Novak Djokovic - Australian Open 2023

Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open triumph moves him closer to ‘life’s dream’ claims his former coach

Novak Djokovic has moved one step closer to achieving his ‘life’s dream’ of being the best player of all time, his former coach Boris Becker has claimed.

Becker was a tennis expert for the Australian Open, which is live and exclusive on discovery+ and Eurosport, and coached Novak Djokovic between 2013 and 2016, collecting six Grand Slam titles in that period.

“Novak is 35 years old and he knows at 40 he won’t manage this performance,” said Becker. “I think it will be a hell of a ride after the Australian Open. It will be a completely different act and a completely different burden in Paris and Wimbledon.”

He continued, “Success is his life’s dream, he wants to become the most successful player in history. Even as a child he said: I’m going to be the best – and he was right. And now he is at the limit.”

By winning his 22nd Grand Slam in Melbourne, Djokovic moves level with Rafael Nadal after falling two behind at Roland Garros last year.

Despite the two leading the race for Grand Slam supremacy Becker believes that Roger Federer, who retired last year with 20 Grand Slam titles, has a legacy that will be untouched.

“Maybe the sports ambassador, not just tennis ambassador. The world hasn’t seen anything like that yet. You can take footballers and basketball players and track and field athletes. This total package Roger Federer – and then he also grew up in neutral Switzerland.”

“With Roger, everything is so perfect, almost too good to be true. That will never happen again in tennis and that is also why tennis has become such a global sport. Good luck to the guys who want to take over.”

Although Djokovic and Nadal share four out of the last five major titles, Becker believes that time is against both of them, with the door opening for the new generation.

“We are seeing the generational change at the moment,” he added. “Roger Federer is already gone, Rafael Nadal is one step away for me. He will play Paris, after that I see a question mark.”

“Novak Djokovic will definitely go through this season, but if he makes 23 [Grand Slams] and turns 36 next year, then it’s a question of time. The generational change is happening now.”

However, Becker has admitted that the pressure on the likes of Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune to replicate what the the ‘big three’ have achieved is daunting.

“I mean, that’s a hell of a hurdle. One is to win Grand Slams, the other is to represent the sport. With Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, we have had three idols who have attracted not only tennis fans but sports fans in general. This has made our sport more global and richer. That’s why there is this prize money and advertising investment.”

He added, “That becomes the big challenge for the boys: Not only to win, but also to represent something – and that’s a whole other construction site”.

Watch every match from the Australian Open live and exclusive on discovery+, Eurosport and the Eurosport App.

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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.