‘I hope Novak Djokovic will play forever’, declares tennis legend

A delighted Novak Djokovic celebrates Credit: Alamy
A delighted Novak Djokovic celebrates Credit: Alamy

Tennis great Boris Becker has declared that he hopes Novak Djokovic “will play forever” and lauded the “fabulous” Cincinnati final between the Serb and Carlos Alcaraz.

The six-time major winner asserted that “you can’t imagine anything better” than the latest clash between Djokovic and Alcaraz, while also highlighting the importance of coaching in the final.

Djokovic overcame Alcaraz in an incredible three-set final, which lasted three hours and 49 minutes, at the Cincinnati Masters last week.

The 36-year-old’s triumph saw him secure a record-extending 39th ATP Masters 1000 title and level his head-to-head series with his 20-year-old rival at 2-2.

Becker helped Djokovic win six Grand Slam titles and 14 Masters 1000 events during his time coaching the Serbian legend from 2014 to 2016.

The former world No 1 expressed his wish that the 23-time Grand Slam champion will never retire from tennis following his epic Cincinnati victory.

“I hope Djokovic will play forever,” Becker told Eurosport Germany’s Das Gelbe vom Ball podcast.

“These are the duels that make the tennis heart beat faster: the most successful player of all time, Novak Djokovic, against the primus, the best in class, also No 1 in the world rankings. You can’t imagine anything better. It was a fabulous match in Cincinnati.”

Becker praised the impact of Alcaraz’s coach – former world No 1 and French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero – during the title match.

“What I particularly liked at Alcaraz’s side was his coach. [Juan] Carlos’ coaching for his protege was really good, [he was] listening after every point,” said the German.

“According to the motto, ‘is the coach important?’ I think this question was answered by this final, and also with Novak the coaches stood up and supported him loudly. But that’s what you want to see, just this pure emotion and this passion. So both players left their heart on the court.”

The 1989 US Open champion also discussed the form of his compatriot Alexander Zverev ahead of the year’s final Grand Slam event in New York.

“He has found his hard-court form. The big hope is, of course, if he can bring that to New York. Now I think he has gained enough match practice over the year, he has gained enough self-confidence,” Becker continued.

“In this respect, he is being taken very seriously again by the world’s top players, and that is a good sign for him. He has now played the tournaments to the end without injury and has actually improved from month to month, and the knot burst in Paris.

“He was okay on grass, I’ll call it that, and then he won Hamburg, and I think now he’s also back in his head, where he says ‘okay, I’ve done my homework, physically I’m fit’.

“You’ve addressed his place as number twelve in the world, but what’s decisive is that of this year’s players he’s already in the top eight, and for me that’s absolute world class.”

READ MORE: Iga Swiatek ‘not like she was’ in 2022 ahead of US Open, believes former world No 2

The article ‘I hope Novak Djokovic will play forever’, declares tennis legend appeared first on Tennis365.com.