Tennis ace Boris Becker left broken after $70mn debt

Boris Becker © Paul Childs / Reuters

Former tennis world No. 1 Boris Becker is set to sell his Grand Slam trophies and a large chunk of his property catalogue after racking up debts of $70 million.

Despite earning upwards of $25 million during a career that saw him become one of the most recognizable athletes of his era, Becker has been forced to sell to clear staggering bills that arose after being declared bankrupt owing over $4 million three months ago.

Becker shot to fame when he won Wimbledon aged just 17 and went on to win a total of six Grand Slam titles, including a further two Wimbledon titles, two Australian Opens, and a US Open crown, before retiring in 1999 aged just 31 and moving into business.

Now the German is hoping to raise money through selling those trophies that made him a household name, along with luxury watches. His championship cups are expected to raise $1 million alone.

The 49-year-old has reluctantly agreed to sell off his trophies having accepted “the time for sentimentality has passed,” according to the Sun, which also reported that Becker’s Swiss ex-business partner has gone to court demanding $40 million.

The ginger-haired former champion on Friday posted a quote to his Twitter account that read, “Don’t waste moments thinking about the past, the best is yet to come.”

During his playing days, Becker used his earning power to his advantage and began to develop a real estate portfolio in his mid-20s.

After calling time on his court career, he made moved into business, opening up three Mercedes car dealerships and becoming an ambassador for the brand.

However, there were some faults in his entrepreneurship, most notably when he lent his name to ‘Boris Becker Tower’, a 23-story residential and commercial tower located in Business Bay, Dubai, which was a financial disaster.

Becker, who resides in Switzerland some of the year, split from first wife Barbara Feltus in 2001. She received a generous settlement of $19 million and a condominium on exclusive Fisher Island in Florida, as well as custody of their two children.

He lives with his second wife, Dutch model Lilly, in Wimbledon, the same district of London that was the stage of his first great tennis achievement. (RT)