Tennis icon Boris Becker has been replaced in a popular pundit role after receiving a two-and-a-half-year jail sentence in April. Becker learned his fate at Southwark Crown Court at the end of last month after being convicted of four charges relating to his 2017 bankruptcy.
The German was found guilty of offences under the Insolvency Act after convictions including removal of property, two counts of failing to disclose estate and concealing debt. He will spend at least 15 months in prison and could be released on parole in July 2023 at the earliest.
Becker is still contracted to Eurosport until next year, although the broadcaster is understood to be in talks with his management about terminating his deal. And they have now named world number three Alexander Zverev’s brother, Mischa Zverev, as their replacement TV expert.
On Wednesday, a statement read: “In Mischa Zverev, we have an expert who is not only close to the action but who has already worked for Eurosport during the Grand Slams and also for the entire Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games tennis tournament from the studio of Munich-Unterfohring for Eurosport. He knows both our team and the processes.”
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Zverev arrives in time for Eurosport’s coverage of the French Open, starting at Roland Garros later this month. He will lead ‘Matchball’, formerly ‘Matchball Becker’ with commentator Matthias Stach throughout the 2022 season’s second Grand Slam.
“It will be two intensive weeks of tennis with high-level matches,” Zverev explained. “I don’t just want to explain to the spectators the small details that can often make a big difference, but also convey their enthusiasm for tennis.”
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Eurosport will broadcast their coverage of the French Open live from their Unterfohring studio rather than in Paris. Birgit Nossing and Barbara Rittner will also present ‘First Serve Rittner’ from the studio. Roland Garros will feature the world’s biggest tennis names, including world number one Djokovic.
The Serb will be entering his first major of the year after his vaccination status led to deportation from Melbourne and forced him to miss the Australian Open. But he will arrive in Paris hoping to reclaim the French Open after an impressive 2021 campaign saw him dethrone Rafael Nadal and 20th Grand Slam crown, and his second success in the tournament.