On Tuesday, Novak Djokovic announced that he has parted company with coach Boris Becker.
The German, who joined Djokovic’s camp three years ago, helped the Serb win six major titles, 14 ATP Masters 1000 titles, 2 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, and regain back the number one spot which the Serb then went onto hold for 122 straight weeks.
In an exclusive interview with Sky Spots, Becker reflected on his three unbelievable years with Djokovic, the decision to split and said that he is convinced that the Serb will refocus again on tennis next season.
“It was an unbelievable ride. We had three years of lots of success. Of course, one or two losses that I would have liked to erase. But overall, if somebody has told us three years ago that we are going to win six grand slams together, multiple masters series tournaments, regain back the number one spot and just be the most dominant player of the world then I would have signed the check,” Becker said.
On being asked if he the decision to split was taken by him or Djokovic, Becker said:
“It was mutual. Decisions like this doesn’t have arguments. I think the last six months have been challenging on many levels. The fact that he won the French Open, held four grand slams in a row . It hasn’t been done since 1969. People forgets sometimes the achievement that he has done. Naturally, he wanted to spend more time with his family. And I was the first one to say, yes – family comes first. He wanted to pursue another off court interest. Rightfully. People forget that as a tennis player you have to be very selfish, it’s all about you 24×7. That’s ok when you are 19-20, but when you are 28-29 and you have a wife, a son, other family members and other business interests then they all come second or third. So, he needed time to reflect on them, he needed time to be with his loved ones because that’s what is going to be left behind. Being there in the same situation twenty years ago, I said of course. That’s what you have to do. Does that makes it easier for coach and staff? No. Our hands were tied a little bit. We could not do the work we wanted to do because he had many important things to do. I understand.
“So you start questioning yourself what’s my role? What’s my situation? Why are we going to New York? Why are we going to Shanghai? Once you raise that question, that’s the beginning.”
Becker said that he has done his job and is hopeful that Djokovic will bounce back the next season and regain the most dominant player status.
“When he first called me that I if would like to work with him and his team, then I said that I would love to. But for me, it’s about winning matches, winning tournaments, regaining number one and winning majors. And we have done that. So really the job is done. There come a time in any athlete’s life that you have done the winning and now other priorities will overtake a little bit. I’m sure that he is going to refocus again the next season, I know that losing the number one ranking hurts, losing the US Open final to Stan hurts. So, that’s what he needed maybe in a funny way to lose a little bit to realize what’s its like to lose because he hasn’t been losing for two years. So, I’m convinced. And I am his number one fan next year for him to come back and regain the number one spot, regain that most dominant player in the world, but he will have to go back to the office, practice more hours.”
On being asked if Djokovic didn’t practiced well in last couple of months, Becker replied:
“He didn’t spent as much time on the practice courts in the last six months as he should have. He knows that. Success like this doesn’t happen by pushing a button, by just showing up at a tournament. You have to work your buttons off and I’m sure he will.”