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Novak Djokovic - Australian Open 2023

Novak Djokovic’s former coach reveals his ‘weakness’ ahead of Australian Open final


Novak Djokovic has ‘worked on’ his serve to turn it from a weakness to a strength, allowing the Serb to reach his 10th Australian Open final, according to former coach Boris Becker.

Becker is 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.

“At the beginning of his career, the serve was a weakness in his game,” Becker said, “But he has understood over the years that the serve is important, and has also worked on improving it – and now it is his strength.”

After Djokovic’s quarter-final win over Andrey Rublev, Becker spoke of the statistics behind his former pupil’s serve, “Today, that also made the difference. Not only the power of the serve but also the many free points that resulted from it. He hit 14 aces. You didn’t see that from Djokovic before.”

“On top of that, he made 80% of the points when the first serve went in – those are fantastic numbers, which only the best service players in the world have.”

Djokovic continued this form in his semi-final, serving 12 aces in his, 7-5 6-1 6-2, victory over Tommy Paul, winning 75% of points when his first serve was in. The only downside for the 22-time Grand Slam champion, from a serving perspective, is that he hit five double faults in both matches.

Former No.4 Tim Henman agreed with Becker’s assessment of Djokovic’s serve, “You go back six or seven years and you’d even say his serve was a weakness, especially his second serve, the motion was bad. But now it’s a huge strength. The first serve is so consistent, he hits the spot so well, but if he misses his second serve is so reliable.”

He added, “You feel that with Djokovic, there are no areas of weakness and nowhere you can attack.”

Stefanos Tsitsipas will need to find an area of Djokovic’s game to exploit if he is to stop the Serb from lifting a record 10th Norman Brookes Challenge Cup on Sunday.

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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.