As vintage tennis fans and long time readers of this website will know, the German revealed this hard moment of his life in his 2003 autobiography "Boris Becker - The player". To stand the pressure of the expectations of an entire nation, Becker abused sleeping pills for five years in his professional career and this addiction, in his words, influenced the result of his 1990 Wimbledon final against Stefan Edberg.
At the Times Forum in Cheltenham last Monday, the former world number one recalled that period of his life.
"In the late '80s the German national doctor… gave us this very very soft sleeping pill that wouldn't last longer than one hour, just to get you to sleep. But it was wrong. It was a beast," said the German.
Becker also described the struggle against himself that he had to face before playing his third consecutive final against Stefan Edberg at the Championships.
"In one Wimbledon final, I was an idiot. I just did it. I woke up at three or four o'clock in the morning the night before. I thought 'if I stay up now until the final I'll be too tired' so I took one more. By 11 o' clock – the final was at two - I woke up in the rented house and was running around in the garden – somebody should have seen me – I was so sleepy. I wanted to wake up, I couldn't warm-up because the time was too short.
"I got to the match at one o'clock. By the time I woke up Edberg was up 6-2 6-2. I ended up winning the next two sets and I was 4-1 up in the fifth (actually he was 3-1 up, annotation), but Stefan got me. That was the one loss that hurt." (mc)
- Becker: "I fought drink and drugs"
- Edberg answers Becker's admissions on use of drugs
- Boris Becker was affected by drug during Wimbledon final
- Stefan Edberg & Tony Pickard Mr Class and his teacher
- "I am a happy person"
- Greatest tennis player: Edberg wins ‘best backhand’ poll
- Stefan in Federer's box at Wimbledon
- Game, set and cash to Edberg
- A triple wish for the new year
- Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree with the Tennis Legends
- Alan Mills pays tribute to Stefan Edberg's sportsmanship
- Edberg Honoured In London
- Playsight workshop at Södra Climate Arena
- Elias Ymer will train with Federer thanks to Edberg
- STE...fans turns 14 with 50,000 Facebook likes
- Sweden hopes in Mikael Ymer for more Wimbledon glory
- Becker again beyond the (unknown) limit
- Hard work and team spirit, the secrets of Swedish coaches