Djokovic is heartbroken for his imprisoned friend Becker

MADRID (AP) — Novak Djokovic said he was “heartbroken” for his former coach Boris Becker after the tennis great was sentenced to 2½ years in prison in Britain for illegally transferring large sums of money and concealed assets after being declared bankrupt.

Becker, 54, coached Djokovic for three years from December 2013.

“(I’m) just heartbroken, I mean, for him,” Djokovic said on Sunday in Spain ahead of the Madrid Open. “He’s a friend, a longtime friend, a coach for three, four years, someone I consider close in my life and who has contributed a lot to my success in my career.”

Becker was sentenced on Friday following his April 8 conviction on four counts under UK insolvency law. The three-time Wimbledon champion has been discovered to have transferred hundreds of thousands of pounds (dollars) after his bankruptcy in June 2017 from his business account to other accounts.

20-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic said he would not comment on the details of Becker’s court case.

“I just hope he gets through this time that he has to be in prison and that when he gets out he can live his life like, I don’t know if we’ll use the word ‘normal’, because life is definitely in changing,” Djokovic said. “I just pray for him. I hope everything will be fine for his health, his sanity, because that will be the hardest part.

Djokovic is looking to return to full form in Madrid ahead of Roland Garros later this month.

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