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Mixed emotions about Boris Becker

Novak Djokovic, a former pupil of Becker’s, is “heartbroken” to hear of Becker’s sentence. Others have a little less sympathy.

Jennifer Bubel
Update:

Tennis legend and six-time Grand Slam winner Boris Becker was sentenced to prison last week after he was found guilty of hiding £2.5 million worth of assets and loans to avoid paying off his debts. His prison sentence is for two and a half years.

Becker became a tennis star at age 17, in 1985 when he was the youngest singles male player to win Wimbledon. He would later win two more, plus two Australian Opens and one US Open and an Olympic gold medal in doubles. Since retiring in 1999, Becker has been a commentator and coach. He coached one of the best tennis players in the world, Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic says he is “heartbroken” for his former coach.

“He’s a friend, a long-time friend, a coach for three-four years. Someone I consider close in my life and has contributed a lot to my success in my career,” said Djokovic. “I was just heartbroken. I don’t know what more to say than that.”

Djokovic expressed hope that Becker will be able to live as normal a life as possible when he is out of prison. A former coach of Becker’s, Günther Bosch, said he hopes Becker will “use the strength with which he survived the hardest of matches, in order to master what he now faces.”

Others had less sympathy for the 54-year-old. During his trial, it was revealed that Becker had a penchant for expensive designer clothes and spent thousands on his children’s fees for school. He also told the jury that he spent his career earnings ($50 million) on his divorce, his children’s costs, and maintaining the expensive lifestyle he had.

Former number one in tennis, Andy Murray, expressed more sympathy for those he may have affected than for Becker himself. “I feel sorry that he’s in that situation, but I also feel sorry for the people that he’s affected with his decisions as well and what’s happened to them,” said Murray.

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