Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

‘Preparation beyond bad’ – Boris Becker feels Novak Djokovic is in worst possible position before Slam

Boris Becker has revealed Novak Djokovic is “still shell-shocked” after his deportation fiasco and “doesn’t think he’s ever been in a worse position” ahead of a Slam.

After having his medical exemption voided and his visa cancelled by the Australian Border Force, Djokovic returned to the training court at midnight after it was ruled he could stay and compete.

Last week, the 20-time Grand Slam ace set off for Australia after being granted a medical exemption but was detained upon arrival at the border.

Djokovic was allowed to remain Down Under and fight the decision in court and it was ruled that the World number one can compete for a record-breaking 21st Slam title.

Whilst the situation seems to have reached a resolution, Djokovic was kept in an immigration hotel over the weekend and as such has had minimal preparation.

Germany’s greatest male player Boris Becker was one of the first to defend Djokovic from swathes of criticism. Although, Becker also urged him to get vaccinated, as did 18-time Slam winner Martina Navratilova.

Moreover, both Becker and Barbara Schett feel Djokovic has angered and upset the Australian people and will be given a tough time by the Melbourne Park crowds.

Now, in an appearance on BBC Breakfast six-time Slam champion and Djokovic’s former mentor Becker said “he’s [Djokovic] still shell-shocked from the last six days.

“He’s a remarkable young man, his spirits are better. He went to train at midnight [on Monday], that’s just who he is. He’s a different cat. He sees the world with a different pair of eyes.

“You may not agree with everything he does, but you have to respect him. And obviously his preparation is beyond bad. I don’t think he’s ever been in a worse position entering the week before a Grand Slam, but that’s just the way it is.

“I’m sure there will be a couple of boos and whistles, but he’s used to that. He was always a street-fighter who had to fight the odds and win over the crowd, and it was fascinating in last year’s US Open final when they finally embraced him.

“The crowd will be difficult with him but with each match he starts, he will win the crowd and they will embrace him again. But he is going to have a difficult first week.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.