A British court declared tennis legend bankrupt in 2017 after he failed to pay a long-standing debt.

Becker, who won 49 singles titles in his 16-year career, denies 24 charges under the Insolvency Act including nine counts of failing to hand over trophies and other awards and seven of concealing property.
Becker, who won 49 singles titles in his 16-year career, denies 24 charges under the Insolvency Act including nine counts of failing to hand over trophies and other awards and seven of concealing property. (AFP)

Trophies won by former tennis world number one Boris Becker were auctioned off for £700,000 ($920,000) to pay his debts.

A British court heard on Thursday that the trophies were sold off after the six-time Grand Slam champion is accused of failing to hand over nine other awards after he was declared bankrupt in 2017.

Trustee Mark Ford, one of those tasked with recovering the German's assets, said he had a "tense" relationship with the star, who became "emotional" when talking about trophies he said he had lost control of.

Becker's awards include two of his three Wimbledon men's singles trophies and an Olympic gold medal.

The court in London was told Becker felt he was "badly treated" by private bank Arbuthnot Latham, which initiated proceedings over a debt of more than £3 million on a loan on his estate in Mallorca - part of which was subject to a 25 percent yearly interest rate.

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The jury heard that in one conversation with Ford, Becker said: "Mark, do you think, bearing in mind I am now facing criminal charges relating to these trophies, that if I had access to them, I wouldn't have given them to you?"

Becker's barrister, Jonathan Laidlaw, explained the trophies players are allowed to keep are miniature versions of those presented on the tennis court after their victories.

The court heard how some of the 54-year-old's memorabilia was sold off to pay his debts.

"There was an auction which realised something like £700,000," said Laidlaw.

As well as failing to offer up memorabilia, including his 1991 and 1996 Australian Open trophies, Becker is accused of hiding 1.13 million euros ($1.25 million) from the sale of a Mercedes car dealership he owned in Germany.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies