Becker: ‘Brutal prison experience, but it made me a better man’

The former German tennis player was released in mid-December after spending 231 days behind bars

Former German tennis player Boris Becker has said his time in prison has strengthened him and made him a better person. “I’m a survivor, a tough guy,” Becker, 55, said in an interview with the BBC. “If anything, he’s made me a better and stronger man,” he added. The tennis player was released in the UK in mid-December after spending 231 days behind bars. The athlete had been sentenced at the end of April 2022 in London to two and a half years in prison for failing to correctly declare his assets in his insolvency procedure.

I was able to leave earlier due to a special regulation for foreign prisoners. However, Becker has to continue handing over part of his income to bankruptcy trustees. Furthermore, he is currently not allowed to return to his former country of adoption, England. “Anyone who says life behind bars isn’t hard and difficult is lying,” Becker said. “It was very brutal, a very, very different experience from what you see on television and hear through stories,” she said.

The former tennis player also said he learned quickly that he needed protection to face the “tougher guys”. “Fight every day to survive,” she added. Early in his captivity, Becker spent a few weeks in Wandsworth Prison, known for his poor conditions. He was subsequently transferred to Huntercombe, a lower security level.