Boris Becker: Cannes premiere with Tiriac, Leconte & Co.

Boris Becker: Cannes premiere with Tiriac, Leconte & Co.

Legends meet: Boris Becker and Ion Tiriac walked the red carpet together in Cannes. The two share a special relationship.

An appearance like a flashback to the tennis world of the 70s and 80s. On Thursday, several icons of the sport met at the Cannes Film Festival for the premiere of the film documentary “Nasty” about the eccentric Romanian tennis star Ilia Nastase (77). In addition to Nastase and his wife Ioana (48), the Frenchman Henri Leconte (60) and the Iranian ball magician Mansour Bahrami (68), Boris Becker (56) and his former discoverer and manager Ion Tiriac (85) also appeared together on the red carpet on the Cote d’Azur. It became clear once again that the two have a very special relationship – for life.

Rockstars of the “white sport”

Debts, bankruptcy and imprisonment: In recent years, Becker has made headlines mainly for his financial escapades. What many people forget is that in the 1980s, Becker roused the “white sport” from its deep sleep and made it colorful again. He swore, threw rackets and himself onto the lawn at Wimbledon and pushed an entire nation forward with his Becker fist. Becker was an identification figure and a bon vivant, a modern rock star in shorts. All of this also applied to a number of eccentric men a decade earlier. Characters such as Jimmy Connors (71), John McEnroe (65) and, last but not least, the Romanian Ilie Nastase made life on the court as difficult as possible for the Swedish silent Björn Borg (67). They screamed, cursed and insulted referees and opponents. The tennis court became a stage – the sport boomed.

Becker discoverer Tiriac

The fact that Becker was able to take on the legacy of the 70s heroes is thanks to two people in particular: his former coach Günther Bosch (81) and his long-time manager Ion Tiriac. The two former work colleagues and tennis professionals discovered the youth player from Leimen in 1984, believed in him and gave him and themselves a successful and lucrative future. Becker’s bright star rose in 1985 with his sensational victory at Wimbledon and was to remain in the tennis sky for a long time. In the same year, Nastase ended his active career and went into politics. Tiriac then shaped the Becker brand in a way previously unknown in German individual sport. Both earned millions, which they are known to have managed differently. While Tiriac can boast an estimated fortune of almost two billion euros, Becker has ruined many a business venture.

“Like a surrogate father to this day”

Divorces, separations, bankruptcy, debts and imprisonment: After years of negative headlines – both professionally and privately – Becker made his comeback on the red carpet at the Berlinale 2023. Together with his new partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro (33), he posed for the photographers beaming with joy in the spirit of a new beginning. In Berlin, he not only presented the documentary with the telling title “Boom! Boom! The World vs. Boris Becker.” Afterwards, he also answered a few tricky questions. For example, whether he shouldn’t have listened to his ex-manager. Becker’s short and clear answer: “Yes!”

Their business paths had officially separated in 1993. The thirty years in between do not seem to have harmed the relationship. Also in 2023, Becker said of Tiriac: “He is a father substitute for me to this day. I lost my father in 1999. And although we no longer worked together professionally, I always had the feeling that I could call him as a father. And he usually told me the right things.” Tiriac, who lost his own father at the age of nine, knows what Becker is talking about. On April 17, Becker posted and wrote meaningfully underneath: “United with my Romanian family.”

Becker as testimonial for Nastase

At the premiere of “Nasty”, both “substitute son” Becker and “substitute father” Tiriac paid tribute to Ilie Nastase. Nastase was often “nasty”, in other words “mean”, by verbally influencing opponents and the outcome of a match – just like Boris Becker in his best days. Both were beloved heroes who left their hearts on the court. Off the court, they are united by their love of women and life itself. It is not for nothing that Becker appears as a testimonial in the Nastase documentary. He understands how Nastase must have thought and felt. Outside the premiere room, Becker said, of Nastase, mind you: “He was a character, a personality, a real showman.” The premiere of the documentary in Cannes was very well received by the audience. Nastase received another standing ovation in his life, a reaction that Boris Becker also hopes for from the wider German public for his life’s work.

Source: Stern

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