Boris Becker confirmed on Thursday that he is the new coach of Holger Rune with the two working together until at least the end of this season.
Speculation of a collaboration between the two started when they were spotted together in Monaco. At the time Rune’s manager and mother Aneke told Ekstra Bladet that Becker was brought in to help support the tennis player as his previous coach (Lars Christensen) was in Denmark. It has now been confirmed that Christensen is no longer a member of the team.
Becker joins Rune at a time when the world No.6 has been struggling for form on the Tour. He has won only one out of his last 10 matches played with his latest defeat being to Memoir Kecmanovic at the Swedish Open on Wednesday. The Dane is currently in the final qualifying position for the ATP Finals but has a series of points to defend at the Paris Masters where he is the reigning champion.
“I can confirm that I am Holger Rune’s coach,” Becker told Eurosport Germany’s Das Gelbe vom Ball podcast.
“It makes me a little proud that he asked me. The contact has existed for a long time. Now it was a very good fit.
“My calendar allows it and I have always been interested in Holger because he is on the tennis court with so much commitment and temperament.
“Holger then invited me to a training week in Monte-Carlo. I also had a long chat there with his mother Aneke and his performance coach Lapo Becherini. The three of us are responsible for Holger from now on. “
The appointment is Becker’s first coaching role since being released from prison last year. He was originally sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for hiding assets from authorities after being declared bankrupt. However, he was released after eight months and deported from the UK.
Becker is a former world No.1 player who won six Grand Slam titles during his career. He also coached Novak Djokovic between 2013 and 2016. During those three years, the Serbian won six majors and 14 Masters 1000 titles under his guidance.
“I met Holger when he was 15, 16 years old. That was at the ATP Finals, when I was still coaching Novak Djokovic. Holger was our training partner. That’s how long I’ve known him and his mother. We have always stayed in conversation. And now the question came: ‘Can you help me?’ And my answer was: ‘Yes, let me visit you in Monte-Carlo.’ He then talked about the rest of the year. That was okay with me and I freed up time for Basel, Paris and, if we make it, Turin.” Becker explained.
“After that, we will sit down and think about whether the tournaments were successful, whether he enjoyed it, whether I liked it. We’ll now take on these three tournaments. After that, we’ll decide whether the cooperation has a future and whether we’ll go into 2024 together.” He added.
The 55-year-old describes Rune as a ‘rough diamond that needs polishing.’ Shedding light on what he hopes to bring to the team, Becker hints that changes to Rune’s scheduling might be needed to improve his overall performance.
“My ambition is to find the best Holger Rune,” he said.
“To do that, the tournament schedule has to fit. If he plays every week, he will eventually get tired.’
“That’s why I have to have a big say in this, according to the motto: ‘Here we have to insert a training week, here we have to regenerate, and maybe you go on holiday with your girlfriend for 10 days’. That is part of the planning, because in the end, I am jointly responsible for the success.”
Despite his appointment, Becker states that he is not the most important person on the team. Instead, he says that it is Rune’s mother plays a pivotal role and nothing would work without her.
Rune is set to return to action next week at the Swiss Indoors in Basel.
Alexander Zverev Deserves More Respect According To Boris Becker
According to Boris Becker, Alexander Zverev deserves more respect from tennis journalists.
Boris Becker has claimed that Alexander Zverev deserves more respect despite Zverev failing to live up to his potential at Grand Slams.
Zverev has only reached one Grand Slam final in his career despite being a regular inside the world’s top ten as well as performing at regular ATP events.
This season Zverev played a limited schedule after recovering from an ankle injury but still managed to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.
However most critics have been loud when judging Zverev’s career as it was looking likely that he would be a regular Grand Slam champion.
The German has failed to live up to expectations but former Grand Slam champion Boris Becker believes Zverev deserves more respect.
Speaking to Eurosport Becker also said that Zverev’s father being the coach is a more than successful approach when it comes to the former US Open finalist’s career, “In my opinion, he doesn’t get enough respect from the tennis experts internationally,” Becker explained.
“They’re all talking about the young three or four, but don’t give Zverev, Medvedev or Rublev enough respect. He’s playing with his fist in his pocket a little bit, wants everyone show that he is not a thing of the past, but that his best time is yet to come.
“Surely his father knows best what is good for his son, but if you look into the box at the competition, you can also see changes.”
Becker has followed Zverev for most of his career so knows that the best is yet to come from the German.
Alexander Zverev will look to prove himself next season when he starts his 2024 season when he represents Germany at the United Cup.
Juan Carlos Ferrero Analyses Key Areas For Carlos Alcaraz’s Development
Juan Carlos Ferrero has outlined the next steps in Carlos Alcaraz’s development.
Carlos Alcaraz’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero has analysed the key areas for the Spaniard’s development heading into the 2024 season.
The former world number one’s season has come to an end after a successful year which saw him win the Wimbledon title as well as winning two Masters 1000 titles.
Alcaraz capped off an incredible season by reaching the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.
However there is a long way for the Spaniard to go if he wants to consistently go toe-to-toe with Novak Djokovic.
Speaking to Marca Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero spoke about the Spaniard’s development and said that Alcaraz is too emotional, “Be more regular in games, not open doors. Sometimes there are mistakes and it is something that we have to improve a lot,” Ferrero commented.
“Although it is true that he opens doors, he always competes well and at the highest level. He knows it, the other day he already said that Novak doesn’t give you one. He has to improve his decision making and he will achieve that with experience. Carlos is very emotional and that sometimes helps him and other times not so much.”
It’s clear Alcaraz’s high-quality is there but to consistently do it against Djokovic is another task altogether as the Spaniard looks to go from strength-to strength next season.
One area that is clearly a priority for Alcaraz is physical conditioning especially considering what happened against Djokovic at Roland Garros earlier in the season.
Ferrero said that will be a clear focus heading into 2024 but couldn’t guarantee that Alcaraz will play a tournament before the Australian Open, “Because of the year and the fatigue he has been in, what he needs is rest and disconnecting for 8-10 days with his friends,” Ferrero stated.
“From there, the thinking must go back to working really hard, strong and well to start very strongly in Australia. One can never be sure of that. Sometimes you play a tournament and it doesn’t go well, you left home too early. There are many ways of thinking.
“This year we haven’t played Australia and he finishes number two. That means there is no urgency to play a tournament early. Carlos is a player who enters competition quickly, you don’t usually see him without rhythm.
“Although it is true that he becomes more dangerous from the round of 16, from the quarter-finals. I am confident that the two exhibition matches and the training sessions will help us play a good tournament.”
Alcaraz will be looking to play the Australian Open which starts on the 15th of January after the Spaniard missed last year’s tournament due to a leg injury.
Australian Open Chief Confident Nadal Will Play But Kyrgios’ Participation Uncertain
The tournament director of the Australian Open says he is ‘certain’ that Rafael Nadal will play at the Grand Slam even though the Spaniard has yet to outline his comeback plans.
Craig Tiley told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday he hopes to receive some clarity over Nadal’s intentions in the next couple of weeks but is confident he will play. However, the tennis official had previously claimed in October that the former world No.1 had already committed to play in the event before his team denied that statement.
Nadal, who has won 22 Grand Slam titles, hasn’t played a Tour match since his second round defeat at the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury. He was originally expecting to take an eight-week break but the recovery didn’t go to plan and he ended up having surgery. In May he confirmed that he will take an extended break from the sport to heal his body and admitted that retirement next year is a possibility.
“Rafa has been training, I follow him closely, probably every day because he’s a massive drawcard for us,” the Reuters News Agency quoted Tiley as saying.
“He wants to play, he’s obviously planning on playing. It all depends on how he pulls up.
“Hopefully in the next week or the next two weeks, we get some specific confirmation of that. I’m certain Rafa will be here because he’s not going to want to miss the opportunity to repeat what he did a couple of years ago.”
Earlier this month Nadal confirmed that he intends to return to the Tour but admits that he will continue to experience a degree of pain. Although he has yet to give any information about which tournament he will begin his comeback at. The 2024 season begins during the first week of January.
“I’m well, training, and happy. I’m at a good stage of my life,” atptour.com quoted Nadal as telling reporters in Barcelona.
“Until now I didn’t know if I would play tennis again someday, and now I genuinely believe I will. I’m still not ready to say when, but I’m able to train increasingly longer, and the progress is good.’
Will Kyrgios play?
Another player Tiley is eager to welcome back is home player and former Wimbledon Finalist Nick Kyrgios who has only played one Tour-level match this season due to injury. He underwent knee surgery in January and then tore a ligament in his wrist during the summer. As a result, the Australian currently doesn’t have an ATP ranking due to his inactivity.
“We have spoken to Nick, and he obviously wants to do the best he possibly can to give him the best chance to play in January,” Tiley said of Kyrgios.
“Whether he’s playing, whether he’s doing something else, Nick will be here in January and to get him to play will be great. But we’ve got to take it as it comes and he’s got to make sure he takes care of his health …”
Kyrgios recently worked as an analyst for the Tennis Channel during this year’s ATP Finals in Turin and gave a brief update on his ongoing recovery during a segment.
“After last year, I had such a great year, and I’m so hungry to get back out there,” the 2022 Wimbledon finalist commented.
“So I’m doing everything I can to get back out there. Obviously, you know how injuries are every day, just doing the rehab, doing the gym work.”
The Australian Open will begin on Sunday 14th January. Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka are the defending champions.
Holger Rune Says New Coach Becker Helping Him Address Rough Patches
Carlos Alcaraz Targets Olympic Glory In 2024
Hamad Medjedovic moves to 2-0 in Red Group at the Next Gen Finals in Jeddah
Abdullah Shelbayh upsets Alex Michelsen to win his first win at the Next Gen Finals in Jeddah
Arthur Fils eases past Flavio Cobolli to move to 2-0 at the Next Gen Finals in Jeddah
Record-Breaking Novak Djokovic Hungry For More Glory
Carlos Alcaraz Searches For Improvement Ahead Of ATP Finals
WTA Yet To Decide On Host For 2024 Tour Finals After Cancun Controversy
WTA Finals Daily Preview: Sabalenka and Swiatek Fight for the No.1 Ranking
WTA Finals & ATP Paris Masters Daily Preview: Djokovic Plays Rune in a Rematch of Last Year’s Final
(VIDEO): Malaga Line-Up Set As Davis Cup Most Unpredictable Tournament In History
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Steve Flink, Ubaldo Scanagatta Review The 2023 Wimbledon Men’s Final
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Steve Flink, Ubaldo Scanagatta Review The 2023 Wimbledon Women’s Final
(VIDEO): Novak Djokovic Faces Sinner Test, Women’s Semis Take Centre Stage
(VIDEO): Novak Djokovic Sets Rublev Quarter-Final Clash
Latest news3 days ago
Fabio Fognini beats Roberto Bautista Agut to win the ATP Challenger in Valencia
Hot Topics1 day ago
REPORT: Rafael Nadal To Start Comeback In Australia
Latest news3 days ago
Arthur Fils faces Luca Nardi in the opening match of the Next Gen Finals
Hot Topics2 days ago
Players Free To Play Russian Exhibition Without Facing Penalties, Says WTA
Latest news2 days ago
Grand Slam Champions Sabalenka, Rybakina To Start 2024 Campaigns In Brisbane
Hot Topics1 day ago
Andrey Rublev: ‘Everything Needs To be Improved’
Latest news2 days ago
Arthur Fils edges Luca Nardi in the opening match of the Next Gen Finals in Jeddah
Latest news2 days ago
Flavio Cobolli beats Dominic Stricker on his debut at the Next Gen Finals