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Djokovic turns to Boris Becker in his pursuit of Nadal

AFP

Novak Djokovic (pictured right) may be ending the year ranked No. 2 in world tennis behind Rafael Nadal (left) but the Serb has decided to shake up his coaching team and is turning to former Grand-Slam champion Boris Becker (centre) for help.

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Djokovic said on Wednesday that Becker will join his staff as head coach next season.

“He is a true legend, someone who has great tennis knowledge and his experience will help me win new trophies from the Grand Slams and other tournaments,” Djokovic said in a statement on his web site. “Becker is a great person, too, and I am sure he will fit in our team in the best possible way.”

The 46-year-old Becker, like his new employer a six-time Grand Slam champion, will travel with Djokovic and other coaches to tournaments, including next month's Australian Open.

"I am proud Novak invited me to become his head coach," Becker, the youngest man to win Wimbledon, at age 17, said in the statement. "I will do my best to help him reach his goals, and I am sure we can achieve great things together."

Djokovic won his fourth Australian Open title this year. He reached two other major finals but lost at Wimbledon to Andy Murray, who is coached by another former great, Ivan Lendl, and at the US Open to the Spaniard Rafael Nadal. Nadal also beat Djokovic in the semifinals of the French Open.

Becker will join a coaching staff that also includes Marian Vajda, Miljan Amanovic and Gebhard Phil-Gritsch.

Vajda, a Slovakian, has been working with Djokovic since 2006 and is making room at the top of Djokovic’s coaching team.

“Becker's assignment will not affect much my position in the team, since I will do all I can for Novak, just like I did before,” Vajda said. “On the other hand, choosing Boris as the head coach is a good solution, I am sure we will get along very well, and that Novak will continue to progress.”

It is the first shake-up in Djokovic’s team since a short and unsuccessful spell with Todd Martin as head coach in 2009.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS)

 

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