Three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker has been declared bankrupt by a court in London.
Mr Becker, now a coach, owed a firm of private bankers a large sum of money, reports the BBC. The bankruptcy court registrar said there was not enough credible evidence that he could pay the debt.
Lawyers for the 49-year-old former champion pleaded with the registrar in London on Wednesday for ‘a last chance’ to pay the long-standing sum.
The lawyers attempted to bargain, saying that the funds could come from remortgaging a property in Majorca, but the court declined.
Registrar Miss Christine Derrett said it was ‘with regret’ that she came to the conclusion that he could not pay.
The registrar said in court: “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.
“I remember watching him play on Centre Court, which probably shows my age,” she added.
Becker’s advocate, John Briggs, said: “He is not a sophisticated individual when it comes to finances. I am asking for a real last chance for Mr Becker to come good. It has just taken longer than anticipated.”
Becker is considered one of the all-time tennis greats.
The German former world number one is a six-time major singles champion, including having been the youngest Wimbledon men’s champion when he was 17 years, 7 months and 15 days old.
Tennis magazine put him as the 11th best male player of the period 1965-2005.
His powerful serve earned him the nicknames ‘Boom Boom’ and ‘Der Bomber’ and he was well known for his willingness to throw himself around the court.
The German player is probably best remembered for his success on the famed grass courts of Wimbledon, where he really rocketed to stardom. Fittingly, he announced his retirement after losing there in the fourth round in 1999.
He finished with an outstanding 71-12 career record at the All-England Club.