By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
Often described as ‘the golden boy of tennis’, Boris Becker, aged 54, has been jailed on 29 April 2022, following a jury trial at Southwark Crown Court, London, for two and a half years for concealing assets to avoid paying his debts.
A former number one tennis player and the winner of six Grand Slam singles titles, he will serve half of his sentence in jail and the rest on licence.
Becker was the youngest ever men’s Wimbledon champion and the first unseeded winner.
However, Becker’s private life has been turbulent and beset with financial problems.
In 2002, he was fined €300,000 by a Munich Court and given a suspended sentence of two years for tax evasion of €1.7 million. In 2017, he was declared bankrupt, owing his creditors some £50 million.
In the latest Court proceedings, Becker’s lawyer, Jonathan Laidlow, QC, told the Judge:
“His fall is not simply a fall from grace but amounts to the most public humiliation for this man.”
“Boris Becker has literally nothing to show for what was the most glittering of sporting careers, and that is correctly termed as nothing short of a tragedy.”
However, Judge Deborah Taylor stated that Becker had shown no remorse or acceptance of guilt, and added:
“While I accept your humiliation as part of the proceedings, there has been no humility.”
As the Book of Samuel in the Old Testament of the Bible puts it: “how are the mighty fallen!”