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Friday, June 5, 2020

Boris Becker admits to having coaching signs for Novak Djokovic during matches

Novak Djokovic Boris Becker

Boris Becker may have revealed too much inside information about his in-match coaching relationship with pupil Novak Djokovic.

During a radio interview with BBC’s “Radio 5 Live,” the German former world No. 1 player was asked about communicating with Djokovic during matches. That’s when he may have crossed the line by revealing he has coaching signals for Djokovic during matches.

“I think there is a bond, a relationship, an understanding of the player and coach. Obviously I’ve got my job and it’s a very intimate relationship because it’s one on one. There are moments when he looks up and he needs assurance that what he is doing is right,” Becker said via The Mirror. “And then we have our ways about it to tell him it’s good or tell him it’s bad. And then it’s up to him to change it.”

You can debate how much actual coaching that would construe, but if they have signals telling Djokovic to make changes, I would argue that that violates the rules. Djokovic disagrees.

“I don’t think that we’re cheating,” Djokovic said ahead of Wimbledon. I don’t think that’s how you can call it. There are special ways of, I would say, communication. As he [Becker] mentioned, the way you look at each other, the way you feel your [player] box, and [your] box feels what you’re going through on the court – I think that’s something that just gives you that reassurance, gives you that confidence.

“It’s not necessary that he tells me where to serve or to which side of the opponent’s court I have to play, because that doesn’t happen. But it’s more of an encouragement, and more of a support and reassurance.”

The ATP and ITF do not allow players to receive any type of coaching during matches. The rule states:

“Players shall not receive coaching during a match (including the warm-up). Communications of any kind, audible or visible, between a player and a coach may be construed as coaching.”

What Becker is doing would qualify as visible coaching.

It’s no surprise Djokovic has been fined twice in his career for receiving coaching after reading these remarks from Becker. This is also the second time recently that Becker has caused an issue for Djokovic. He better start watching his mouth.

Photo: Novak Djokovic/Twitter

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