Tennis star Boris Becker has opened up about his famous sexual liaison at Nobu restaurant – saying that he is happy if the brief encounter is one of the things he is best remembered for.
In 1999, after crashing out of Wimbledon, Becker left his pregnant wife at his hotel and had sex with Russian model Angela Ermakova, resulting in the birth of his now 15-year-old daughter, Anna.
The liaison – which Becker denied took place in a broom cupboard and said occurred on stairs at the Mayfair restaurant – ended his first marriage and led to a costly divorce.
Becker (47) who did not admit paternity until after a DNA test proved it, told Radio Times magazine: “We were all stupid and not mature.
“Tennis wasn’t always easy, and my Wimbledon experience wasn’t always pleasant. My life was so much about me then. I was too self-centred.
“I’ve grown up, and I’m happy. My daughter Anna is one of the best things in my life ... I’m very proud of my daughter.”
Asked how he felt about Japanese restaurant Nobu, as well as tennis and Wimbledon, being the words most connected with his name, he said: “Those three words ... Nothing wrong with them.
“If that’s what I’m remembered for, then I’m proud.”
Russian model Angela Ermakova
The former Wimbledon tennis champion, who has two children, aged 21 and 15, from his first marriage, and a five-year-old from his second to current wife Lilly, also told how his health had suffered as a result of his intense tennis-playing days.
“I have two new hips. The right ankle isn’t perfect. I have a limp. I feel it most of the time – worse if I fly. These are my battle scars,” he said.
“Tennis took its toll. I was still growing at 17. The medical help I had in 1985 was as good as it could be then, but ... I can’t run any more.
“I bike. I play tennis, but only half the court, and only if you play with me, not against.”
But Becker added: “It doesn’t bother me. I played over a thousand matches ... But keeping the weight off is much harder than when I played.”
He said of making Britain his main home: “I’m given space. People will politely say hello, nice you’re here, and then walk on. I’m not national property. German people feel an entitlement, that they own me.”
Becker, who was sentenced in 2002 to two years’ probation in Germany for tax evasion, added: “I wouldn’t say I feel alienated from Germany, but I’ve moved on ... recently I was in Germany ... and I was told that my German is very good. What did they expect?
“They love me, but they fell in love with a 17-year-old from a small town and have a hard time accepting that boy is now 47 and is no longer one of them.”