Boris Becker, Wimbledon's youngest men's singles tennis champion, dashed his hometown's hopes of a hero's return Monday and decided to take a vacation instead.
"I'll go back to Leimen another time. I'm going to my house in Monaco," the 17-year-old Becker told reporters in London after becoming the first German to win the men's title.
Originally, Becker had been booked on a flight to Frankfurt. But, in a change of plans, he flew instead to Nice, France, en route to Monaco.
Becker's change in plans was a disappointment for Leimen, a town of 17,000 near Heidelberg that was best known for its cement factory until Becker's four-set victory over Kevin Curren in Sunday's final.
"This has rather burst the bubble," said Kurt Weber, president of Becker's "Blue-White" home club. "We've had to put off our plans to give Boris a big welcome home party tonight until Friday, when his manager has promised he will be here."
Becker's uncle, Hans Becker, said his nephew would spend five days away with his mother, Elvira, "recovering in absolute peace and watching his favorite videos on television.
"He's had a strenuous week for a 17-year-old, what with all the hullabaloo from the media in London," his uncle said.
Becker fever had gripped West Germany recently as the unseeded youngster moved toward the Centre Court final, which had an estimated 20 million West Germans glued to their television sets.
"Boris Suuuper," roared the mass-circulation newspaper Bild Monday alongside a picture of Becker the length of its front page showing him punching the air in a double-fisted salute of triumph.
"Becker's rise is unparalleled in world tennis. It beats even Bjorn Borg's and John McEnroe's," said the conservative and normally staid daily Die Welt in a front-page accolade.