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Djokovic Names Becker as Coach Ahead of Australian Open Tennis

Tennis Singles Champion Novak Djokovic
Six-time Grand Slam singles champion Novak Djokovic said, “My goal for 2014 is to play my best tennis and to get in shape for the Grand Slams and Masters 1000.” Photographer: Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images

Novak Djokovic appointed Boris Becker as his head coach ahead of next month’s Australian Open as the Serb tries to seize back tennis’s top ranking from Rafael Nadal.

The six-time Grand Slam singles champion will keep Marian Vajda, who has been with him since 2006, as part of his coaching team, as well as Miljan Amanovic and Gebhard Phil-Gritsch, he said today on his website.

“I am really excited to have the opportunity to work with Boris,” the second-ranked player said. “He is a true legend, someone who has great tennis knowledge and his experience will help me win new trophies from the Grand Slams and other tournaments.”

Former No. 1 Becker also won six Grand Slams during his career, capturing his first, at Wimbledon, when he was 17. The only major he failed to capture was the French Open, a feat that has also eluded Djokovic.

“Boris brings new fresh approach, and together with Vajda he will make a winning combination,” said Djokovic, who lost his top ranking to Spain’s Nadal at the end of last season. “My goal for 2014 is to play my best tennis and to get in shape for the Grand Slams and Masters 1000.”

Djokovic, 26, is bidding to become the only man to win five Australian Open titles since the sport went professional in 1968. He currently shares the honor of four championships with Andre Agassi and Roger Federer.

The title was his only major this year. He lost the Wimbledon final to Britain’s Andy Murray and was beaten by Nadal at the French and U.S. Opens.

‘Great Things’

According to the statement on Djokovic’s website, Becker, 46, will travel with him to Australia and then on to tournaments in Dubai, Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome before the French Open and Wimbledon. They’ll then go to the Cincinnati Open ahead of the final major, the U.S. Open in New York, before ending the year at tournaments in Shanghai, Paris and London.

“I am proud Novak invited me to become his head coach,” Germany’s Becker said. “I will do my best to help him reach his goals, and I am sure we can achieve great things together.”

The Australian Open starts Jan. 13 in Melbourne.

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