/ Tennis

Novak Djokovic hires Boris Becker as new coach

Updated: Wednesday, 18 Dec 2013 12:14 | Comments

Novak Djokovic (l) and Boris Becker will team up from January
Novak Djokovic (l) and Boris Becker will team up from January

Novak Djokovic has appointed six-time grand slam champion Boris Becker as his new head coach.

The 46-year-old German joins an existing coaching team headed by Marian Vajda, who will remain part of the set-up, albeit in a reduced role, following Becker's appointment.

Miljan Amanovic and Gebhard Phil-Gritsch will also be retained on the 26-year-old's team.

Becker, a former world number one and 64-time tournament winner on the ATP Tour, will work with Djokovic from the first grand slam of the season in Australia, which starts on 13 January.

He will also accompany the Serbian world number two to the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, as well as tournaments in Dubai, Miami, Monte Carlo, Rome, Cincinnati, Shanghai, Paris and the season-ending World Tour Finals in London.

"I am proud Novak invited me to become his head coach," Becker said on Djokovic's official website.

"I will do my best to help him reach his goals, and I am sure we can achieve great things together."

Becker first shot to prominence by winning Wimbledon as an unseeded 17-year-old back in 1985 and went on to become one of the most successful players in the history of the game.

And Djokovic hopes Becker's experience can help him get back to the top of the world rankings, after being edged out by Rafael Nadal for that accolade over the course of 2013.

"I am really excited to have the opportunity to work with Boris. He is a true legend, someone who has great tennis knowledge and his experience will help me win new trophies from the grand slams and other tournaments," said Djokovic, whose sole grand slam title of 2013 came at the Australian Open.

"He is a true legend, someone who has great tennis knowledge" - Novak Djokovic

"Becker is a great person, too, and I am sure he will fit in our team in the best possible way.

"Boris brings a new fresh approach, and together with Vajda he will make a winning combination.

"My goal for 2014 is to play my best tennis and to get in shape for the grand slams and Masters 1000. These tournaments have the most weight in our sport, and I want to prove my worth at them.

"The team is now strengthened and we hope for maximum results."

Vajda, who has worked with Djokovic since 2006, will take on a reduced role in 2014, attending events in Indian Wells, Madrid, Toronto and Beijing, but welcomed Becker's arrival.

"In a few weeks Novak and I will start the eighth year of our co-operation," said Vajda.

"During that period we have achieved almost all the goals we had. I realised that Novak needed a new head coach in order for him to continue improving certain parts of the game.

"At the same time, I will have more time for my family.

"Becker's assignment will not affect much my position in the team, since I will do all I can for Djokovic, just like I did before.

"On the other hand, choosing Boris as a head coach is a good solution, I am sure we will get along very well, and that Novak will continue to progress."

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