Novak Djokovic - US Open 2023, Boris Becker - US Open 2015, Holger Rune - Shanghai Masters 2023

Novak Djokovic reveals that he will be ‘uncomfortable’ seeing Boris Becker in Rune’s box

Novak Djokovic believes that Holger Rune joining forces with Boris Becker is a ‘good decision’, but admitted that he isn’t looking forward to seeing his former coach in the opposition players box.

Djokovic is gearing up to return at the Paris Masters next week, where he has been champion a record six times, after taking over a month away from the ATP Tour.

The Serb is competing in both singles and doubles this year, with Djokovic playing alongside compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic in preparation for the upcoming Davis Cup quarter-final against Great Britain.

And he was asked by press in Paris about what he thought of the new partnership between Rune and Becker, “I think it’s a very good decision from Holger to invite Boris to join his team.”

Djokovic continued, “Boris is a legend of our sport, someone that understands the game so well from a player’s perspective and coaching perspective.

“He’s been around the game for so many years. He’s seen and played against different players in different generations. Incredibly intelligent, smart man, very confident and composed. He was famous for his mental strength and ability to come up with his best game when he was facing the biggest pressure.”

The 36-year-old was coached by the German between 2013 and 2016, winning six Grand Slam titles and 14 Masters 1000 crowns.

Rune and Becker had their first official tournament this week in Basel, with the Dane being knocked out at the semi-final stage, as he turns his attention to defending his Paris Masters title.

Before reaching the semi-finals in Basel this week, Rune had struggled for form and fitness, having won only one of his last 11 matches.

Djokovic was beaten by Rune in the final in the French capital last year, and the world No.1 implied that Becker can help the Dane excel to the next level.

“I think for Holger it’s a great move because Holger is a young player who already has established himself in the top 10 of the world,” said Djokovic. “(But) It’s one thing to reach the top 10 and to break into top 10, and it’s something else to get to a different level and start winning slams and getting to the top spots of the world.”

Djokovic also confessed that he was not looking forward to the potential idea of facing Rune in Paris again, “I saw they are playing chess. That was the first thing that Boris introduced to our team. I think it’s great for mental clarity and strategy.

“Boris is a dear friend, someone who has been through a lot in the last several years of his life. I’m really glad to see him back on the tour as a coach.”

The 24-time major winner added, “It’s probably not going to be that nice and comfortable for me seeing him in the opposite box if I face Holger because that hasn’t happened yet. But at the same time, I have maintained a friendly relationship with Boris and he knows I love him a lot and his family. I’m really glad that they came together.”

Djokovic and Rune could only face off in Paris if they reach the quarter-finals, with both players skipping the first round after receiving a bye as top eight seeds.

Inside the baseline…

It is understandable that Novak Djokovic has mixed feelings about Boris Becker coming back on the ATP Tour, as Holger Rune will be the only other player he has coached. However, it does already seem to be having some sort of success for the Dane, as he has managed to win back-to-back matches for the first time since reaching the quarter-finals of Wimbledon.

READ MORE – Paris Masters 2023 Preview: When is it, who is playing and what is the prize money?

Novak Djokovic vs Holger Rune head-to-head

Although Djokovic has the greater achievements in the sport, it is in-fact the 20-year-old who has the better in their head-to-head so far:

Djokovic vs Rune: 1-2

  1. Djokovic beat Rune, 6-1 6(5)-7 6-2 6-1 (US Open First Round 2021)
  2. Rune beat Djokovic, 3-6 6-3 7-5 (Paris Masters Final 2022)
  3. Rune beat Djokovic, 6-2 4-6 6-2 (Italian Open Quarter-final 2023)

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.