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Boris Becker's Fall From Grace: German Tennis Great's Journey From Wimbledon Centre Court To Jail

Some 37 years after charming the world with the first of his six Grand Slam titles as a 17-year-old, Boris Becker was jailed over bankruptcy.

Boris Becker with Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro arrive at Southwark Crown Court for sentencing in London, April 29, 2022.
Boris Becker with Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro arrive at Southwark Crown Court for sentencing in London, April 29, 2022. AP Photo

Boris Becker was once "Britain's favourite German". That says a lot considering the history between the countries. Now, the tennis great is reduced to a convict in England, ready to serve his time in jail. (More Tennis News)

On Friday, some 37 years after charming the world with the first of his six Grand Slam titles as a 17-year-old, Becker was jailed for two and a half years for hiding GBP 2.5 million worth of assets and loans to avoid paying his debts.

What had transpired in the life of one of tennis' finest, from the moment he lifted that silver-gilt Wimbledon trophy in 1985 to his final fall in 2022, tells a story of fame and shame. A sad saga of a fallen star who still reminds legions of fans what it means to have both talent and virtuosity.

It all indeed played out in equal measures, like his unrivalled serve-and-volley, often riddled with furious approaches to the forecourt; unfathomable airborne dives and of course, off-court travails including an extravagant lifestyle, which eventually became unmanageable, the root of his downfall.

Born in Leimen in south-west Germany, Boris Becker turned pro in 1967. In a celebrated playing career, Boris Becker won six Majors, including two more at Wimbledon in 1986 and 1989, two Australian Open (1991, 1996) and US Open in 1989.

The original "Boom, Boom" of tennis was also a world number one, besides winning an Olympic gold medal in 1992 in men's doubles with Michael Stich.

But after retirement in 1999, Boris Becker struggled to keep a semblance of his former self. And with a troubled married life, his life is engulfed in a downward spiral with the climax playing out in a British court.

His marital life became a fodder for the media circus. Boris Becker married Barbara Feltus in 1993 and divorced in 2001. It then tied the knot with Sharlely "Lilly" Becker in 2009, only to be separated in 2018. This wedding in Switzerland was even broadcast live on German TV. Now, his partner is Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro.

In between this bizarre turn of events, Boris Becker established himself as a respected commentator and mentor, coaching reigning world number one men's singles player Novak Djokovic to six Grand Slam titles in three years from 2014 to 2016.

In 2017, Boris Becker was declared bankrupt in London. The following year, he claimed diplomatic immunity from his debts because of his role as an ambassador for the Central African Republic, a claim which reportedly turned out to be a fake.

Now, Boris Becker will have to serve at least 15 months before being eligible for bail.

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