It was a tough week for tennis star Boris Becker. Not only did the legend’s coaching client Novak Djokovic lose in the finals of the French Open, Becker reportedly had to scramble to save his Mallorca home from bill collectors.
Last week Becker paid €430,000 to settle unpaid bills and keep the Mallorca estate from auction, according to media reports. The 2,900-square metre property was embargoed by the authorities earlier this year over a long-running dispute concerning bills owed to construction and maintenance crews.
The last-minute payment is the latest chapter in a saga that stretches back to 1997, when Becker first purchased the estate in Arta.
Locals accused the tennis star of making renovations to the property without proper approval. Becker was fined close to €234,000 for what were described as unauthorised changes to the property, which now includes a guest house, pool, tennis and basketball courts.
Becker rarely uses the property and has been involved in a long-running series of disputes with contractors and maintenance staff. In 2011, groundskeepers accused Becker of owing about €300,000 for keeping up the property, which Becker has reportedly been trying to sell since 2007.
“It’s not so dramatic,” Becker told a German newspaper. “But if someone believes they have suffered an injustice it is up to him to seek redress. The procedure is ongoing so I can say no more.”
Rather than settling, Becker’s disputes over the property escalated.
“There is a lawsuit and we are fighting it,” Becker told reporters in 2011. “They wanted more money than they were supposed to get. It is my house and hasn’t been taken.”
But earlier this year a judge ordered the house to be auctioned unless Becker paid his bills.
Becker was asking €15.4 million for the property in 2007, but it is now valued at close to €7 million, which is why he may not be eager to see it sold at auction.