Andy Murray insists he has no sympathy for jailed tennis legend Boris Becker, claiming he should receive no “special treatment” for breaking the law.
Becker was last week sentenced to 2½-years in jail for hiding £2.5 million worth of assets and loans to avoid paying debts after he was declared bankrupt. And speaking for the first time since Becker was convicted, Murray was adamant that his thoughts were with the victims of the German’s crimes – and not the fallen former Wimbledon winner.
“He broke the law, and if you do that, I don’t think you should get special treatment because of who you are or what you’ve achieved” Murray said. “I feel sorry that he’s in that situation, but I also feel sorry for the people that he’s affected with his decisions.”
Becker has since been moved to HMP Wandsworth – a crumbling Victorian prison which will feel very different to the luxurious surroundings in which he has spent the majority of his adult life.
But Novak Djokovic, who won six of his major titles under Becker as coach, had a more sympathetic stance to his close friend. Asked to describe his emotions when the sentence was handed down, the world No1 replied: “I was just heartbroken. I just pray for him. I hope things will be well in terms of his mental health, because that’s going to be the most challenging part.”
The Serb described the 54-year-old as “a long-time friend, a coach for three or four years, someone I consider close in my life and [who] has contributed a lot to my success in my career.
“As his friend, I’m super sad for him,” Djokovic added. “It’s not much that you can say. “I just hope he will go through this period that he has to be in jail and that when he comes out he’s able to live his life as – I don’t know if we’ll use the word ‘normal’, because life is definitely changing for anybody going to prison, especially for that long of a time.”
The professional collaboration between the two men lasted three seasons, from 2014 to 2016. Over that period, Djokovic managed to spend 122 weeks at the top of the world rankings and transform his reputation from a shaky closer-out of tournaments into a cold-eyed winner. “We had the time of our life,” said Becker when the partnership ended.