Boris Becker: Wimbledon prepared me for jail!

Boris Becker says jail is "very similar" to Wimbledon, in that "you never know what's around the corner."



Boris Becker says having the right 'mindset' and 'attitude' helped him survive jail
Boris Becker says having the right 'mindset' and 'attitude' helped him survive jail

Boris Becker says his tennis career prepared him for his stint in jail.

The three-time Wimbledon champion, 55, was released from prison in December after he was convicted for hiding £2.5 million in assets during his bankruptcy, and he admits his "mind" saved him during his stays at Wandsworth and Huntercombe prisons over a period of eight months because with Wimbledon he's used to never knowing "what's around the corner".

He told Best UK magazine: "Everything we do really starts with your mindset, your attitude.

When we get up in the morning, we have a plan of how today will hopefully look. In most cases, it doesn't go to plan, usually something happens. My life as a tennis player prepared me for my time in jail because the only thing that saves you on a court in a Wimbledon final is your mind.

"You don't know how the match is going to be. And jail is very similar - you never know what's around the corner."

Boris – nicknamed ‘Boom Boom’ after his thunderous serve – has detailed his ups and downs in the Apple+ documentary, ‘Boom! Boom! The World vs. Boris Becker’, and he hopes people will see a "different side" of him when they watch it.

The German star has accepted that he's always going to face "criticism" for something and he doesn't seek anyone's "approval".

Asked about people moaning about him still living a life of luxury despite his mistakes, he replied: "I've faced criticism for the past 37 years and this will not change.

"Some don't like my blue eyes, my long nose. Others don't approve of my choice of women. There will always be criticism. I've never been able to gain everybody's approval, I'm not looking for it."

Boris has said he blames himself for his lavish spending, but he feels he was never guided carefully enough when he first shot to fame and fortune.

He said in the documentary: “I wasn’t fulfilled in my personal life, I wasn’t with the right friend, not the right girlfriend.”

He added through tear-filled eyes: “That’s not the end yet – there’s going to be another chapter.”

Boris is said to be lining up book deals, TV and film deals as he works on his comeback and reforming his brand.

Twice-divorced Boris appeared to have found his dream woman when he married Barbara Feltus in 1993, but their marriage collapsed a year after a Russian waitress had their lovechild in March 2000.

He is still married to his second wife Lilly Becker, whom he split from in 2018 – and who claims he's not paying her maintenance for their teenage son Amadeus.

By the time they broke up, dad-of-four Boris had declared himself bankrupt.

In 2017, Swiss businessman Hans-Dieter Cleven claimed Boris owed him £33 million after their partnership soured – with the retired tennis ace already owing £11 million to private bank Arbuthnot Latham.

After being jailed for hiding assets amid his bankruptcy, Boris was released from prison on December 15, and immediately deported to his native Germany under an early release scheme, and is barred from returning to Britain.

He is now dating risk analyst Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro and said in an interview after he was released with German broadcaster Sat.1 he faced death threats while in jail and feared showering with other prisoners.

Boris added in his first interview since being freed that an inmate called John in HMP Wandsworth told him before he was moved to the lower security HMP Huntercombe, “If I didn’t do this or that he would kill me," and he was sent “crazy” by his time behind bars.