Is Becker the right coach for Nole? Ion Tiriac comments... - UBITENNIS
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Is Becker the right coach for Nole? Ion Tiriac comments…

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TENNIS – After watching Boris Becker’s coaching premieres in Melbourne and Dubai, his mentor and former manager Ion Tiriac now gave his comments on this cooperations, “I do not know if Boris Becker is a good coach. Actually I do not know if he’s a coach, maybe just someone who is trying to become one,”. Simone Kemler

Boris Becker and Ion Tiriac have a mutual past that lasts over decades . . . both formed a congenial partnership in the 1980’s and it is fair to say that the one would not have risen without the other. It was Tiriac who at children’s age went to the Becker Family in Leimen to ask for permission to be Boris’ mentor and manager. It is because of him that Becker teamed up with Bob Brett or Günther Bosch and it is the latter who led Boris Becker into being the youngest ever Wimbledon Champion. On the other hand Ion Tiriac became a world known figure because of Boris Becker’s success on the tennis court. And it was the charisma that Becker showed on court that made it easy for Tiriac to market his ‘product’ to the benefit of both bank-accounts. So far, so good – but it is the way both dealt with this gift that was given to them or – in a way produced by them, that makes the difference for these two individuals in the years to come.
After Becker’s retirement from active tennis, both went into very different directions
The Romanian Tiriac made a hugely successful business career that brought him billions and he also got Becker started in business three decades ago with i.e. a Mercedes dealership in Germany. But Becker didn’t really make a good go of it and has been living for decades as a sports celebrity. The German also tried his luck within the German Tennis Federation and as a tournament director in Hamburg – both cooperations ended. So from Becker’s point of view it seems a very feasible and promising idea to go back into the tennis-circuit coaching Novak Djokovic, however his longtime confident Tiriac has now voiced his doubts that Boris is a good coaching fit for Novak Djokovic in an interview with Germany’s ‘Bild am Sonntag’. Since Becker came on board to start the season on Team Djokovic, the ATP No. 2 has not won a title after lifting four to end the 2013 season. The Serb was beaten in the Australian Open quarters by eventual champion Stanislas Wawrinka and went down in the Dubai semis to Roger Federer. “I do not know if Boris Becker is a good coach. Actually I do not know if he’s a coach, maybe just someone who is trying to become one,” says the Romanian, who is also involved in the Mutua Madrid Open and who still counts Becker as a good friend. “If the task of Boris is to improve technique and strokes of Djokovic, then he is the wrong man for a job like this. You cannot teach more in this respect to a world-class player like Novak. A coach should be someone who knows the players better than themselves, who leads them and their thoughts, which provides key percentages, so that they become critical. Look at Lendl with Murray, he has done some serious work mentally with his tennis player.”. Tiriac said his criticism was meant to be constructive and he will surely tell his friend that at their next meeting in person, “These days we don’t see each other more than maybe three or four times a year, but we find time to have a beer together and talk about our children,” said Tiriac, who also managed players such as Guillermo Vilas, Henri Leconte, Goran Ivanisevic and Marat Safin. “There is nothing you can teach more in that area to someone who is a champion and a top world player like Novak.“.
Does Djokovic want to change his game with Boris Becker’s help?
But maybe this is not what the Becker/Djokovic tandem is about: let’s say Djokovic wants to become a tennis-phenomenon like Becker is (strictly with regards to the sport), the Serb would need to move the masses even more than he does already, he would need to make the fans cry, yell, and suffer with him, he would need to make the fans go overboard with joy when winning and THAT might be what the Djoker wants to achieve with Becker by his side. Already during his time in Dubai it was clear that Djokovic was becoming a little bored with constantly being questioned on what Becker might add to his game. “We’re not significantly changing anything,” said Djokovic. “The biggest thing he can contribute is the mental approach. That’s one of the reasons Boris is here, because of the big matches and the Grand Slams. I felt I dropped two or three titles in the last two years I could have won.”  So – if that’s what this cooperation is about, then it might just be fair to give them more time – question is: will Becker be able to form a message to bring along to Djokovic and will fans, sponsors and media stay patient to see this happening . . .

As second seed, Djokovic has been handed a bye in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells and then will face either Romanian Victor Hanescu or a qualifier. He is a two times champion of the event played in California’s Coachella Desert, winning in 2008 and 2011.
Simone Kemler

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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream

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Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Motivation, Pressure And Expectations – Novak Djokovic Targets History At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

Novak Djokovic has broken numerous records throughout his career but he still feels the pressure of trying to make history in the sport. 

The world No.2 is through to his 10th Wimbledon final where he will play Carlos Alcaraz, who beat him at this stage of the tournament 12 months ago. There is plenty on the line for the Serbian who could equal Roger Federer’s record for most men’s titles won at SW19 and break the overall record for most major singles won in the sport if he triumphs over the Spaniard. Djokovic currently has 24 Grand Slam trophies to his name which is the same as Margaret Court, who won some of her titles before the Open Era started. 

“Obviously I’m aware that Roger [Federer] holds eight Wimbledons. I hold seven. History is on the line.” Djokovic said on Friday after beating Lorenzo Musetti.

“Also, the 25th potential Grand Slam. Of course, it serves as a great motivation, but at the same time it’s also a lot of pressure and expectations.”

Coming into Wimbledon, there had been doubts over Djokovic’s form after he underwent surgery to treat a knee injury he suffered at the French Open. However, he has defied the odds to reach the final. His run has also seen him beat Alexi Popyrin and Holger Rune before getting a walkover in the quarter-finals from Alex de Minaur, who sustained an injury during the tournament. Then on Friday, he overcame a spirited Musetti in three sets. 

Despite the challenge, Djokovic has insisted that his expectations to do well are always high no matter what the situation is. During what has been a roller-coaster first six months of the season, he is yet to win a title this year or beat a player currently ranked in the top 10. Although he will achieve both of these if her beats Alcaraz on Sunday. 

“Every time I step out on the court now, even though I’m 37 and competing with the 21-year-olds, I still expect myself to win most of the matches, and people expect me to win, whatever, 99% of the matches that I play.” He said.

“I always have to come out on the court and perform my best in order to still be at the level with Carlos [Alcaraz] or Jannik [Sinner] or Sascha [Zverev] or any of those guys, Daniil [Medvedev]. 

“This year hasn’t been that successful for me. It’s probably the weakest results the first six months I’ve had in many years. That’s okay. I had to adapt and accept that and really try to find also way out from the injury that I had and kind of regroup.”

Djokovic hopes that a Wimbledon win will help turn his season around like it has done in the past for him. 

“Wimbledon historically there’s been seasons where I wasn’t maybe playing at a desired level, but then I would win a Wimbledon title and then things would change.” He commented.

“For example, that was the case in 2018 when I had elbow surgery earlier in the year, dropped my rankings out of top 20, losing in fourth round of Australian Open, I think it was quarters of Roland-Garros, and just not playing the tennis that I want to play. Then I won Wimbledon and then won US Open and then later on became No.1 very soon.”

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Alcaraz is hoping to stop Djokovic in his tracks. Should he defend his title at Wimbledon, he would become the first player outside the Big Three to do so since Pete Sampras more than 20 years ago. He has won their only previous meeting on the grass but trails their head-to-head 3-2. 

“I’m sure he knows what he has to do to beat me,” said Alcaraz.

“But I’m ready to take that challenge and I’m ready to do it well.”

When the two players take to the court to play in the Wimbledon final, Djokovic will be 15 years and 348 days older than Alcaraz. Making it the largest age gap in a men’s Grand Slam final since the 1974 US Open. Whoever is victorious will receive £2,700,000 in prize money. 

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