Boris ‘Boom-Boom’ Becker and Novak Djokovic have been quite a brilliant coach-player combo in tennis recently. The duo seemed like a good fit and a sure-shot recipe for success when Djokovic morphed into a dominating champion under Becker’s guidance.
Djokovic hired Becker at the start of 2014 and had two of the best seasons in his career – that saw him win six of his 12 Grand Slam titles. Last year in particular was phenomenal, when he won three Grand Slams and lost the French Open final to Stan Wawrinka.
But ever since his French Open victory earlier this year, Djokovic has not been himself. The Serb lost in the third round of Wimbledon, was beaten by Juan Martin del Potro at the Olympics, and fell to Wawrinka in the US Open final.
He suffered a wrist injury and judging by his words recently, a crisis of confidence as well. The steely determination that was part of Djokovic’s aura has visibly diminished and he was ousted from the Shanghai Masters this week by Roberto Bautista Agut in the semis.
As such, speculation regarding Becker’s role as Djokovic has grown, and was further fuelled by Djokovic’s comments at Shanghai. He said, “We are still working (together), yeah... for now the plan is the rest of the season, what's left, indoor tournaments. But we haven’t talked about next season.”
The Serb seems to be embracing a fresh outlook and if he does part ways with the German, who would he hire next? We take a look at five coaches who could help Djokovic get back to his best.
#5 Alejo Mancisidor
Alejo Mancisidor, a 46-year-old former tennis player, is best known for guiding Garbine Muguruza to the pinnacle of women’s tennis. Mancisidor coached Muguruza for 5 years from 2010 to 2015, helping the 23-year-old become the champion she is today. Mancisidor’s influence was crucial in Muguruza embracing her power-packed game which saw her challenge the likes of Serena Williams.
She reached the finals of Wimbledon in 2015 under Mancisidor – a commendable achievement for someone like Muguruza who grew up playing on clay.
Though Mancisidor’s coaching resume is not star-studded, he has certainly proved that he is capable of guiding a player to the top level.
Though the Muguruza has moved on from the Spaniard, there is no doubting the fact that even Muguruza’s French Open win in 2016 is down to him to an extent. Yes, Djokovic is already right up there and what he needs right now might be slightly different but a punt on Mancisidor might be worth taking.