TENNIS

Becker hits back at Djokovic: He didn't work hard enough

Novak Djokovic lost his momentum in the second half of last season and was toppled as the world number one by Andy Murray because his work-rate dropped, the Serbian's former coach Boris Becker said on Wednesday Karolina Pliskova - Simona Halep

Novak Djokovic and boris Becker
MIGUEL MEDINA AFP

Novak Djokovic lost his momentum in the second half of last season and was toppled as the world number one by Andy Murray because his work-rate dropped, the Serbian's former coach Boris Becker said on Wednesday.

Family time hurt Djokovic

Speaking a day after the two terminated their cooperation by mutual consent, German Becker said Djokovic's need to spend more time with his family had derailed him on the court.

"He didn't spend as much time on the practice court in the last six months as he should have and he knows that," said Becker, who helped Djokovic to six grand slam titles after they teamed up in December 2013.

"Success like this doesn't happen by pushing a button. Success like this doesn't just happen by showing up at a tournament. You have to work your bottom off because the opposition does the same," he told Sky News.

Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker in happier times.

Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker in happier times.

Tennis is a lonely sport

"The profession of a tennis player is probably the most selfish one in sports because it has to be about you and he is the first to say he is a family man, so of course his wife and the rest of his family had to take back seats.

"They don't spend enough time together. I had it too, 20 years ago. It is just the nature of the beast, being a tennis player."

Loss of form by the former number one

Having completed a career slam when he won his maiden French Open title in June, Djokovic suffered an astonishing loss of form.

He crashed out of Wimbledon in the third round to American Sam Querrey and made a first-round exit at the Rio Olympics at the hands of Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro.

Djokovic then lost the U.S. Open final to Swiss Stan Wawrinka, a defeat six-times major champion Becker said was a massive psychological blow to the Serb.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic