Photo: Boris Becker
German tennis great Boris Becker, a three-time Wimbledon champion, said during a visit to the Cigar Festival in Havana that he was a “lover” of stogies, but he labeled himself just a “beginner” in the cigar world after trying several different brands and blends.
Becker, who arrived in Cuba last Thursday as guest of honor of the 15th Havana Cigar Festival, said he started smoking 15 years ago following his retirement from tennis.
The tennis great, however, said his father had introduced him to cigars much earlier.
“Cohiba is my favorite brand, but I like Partagas, Romeo y Julieta, Montecristo. Give me time, I don’t consider myself an expert, I’m just a beginner and I am learning,” Becker said in a press conference Saturday at the festival.
Becker said Cuba was producing “excellent” cigars and rum, and the cigar blends with rum he tried in the past few days “felt really good.”
The 45-year-old Becker, who traveled to Havana with his wife, told reporters he visited the Cohiba cigar factory, tried to dance to salsa music and went to the Cuban National Ballet headquarters, where he met the director, 92-year-old Alicia Alonso.
Becker also answered some questions about tennis, telling reporters that he was “a big fan” of Spain’s Rafael Nadal, thought Serbian world No. 1 Novak Djokovic “has a great future in front of him” and Swiss great Roger Federer was “a phenomenon” and “one of the sport’s greatest ambassadors.”