Boris Becker has stepped into the fray as squabbling over Novak Djokovic heats up, with the Serb’s former coach coming down hard in support of his former client.
With the Australian Open starting, long-running personality clashes between the No. 1 and Aussie outlier Nick Kyrgios have intensified.
And Djokovic has drawn heat for more than a year over his somewhat aborted proposal to form a breakaway players union.
His organisation of last summer’s Adria tour of the Balkans had to be shut down after COVID-19 cases among players – himself and his wife included.
Six-time Grand Slam winner Becker has his own controversies to deal with, including current bankruptcy proceedings which have dragged on for several years in London courts plus a second divorce.
“During my time with him, I’ve seen him as almost a street fighter who fears nothing and is not afraid of opposition,” Becker told Eurosport.
“Djokovic’s the best in class and also responsible for the other players, so to speak. But that makes him stronger because he’s been through this for years.
“He has already won the Australian Open eight times and is the top favourite in the tournament. Everyone else knows what it means to play against Djokovic in Melbourne.”
Becker, who will be commentating on the major from a Munich studio due to Australian virus prevention restrictions, has no hesitations in sticking up for Team Djokovic.
“You have to take a stand for Novak, because he hasn’t always been treated fairly in the media. But he knows how to deal with it.”