Novak Djokovic 'Heartbroken' for Former Coach Boris Becker After Prison Sentence

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVMay 1, 2022

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 02: Boris Becker and Novak Djokovic of Serbia talk during a practice session ahead of the 2020 ATP Cup Group Stage at Pat Rafter Arena on January 02, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic offered his support to former coach Boris Becker, who was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison last week.

"[I'm] just heartbroken, I mean, for him," Djokovic said Sunday, per the Associated Press. "He's a friend, a longtime friend, a coach for three, four years, someone I consider close in my life and has contributed a lot to my success in my career."

Becker—who won six Grand Slam tournaments himself—coached Djokovic for three years starting in December 2013.

On April 8, he was convicted on four counts of violating Britain's Insolvency Act. It was determined he illegally transferred large sums of money from his business accounts to other accounts after declaring bankruptcy, while also hiding other assets.

He faced a maximum of seven years in prison.

The 54-year-old must serve at least 15 months before he is eligible for release.

Becker had previously been convicted of tax evasion and attempted tax evasion in Germany in 2002 but received a suspended two-year sentence.

"I just hope he will go through this period that he has to be in jail and that when he comes out he's, you know, being able to live his life as, I don't know if we'll use the word 'normal,' because the life is definitely changing," Djokovic said of Becker. "I just pray for him. I hope things will be well in terms of his health, his mental health, because that's going to be the most challenging part."

Djokovic is preparing for the Madrid Open in Spain, looking to build on his recent appearance in front of his hometown fans at the Serbia Open final.