Srdjan Djokovic has been used to making robust statements in recent years.
The 61-year-old often went on the offensive in public when he believed that his son was being treated unfairly – be it by fans, competitors or the media.
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Djokovic compared his son to Jesus, called Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison a “dictator” and spoke of torture, racism and the “banana republic” of Australia.
Hard stuff – and too much of a good thing, like Boris Becker in the Eurosport podcast Das Yellow vom Ball stressed.
Becker: Djokovic’s father overshots the target
“The father overshot the mark. Some of the statements he made four or five days ago will certainly be regretted today,” said Becker in an interview with moderator Matthias Stach. The three-time Wimbledon champion trained Novak Djokovic from 2013 to 2016 and got to know the family in the process.
- Info: The new episode will be available from Thursday on Spotify, Apple Podcast or the platform you trust
The emotional reactions of the relatives have to be put in the right context. “The clothes, the wallet – everything was taken from Novak at the airport. You have to know who he is: Novak is the king in Serbia and suddenly he’s nobody.”
Becker on Djokovic’s father: “Over the target”
Nevertheless, the “statements made by his family did not exactly help,” believes Becker. “His parents are very emotional and so is his brother, which is not always understandable.”
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But father Srdjan is not only interested in the degree of public appreciation his son is shown. The 61-year-old also has a close eye on the sporting side. Even an icon like Becker had to survive under the strict eyes of the father.
“I had to earn my trust. He was always there with wide eyes and asked questions. Sure, he doesn’t speak English very well and my Serbian is also bad, so we had to use a translator. But he really looked to see if I could watch out for his son – and that is also legitimate, “said Becker. “When he had gained confidence after six months, he let me have my way.”
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With success. Under the aegis of Becker, Djokovic won six Grand Slam titles, 14 Masters tournaments and returned to number one in the world rankings.
The relationship with Djokovic and his family was and is good. You also get along privately. “I was invited to the wedding and am welcome in the Djokovic clan. But that doesn’t mean that I think everything is good. Hopefully Novak also appreciates me because I give him my opinion,” says Becker. But that does not mean that Djokovic always follows his opinion.
Becker’s advice to Djokovic: “It will be easier for you to be vaccinated”
The 54-year-old would like to see his former protégé rethinking, especially with regard to vaccination. Not only for health reasons, but above all because of the sporting perspective. “I wonder how things will go in the future? Does he want to have this theater at every Grand Slam? Roland Garros must have watched Wimbledon and the other tournaments too,” Becker points out: “The regulations are becoming stricter rather than looser. “
Becker’s advice to Djokovic is therefore clear: “Boy, now play the Australian Open as best you can, but then try to see that it will be easier for you to be vaccinated.”
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