Home Sport How Boris Becker blew $185m fortune in spectacular fall from grace

How Boris Becker blew $185m fortune in spectacular fall from grace

How Boris Becker blew $185m fortune in spectacular fall from grace


From Wimbledon champion on the age of 17 to bankrupt jail inmate at 54, Boris Becker’s spectacular rise and fall has been probably the most excessive in sporting historical past.

Now a brand new Apple TV+ documentary charts how the German tennis wunderkind grew to become a high-rolling playboy who blew an estimated $185 million on girls and a jet-set way of life — till debt caught up with him, The Solar experiences.

Within the docu-series ‘Increase! Increase! The World Vs Boris Becker’, the star breaks down whereas being interviewed for the present simply 48 hours earlier than his sentencing final yr for illicitly transferring massive sums of cash and hiding belongings after being declared bankrupt.

He tells viewers: “It’s laborious. I’ve hit my backside, I don’t know what to make of it. I’ll face it. I’m not going to cover or run. I’ll settle for no matter sentence I get.

“There’s a cause that is taking place. My life has at all times been slightly completely different to different lives. My upbringing was completely different. Successful Wimbledon at 17 was completely different. And the following 36 to 37 years have been very completely different.”

Boris, now 55, who was launched from jail final December after serving eight months of his 30-month time period, and deported to his homeland, provides within the TV reveal: “Once you’re so younger and also you’re thrown into the massive ocean with all of the sharks, it’s very troublesome to study to swim.

“However when you study to swim it’s a sense of invincibility.”

The 2-part documentary, out subsequent week and produced by Ventureland and Jigsaw Footage, explores the sense of invincibility across the younger Boris.

Nicknamed Increase Increase for his enormous serve, he grew to become the youngest-ever Wimbledon males’s champ in 1985, and went on to be world No1 and win six grand slams together with two extra Wimbledon titles in 1986 and 1989.

Even after his famed diving volleys, he would decide himself up, brush himself down and declare the winner’s spoils.

However whereas ferocious self-belief introduced Boris enormous fame and fortune, it additionally contributed to the monetary meltdown that noticed him swap the adulation of Centre Courtroom followers for a lonely British jail cell.

He loved a stellar tennis profession within the late Eighties and early Nineties regardless of an dependancy to sleeping tablets and a rumoured dependancy to intercourse, which each distracted him from the day job on courtroom.

However after leaving the sport, there adopted two failed marriages and a love-child from a rumoured fling in a restaurant broom cabinet — all of which hit his tennis fortune as laborious as his happiness.

Regardless of the chaos, and his waning earnings, Boris continued to spend at an exorbitant charge.

It’s a trait he says got here from that dizzying first Wimbledon win in 1985, and incomes the Increase Increase tag.

He flashed the money like he flashed his serves, forehands and backhands.

Sadly, Boris was too younger to know the worth of the cash that rolled in with trophy after trophy.

He admits he recollects by no means having a bank card, holding cash and even going to a money machine, as every part was taken care of by Romanian supervisor Ion Tiriac, dad Karl-Heinz and coach Gunther Bosch.

He tells the documentary: “By 17 I gained my first million. So cash goes out the window, you lose the sense of worth. You don’t know that 99 per cent of individuals don’t ever earn one million kilos.

“A whole lot of athletes, we assume the cash we earn throughout our careers will proceed to come back in afterwards.

“So we don’t adapt our life rapidly sufficient. You retain spending cash you don’t make any extra, you retain spending cash that you just made earlier than. So, yeah, I’m blaming me.”

However within the early days Boris felt he lacked back-up past his household and administration.

He tells viewers: “I wasn’t fulfilled in my private life, I wasn’t with the proper pal, not the proper girlfriend.”

That modified, it appeared, when he met Barbara Feltus and married in 1993.

It proved extremely controversial in his native Germany as a result of she was blended race, however he stood by her.

The tennis prodigy had already had to deal with the glare of publicity in his homeland, the place a newspaper editor as soon as instructed him the one one who had offered extra German newspapers than him was Adolf Hitler.

Then in 1999, Boris misplaced one in every of his guiding lights, dad Karl-Heinz, who died of most cancers at 63.

He was additionally now saying goodbye to bumper tennis paydays, as his profession drew to a detailed.

Then, in 2001, he and Barbara divorced and he was hit for a reported $185 million settlement.

Their eight-­yr marriage — from which they’ve sons Noah, now 29, and Elias, 23 — had collapsed in 1999 as Boris was pressured to confess that he’d had intercourse with Russian waitress Angela Ermakova after crashing out of that yr’s Wimbledon and retiring from tennis.

He was marking the milestone at high London restaurant Nobu, and ended up having what was reported as being “the most costly 5 seconds” of his life . . . in what was mentioned to be a brush cabinet.

He tells TV viewers: “I wouldn’t like to enter all the main points however we went to the again room. No, it wasn’t a cabinet — the cabinet is approach too small, it’s not possible to have any type of bodily exercise within the cabinet. We received collectively and we had intercourse. I had no quantity from Angela, I had no contact, and that was that.

“Eight months later I get a fax saying, ‘You might not bear in mind me. Our final assembly is eight months outdated. Right here’s my quantity, name me.’ I simply couldn’t imagine it.

“The following week I met Angela in London and was beneath stress.

“She got here in, she had an enormous coat on, she took the coat off and she or he was closely pregnant and she or he simply defined to me that I’m the daddy of this little one.”

The kid was Anna, now 22.

Boris at all times admitted he thrived on the thrill of the tennis area, and he knew there was just one option to match that top after hanging up his racquet: girls.

He has mentioned: “When it’s over with my occupation, with enjoying tennis, I gained’t search for a brand new occupation the place I can discover pleasure, I’ll seek for that in my personal life.”

He actually made good on that pledge.

In addition to the ladies, there have been houses world wide, personal jets and meals out at high eating places.

However that spelled recreation, set and match, the unsuitable approach, for his checking account as he turned to endorsements and investments that didn’t work out.

Lots of his monetary adventures dented his credibility, too, equivalent to turning into an envoy for a web-based poker firm.

In 2002, he was handed a suspended two-year jail sentence and ordered to pay round three million euros for tax evasion after he had registered his enterprise pursuits in tax-haven Monaco however in the meantime continued to spend time in his German homeland.

Boris did handle to nonetheless commerce on previous glories as he joined the BBC’s Wimbledon protection from 2002, as a cheery pundit, and from 2013 was for 3 years coach to presumably the best tennis participant of all time, Serbian Novak Djokovic.

Then in 2009 he married once more, to Dutch mannequin Lilly Kerssenberg, who gave beginning to his fourth little one, Amadeus, a yr later.

However Boris and Lilly, now 46, had a messy cut up in 2018.

By this level, he had declared himself bankrupt.

In 2017, Swiss businessman Hans-Dieter Cleven claimed Boris owed him £33million after their partnership went bitter, and he already owed £11million to non-public financial institution Arbuthnot Latham, relationship again to 2015.

At London’s Southwark Crown Courtroom final yr he was discovered responsible of 4 expenses beneath the Insolvency Act — primarily primarily based across the reality he failed at hand over belongings and trophies price round £2.5million to repay his money owed.

With the world watching, he was despatched to the cells and a defeat larger than any of his most crushing big-match losses. 

Boris’s newest girlfriend, Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, has stood by him by way of his time in jail, and regardless of hitting all-time low he vows to bounce again.

Staring into the digital camera by way of tear-filled eyes, he says: “That’s not the tip but — there’s going to be one other chapter.”

— This story initially appeared on thesun.co.uk and has been republished with permission