Game, set and match

Posted on Apr 30, 2024. by NTI

Former Wimbledon champion, Boris Becker, has reached a deal with his bankruptcy creditors that has allowed the tennis champion and commentator to be discharged from his bankruptcy. In a statement to leading Global news agency, Berlin AFP, Becker’s solicitor stated "As a result of an agreement with his insolvency administrators, Boris Becker's bankruptcy, which began in 2017, was legally terminated by a decision by the High Court in London”.

Rise to the top
As a young tennis fan, Boris Becker was my hero. He was confident, athletic, bold and became the youngest Wimbledon champion in 1985 at the age of 17. A record for which he still holds onto.  “Holding on” has, however, resulted in a number of bankruptcy issues and court appearances for Mr. Becker who was accused of holding on to records and failing to disclose during his time as a bankrupt. 

Fall from grace
Despite winning six grand slams, guiding Novak Djokovic to 6 grand slams and amassing a huge amount of wealth, Becker was declared bankrupt in June 2017. At the time he was liable for a £3million unpaid loan on his luxury estate in Mallorca. It was subsequently claimed that he owed creditors over £50 million. This is a claim he refuted during an interview on the BBC Andrew Marr Show in 2018  “….when you mention the name Boris Becker people lose their reality or their sense of facts and they start imagining things that are absolutely not true” said Becker.  In that same interview Becker claimed that he had paid all his creditors in full having handed over the money to his trustee in bankruptcy. When asked by Marr what had led to his financial woes, Becker replied by blaming a business deal with a “very famous bank” in respect of selling brand rights.

“Boom Boom”
At the height of his career Becker was nicknamed “Boom Boom” for his powerful serve and commanded a fortune of $68 million in prize money and sponsorship deals.

Financially irresponsible
When asked if he had been financially irresponsible Becker previously responded by claiming “….money was never the incentive or the issue…there were different problems that came along”.  This view is somewhat different to the Southwark Crown Court who in 2022 found the former BBC Wimbledon commentator guilty of removal of property, two counts of failing to disclose estate and concealing debt.

Whilst acquitted of 20 charges, including nine counts of failing to hand over his tennis trophies and medals, including two from Wimbledon, Becker was sentenced to two and half years in prison for deliberately concealing £2.5m worth of assets and loans to avoid paying debts. He was released in December 2022 and deported to Germany. At the time of his conviction Becker’s lawyers stated Becker's barrister Jonathan Laidlaw QC told the court the tennis star's "fall from grace" had left "his reputation in tatters".

Laidlaw said: "Boris Becker has literally nothing and there is also nothing to show for what was the most glittering of sporting careers and that is correctly termed as nothing short of a tragedy.

"These proceedings have destroyed his career entirely and ruined any further prospect of earning an income."

Mr. Becker’s recent discharge from bankruptcy will no doubt come as a huge relief, but is this Game, set and match for Becker?

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