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John McEnroe wants to visit Boris Becker in prison – sports mix

They were rivals on the tennis court for years, later John McEnroe (63) and Boris Becker (54) became friends and colleagues as TV commentators. And now “Big Mac” wants to visit Bobbele in prison.

At the Wimbledon tournament (starts on June 27), McEnroe will not find his colleague in the TV booth above his “living room”. Becker’s new home is Huntercombe Prison in Nuffield, near London, where he is serving his sentence for bankruptcy fraud.

The American has scheduled a visit during his stay in England. The BBC pundit: ‘I feel terrible. Boris is a friend of mine, that’s just terrible.

McEnroe continued: “I don’t know where he is. I think he was moved somewhere. I want to see him if I can, if he wants or can see people. I just feel terrible.”

McEnroe and Becker fought the toughest duels from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s. The fiercest encounter between the two tennis stars was the 1987 Davis Cup match, later dubbed the “Hartford Cauldron”. After six hours and 38 minutes, Becker left the field as the winner.

Foto: picture-alliance / dpa

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June 27, 1987: The Civic Center of Hartford (US state of Massachusetts) became the “Hartford cauldron” – the Davis Cup match between John McEnroe and Boris Becker lasted six hours and 37 minutesFoto: picture-alliance / dpa

While McEnroe, who smashed countless racquets, had his wildest years as a professional athlete, Boris’ life after his playing career got really turbulent: living on the big foot, womanizing, expensive divorces, bankruptcy fraud. At the end of April he was sentenced to two and a half years in prison by London’s Southwark Crown Court. With good behavior, he could serve half on probation.

McEnroe als TV-Kommentator in Wimbledon (1995)Foto: picture alliance / ASSOCIATED PRESS

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McEnroe as TV commentator at Wimbledon (1995)Foto: picture alliance / ASSOCIATED PRESS

“He’s one of the greatest players to have ever played. And I know it meant a lot to Boris. He’s been through a lot and has been for a long time,” says McEnroe of his ex-rival.

“He kept telling me, ‘Everything will be fine, everything is under control.’ That’s how Boris is. He was just a very confident player on the pitch. But sometimes you’re not necessarily a good investor, you don’t take care of your money off the pitch.”

That shows “how important it is to have good people around you,” says McEnroe. “And it seems like some people around him haven’t been very helpful. That’s really unfortunate. But I don’t know if any of us knew it was coming to this.”

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