Becker: No tournament was ever won on statistics

On Novak Djokovic’s chances of completing a Grand Slam this year, his coach Boris Becker says: "We don’t talk about this. The next goal is always only the next match and the next tournament. And then, we get to November, and hopefully we have had a great year, that includes a couple of Grand Slams. He’s got one. The next one is the French. Let’s see how he does."

Novak Djokovic celebrates with his coach Boris Becker and members of his training staff in the locker room after winning the Australian Open recently.   -  REUTERS

Nothing seems capable of stopping the World No. 1, Novak Djokovic, these days. His superlative performance in the Grand Slam tournaments has earned him a second successive nomination for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award, and his coach Boris Becker is happy.

“We are very happy that Novak is nominated this year, again. He won the Sportsman of the Year last year, and he’s had a great year again. He’s played 88 matches, has won 82. He won three out of the four Grand Slams, reached the final of the French Open, he’s won seven other tournaments. Very few players, if any, had a year like that,” says Becker.

 

With a year like that and 11 Grand Slam trophies already in his kitty, Roger Federer’s 17 looks within Djokovic’s reach. The German great, however, doesn’t want to plan that far ahead. “Is that theoretically possible? Of course. Is he healthy enough, good enough? Of course. But, he’s only got 11. A lot of people have tried and a lot of people have failed. It’s very difficult to win one Grand Slam, let alone five. So let’s not overplay things. It’s still a long way,” Becker tells Laureus.com.

Will Djokovic go one better than last year and complete a Grand Slam this year?

“That’s another conversation that is not happening. We don’t talk about this. The next goal is always only the next match and the next tournament. And then, we get to November, and hopefully we have had a great year, that includes a couple of Grand Slams. He’s got one. The next one is the French. Let’s see how he does,” Becker, also a Laureus Academy member, says.

On Djokovic’s plan for the elusive French Open, the German says: “He’s not thinking about the French until he plays his first match in Paris. You know no tournament was ever won on statistics. No tournament was ever won going back through history. You have to perform every day to the best of your ability and let’s see what happens.”

He shrugs off the suggestion that the French Open was alone proving usually difficult for the Serb. “No. People sometimes don’t understand the difficulties of winning a Grand Slam. You know, on paper, it looks easy, but every Grand Slam has its tough matches, a lot depends on the scheduling, rain breaks.”

Becker is also all praise for ‘Superwoman’ Serena Williams, who has been nominated for the World Sportswoman of the Year award. “I call Serena Williams Superwoman. What this lady does on a tennis court is unbelievable. She’s a bit like wine, you know the older she gets, the better she is…She’s now touching the world record of Grand Slams. She’s breaking records that are really old in tennis. She’s still young enough to do it, and I believe she will win more Grand Slams this year,” he says.