Boris Becker makes Italian Open appearance five months after prison release

Boris Becker turned up at the Italian Open five months after he was released from a UK prison and deported back to Germany. The former world No 1 has made limited appearances at tennis events since but was spotted in the crowd to watch Daniil Medvedev take on Holger Rune. And he wasn’t the only famous face in the stadium as Jose Mourinho returned after attending one of Novak Djokovic’s matches earlier in the tournament.

Becker came to Rome with his girlfriend Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro for the conclusion of the Italian Open, one of his first appearances at a tournament since he was released from prison in December. The German tennis legend was famously sentenced to 30 years imprisonment last April after being found guilty of four charges under the Insolvency Act.

He was then deported five months ago under a system that allows foreign nationals to return to their home country in an effort to relieve pressures on British prisons. While Becker resumed his punditry role for Eurosport from a German TV station, he has rarely been seen at tennis events since.

But he was seen inside the centre court at the Foro Italico ahead of the men’s singles final between Medvedev and Rune after talking up the match on Instagram. The 55-year-old reposted a graphic of the final earlier in the day, writing: “Can’t wait… May the best man win!!!”

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Becker and the singles finalists were made to wait when the rain came down at the conclusion of the men’s doubles final, delaying Medvedev and Rune by half an hour. There was a presentation for Martina Navratilova ahead of their walk-on but the rain started again, prompting the match to be pushed back by an hour.

Third seed Medvedev had already faced five hours’ worth of rain delays during his semi-final on Saturday, managing to come through 7-5 7-5 against Stefanos Tsitsipas when they finally resumed. The 27-year-old danced at the baseline to celebrate his victory and shared a hilarious explanation in his on-court interview.

“I like the GIF so let’s see what comes up with this one because when you do it, it’s like being in the club completely drunk,” he said of the dance. “When you’re dancing, and I have a lot of friends like this, you feel like you’re the god of the dance pole.

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“But then they show you the video, you know, it was not the thing. So I don’t know how did it go but I was just happy to be in my first clay Masters final, looking forward to tomorrow.”

And Becker enjoyed Medvedev’s unique celebration, reposting a clip of the dance and the interview as he wrote: “Like his personality!!!” Meanwhile, Mourinho was also spotted in the crowd for the second time this fortnight.

The Roma manager previously turned out to watch Djokovic’s opening match against Tomas Etcheverry. Mourinho often used to attend the ATP Finals when it was in London and while he was the Chelsea manager, and Djokovic later revealed that he was a big tennis fan.

“He’s an avid tennis fan. And, of course, one of the greatest football coaches that we have, not just today, but in history. So I’m really honoured that he’s coming to watch, watch my matches. I really appreciate that. A very, very nice person and always was very kind to me and my team,” he said.

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