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…




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


Liam Broady On Why He Wore Rainbow Laces During His Australian Open Match

Following his first round defeat, the Brit spoke about why he believes it is important to speak out in support of the LGBT community.




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It is sometimes the small gestures which go a long way and Liam Broady showed that during his first round match at the Australian Open.


Taking to the John Cain Arena for his night-time clash against Nick Kyrgios, the qualifier embarked upon a situation he had never experienced before with a boisterous crowd cheering on their home player. At times the atmosphere resembled that a football match with fans drinking beer and chanting Christiano Roinaldo’s ‘siu’ celebration. The reason as to why they were doing that particular chant was unclear.

Broady ended up falling 6-4, 6-4, 6-3, to Kyrgios who will next play the formidable Daniil Medvedev. Throughout the match the world No.128 was wearing rainbow laces and he did so for a special reason.

“I just kind of wanted to send the support. I know obviously within men’s tennis — is it a taboo? I don’t think it’s really a taboo, but I’ve seen questions before about why there aren’t any openly gay men on the tour, and I just wanted to kind of voice my support in that kind of general area,” Broady explained during his press conference.
“And the LGBTQ community, I mean, a lot of those guys have given me a lot of support throughout my career and have been there since day one, so I kind of wanted to give a thank you in my own sort of way.”

The Rainbow Laces initiative was created by LGBT charity Stonewall and initially marketed specifically towards football’s Premier League before later expanding into other sports. The idea is to get players to wear rainbow laces in order to raise awareness of LGBT representation within sport.

Tennis is renowned for having some of the most formidable LGBT athletes over the years with the likes of pioneers such as Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova who were among some of the first to speak openly about their sexuality. However, on the men’s Tour it is somewhat different. There are currently no openly gay players and only a small handful in the past. Although most of those players, such as Brian Vahaly, came out after retiring from the sport.

“I saw that the first openly gay footballer just came out in Australia (Josh Cavallo) a month or two ago. And it’s difficult, right? I mean, it’s a big thing to do and at the end of the day in the 21st century, it’s pretty rubbish that people don’t feel like they can be openly gay. It’s quite sad, really,” Broady continued.
“Hopefully I will help raise awareness for it and if there are people in the locker rooms and you kind of, you don’t want to force them to come out, you know, especially if they don’t want to. It’s their choice.’
“So you just got to try and support in the way you can and just let them know that everything’s okay.”

It is not the first time the 28-year-old has spoken out about LGBT rights. In 2018 he criticized Margaret Court who likened gay-rights activists to Adolf Hitlef in terms of what she claims is ‘propaganda.’ Court has a history of making anti-LGBT remarks despite insisting that she has nothing against gay people.

Broady says he doesn’t personally know of any gay player on the Tour. Although if there was, he assumed that it would be known because the sport is a ‘pretty leaky ship’ when it comes to having private details revealed online.

On Monday the Australian Open will launch their first ever Pride Day at the tournament.


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Australian Open: Pablo Carreno Busta Through But Fabio Fognini Stunned

Busta has booked his place in the second round at Melbourne Park for the sixth year in a row.




Pablo Carreno Busta - image via

On day one of the Australian Open, Spanish ace Pablo Carreno Busta sealed an efficient straight-sets win to take his place in the second round.


The Spaniard was no match for Argentinian qualifier Tomas Etcheverry coming through 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2).

The 30-year-old from Giron sailed through the opening set that included two breaks in the fourth and sixth game.

Etcheverry, who won three matches to qualify for the Australian Open, improved in the second set.

However, it wasn’t enough as Carreno-Busta flicked through the gears breaking his younger opponent in the third and seventh game to seal the set.

In the third, the 2017 and 2020 US Open semi-finalist took an early break of serve, only to be pegged back by Etcheverry who forced a tie-break.

It wasn’t to be for the 22-year-old though as Carreno-Busta turned up the heat with some big groundstrokes to move into round two.

Next up for the world number 21 is Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor who thrashed a poor Fabio Fognini in straight sets.

The out of sorts Italian was beaten 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.

Having lost in the first round of the US Open in September, the former world number world number is nine is in danger of slipping outside the top 40.

Having shown much promise to win a first Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo back in 2019, the husband of former US Open champion Flavia Pennetta, looks desperately short of motivation and confidence.

Fognini is yet to go beyond the fourth-round of a major, and at 34 time is running out for him to mine the potential that made him one of the sports best juniors growing up alongside Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.

Elsewhere, former Australian Open star Lucas Pouille, was knocked out in round one by fellow Frenchman Corentin Moutet.

Wildcard Pouille has endured a glut of injuries since making the semi-finals at Melbourne Park three years ago.

The 27-year-old has now fallen to 159 in the world. 

Pouille made a bright start to take the opening set 6-3, but his lack of fitness and confidence soon showed, as he lost the following sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.

Czech Jiri Vesley, also slumped out to American wildcard Stefan Kozlov 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.

He will face seventh seed Matteo Berrettini next.

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Cameron Norrie Puzzled By Australian Open Defeat

It was a bad day at the office for the British number one.




Cameron Norrie ad Indian Wells 2021 (Credits: @BNPPARIBASOPEN on Twitter)

Cameron Norrie is finding it hard to pinpoint where it all went wrong for him in his first round match at the Australian Open.


The 12th seed could only win seven games against Sebastian Korda as he crashed out 6-3, 6-0, 6-4, after just over 100 minutes of play. It is the third time in four appearances that Norrie has fallen in the first round at Melbourne Park but last year he did manage to reach the third round. Against his American rival, he hit 29 unforced errors compared to 23 winners and was broken five times.

I had a week off to prepare, prepared as well as I could, and I was just slow, I was missing routine backhands, which I never miss,” Norrie said during his press conference.
“I honestly can’t put a finger on it. I just need to get better and improve. Lots to work on.’
“Any time I had a chance to kind of come back, he (Korda) served his way out of it. And on the bigger points he was much better than me. I didn’t play well in any big points today.”

It has been a far from smooth start to 2022 for the 26-year-old who also suffered disappointment at the ATP Cup earlier this month. In the team tournament he lost all three of his singles matches to Alexander Zverev, Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger-Aliassime. Zverev is the only one of the trio currently ranked higher than him.

Perhaps the most concerning aspect of Norrie’s latest defeat is the fact he seemed perplexed about why he played the way he did. Asked by one journalist if he was possibly suffering any lingering affects from catching COVID-19 during the festive period he replied ‘No, I think I prepared as well as I can, and I felt fine physically, fine mentally.’

Norrie was one of the breakthrough stars last year on the ATP Tour when he raced up the world rankings. He featured in six Tour finals across three different surfaces and won the biggest title of his career at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. The stellar season earned him a place at the ATP Finals as a reserve and he even played two matches following the withdrawal of Stefanos Tsitsipas due to injury.

“I don’t know why I played the way I did today. I was feeling good physically,” he said. “Yeah, I played a lot of matches (last year) but this is what we (tennis players) are paid to do and just not good enough. I just need to raise my standards, practice, matches, and execute a lot better.”

Of course, credit has to be given to Korda, who is making his debut at Melbourne Park. The American had a far from ideal preparation for the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19 which forced him to withdraw from two warm-up events.

21-year-old Korda has now beaten a top 20 player on six separate occasions. He will play France’s Corentin Moutet in the second round.

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