I won a million when I was 17 – I wasted a fortune that way, says Boris Becker

FROM Wimbledon champion aged just 17 to bankrupt prison inmate aged 54, Boris Becker’s spectacular rise and fall has been one of the most extreme in sporting history.

Now a new Apple TV+ documentary shows how the German tennis prodigy became a high-profile playboy who squandered an estimated £100m on women and a jet-set lifestyle – before debt caught up with him.


A new Apple TV+ documentary tells how Boris Becker became a high-profile playboy who squandered £100m on women and a lavish lifestyle


Boris was too young to know the value of the money that rolled in with trophy after trophyCredit: Getty

Boom! Boom! The World Vs Boris Becker star breaks down as he was interviewed for the show just 48 hours before his sentencing for illegally transferring large sums of money and hiding assets last April after he was declared bankrupt.

He tells viewers: “It’s hard. I’m down, I don’t know what to make of this. I will face it. I won’t hide or run away. I accept any punishment I get.

“There’s a reason this is happening. My life has always been a bit different from other lives. My upbringing was different. Winning Wimbledon at 17 was different. And the next 36 to 37 years were very different.”

Boris, now 55, who was released from prison last December after serving eight months of his 30-month sentence and was deported back to his homeland, added in the TV reveal: ‘When you’re that young you’re thrown into the big one Ocean with all the sharks, it’s very difficult to learn to swim.

“But once you learn to swim, there’s a sense of invincibility.”

The two-part documentary, out next week and produced by Ventureland and Jigsaw Pictures, examines the sense of invincibility surrounding young Boris.

He earned the nickname Boom Boom because of his huge serve. In 1985 he became the youngest-ever Wimbledon champion, becoming world No. 1 and winning six Grand Slams, including two more Wimbledon titles in 1986 and 1989.

Even after his famous leaping salvos, he scrambled to his feet, brushed himself off, and claimed the victor’s prey.

“Expensive Five Seconds”

But while his wild confidence brought Boris enormous fame and fortune, it also contributed to the financial collapse that saw him trade the admiration of Center Court fans for a lonely British jail cell.

He enjoyed a stellar tennis career in the late ’80s and early ’90s, despite an addiction to sleeping pills and an alleged sex addiction, both of which distracted him from daily work on the court.

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At 17, Boris won his first million. The money went out the window and he lost his sense of worthCredit: Getty Images – Getty


Boris, now 55, who was released from prison last December after serving eight months of his 30-month sentenceCredit: Reuters

But after he left the game, followed by two failed marriages and a love child from an alleged affair in a restaurant broom closet – all of which hit his tennis fortunes as hard as his luck.

Despite the chaos and his dwindling earnings, Boris continued to spend exorbitantly.

It’s a trait he says came from that dizzying first Wimbledon win in 1985 and earning Boom Boom tag.

He flashed the money like he flashed his serves, forehand and backhand.

Unfortunately, Boris was too young to know the value of the money that rolled in with trophy after trophy.

He admits he remembers never having a credit card, carrying money or even going to an ATM as everything was taken care of Romanian coach Ion ȚTiriac, father Karl-Heinz and coach Gunther Bosch.

He tells the documentary: “I won my first million when I was 17. So money goes out the window, you lose your sense of value. They don’t know that 99 per cent of people never make a million pounds.

“A lot of athletes, we anticipate that the money we make throughout our careers will continue to flow in afterwards.

“So we’re not adjusting our lifestyle fast enough. You keep spending money you no longer earn, you keep spending money you previously made. So, yeah, I blame myself.”

But in the early days, Boris felt he lacked support beyond his family and management.

He tells viewers, “I wasn’t fulfilled in my private life, I wasn’t with the right boyfriend, I wasn’t with the right girlfriend.”

That apparently changed when he met Barbara Feltus and married in 1993.

It proved very controversial in his native Germany because she was mixed race, but he stood by her.

The tennis prodigy was already struggling with the public at home, where a newspaper editor once told him the only person to have sold more German newspapers than he was was Adolf Hitler.

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Then in 1999 Boris lost one of his role models, father Karl-Heinz, who died of cancer at the age of 63.

He also now said goodbye to kick tennis paydays as his career came to an end.

Then in 2001 he and Barbara divorced and he was slammed over a reported £10million settlement.

Their eight-year marriage – from which they have sons Noah, now 29, and Elias, 23 – had collapsed in 1999 when Boris admitted he had sex with Russian waitress Angela Ermakova after falling out of that year’s Wimbledon and Farewell to tennis.

He marked the milestone at London’s top restaurant Nobu and ended up having what was reportedly the “most expensive five seconds” of his life. . . in an alleged broom closet.

He tells TV viewers, “I don’t want to go into all the details, but we went into the back room. No, it wasn’t a closet – the closet is way too small, it’s impossible to do physical activity in the closet. We got together and we had sex. I didn’t have Angela’s number, I didn’t have any contact, and that was it.

“Eight months later, I get a fax that says, ‘Maybe you don’t remember me. Our last meeting is eight months old. Here’s my number, call me.” I just couldn’t believe it.

“The next week I met Angela in London and I was under pressure.

“She walked in, she had a big coat on, she took off the coat and she was heavily pregnant and she just explained to me that I’m the father of this child.”

The child was Anna, now 22.

online poker game

Boris always admitted he thrived from the hustle and bustle of the tennis arena and he knew that once he hung his racquet there was only one way to get that high: women.

He said: “When my job, playing tennis, is over, I won’t look for a new job where I can get excited, I’ll look for it in my private life.”

He definitely kept that promise.

In addition to the women, there were homes around the world, private jets, and meals at top restaurants.

But that meant game, set and match for his bank account going the wrong way as he turned to endorsements and investments that didn’t work.

Many of his financial adventures have also damaged his credibility, such as becoming an ambassador for an online poker company.

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In 2002, he was sentenced to two years’ probation and to pay around three million euros for tax evasion after he had registered his business interests in the tax haven of Monaco, but in the meantime continued to reside in his native Germany.

Boris managed to still draw on past successes as he joined the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage as a happy pundit from 2002 and coached possibly the greatest tennis player of all time, Serbian Novak Djokovic, for three years from 2013.

In 2009 he remarried to Dutch model Lilly Kerssenberg, who gave birth to his fourth child, Amadeus, a year later.

But Boris and Lilly, now 46, had a messy split in 2018.

By this time he had declared himself bankrupt.

In 2017, Swiss businessman Hans-Dieter Cleven claimed Boris owed him £33m after their partnership went awry, and he already owed private bank Arbuthnot Latham £11m from 2015.

Last year he was found guilty at Southwark Crown Court in London of four charges under the Bankruptcy Act – mainly due to the fact that he failed to hand over around £2.5million worth of assets and trophies to repay his debts .

Before the eyes of the world, he was sent to the cell and suffered a defeat greater than any of his most devastating big match losses.

Boris’ newest girlfriend, Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, has stood by him during his time in prison and despite hitting rock bottom, he vows to get back up.

He stares at the camera through teary eyes and says, “This isn’t the end – there will be another chapter.”

Boom! Boom! The World Vs Boris Becker will be available on Apple TV+ from April 7th.


Many of Boris’ financial misadventures have damaged his credibility, for example when he became an ambassador for an online poker siteCredit: Splash News


Russian waitress Angela Ermakova and Boris shared the responsibilities of raising love child Anna ErmakovaCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd


Boris was surprised at the announcement he was going to be a father to Anna after losing touch with mother AngelaCredit: Getty


Boris’ latest girlfriend, Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, has been by his side throughout his time in prisonCredit: Getty

Source : www.thescottishsun.co.uk

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