Tennis Star Boris Becker Says an Inmate 'Tried to Kill' Him While He Was in Prison on Bankruptcy Charges

·3 min read

The six-time Grand Slam champion said every day was a "fight for survival" whilst being incarcerated

Tristar Media/Getty  Boris Becker
Tristar Media/Getty Boris Becker

Boris Becker is grateful to be alive following his prison stint.

The tennis star, 55, reflected on his incarceration last year in a new interview with CNN's Christine Amanpour on Thursday, after telling German broadcaster Sat. 1 days after his release that an "inmate tried to kill" him, per CNN.

Becker was released from Huntercombe Prison in the U.K. in December after serving eight months of his two-and-a-half-year sentence for charges relating to his 2017 bankruptcy case.

"You only appreciate freedom once you've been incarcerated, let me tell you," he told the 65-year-old on her show Amanpour. "It's a different lifestyle, it's a different world. I've been out now for over three months and I'm happy to be here alive and speaking to you."

The six-time Grand Slam champion continued, "Prison life is a very dangerous place. I watched a couple of movies beforehand just to prepare myself a little bit, but I didn't expect it like that. It's very scary. It's a real punishment."

CNN Boris Becker on CNN's Amanpour
CNN Boris Becker on CNN's Amanpour

Related:Boris Becker Sentenced to 2.5 Years in Jail After Being Found Guilty of Bankruptcy Charges

"The only currency you have is your character and your personality — literally — and you better make friends with the strong boys because you need protection, you need a group of people that look out for you," Becker, who divorced his second wife Lilly Becker in 2018, added.

He also said "every single day" he spent inside was a "fight for survival." "There's enough time of reflection, enough time of feeling sorry for yourself, but you have to stop that quickly as you have to get up the next day and literally survive," he said.

Becker told Sat. 1, per CNN, that the man who tried to kill him had been in prison for over 16 years for killing two people when he was 18. "I was shaking so bad," he recalled of the incident. "I shouted loudly and immediately the inmates came out and threatened him."

Chris Cole/Getty Boris Becker
Chris Cole/Getty Boris Becker

Related:Former Professional Tennis Player Boris Becker Separates from Wife of 9 Years

The former sportsman claimed the inmate was unhappy about his friendship with Black inmates and had also threatened to sexually assault him and had told him what physical harm he was going to subject him to. "He was dangerous. He couldn't understand why I was so connected with Black prisoners," he said.

Becker was sentenced in April 2022 after being found guilty of four Insolvency Act charges: removal of property, concealing debt and two counts of failing to disclose estate, per ABC News.

He spoke to Amanpour ahead of the release of a new Apple TV+ documentary — Boom! Boom! The World vs. Boris Becker — in May.

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Revealing he's "ready for his comeback" he added, "I've done what I've done, I've paid my dues and I'm ready for my comeback."

The father-of-four continued, "If prison doesn't humble you I don't know what will. When you literally lose everything and you go into a really small cell for 231 days, if that doesn't humble you then you're lost anyway."

Becker is the youngest-ever winner of the men's singles title at Wimbledon, taking home the trophy for the first time at the age of just 17 in 1985. He won the championship a further two times in 1986 and 1989 and has also won the US Open once and the Australian Open twice.

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