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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Novak Djokovic Confirmed For Olympics But Del Potro Pulls Out After Medical Advice

The Serbian will be bidding to win gold in Tokyo later this year for the first time in his career.

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This year’s Olympic tennis tournament has been given a boost after officials confirmed world No.1 Novak Djokovic will be playing at the Games.

 

The 19-time Grand Slam champion had been contemplating whether to play at the event or not amid ongoing COVID-19 conditions. Djokovic previously said he would reconsider travelling to Tokyo if fans weren’t allowed to attend. Since that comment, organisers have given the green light for up to 10,000 domestic fans to attend Olympic venues. Although foreign fans are banned from attending this year due to the pandemic.

Amid questions over Djokovic’s participation, the Serbian Tennis Federation has told Sportski Zurnal that he has pledged to play. It will be the fourth time the 34-year-old has represented his country in the Olympics. So far in his career, Djokovic has only won one medal which was bronze back in 2008. He also finished fourth in 2012.

“Novak has confirmed his desire to participate in the Olympic Games and we have already sent a list with his name on it to the Olympic Committee of Serbia. It will be forwarded from there,” the Tennis federation told Sportski Zurnal.

As it currently stands Djokovic is on course to achieve the calendar ‘golden slam.’ A rare achievement where a player wins all four Grand Slam titles, as well as the Olympics, within the same year. In singles competition the only person to have ever achieved this was Stefi Graf back in 1988.

“Everything is possible, and I did put myself in a good position to go for the Golden Slam,” Djokovic said after winning the French Open
“But, you know, I was in this position in 2016 as well. It ended up in a third-round loss in Wimbledon. This year we have only two weeks between the first round of Wimbledon and the finals here, which is not ideal because you go from really two completely different surfaces, trying to make that transition as smooth as possible, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“So obviously I will enjoy this win and then think about Wimbledon in a few days’ time. I don’t have an issue to say that I’m going for the title in Wimbledon. Of course, I am.”

Del Potro’s comeback delayed again

There is less positive news for Juan Martin del Potro, who was the player who beat Djokovic to win a bronze medal back in 2012. The Argentine hasn’t played a competitive match on the Tour since June 2019 due to a troublesome knee injury. Back in March the former US Open champion said playing at the Olympics again was motivating him during his rehabilitation.

However, since then progress has been slower than what Del Potro would have liked. As a result, he has been advised not to play in the event and continue his recovery.

Delpo won’t be able to play the Olympics Games. The knee rehab is going well according to the doctor’s plan but he suggested Juan Martin to go on with his rehab process and training, and skip Tokyo 2020,” a statement from Del Potro’s communication team reads.

Since 2010, the former world No.3 and two-time Olympic medallist has undergone eight surgeries.One on his right wrist, three on his left wrist and four on his knee. He has won a total of 22 ATP titles so far in his career.

The Olympic Tennis event will start on July 24th at the Ariake Coliseum.

RELATED STORY: Why Are So Many Tennis Players Skipping The Olympics?

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Vasek Pospisil dispatches James Ward in Eastbourne

Vasek Pospisil is into the second round at Eastbourne.

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Vasek Pospisil (@TennisCanada - Twitter)

The Canadian won his first match on grass of the year beating the local favourite James Ward.

 

Vasek Pospisil is through to the second round of the Viking International ATP 250 in Eastbourne after beating the Brit James Ward in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 13 minutes on court number two.

“It was a good match, I played pretty well, I thought I served well and he is a tough opponent on grass because he has a tough first serve but I was pretty sharp and played well when I needed to and happy to get the win”.

It was the Canadian who had the first chance to break at 1-1 and he got the early break and that one break was good enough for him to serve out the first set.

The second set was much of the same and actually was identical to the first with the world number 66 getting the break to take a 2-1 lead but faced a breakpoint when consolidating the break.

Again that one break was enough for him to serve out the match and book his spot in the next round. This is Pospisil’s first win since the month and after the match, he spoke about how the last couple of months have been for him.

“It was good I just took a break from the tour just to refresh the mind and the body and I hadn’t seen my family in nine months so it was a good reset and I felt I needed a break to kinda be excited about touring and the covid conditions and now I’m back and I am happy to be back and I am playing well so it was a nice break.”

Pospisil will now face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the next round after the Spaniard beat the Swede Mikael Ymer in straight sets 7-5, 6-1.

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Daniil Medvedev Searching For Confidence Boost Ahead Of Wimbledon

The two-time Grand Slam finalist says he is not the same player as he was two years ago when he last played Wimbledon.

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When it comes to playing on the grass this year Daniil Medvedev admits that the biggest issue for him might concern the mental side of the sport as opposed to the physical side.

 

The world No.2 kicked-off his grass swing last week in Halle where he was stunned in the first round by Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting the Tour in 2020, that was the first time the Russian had played a match on the surface in almost two years. Short on matches, Medvedev is back in action this week in Mallorca after taking a wildcard into the tournament.

“I like to play on grass, I just need to get some confidence in my game on the surface, because we didn’t play [on it] for two years. Two years ago, I was not the same player as I am right now,” Medvedev told atptour.com. “It is tough for me to say where I see myself, but I know I can play very good on this surface. I just need to find the right balance.”

Since he last played at Wimbledon, Medvedev surged on the ATP Tour by winning six titles with all of them being on a hardcourt. Furthermore, he also reached the final of the US Open in 2019 and the Australian Open this year. He is the first player outside of the Big Four to be ranked in the world’s top two since July 2005.

Despite his previous success on the grass, Medvedev admits he remains wary about playing on the surface and the conditions he may face.

“When I started playing on grass, I played in Challengers and even in [ATP] Tour tournaments on the outside courts, not on the central courts, and I can tell that the central courts are quite slow,” he said. “Especially the match I played with Gilles Simon at Queen’s [Club], we had rallies of 40 shots every second point. That is what makes it a little bit tougher.
“When I practise on practice courts, I feel like I am playing so good as the ball is so fast. Then I come onto the centre court to play the match, and the ball just stops after the bounce, and you have to adapt your game, so it can be tough. But I know I can play really well on grass.”

In Mallorca Medvedev has a bye in the first round. His opening match will be against either South Africa’s Lloyd Harris or France’s Corentin Moutet.

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