Michael Stich

Michael Detlef Stich ( born October 18, 1968 in Pinneberg ) is a former German tennis player and Olympic champion. He won a total of 18 tournaments in singles, including the tournament of Wimbledon and the ATP World Championships, and ten doubles titles.

Career as a player

He learned to play tennis at the age of six years and started his career with the LTC Elmshorn ( German Youth Champion 1986) and at Klipper Hamburg, before moving to Iphitus Munich in 1988 and turned pro. In 1990, stitch in Memphis his first Grand Prix tournament. He had his breakthrough in 1991, when it was first pushed forward into the top ten in the world rankings after his semi-final at the French Open in Paris. A few weeks later he achieved his greatest success of his career when he defeated the world's elite at the Grand Slam tournament of Wimbledon. He switched one after the newly minted French Open champion Jim Courier ( 6:3, 7:5, 6:2 ), the world number one Stefan Edberg of Sweden ( 4:6, 7:6, 7:6, 7:6 ) and in the final Boris Becker ( 6:4, 7:6, 6:4 ) from. He is so far the last German Wimbledon champion. With 74 wins in 100 games that year, he advanced into the absolutely world class and finished fourth in the world rankings. For his achievements shown 1991 engraving was elected Athlete of the Year.

Also in double stitch celebrated great success and was already in the spring of 1991 among the top ten ( world ranking 9). On the side of the former world number one John McEnroe he reached in 1992, the semifinals of the U.S. Open and won previously at Wimbledon in a historic playoff (301 minutes = longest Wimbledon doubles final in history ) against Grabb / Reneberg with 19:17 in the decisive fifth set. He is not only the last German Wimbledon champion in the individual; long time he was also (until the double title of Philipp Petzschner at Wimbledon in 2010 ) is the only German ever to have won the doubles competition of a Grand Slam tournament. Together with Boris Becker, he won a few weeks later at the Olympic Games in Barcelona is currently the only German gold medal in men's tennis.

In 1993 he reached the pinnacle of his career when he the only undefeated world champion of the 1990s was at the ATP World Championship in Frankfurt am Main. In perhaps the best match of his career, he defeated in the final Pete Sampras in four sets. That He capped a season in which he won six tournaments and which he described as world rankings Second - graduated - a position he held a total of 28 weeks.

A year later (1994 ) he was at the U.S. Open for the second time in the final of a Grand Slam tournament, which he lost to eventual world number one Andre Agassi.

Even with his appearances for Germany can boast a stitch very successful outcome. In 1993, he led the German team in a 4-1 final victory over Australia almost single-handedly to win the Davis Cup. He also brought along with Steffi Graf at the Hopman Cup the first title for Germany. A year later (1994 ) he secured as Germany 's top players at the official ATP World Team Championship in Dusseldorf together with Bernd Karbacher, Patrik Kuhnen and Karsten Braasch after victories against the world class player Pete Sampras and Sergi Bruguera the world title. Thanks to this success, he was two -time world champion.

Then heavy and sustained injuries in the world rankings were slipping him very far. At the French Open in 1996, he celebrated a sensational comeback as unseeded players. He defeated the sand at this time as almost unbeatable force Austrian Thomas Muster in four sets and reached the first German since 1937 ( Henner Henkel ) the final, he however lost to Yevgeny Kafelnikov in three extremely competitive rates. With its official address in the subsequent victory celebration, he won widespread favor in France, by keeping this in French as the first foreign players.

During his career he won as so far only German title in any of the tournaments in his homeland. So he scored a much-publicized success in the German Open at Hamburg Rothbaum (1993 ) besides the already mentioned victories in Frankfurt am Main (1993) and Dusseldorf (1994). Other tournament victories he celebrated in Stuttgart- Weißenhof (1991 ), the Grand Slam Cup in Munich (1992 ), the Euro Card Open in Stuttgart ( 1993), the BMW Open in Munich (1994) and the lawn tournament in Westphalia Hall (1994).

His low point as a professional tennis player he experienced on September 24, 1995 in the Davis Cup semi-final against Russia. In the decisive last match he lost to Andrei Chesnokov with 12:14 in the fifth set, after he had been awarded nine match points on his own serve. In the final, the U.S. would have been the opponents. 1995 was the year in which Becker and engraving had planned to bring our united strength to Davis Cup back to Germany. However, the two had to pay tribute to their many applications in Davis Cup - they each played singles and doubles. On the extremely slow Moscow's Clay Court, the Germans managed on the first day a 2-0 lead by Becker won against Chesnokov and stitch surprising his nemesis Kafelnikov defeated in four strong sentences. However, the dramatic double was lost. While Becker withdrew its participation in Individual on Sunday, went to down. Substitute Bernd Karbacher had no chance against Kafelnikov. There followed stitch unforgettable game against Chesnokov.

End of career

Michael Stich, who at that time was one of only seven players (except him, Agassi, Becker, Chang, Ivanisevic, pattern, Sampras ) is always at least was able to win a single title per annum in the first seven years of the 1990s, ended his career in 1997 at Wimbledon, where he was 88th in the world rankings by strong performances (including a significant three-set victory against his term great British idol Tim Henman in the quarter-finals ) for a total of nine times (6x Einzel/3x double) in his career at a Grand Slam tournament the semi-finals and failed in a high-class five- set match to Cedric Pioline (France). He missed a Wimbledon final against series winner Pete Sampras. It was not until eleven years later (2008) came up with Rainer Schuettler there a German again so far.


The strengths of the serve-and - volley player belonged to the hard, precise surcharge, the soulful, safe volley net play and his technically perfect one-handed backhand. Especially with its effective drop shots he could also put his considerable ball feel to the test. Stitch had a very large playing potential, and several times during his career were certified him to celebrate tennis close to perfection. This can be demonstrated by the high level of recognition by other players in the world top. Thus, the former world number one Jim Courier was the early 90s declares: "If all play at their performance limit, then stitch is the best."

Relationship with Boris Becker

During his career engraving was repeatedly confronted with the fact behind Boris Becker to be only the second one, which could point to successes in tennis. In fact, it never managed to stitch in contrast to the one years older Becker to become world number; Becker also won six Grand Slam tournaments, only one stitch. Part of almost every interview was therefore the question of his personal relationship with Boris Becker, with whom he was jointly Olympic champion in 1992. A particular oddity was that the arbitrator in the Wimbledon final in 1991 announced loudly audible Boris Becker as a winner, though only just Michael Stich had won the match.

On the other hand, random track record, which has reached out to him no second German since the introduction of the Open era:

  • Tournament victories on four different floor within a calendar year (1991 and 1993)
  • Profit of all events in Germany tournaments during his career
  • Finalist at the French Open in Paris ( 1996)

Also, engraving won several tournaments on clay. In this rubber Becker was denied any individual stocks. In addition stitch is in contrast to Becker one of only five players ( Sergi Bruguera also, Richard Krajicek, Paul Haarhuis and Leander Paes ) of his generation who had a positive balance ( 5:4 ) in direct duels against the former record holder at Grand Slam tournaments, Pete Sampras, can show.

Career as a functionary

1997 Michael Stich was honored by the Association of German Foundations with the German Donor Award for his foundation, he has created unusually young age of 25 from their own income.

1999 Michael Stich was awarded the Georg von Opel Award for his dedication as an athlete in social responsibility.

In 2002, he took over for one year the operation of the team leaders of the German Davis Cup team as the successor of Carl -Uwe Steeb. He got no fixed salary, but participated in any performance bonuses.

2006 Michael Stich won the Sport Bild Award in the category "Best sports marketing " for the Dragon Boat Cup on Hamburg's Alster in favor of the Michael Stich Foundation.

In 2006 he was for his involvement with the International TREE Special Prize.

Michael Stich in 2007 for his exemplary and social commitment as "Hamburger of the year".

Also, the Foundation for their commitment to the Kiwanis District Price was honored in 2007.

2008 Michael Stich was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit for his personal involvement in the foundation he Michael Stich.

On 13 June 2008, the Foundation for their annual Dragon Boat Cup was awarded " Selected Landmark 2008 " Land of Ideas.

In 2008, the Michael Stich Foundation was awarded jointly with the advertising agency Jung von Matt with the " Social Effie " for the campaign " vote against forgetting ."

For the pilot project "Prevention and education schools in Hamburg " to HIV and AIDS Michael Stich was appointed " Didacta Bildungbotschaftler - 2008" in February 2008.

Since 2009 he is Director of the tennis tournament at Hamburg Rothbaum, also here as the successor of Carl -Uwe Steeb.

In April 2010, Michael Stich also took over the world's biggest Challengerturnier in Braunschweig the post of the tournament director.

In May 2010, Michael Stich received for the work of the Michael Stich Foundation in the area of ​​AIDS education the Health Media Award.

Michael Stich in 2011 was honored for his involvement in the Michael Stich Foundation which he founded with the Portugaleser THANK RESIDENTS in silver.


Michael Stich was married on 19 September 1992 to September 2003 with the actress Jessica Stockmann. Together they adopted in November 2000 the then one-year Indian girl Nisha to the sting later had no more contact. Two weeks later, they announced that they lived separately since the spring. On 10 June 2005 he married in Westerland on Sylt Alexandra Rikowski.

In 1994, stitch a charitable foundation named after him, which campaigns for HIV -infected and HIV - affected and children with AIDS. For his volunteer work, he has received several awards, so in 2008 with the Federal Cross of Merit.

Stitch is an avowed fan and member of the Hamburger SV. On 3 November 2005 he was in the half-time break of the UEFA Cup match against Viking Stavanger than 30,000. Member honored. A few days later he received a handprint on the Mall of Fame in Bremen.

Michael Stich works for the British TV channel BBC and BBC Radio 5 Live as a tennis commentator.

He regularly with success on the BlackRock Tour of Champions, a tour for seniors former Grand Slam winner and Davis Cup winner, in part. For a while he was still active with former world class player Henri Leconte for the Schleswig-Holstein tennis club TC LOGOPAK Hartsholm in the 2nd Bundesliga Nord.

Tournament Win (28 )

Single (18 )

Double (10 )

Statistics ( Single)

¹ took place in Stuttgart