Boris Becker: The upward push and fall of a tennis myth

In 1985, tennis myth Boris Becker used to be an overnight sensation at the soft age of 17 after he became the youngest male player in historical previous to buy a Wimbledon final. His unparalleled serves earned him the nickname “Increase Increase Boris”, and his successive Wimbledon wins in 1986 and 1989 rapid made him a celeb.

The extinct tennis world champion used to be once rate an estimated £38m — about £100m in as of late’s money — that he earned from prize winnings and sponsorships. He went on to educate tennis smartly-known particular person Novak Djokovic after his retirement in 1999. Becker, now 54, had moreover became his hand to a profession in poker, tennis punditry, and enterprise.

In an interview in 2012, he said: “I had won so great by [the age of] 22: a form of Wimbledon titles, US Commence, Davis Cup, World number one. You explore the next mountainous thing and that isn’t in tennis.”

But his retirement marked the originate of his financial woes. His earnings plunged whereas he persevered living a lavish each day life, paying college prices for his kids, and sending money to his ex-wives.

In 2017, he used to be declared bankrupt by the Economic fracture and Firms Court docket in London over an unpaid mortgage of €4.6m (£3.5m) – from British non-public financial institution Arbuthnot Latham – that he had taken out in 2013 for a property in Mallorca, Spain.

He used to be moreover unable to utterly repay £1.2m, with a 25 per cent passion rate, that he borrowed in 2014 from British businessman John Caudwell, who founded Phones 4u. Earlier this year, the six-time Ample Slam champion told a jury at Southwark Crown Court docket that he used to be “scared” and “embarrassed” when he used to be declared bankrupt.

True by the financial wretchedness trial, the court moreover heard he owed Swiss authorities 5 million francs (£4m) and individually factual under €1m in liabilities over a 2002 conviction for tax evasion and attempted tax evasion in Germany. Becker used to be accused of hiding sources and transactions rate better than £4.5m – together with a form of trophies, comparable to the one he won exact by the 1985 match that had catapulted him to stardom.

Becker denied interesting the whereabouts of the memorabilia. He used to be acquitted of 20 charges, together with nine counts of failing at give up the trophies and medals from his tennis profession. But, on 8 April 2022, he used to be convicted of 4 charges – together with removal of property, two counts of failing to repeat property and concealing debt.

He used to be stumbled on responsible of transferring £356,000 to nine recipients, together with the accounts of his ex-wife Barbara and estranged wife Sharlely ‘Lilly’ Becker. Becker used to be moreover convicted of failing to portray a property in Germany, hiding a financial institution mortgage of virtually £700,000, and his shares in a tech firm. On Friday, he used to be jailed for two years, six months for those crimes.

Becker said inferior publicity had damaged his impress and that made it appealing for him to invent adequate money to pay his money owed. His barrister Jonathan Laidlaw QC said at the time of his financial wretchedness that Becker used to be too “trusting and reliant” on his advisers.

Previously, Becker told a jury his profits “reduced dramatically” after his retirement and said his profession earnings were swallowed up by an costly divorce in 2001 from his first wife Barbara, youngster upkeep payments, and “costly each day life commitments”, together with his £22,000-a-month rented dwelling in Wimbledon, south-west London. He said he moreover had to abet his daughter Anna Ermakova and her mother Angela Ermakova, in a deal which included a £2.5m Chelsea flat.

Becker’s daughter used to be conceived exact by his rotten near upon with Russian model Ms Ermakova in a broom cupboard at upmarket London restaurant Nobu in 1999. Ms Ermakova at the muse launched a paternity lawsuit in opposition to the player nonetheless he at closing approved he used to be the youngster’s father and agreed to pay a “generous” financial settlement.

Talking of his financial downfall, he told jurors his image used to be no longer devoted and “impress Becker” used to be no longer blueprint to be highly because it once used to be as companies “didn’t need to be associated with a impress that used to be criticised in the media”. “(It’s miles) very appealing if you’re bankrupt and in the headlines a week for it. (It’s miles) very appealing to invent alternative money with my name,” he said.

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