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“Tennis prepared me for prison”

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Boris Becker presented his career documentary at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival. “Boom! Boom! The World vs. Boris Becker”, this is the title of the film produced by Apple immediately reveals the intentions not to speak only and exclusively of the successes that have characterized the tennis career of the former German champion, but also of the off-court events that have been talked about a lot in recent years.

The reference to Becker’s experience at HMP Wandsworth, the harshest prison in the United Kingdom, is clear. Becker was in fact sentenced to two and a half years in prison for fraudulent bankruptcy. The case involved a debt contracted years ago with private bank Arbuthnot Latham & Co and other lenders.

Attempts to pay off the debt by mortgaging various properties, in particular one in Majorca, have proved futile. Becker was extradited to Germany last December under one of the regulations followed by British prisons. The latter allows any foreign national who is serving a fixed sentence and is eligible for expatriation from the United Kingdom, to be removed from prison and expelled, up to 12 months before from the moment of release from the sentence.

Boris Becker: “Tennis prepared me for prison”

Becker explained in a special press conference: “Everything each of us does, every decision we make, starts with mindset and attitude. When we wake up in the morning, we have a plan and hope that the day will go a certain way.

More often than not, though, things don’t go according to plan. Usually something happens. In a way, my life as a tennis player prepared me for my time in prison. The only thing that saves you on the court in a Wimbledon final is your mind.

You are afraid, you respect your opponent, you don’t know the referee, you don’t know what kind of match it will be. And life in prison is very, very similar: you never know what’s around the corner tomorrow.” Finally, Becker wanted to thank Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic has become a member of the family. You know we had a professional relationship for many years and ended it in 2016. But we have always remained close and especially during my detention. He supported me and supported my family.”

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