Novak Djokovic's staggering act for Boris Becker in prison

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·Sports Reporter
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Novak Djokovic has pledged to support Boris Becker as the tennis great begins a twio and a half year prison sentence for concealing assets during bankruptcy proceedings. Pictures: Getty Images
Novak Djokovic has pledged to support Boris Becker as the tennis great begins a twio and a half year prison sentence for concealing assets during bankruptcy proceedings. Pictures: Getty Images

Tennis legend Boris Becker has the support of World No.1 Novak Djokovic as he begins a two and a half year prison sentence handed down for concealing assets.

Becker was sentenced in late April and sent to Wandsworth prison in London, before recently being transferred to a different prison in Huntercombe, Oxfordshire.

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It is believed the 54-year-old will likely be deported from England back to his native Germany, however authorities are yet to confirm such a move.

Djokovic, fresh from his straight-sets third round victory over Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene at the French Open, said he remained 'heartbroken' by Becker's sentence.

The Serbian superstar, who counted Becker as a member of his coaching team from 2014 to 2016, said he had been in touch with members of the tennis legend's family to offer what support he could.

"Even when we stopped working, our relationship kept going in a right way. I have been in touch with one of his sons, Noah, and asking if there is something that I could do," Djokovic said.

“It's terrible.

“I'm just very sad that someone I know so well, and of course someone that is a legend of our sport, is going through what he's going through.

"It's been only less than a month. We know how long he has to be there. So I just hope that he will stay healthy and strong.”

The tennis legend was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison last month for hiding hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of assets from creditors after he was declared bankrupt.

The 54-year-old was found guilty of transferring money to his ex-wives so he didn't have to pay creditors.

Speaking earlier in May, ex-wife Lilly Becker described her pain after Boris was sent to prison.

“I completely broke down," the Dutch model said on Piers Morgan’s 'Uncensored' show.

“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing because I was convinced, until the judge made her verdict, that he was going to get a little bit lighter than two and a half years.

“I had to keep it together and I don’t know how I did it.”

Tennis great Boris Becker imprisoned after bankruptcy hearing

The German was found guilty in court of transferring money to his former wife Barbara and estranged wife Sharley in 2017 after he had declared bankruptcy.

And the judge claimed the six-time grand slam champion, who was wearing his Wimbledon tie in court, had shown no remorse during his time pleading his case.

"It is notable you have not shown remorse or acceptance of your guilt," judge Deborah Taylor told him at London's Southwark Crown Court.

"While I accept the humiliation you have felt as a result of these proceedings, you have shown no humility."

Judge Taylor said Becker would serve at least half his sentence behind bars after it was found Becker had hid around $4.4 million worth of assets in order to avoid paying his debts.

Becker has found himself in trouble with authorities in the past.

The two-time Australian Open winner was convicted of tax evasion in Germany back in 2002, which resulted in a suspended prison sentence.

Boris Becker and Novak Djokovic have remained close after moving on from their coaching arrangement back in 2016. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Boris Becker and Novak Djokovic have remained close after moving on from their coaching arrangement back in 2016. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

The British court heard how Becker had managed to lose his fortune following his glittering career.

Becker claimed he didn't know where his trophies were and how he took a big high-interest loan from a British businessman.

He also claimed to have diplomatic protection from the Central African Republic in order to avoid bankruptcy.

Becker's lawyer claimed the tennis icon had been publicly humiliated throughout the trial as they appealed for leniency in the sentencing.

Jonathan Laidlaw, Becker's lawyer, told the court the tennis player had been left with "literally nothing to show for what was the most glittering of sporting careers".

He was convicted of failing to declare a property in Germany, hiding an 825,000 euro ($A1.2 million) bank loan and shares in a Canadian technology firm.

"We have noted the verdict regarding Boris Becker with regret," the German Tennis Federation (DTB) said.

With agencies

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