A British court on Wednesday declared tennis legend Boris Becker bankrupt by after the former tennis player failed to pay a long-standing debt.
A lawyer for the six-time Grand Slam champion pleaded with a Bankruptcy Court registrar in London for a last chance to pay a debt that Becker has owed to private bankers Arbuthnot Latham & Co. since 2015.
The registrar, Christine Derrett, said there was a lack of credible evidence that his debt would be paid soon. She refused to adjourn the case for a further 28 days and announced a bankruptcy order.
"One has the impression of a man with his head in the sand," said the registrar, who said that she watched Becker play on Centre Court at Wimbledon.
Dent on Becker's image
Becker's lawyer, John Briggs, had argued there was sufficient evidence to show that Becker would be able to pay the debt through a refinancing arrangement, involving remortgaging a property in Mallorca, which was expected to raise $6.7 million.
Briggs said that it was expected the deal would be approved by a Spanish bank in about one month.
Becker's advocate said his client was not likely to benefit from bankruptcy and it could have an adverse effect on his "image".
But the judge responded: "He should have thought about that a long time ago."
The 49-year-old Becker, who was born in Germany and lives in London, recently coached Novak Djokovic and has been a TV commentator.
Becker split with former world number one Novak Djokovic last December following three successful years together, the Serb winning six of his 12 Grand Slam titles with Becker as coach.