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Novak Djokovic's "genius showed itself" during Australian Open final: Boris Becker

Novak Djokovic with the 2021 Australian Open trophy
Novak Djokovic with the 2021 Australian Open trophy
Namit Kumar
Modified 22 Feb 2021

Novak Djokovic reigned supreme at the Australian Open for a record-extending 9th time, beating World No. 4 Daniil Medvedev in straight sets on Sunday. After the match, Djokovic's former coach and six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker claimed that the World No. 1's performance in Melbourne proved his 'genius'.

Becker also asserted that the younger generation still has a lot of catching up to do in terms of performing on the big stage.

"Novak Djokovic's genius showed itself in the key moments of the Australian Open final, being able to lock in his game when he needed it most," Becker said in his column for the Daily Mail. "And until the upcoming generation start matching him in that department you can expect the established champions to keep cleaning up at the biggest championships."

The German lauded Novak Djokovic for his tactical superiority, calling his performance a 'masterclass'.

"What we saw was a mental and tactical masterclass from the Serb, and the younger challengers just do not have that same maturity right now," Becker went on.

Boris Becker also had words of praise for Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev, the two 25-or-under players that Novak Djokovic beat during the business end of the tournament. The German claimed that Medvedev's attitude is 'the best' among the young lot, and that Zverev tends to lose focus in the big moments.

"The players you would expect to eventually knock them off the top are most obviously Daniil Medvedev, Dominic Thiem, Tsitsipas and Alex Zverev. I would also include Andrey Rublev," Becker said.
"Although it did not show in yesterday's final I still like Medvedev's attitude the best," the 53-year-old added. "In terms of talent and natural power Zverev is the leader for me. He was the better player for much of his quarterfinal against Djokovic, but lost concentration when it mattered."

Australian Open was key for Novak Djokovic in order to set up his whole year psychologically: Boris Becker

Novak Djokovic won two Australian Open titles under the tutelage of Boris Becker
Novak Djokovic won two Australian Open titles under the tutelage of Boris Becker

Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have now won 58 of the last 67 Grand Slam titles. The Big 3 have dominated the tour for a decade and a half, and their run doesn't seem like stopping any time soon.

In his column, Boris Becker claimed that Novak Djokovic's triumph in Melbourne is crucial in the battle for the most Grand Slam titles. The German believes Djokovic lost momentum after failing to win the US Open or the French Open last year, and that a loss in Melbourne too would have been a 'massive blow'.

"The battle for the most Grand Slams between the three greatest players continues," Becker said. "Now he (Novak Djokovic) is within two of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal; the nine-time Australia champion is moving up and poised to overtake them."
"Melbourne is key for Novak in setting up his whole year psychologically as much as anything," the 53-year-old added. "If he had not won it, the blow would have been massive after what happened at the US and French Open."

Becker went on to highlight Djokovic's habit of playing his best when the stakes are the highest.

"We come back to the issue of seizing the moment," the German said. "Djokovic's ability to do that again and again is why he is such an extraordinary player."
Published 22 Feb 2021, 12:44 IST
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