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Five Tennis players charged with criminal cases

Published at :June 20, 2024 at 6:49 PM
Modified at :June 20, 2024 at 6:50 PM
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(Courtesy : X/@Mxcityopen and @NickKrygios)

Ashu Yadav

Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic are among the few active tennis players charged with criminal cases.

Tennis, being a global sport, is massively followed and tennis stars have a fan-following across international borders. Most of the players are aware of their appeal and always carry themselves with grace. These players are courteous citizens and try to impact the next generation positively.

However, there have been instances in the sport’s history when players were surrounded by serious off-court controversies and it sent shock waves amongst fans. Let’s know about five such instances when tennis players were involved in criminal cases.

5. Nick Kyrgios

Considered among the most talented tennis players of his generation, Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has always been in the headlines due to his on and off-court controversies. But, the most shocking incident came to light when Kyrgios was accused of domestic violence by his ex-girlfriend Chiara Passari.

Kyrgios allegedly shoved her to the ground, causing her bruises. Kyrgios pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to $1000 in fines, 20 hours of community service and a 12-month good behaviour term. 

4. Bernard Tomic

Former World No. 17 and once-rising Australian tennis sensation Bernard Tomic has a history of being involved in controversies. His tryst with law enforcement agencies started in 2013 when he was caught driving an unregistered and uninsured car in Australia. He was not carrying a valid driver’s license either, which led to a $3,000 fine and the suspension of his driver’s license for six months.

Another serious incident happened in 2015 when Tomic was arrested in Miami for allegedly resisting arrest. He was asked to leave a luxurious hotel after partying till late in the morning and indulging in loud music and questionable substances.

He allegedly refused to leave, became aggressive and did not cooperate with the police. He was later released on a bond and the charges were dropped.

3. Boris Becker

In 2002, former World No. 1 and six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker, who was known for his flamboyant playing style, was found guilty by the Munich District Court of deliberately making false statements regarding his place of residence on his income tax filings to save tax liability. Additionally, he was fined €300,000 and another €200,000 by various charitable institutions.

Later in 2017, Becker again made headlines for the wrong reasons when he declared bankruptcy over an unpaid loan owed to Arbuthnot Latham Bank for nearly $14m. Becker was judged to have been hiding assets and transactions worth over $5m. He was found guilty of four charges under the Insolvency Act and was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment for the offenses.

2. Bill Tilden

Bill Tilden, nicknamed “Big Bill” was an American tennis player who was considered one of the pioneers of the sport in his country and dominated the world of international tennis in the 1920s. He won 14 major singles titles. Additionally, he was also the first American man to win Wimbledon, taking the title in 1920.

Post-retirement, his reputation as a tennis legend took a hit when he was arrested in 1946 by the Beverly Hills police. He was charged with soliciting a 14-year-old boy with whom Tilden was having sex in a moving vehicle. He was sentenced to a year in prison. He was arrested again in January 1949 after picking up a 16-year-old hitchhiker. Tilden was sentenced to one year of imprisonment.

1. Bob Hewitt

Considered a stalwart in doubles tennis, Australian player Bob Hewitt, who was a 15-time doubles (men’s & mixed) champion and a tennis Hall of Famer, was found guilty of rape and sexual assault in 2015. He was accused of these crimes by the female players he coached during the 1980s and 1990s. Hewitt was convicted of two rapes and a sexual assault and was sentenced to an effective six years in jail.

Hewitt’s three victims were between 12 and 14 years of age when he assaulted and raped them while he was their coach. The Australian was released on parole in April 2020. At that time, Hewitt had served three years and six months of his six-year sentence. He was also expelled from the Hall of Fame because of his criminal conduct.

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