Ex-tennis ace declared bankrupt

Bankruptcy Blog

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A former world No 1 tennis player was this week declared bankrupt by a court in London.

Boris Becker, who won three Wimbledon titles during a glittering career, had owed a substantial sum of money to a firm of private bankers.

The 49-year-old’s legal team had asked for a last chance to pay the outstanding sum by remortgaging a property in Majorca. They argued that a 28 day adjournment should be sufficient to complete the deal.

But having heard their representations, the court registrar said there was not enough credible evidence that Mr Becker could cover his debts.

Christine Derrett, who presided over the case, said she had reached the decision “with regret” and noted she had once watched the German play on Centre Court.

Giving her reasons for the ruling, she said: “It is not often the case that a professional person has a judgment (debt) outstanding against them since October 2015. This is a historic debt.

“One has the impression of a man with his head in the sand.”

Mr Becker did not attend this week’s hearing in person but issued a statement following the outcome.

“This order relates to one disputed loan which I was due to repay in full in one month’s time,” he said.

“It is disappointing that my request for today’s hearing to be postponed until this time was refused. My earnings are well publicised and it is clear that I have the means to repay this debt.

“The value of the asset in question far exceeds the debt owed to Arbuthnot Latham.”

Mr Becker had won his first Major aged just 17 and went on to lift the trophy at five other Grand Slam events.

Since hanging up his racket in the late 1990s, he has worked as both a coach and pundit. Having recently parted company with Novak Djokovic, it was confirmed earlier this month that he would be returning to the BBC commentary team for this year’s Wimbledon.