his side of the story, including the fall out with Becker, and the eventual reconciliation. Another chapter is about Ali, another one consists of a fascinating interview with McEnroe, another one is an ode to Steffi Graf, finally another is an ode to Mandela. So, this biography is not just about Becker or tennis.

If you like this book, I strongly recommend McEnroe's "You Can't Be Serious" and Bill Scanlon's "Bad News for McEnroe." Both those books stick more to tennis. Nevertheless, they are fascinating as they are written by two of the most talented players and incisive minds in tennis.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Disappointing 24 octobre 2005
Par Anurag Chatrath - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
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.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Player 6 novembre 2012
Par Zaedvl - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
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!
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Just Like Boris!! 10 janvier 2010
Par John Ferguson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
A very good Autobiogrpahy from one of the great players of the Open Era. Boris is candid, open and as always opinionated. Interesting observations about Lendl, Edberg and other contemporaries! Recommended!
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Read if you are interested in his personal life and not tennis 21 décembre 2007
Par J. Maynard - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
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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