Djokovic looks to Boris boost for fifth Australian title

Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:28pm EST
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By Nick Mulvenney

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic admits he has taken a gamble by making changes to his coaching team but is hoping for great things from his partnership with former grand slam champion Boris Becker.

The Serbian will be without the support of Marian Vijda, his coach for the last eight years, when he begins his bid for a fifth Australian Open title against Lukas Lacko on Monday.

Djokovic was quick to emphasize, though, that bringing Becker on board had been instigated by Vijda, who wanted to spend more time with his family after 35 years travelling around the world.

"Whenever you make a change in life, it's a potential risk, right? How is it going to affect you?," Djokovic told reporters at Melbourne Park.

"But I don't want to think from that perspective. I'm really excited about this cooperation. I'm excited about this partnership that I have with Boris that also has been approved and supported by Marian, who is still in the team.

"He's still going to travel with me on certain tournaments that Boris is not going to be there. We're going to spend a lot of time on preparation.

"They have a great communication. All I see is positive results, and hope for that obviously."

Djokovic admitted that tennis had changed radically since Becker won six grand slam titles in the 1980s and 1990s but still thought there was plenty he could learn from the 46-year-old German from the "mental point of view".   Continued...

Current Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia smiles during a news conference at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 12, 2014. REUTERS/Bobby Yip