World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is being questioned for receiving coaching from Boris Becker during matches, which is against the rules.
The Serb was asked about his on-court relationship with Boris who recently said on the radio that sometimes he has a way of telling Novak if he’s doing good or bad. Djokovic denied any cheating was going on.
“I don’t think that we’re cheating,” Djokovic said Sunday. “I don’t think that’s how you can call it. I mean, there are special ways of, I would say, communication. As he mentioned, the way you look at each other, the way you feel your box, and box feels what you’re going through on the court. I think that’s something that just gives you that reassurance, gives you that confidence.
It’s not necessary that he tells me where to serve or to which side of the opponent’s court I have to play, because that doesn’t happen. But it’s more of a, you know, encouragement, and more of a support and reassurance, as I said, that’s basically present in those moments.”
Djokovic got into deeper water talking about the signals Boris gives him.
“We can’t pretend like that’s not happening in tennis,” he said. “Of course, there’s situations when it happens, and not just with the top players, with everybody. This is a very competitive sport. You’re alone on the court. Of course, there’s certain rules.
“But also there are times when, you know, the team of the player communicates with the player when he gets to go and take the towel in the corner, which is closer to the box, or, you know, different ways.
“I think it’s all fine as long as it’s not regular. I think it just depends. Also that’s up to the chair umpire or supervisor to decide if somebody’s breaking the rules or not. I think as long as it’s something that you can tolerate, let’s say, within the ways of communication, I think it’s fine.
After his win yesterday over Philipp Kohlschreiber, Djokovic was asked again about the allegations.
“I’m going to repeat myself: I’m going to say that there are certain ways of communication which is encouragement, which is support, which is understanding the moment when to, you know, clap or say something that, you know, can lift my energy up, that can kind of motivate me to play a certain point. But it’s all within the rules.
“If I am breaking any rules or my team does, I would be fined for that, right? The chair umpire would say, Coaching penalty, and that’s it. Or the supervisor, or whoever,” Djokovic said.
“I think it has happened in my life, no doubt about that. Of course, I accept the fact if my coach, Boris or Marian, do say something that is against the rules that are in place, I have no complaint about the code violation that I get for coaching.”
Djokovic returns tomorrow against Jarkko Nieminen.
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