BERLIN — Former world number one tennis star Boris Becker has begun a career as a professional poker player, according to a report in Sunday's edition of Germany daily newspaper Die Welt.
"I have already been playing intensively since last year," said the 40-year-old who won Wimbledon three times and has signed a sponsorship contract with an Internet poker company.
"What fascinates me about poker is the psychology: what is my opponent thinking of me and what do I think of him," added Becker, who retired from tennis in June 1999.
Becker says he learned to play the card game while on the ATP circuit, especially at Wimbledon during the rain breaks.
And the German big-hitter says he is keen to recruit other former tennis stars to the poker table.
"I would like to know how people like Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg, Ivan Lendl or even Jimmy Connors, manage to keep their cool at poker," said Becker.
Becker is hoping to take part in Europe's grand final this April which will bring together 800 professional players in Monte Carlo.