Becker: 'Novak is still the best player'

"To me domination in tennis means winning Grand Slam titles one after another. Murray definitely finished the year as No. 1 but I would not call it dominating. He was just better point-wise than Novak, if you consider the whole year."

Players of are rated by their success in Grand Slams. And if you go by the count of the slams, Novak is the best player, says Becker.   -  reuters

Boris Becker says India is on the threshold of realising the necessity of having sports as the way of life. The German tennis legend made a great impact on the sporting ethos of the city on his arrival on Saturday. Looking cheerful and ebullient, Becker drew instantaneous crowds of sports enthusiasts and selfie-seekers who wanted have a first-hand view of the most popular Wimbledon champion.

“I am overwhelmed by the interest. I did not know tennis is so popular here,” Becker had all the reason not to wonder as he later claimed to have a very good friendship with Leander Paes, the Olympic medallist and the city's own tennis icon. Becker was definitely wondering about his own popularity reason of which he himself spelt out. “I surely did not think that the consequence of winning the Wimbledon at 17 would be so much.”

As Sportstar caught up with him later in the evening, Becker opined India was doing well by adopting running as a way of life. He was referring to the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K run where he will be the crowd puller as the 'Puma Legend'.

Becker recently got involved with youth development by giving consent to have an academy in his name in China (Shenzhen). “I will be coming four times a year to help create a Boris Becker academy in China. Chinese tennis is searching for the 15-year-olds who will be making it great in world tennis. It is a long-term project but China has discovered the importance of Olympics and I hope India does the same.

"Sports and music are the two biggest communication vehicles that we have in the world. While China has started it some time ago, India is on the verge of realising it,” Becker said attaching the reason why chose to be involved with the TSK 25K run.

Getting back to his favourite pupil, Novak Djokovic, Becker said the Serbian may have lost his No. 1 spot in world rankings but his merit lies in the number of Slams he has won. He also did not wish to agree that Andy Murray is dominating world tennis with his ascension to the top. “To me domination in tennis means winning Grand Slam titles one after another. Murray definitely finished the year as No. 1 but I would not call it dominating. He was just better point-wise than Novak, if you consider the whole year. But the players of their stature are rated by their success in Grand Slam, to be honest. And if you go to the count of the Slams, Novak is the best player,” Becker, who recently parted ways with Djokovic, said.

The German legend revealed the way he got his nickname ‘Boom-Boom,’ which came from his once doubles partner and Indian ace, Vijay Amritraj. “Vijay was my first doubles partner before I even won the Wimbledon. He was playing with me in Luxembourg and seeing me serve he said, ‘Boris I have never seen a boy hitting the ball as hard as you. To make it easier I will call you Boom-Boom.’ That remained stuck to me even today,” Becker said.

Putting speculations at rest, Becker said he is looking to get back to coaching soon, which may happen anytime in the new season. “I am not ruling out the fact that I will be back to coaching soon. I will be going to Melbourne (for Australian Open) where I will be doing television (commentary) and there, I am sure, will get a chance to speak to everybody who called me the last few weeks. I am in no rush because I believe in closing one chapter before opening another one,” he said before signing off.