Boris Becker and Nole

Becker’s Big Match Play

Novak Djokovic hiring Boris Becker is something that has mystified some observers.  Becker has never been a coach before and as a player was notorious for being hard to coach.  Novak ended 2013 on a massive winning streak including 2 straight set wins over the man who took his #1 ranking. Conventional wisdom might say, “Why rock the boat?”

Why I Think Becker Makes Sense

Can Becker Relate?

Boris Becker was an excellent big match player.  He won a lot of service games from 0-40 down.  There are a lot of things that Becker could perhaps impart to Nole from a tennis stand point that might make him valuable.  I don’t expect Novak to change his service motion or hit bigger serves.  I do think the number one thing Becker might offer from a tennis stand point is managing service games more effectively.  That alone could have made the difference in the 2013 French Open semifinal against Nadal.

From a psyche standpoint, I think Becker and Novak have experienced something similar in their backgrounds.  Becker was a national hero for West Germany and then the reunified Germany for a generation of people born after WWII.  Novak is perhaps the first transnational Serbian figure to emerge since the conclusion of the Yugoslavian Civil War and is obviously a hero at home.  I am not a psychologist, but if Nole and Boris mesh a bit better than say Novak did with Todd Martin, a comfort level might be achieved.  If Novak is comfortable with Boris Becker as a person, then beneficial advice and a general optimism about his place in tennis might benefit Nole’s game.  In that way, this move makes great sense to me.*

* – Boris Becker inspired me to take my first tennis clinic after the 1985 Wimbledon final.  I like Novak too so I might be a bit biased, but I hope this partnership works.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Dan Martin says:

    I know it was a Davis Cup environment but it is surprising to me to see how much Becker forced Mayotte to play at Becker’s pace when Mayotte was serving.

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