Re: Benjamin Becker
This is the complete interview from sr website (SR ist Saarland radio)
Tennis professional Benjamin Becker from Orscholz has recently climbed up to 58 in the world ranking. Now he hopes to join German Davis Cup team and to enter the top 50.
SR: Herr Becker, this morning you came back from Ukraine. How were things going down there?
Benjamin Becker: I was in Dnepropetrobsk and lost the final. I didn't really expect to reach the final so I am quite satisfied though. But of course you are a little bit disappointed if you play a final and lose it. You want to win the last match, too.
SR: Yesterday you played another final. And you won that one. How did you get the news that you are Saarland's sportsman of the year?
Becker: I got a short message on my cellphone. I was sitting in my hotel room and suddenly I received several SMS at one time from my friends who congratulated me.
SR: You are not living in Saarland for some years now. But you surely still are a Saarlander?
Becker: Yes, of course. I lived here 20 years and I always come back.
I studied in the US but I come home as often as possible. It is a great honour for me to be elected as sportsman of the year.
SR: The tournament is over. Are you planning vacations now?
Becker: Yes, that's the first thing on my list now. I will recover one week, but I won't have more time for that. I have to prepare for the next year, especially for the Australian Open which are beginning in january.
SR: Have you made a exact plan for the complete year?
Becker: Yes, I decided which tournament I'll play some weeks ago together with my coach. Now I now which events I'm probably going to play. Of course it's always possible that I will have to make some changes - for example if I can't play a tournament due to an injury.
SR: What's the latest news concerning Davis Cup? People have been talking about you joining the team. In february Germany is playing against Croatia. What about that?
Becker: Of course I dream of being part of the Davis Cup team. I am frequently in contact with German team captain Patrik Kühnen. He just sent me a short message congratulating me for the Dnepropetrovsk final. But now I'll concentrate on my next tournaments. I know that if I can keep my level of playing or even improve in the first weeks of the next year I'll surely be one of the players who have a chance to be in the team.
SR: You are a professional player for nearly one year now. In that first year you already played that extraordinary match against Agassi. At that time you looked relatively calm. What's your view on that event now?
Becker: I am surprised that I was that calm. Acting on the court was really difficult - to stay cool in that atmosphere and with the media and so on... I think I did quite well in that situation. But all that things happened that quickly that I didn't have time to realise what was going on. Looking back from now it was a great experience and the highlight of the year.
SR: You thought a long time about the question wether you should become a tennis professional or not. After one year: Was it a good decision?
Becker: Absolutely! It was a very good decision. It was my coach in the US who persuaded me. He said: Just try it for one or two years. Otherwise you might regret it one day that you didn't even try. Now it went very well and I'll try hard to go forward.
SR: This week you're ranked 58 in the wordl. What ranking do you want to achieve in future? Top 20 or top 10?
Becker: I am always setting short time goals for myself. For the next year it's top 50.
SR: What would have happened if you hadn't become a tennis professional?
Becker: That's a good question. I had one year left to study. I had planned to think about my future after my decision not to become a tennis professional. I considered moving to Dallas because I like that city very much. I would have looked for a job there either in the tennis branch or in economics what I studied.
SR: Did you finish your studies?
Becker: I have one term left. In the beginning of last year I did one semester in correspondence courses. But to finish I have to be present at the university. But I hope I'll have to wait some years to that because that would mean I have some more successful years in tennis. But I'll surely finish my studies.
SR: When you started studying you must have had special career plans?
Becker: I studied finances and international economics and always have been very interested in the stock markets. That's why I wanted to have a brief look at this, acquire a lot of knowledge and try out what's possible there.
SR: After your tennis career, will you work in the US or come back to Saarland?
Becker: I don't yet know. The longer I stayed in the US the better I felt there. But of course it's always the most beautiful thing to come home... At the moment I think I want to come back to my home region.