Becker named new men’s chief in German tennis
Former world number one and Wimbledon champion Boris Becker has been given the task of revitalising men’s tennis in Germany, the governing body DTB confirmed on Wednesday.
Becker, 49, will be tasked with improving Germany’s position in the Davis Cup while setting direction in youth development. He will initially be in the role to 2020 and receive only travel expenses rather than salary for his work, DTB president Ulrich Klaus said.
Youngster Alexander Zverev is the highest ranked German in the ATP world standings, sitting sixth, but only two of his compatriots are inside the top 50.
Barbara Rittner, the Fed Cup captain, is take on the same role as Becker on the women’s side of the game.
“Tennis is a matter of the heart for me,” said Becker, who arrived at the press conference on crutches. “This is what I can do best.
“I am proud to be head of men’s tennis. I love this sport, I love this country.”
Becker won six grand slam titles as a player and as a coach had several highly fruitful years with Novak Djokovic, helping the Serb to multiple titles and a dominant position in the game.
Klaus said Becker “would be responsible for the whole of men’s tennis” and his first engagement is the Davis Cup relegation play-off next month.
Germany head to Portugal for a clay court tie in Lisbon September 17-19, hoping to retain world group status.
The new structure in the DTB also sees Rittner appointed and she will give up her position as Fed Cup captain to Jens Garlach from 2018.
“I am really excited and eager for the cooperation with Boris,” Rittner said.
Former German Davis Cup captain Patirk Kuehnen believes the appointment of Becker is an “absolute enrichment to the German team.
“With Alexander Zverev at the top, the German team has the chance to be involved in the upper reaches of the Davis Cup in the mid- and long-term,” he told t-online.
GNA