Boris Becker opens up about how his sporting history helped him to survive prison and gives Wimbledon update

Boris Becker

Boris Becker believes his personality and the fact that he was a famous tennis player worked in his favour when he was in prison while he also revealed “I have to take my time” before returning to Wimbledon.

The tennis great was convicted of hiding £2.5 million worth assets and loans to avoid paying his debts last year, resulting in a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence starting in April. After spending eight months behind bars in two different prisons in the UK, he was released in December and deported to Germany.

While he was in jail, it was reported that the former world No 1 was “popular with his fellow inmates” and he taught fellow inmates fitness, nutrition and psychology among other things and his likeable character certainly played a major role in his survival.

Shortly after his release he signed a £435,000 tell-all deal with German TV and gave a detailed discussion about his time behind bars, saying “You’re nobody in prison. You’re just a number. Mine was A2923EV.

“I wasn’t called Boris. I was a number. And they don’t give a f*** who you are.”

But in his first interview on British television, Becker explained to ITV’s This Morning show how he managed to survive the ordeal.

“You’re famous, everyone knows who you are,” the six-time Grand Slam winner said as he opened up about his time in jail. “It can play against you. Thankfully they liked my personality.

“The only thing you have is your character and your personality. That’s your currency. If they think you have money, you have a problem anyway, so that wasn’t a problem with me!

“They liked tennis, they liked what I did. Tennis fans. My sporting history has helped me survive prison.”

Before being sent to jail, Becker was a regular commentator for the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage and also worked at Eurosport Germany, but he lost both those roles after being convicted.

He has since rejoined to Eurosport after returning to Germany, but he won’t be appearing on the BBC any time soon.

“I miss London, it is my favourite city in the world,” the 55-year-old, who lived in the UK since 2012 until he was deported, said during the interview from Dubai.

“I’ve been there for a long time. I’m going to miss Wimbledon this year. I have to take my time before I will be coming back.”

READ MORE: Boris Becker could be barred from attending Wimbledon for as long as ten years