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Becker's 'boom-boom' heart goes from love to match

AFP · 12 Jun 2009, 08:13

Published: 12 Jun 2009 08:13 GMT+02:00

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The 41-year-old three-time Wimbledon champion is set to tie the knot with Lilly Kerssenberg in St Moritz, the up-market Alpine resort, before some 200 celebrity guests and amid tight security.

As one of Germany's tennis legends, there is still huge interest in Becker, who has had a series of very public mishaps and is now a professional poker player with his own website showing podcasts of his day-to-day life.

"Most of my projects have flopped and I have often been out of luck with money and women ... but with Boris Becker TV, I am allowing everybody to take a peek into my life," he said when the channel was launched last month.

"My life is a series of fascinating events. One can view for example the moment we announced our marriage - that fascinating moment can belong to you."

The will-he, won't-he moment was followed live by some 9.7 million Germans when it was aired on public television ZDF in February.

"Oh no, not again," the programme's host, Thomas Gottschalk, cried when he heard the news.

It was a nail-biter, especially since the couple had split up 18 months earlier, shortly before the ex-tennis ace's 40th birthday, and Becker had only recently broken up with another fiancee.

Becker, nicknamed "Boom-Boom" in his playing days for his larger than normal heart which powered his game, has been assiduously courting the limelight and cash since officially retiring a decade ago.

Those years brought a tax evasion trial, failed businesses and a pricey divorce from his first wife Barbara after he fathered a child with a stranger during a brief encounter in the broom closet of a London restaurant.

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Now he charges up to €60,000 ($85,000) as a promotional fee to attend events and has also lent his name and face to a range of products from luxury brands to beer.

His nuptials are to be broadcast on commercial network RTL for an unspecified fee two days later, a station spokeswoman said, and the camera crew has even been granted temporary access to the couple's honeymoon suite. Details of the wedding are sketchy but it has been made known that the men are expected to turn up in tuxedos and the women in red gowns.

The gigantic wedding ring is reportedly made of white gold and topped with 131 diamonds, which Kerssenberg is to match with a spectacular necklace and earrings Friday.

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