It’s just two miles from the scene of his greatest triumphs, but Boris Becker’s new home is a long way from Wimbledon Center Court, David Brown told The Times. Sentenced to two and a half years last week, he is now being held in HMP Wandsworth, a crumbling, bug-infested Victorian prison. Becker had been convicted of four charges under the Bankruptcy Act: Before filing for bankruptcy in 2017, he had concealed assets worth millions to avoid paying his debtors.
How did it happen? “How did it all go wrong for the former tennis golden boy”, who became the youngest Wimbledon winner of all time at just 17 years old? How did someone who made around £40m during his career as a player, coach and commentator end up drowning in debt?
What the judge described as Becker’s “fall from grace” began on the eve of his final defeat at Wimbledon in 1999, Tim Adams told The Observer. After losing to Pat Rafter in the fourth round, he drank too much and found himself in the broom closet at Nobu restaurant with Russian-Algerian model Angela Ermakova.
The resulting paternity suit, and a divorce from his first wife Barbara that reportedly cost him £12million, “started the drain on Becker’s finances”. After retiring from tennis, Becker has invested in a “staggering number” of projects, Richard Kay told the Daily Mail: a tennis academy in China, shoes in India, mobile phones in Slovenia, a winery in Chile. But he has been “hammered by poor judgement”: He is said to have lost a fortune after investing £8million in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry; He rented a huge house in Wimbledon for £22,000 a month for ten years. “Money worries followed him everywhere.”
As Becker’s many friends point out, he’s never liked playing by the rules, Jim White told The Daily Telegraph. In 2002 he was convicted of tax evasion in Germany by pretending to live in Monaco. His marriage to his second wife Lilly also broke up in 2018 amid allegations of infidelity. Becker seems to have thought he could bluff his way through anything: he even tried to make it as a professional poker player. Now Becker’s money is gone and “finally his bluff is called”.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/sport/tennis/956640/boris-becker-the-fall-of-tenniss-golden-boy Boris Becker: The fall of the tennis gold boy