Tennis great Boris Becker set to be deported after early release from UK prison

Tennis legend Boris Becker will soon be a free man as he is set to be released from a UK prison before Christmas after serving less than half of his sentence for tax evasion.

Three-time Wimbledon champion Becker was jailed for two-and-a-half years in April for hiding £2.5million worth of assets and loans to avoid paying his debts.

The former world number one, 54, was declared bankrupt on June 21st 2017, owing creditors almost £50m, over an unpaid loan of more than £3m on his estate in Mallorca, Spain.

BBC commentator Becker transferred almost 427,000 euros (around £390,000) from his business account to others, including those of his ex-wife Barbara and estranged wife Sharlely "Lilly" Becker.

The father-of-four also failed to declare his share in a £1m property in his home town of Leimen, Germany, hid an 825,000 euro (almost £700,000) bank loan - worth £1.1m with interest - and concealed 75,000 shares in a tech firm, valued at £66,000.

Now it has emerged that he will be allowed to leave prison before Christmas, but he will be deported out of the UK and away from his London home.

Becker's former spokesman explained the plan last month as he released this statement:

"We are pleased for Boris that he may qualify for an early release and be able to travel to Germany, albeit England has been his home for many, many years. I'm sure it will mean a lot to him and his family to be reunited for Christmas."

Becker's ex-wife has said telling their 12-year-old son that his father was going to prison was "the hardest thing I ever had to do".

Speaking on Piers Morgan's Uncensored show earlier this year, Sharlely "Lilly" Becker defended her former husband following his "harsh" two-and-a-half year jail term after being convicted of bankruptcy fraud.

The 45-year-old Dutch model also told the TalkTV programme she "broke down" at the sentencing, and the first person who reached out to her was the tennis star's current girlfriend, Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro.

When asked how she reacted at the sentencing, Ms Becker told TalkTV: "I completely broke down.

"I couldn't believe what I was hearing because I was convinced, until the judge made her verdict, that he was going to get a little bit lighter than two and a half years.

"I had to keep it together and I don't know how I did it."

Ms Becker added: "We all pulled together - the ex-wife, the kids, his current girlfriend Lilian - the first thing we did was reach out to each other.

"It's hard because it's public, it's everywhere.

"It's hard because everyone has an opinion about it, rightly so.

"I'm here to show everybody that he has a bunch of really strong women behind him, and who are here not to speak for him, but to protect him."

It remains to be seen whether Becker will return to his tennis punditry role that has become one of his most lucrative sources of revenue in recent years.

The BBC have yet to comment on whether they would consider using the Wimbledon legend for their coverage of next year's Championships, but it seems unlikely the state broadcaster could hire him so soon after leaving prison.

In addition, Becker is not expected to be able to return to the UK during the period of his initial sentence, with his early release part of a programme designed to free up space in prison by deporting foreign detainees.

That would mean Becker would not be allowed to return to his beloved Wimbledon until 2025 at the earliest.

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