Three-time Wimbledon Champion Boris Becker has opened up about his time in prison in the U.K.

“Whoever says that prison life isn’t hard and isn’t difficult, I think is lying,” Becker told the BBC, reflecting on the eight months he has served of the two-and-a-half-year-long sentence he received for hiding £2.5 million worth of assets and loans in a bankruptcy fraud case.

“It was a very brutal … a very, very different experience to what you see in the movies, what you’ve heard from stories,” the six-time Grand Slam singles champion recalled, after previously having referred to his imprisonment as the “worst time of his life.”

Spending the majority of his sentence at Huntercombe Prison in Oxfordshire, Becker claims to have been “surrounded by murderers, by drug dealers, by rapists, by people smugglers, by dangerous criminals.” “You fight every day for survival. Quickly you have to surround yourself with the tough boys, as I would call it, because you need protection,” the 55-year-old German said.


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Becker admitted that being a world-renowned tennis player did not make a difference whatsoever, saying that the “only currency we have inside is our character and our personality.”

“You don’t have any friends at first, you’re literally on your own and that’s the hard part, you have to really dig inside yourself about your qualities and your strengths but also your weaknesses,” he said.

Following his release last December, Becker was immediately deported to Germany and will not be allowed on U.K. soil until October 2024. “I miss London,” he acknowledged, saying that he would “certainly love” to return to Wimbledon for his commentating role.

Becker said that he is grateful for his partners who have not dropped him and have “welcomed me back home.”

“When you’re down, and the last five, six years were very difficult for me, you truly find out who’s with you and who’s not with you,” he said.

Despite his difficult times in prison, Becker believes it has made him a “stronger, better man,” and that it was a valuable experience. “If anything it certainly humbled me, it certainly made me realize that whether you’re called Boris Becker or Paul Smith, if you break the law, you get convicted and you get incarcerated, that goes for everybody.”

“With my decisions in the future you can see whether I have learned from it or I didn’t,” Becker declared.

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