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Daily Bagel: How new coach Boris Becker can help Novak Djokovic

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The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.

• Video: Andy Murray makes an appearance in Google’s 2013 Zeitgeist video.

• Novak Djokovic has hired Boris Becker as his new head coach. Marian Vajda, Djokovic’s coach since 2006, will remain on the team. It’s been a busy time for tennis legends: Djokovic’s announcement comes during an offseason in which Kei Nishikori brought in Michael Chang and Roger Federer spent some time with Stefan Edberg.

• Peter Bodo weighs in on Djokovic’s decision, and compares (or rather, contrasts) Becker to Andy Murray’s coach, Ivan Lendl.

But Lendl always was more into the Xs and Os of tennis than was Becker. Lendl always was a student of the game, analytical and cold. By contrast, Becker is “hot,” more inclined to rely on the powers of the mind and heart than the hands. Could it be that the difference between winning the French Open and accepting the runner-up trophy can come down to looking up at the player box and seeing Wimbledon icon Boris Becker flashing you a fist pump?

But there is one area in which Becker probably could help Djokovic: The attacking game. It’s hard to imagine that the guy with the most well-balanced ground game of all is suddenly going to become a Becker-esque aggressor, but a little bit more attack could go an awfully long way for Djokovic. It could help a serve that’s sometimes great but too often merely good, and keep Djokovic’s opponents off-balance, winning him easier or even free points. Becker certainly seems like a great choice if Djokovic wants to make the serve more foundational in his game.

• Jerzy Janowicz has withdrawn from the Hopman Cup with a foot injury. Too bad. He and Polish partner Agnieszka Radwanska likely would have set the record for most crazy dropshots hit in a single tournament. All kidding aside, that’s worrisome news for Janowicz, who continues to struggle with injury.

• Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams under the same roof? Sharapova’s agency IMG has been acquired by William Morris, which represents Williams. Cozy.

• Inside the junior tennis program in Chicago that serves some tough neighborhoods. It’s where Donald Young and Taylor Townsend learned to play.

• The WTA catches up with Kim Clijsters.

• An interview with Djokovic and Masters champion Adam Scott, who also happens to be Djokovic’s good friend Ana Ivanovic’s ex-boyfriend.

• BBC is airing a Wimbledon retrospective called  “The Day We Won Wimbledon.”  Who knew Andy Murray’s initials were actually “WE”? 

• Tennis Channel has renewed its agreement with the BNP Paribas Open.

• Non-tennis: Watch this video of Baltimore Ravens kicker (and Monday Night Football hero) Justin Tucker and be amazed. The guy sings opera and is incredibly interesting.

  • Published On Dec 18, 2013
  • 3 comments
    ashok.korwar
    ashok.korwar

    Djokovic does seem a bit hesitant coming forward even when he gets a great approach shot in.. maybe Becker will make him a bit more fearless in coming forward.. that will make him almost unbeatable

    Ace2020
    Ace2020

    I guess he just means rather than keeping a balance he could attack more than defend..

    Ace2020
    Ace2020

    Attacking game? Novak hits countless winners. In a 3 set match against Del Po he hit about 47 winners, Nadal usually barely hits over 20 in a 5 setter and Murray hits a lot less too. What makes Novak so dangerous compared to them is his ability to hit amazing winners but also have ridiculous defence. I sometimes wonder if these people watch tennis haha