Tennis legend breaks silence after deportation from UK
Boris Becker said he felt like a ‘nobody’ during his spell in a British prison
Boris Becker has given his first interview at home in Germany after being released from a British prison earlier this month.
The six-time Grand Slam winner was jailed in April for hiding £2.5 million ($3.03 million) in assets after declaring himself bankrupt, and was released from prison last week.
He was initially sent to Wandsworth prison in London and has now spoken about his experiences in an interview that will be shown on German television on Tuesday evening.
Local tabloid Bild has published excerpts from the interview with Sat 1, in which Becker said he was a “nobody” in prison where no one gave “a s**t” about his tennis exploits.
During his 231 days behind bars, though, he had time to reflect on his life and claims he rediscovered his human side.
“In prison you are a nobody. You are only a number. Mine was A2923EV. I wasn’t called Boris, I was a number. And nobody gives a shit who you are,” Becker said.
“I believe I rediscovered the human in me, the person I once was. I’ve learnt a hard lesson. A very expensive one. A very painful one. But the whole thing has taught me something very important and worthwhile. And some things happen for a good reason.”
Becker described the food in Wandsworth as bad where the portions were too small and leisure activities were scarce.
There was also a lot of violence ahead of him being transferred to Huntercombe prison in Oxfordshire in May, where he was able to train regularly.
He worked as an assistant to the prison coach there, and helped other inmates with their fitness and psychology using his experience as an ex-tennis world number one.
Asked about if he was excited to be finally leaving prison and being deported to Germany on Thursday last week, Becker said: “From six o’clock that morning I sat on the edge of my bed, and hoped that the cell door would open.
“They came to get me at 7.30am, unlocked the door and asked: ‘Are you ready?’ I said: ‘Let’s go!’ I had already packed everything beforehand.”
Though the tennis icon’s son remains in the UK, non-British citizen Becker is banned from visiting the country for the next 10 years due to the terms of his release.