Boris Becker says Novak Djokovic has 'lost some of his magic' after Davis Cup defeat

Friday, 24 May 2024 at 20:00
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Boris Becker opined that Novak Djokovic lost his rhythm since his last match in the Davis Cup against Jannik Sinner, but believes the French Open will be the ideal stage for the 24-time Grand Slam champion to dazzle once again. The German coach recently commented on Djokovic's form in Tennis365.
Becker, who coached Djokovic from 2013 to 2016, mentioned that the defeat against Sinner in Malaga was key, as the world No. 1 seemed to lose his nerves against the Italian's level and ended up defeated in the Davis Cup semifinals, which he had targeted as one of his challenges for the year. However, his loss to Sinner was crucial for Italy to reach the final and then win the title.

The painful defeat in the Davis Cup

The 2023 semifinals pitted Italy against Serbia, led by the two players in the best form on the Tour, who had played two matches in the ATP Finals a week earlier. Although Sinner won in the Round Robin, it was Djokovic who triumphed in the final and took the title.
In the Davis Cup, Lorenzo Musetti's withdrawal in the first singles match against Miomir Kecmanovic gave Serbia the advantage, needing only one win to advance. However, Sinner played the hero, won his match against the world No. 1, and then Italy claimed victory in the doubles, where both Sinner and Djokovic played.
“I think losing the Davis Cup for Serbia hurt him a lot. That took a lot of juice away from him and some of his magic,” stated Boris Becker. “This year he has not been the same. He has never got his best form and every match has been a struggle.”
Novak Djokovic fell in the Geneva Open semifinals against Tallon Griekspoor 4-6, 6-0, 1-6. The Serbian made 27 unforced errors
“After the year he had last year when he won three out of four Grand Slams, being in the final of all four and then winning the ATP Finals, you ask what is next,” the German former world No. 1 added. “He got to the semi-finals at the Australian Open and lost to Jannik Sinner and you say, okay he a very good player.
“Then you think he will pick it up. He will win one of Indian Wells and Miami, then he goes into the clay court and again, it didn’t happen. Then comes the split with Goran and I see his match in Monte Carlo against (Casper) Ruud and he didn’t look the same old, as he did before.”
“He has not lost how to play tennis, of course not, but he is only playing for the majors now and trying to cover the time in between with a few tournaments is tough, but I think he will get his mojo back,” Becker added.
Boris Becker also commented on Djokovic's chances in the upcoming French Open. The Serbian has to defend his 2023 title, and the threat of Sinner leaving Roland Garros as the world No. 1 seems increasingly likely: “He is coming back to Roland Garros, where he won last year and it’s always good to go back to somewhere where you have won last year,” Becker said.
“I know he hasn’t won this year, but he has won 24 majors so everyone will see a different Novak Djokovic when the first round starts at Roland Garros, I’m sure about that.”
On the other hand, Becker was absolutely surprised by Djokovic's split with his longtime coach Goran Ivanisevic: “I was very surprised about the split with Goran. More importantly, the timing of it in March,” added Becker. “All good things come to an end and they have had an incredible partnership together. I think they have won 12 Grand Slams.
“But normally you make this kind of change in November, December. So to do this in March was surprising for me. Also, the fact that he doesn’t have another big name coach was surprising to me,” Becker claimed. “Even Novak needs words of wisdom from time to time. Not every day, but in important moments and usually a Grand Slam is an important moment for him.
“So I’m surprised by the situation right now. I know Zimo (Nenad Zimonjic) and he knows a lot about tennis, but Novak has been used to having a guy in his corner like Goran or me who has won Grand Slams. So it’s a different approach you have with a player.”

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