Three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker has been declared bankrupt at a High Court hearing.
The former world No1 was denied a “last chance” to pay long-standing debts to private bank Arbuthnot Latham and Co by Miss Registrar Christine Derrett, who cited a lack of credible evidence his “substantial” debt would soon be paid.
“It is not often the case that a professional person has a judgment outstanding against them since October 2015. This is a historic debt,” she added. “One has the impression of a man with his head in the sand.”
Becker, 49, was not present at the hearing but lawyers for the tennis star had requested that the case be adjourned for a further 28 days.
“He is not a sophisticated individual when it comes to finances,” Becker’s advocate, John Briggs, told the court.
The German, whose tennis career gleaned more than $25m in prize money alone, would be able to pay the debt once the remortgaging of a €6m property in Majorca had been completed, Briggs had argued.
Becker said: "I was surprised and disappointed that Arbuthnot Latham chose to bring these proceedings against me. This order relates to one disputed loan which I was due to repay in full in one month’s time.
"It is disappointing that my request for today’s hearing to be postponed until this time was refused. My earnings are well publicised and it is clear that I have the means to repay this debt.
"The value of the asset in question far exceeds the debt owed to Arbuthnot Latham. I intend to make an application to have this order set aside immediately."
Becker, who now works as a coach and media commentator, also owns a £7m mansion close to the All England Club in Wimbledon where he lives for around six months each year.
He and world No4 Novak Djokovic ended their coaching relationship in December amid the Serb’s struggles to regain top form.
Becker added: "In the meantime, I will concentrate on my work and in particular my presenting duties at Wimbledon for the BBC and other international outlets."