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Three-time Wimbledon winner, Boris Becker, served eight months in prison for hiding £2.5m of assets and loans in a bankruptcy fraud case. The German has since been released from prison and was subsequently deported from England as well.
Reflecting on his time in prison, Becker regaled horrific stories. He called out people who normalize going to jail and opined it is very different from media depictions.
“Whoever says that prison life isn’t hard and isn’t difficult, I think is lying,” Becker remarked. “It was a very brutal … a very, very different experience to what you see in the movies, what you’ve heard from stories.”
Survival of the fittest
People from all walks of life find themselves in the penitentiaries for different reasons. In the jail, Becker had to encounter “murderers, by drug dealers, by rapists, by people smugglers, by dangerous criminals”.
His fame did not count for anything and had to rely on his wits to get about the day. Becker shared that survival was tough, especially with fights breaking out regularly. To avoid any mishaps, the German surrounded himself with tough guys for protection.
“You fight every day for survival. Quickly, you have to surround yourself with the tough boys, as I would call it, because you need protection.”
“I’m a survivor; I’m a tough cookie. I’ve taken the incarceration, but I’ve also taken the glory and if anything this made me a stronger, better man.”
No handbook for success
Following his incarceration and deportation, Becker is ready to being the third chapter of his life. He was the youngest Wimbledon champion at 17 back in 1985. Life has come at him fast and there wasn’t a guidebook for success.
Becker admitted at being badly advised throughout his career but did not blame anyone for his decisions. He made the bed and will lie in it. In the same vein, the German has also come out to advise teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz.
Boris Becker: “Federer, Nadal & Djokovic weren’t only tennis heroes, they are sporting heroes & cultural icons. You talk about Carlos Alcaraz as the next hot thing. He plays great & has the full package as a tennis superstar. But there’s a lot more to it than playing tennis.” pic.twitter.com/8NOZe23VT8
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) April 7, 2023
The six-time Grand Slam winner is in awe of the Spaniard’s talent. However, he cautioned him that his talent requires more from him. Alcaraz can become one of the greatest sporting personalities but will have to work to transcend the game.
“Federer, Nadal & Djokovic weren’t only tennis heroes, they are sporting heroes & cultural icons. You talk about Carlos Alcaraz as the next hot thing. He plays great & has the full package as a tennis superstar. But there’s a lot more to it than playing tennis,” Becker advised Alcaraz.
The advice for Alcaraz came after he had pulled out of the Monte Carlo Masters. The Spaniard showed signs of an injury during his Miami Open semi-final defeat to Jannik Sinner. He came out in the open about the injury and pulled out of the clay court competition.
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