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Novak Djokovic recruits Boris Becker as coach

Story highlights

  • Novak Djokovic appoints Boris Becker as new head coach
  • Partnership will start ahead of January's Australian Open
  • Becker won six grand slam titles during illustrious career
  • German, 46, says he is 'proud' to have been appointed by World No.2 Djokovic

Hiring a former grand slam champion as a coach is all the rage these days it would appear.

Novak Djokovic is the latest to join the trend after appointing Boris Becker as the head of his coaching team just over a month before he starts the defense of his Australian Open title.

Djokovic, ranked second in the world, follows in the footsteps of Andy Murray, who appointed Ivan Lendl as coach in 2011 before going on to win the 2012 U.S. Open and 2013 Wimbledon tournament.

Becker will work alongside the Serbian's current coaching team, which includes Marian Vajda, Miljan Amanovic and Gebhard Phil-Gritsch.

"I am really excited to have the opportunity to work with Boris," Djokovic said in a statement.

"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.

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"Becker is a great person, too, and I am sure he will fit in our team in the best possible way.

"Boris brings a new fresh approach, and together with Vajda he will make a winning combination.

"My goal for 2014 is to play my best tennis and to get in shape for the Grand Slams and Masters 1000.

"These tournaments have the most weight in our sport, and I want to prove my worth there. The team is now strengthened and we hope for maximum results."

While Djokovic will hope Becker can help him return to the top of the rankings, partnerships with former champions do not always go to plan.

While Stanislas Wawrinka has enjoyed success working with former World No.2 Magnus Norman, others have not been so fortunate. Maria Sharapova hired eight-time grand slam winner Jimmy Connors in July before firing him after just 34 days. The pair lasted one match.

Becker, 46, won six grand slams and 64 ATP titles during an illustrious career in which he became the youngest ever Wimbledon champion at the age of 17.

The German led his country to victory in the 1988 and 1989 Davis Cup and also claimed a gold medal at the 1992 Olympic Games playing alongside compatriot Michael Stich.

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

Six-time grand slam winner Djokovic has worked with Vajda since 2006 but both men decided it was time for a fresh face to be added to the team.

Djokovic lost his No.1 ranking to Rafael Nadal and was beaten in the 2013 U.S.Open final by the Spaniard in September.

He will defend his Australian Open title in January with Becker by his side -- a move which Vajda believes will bring out the best in the Serbian.

"In a few weeks Novak and I will start the eighth year of our cooperation," said Vajda.

"During that period we have achieved almost all the goals we had. I realized that Novak needed a new head coach in order for him to continue improving certain parts of his game.

"At the same time I will have more time for my family. Becker's assignment will not affect much my position in the team, since I will do all I can for Novak, just like I did before.

"On the other hand, choosing Boris as the head coach is a good solution, I am sure we will get along very well, and that Novak will continue to progress."

The move comes on the same day that Djokovic was named as the International Tennis Federation Men's World Champion for the third year in succession.

The 26-year-old won his third successive Australian Open title, and was a finalist at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and a semifinalist at Roland Garros as well as winning seven ATP titles, including the ATP World Tour Finals.

He said: "It is an honor to be named ITF World Champion for the third year running. I've had a great 2013 season, and managed to end the year on a high. This will definitely serve as a good platform for 2014."

Serena Williams was named as the ITF Women's World Champion for the second year in a row following a stellar season.

The 32-year-old, who moved back to No.1 in the world, won 78 of her 82 singles matches and won both the French and U.S Opens.

The 17-time grand slam winner ended the season by winning the end of year WTA Championships.


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