Communicating with Becker not cheating, says Djokovic

Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:58am EDT
 
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Coaches will come under nearly as much scrutiny as the players over the next fortnight at Wimbledon with every facial gesture captured on the TV cameras and repeated in super slow motion.

The relationships between the players and those in their box, which in home favorite Andy Murray's case is packed to capacity, makes for fascinating viewing.

But with all forms of on-court coaching prohibited at grand slam tournaments, the line between offering support and passing on coded tactical messages can by blurred.

Men's title-holder Novak Djokovic, who has former champion Boris Becker working as head coach alongside Marian Vajda, was asked at his pre-tournament news conference on Sunday whether Becker pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable -- the insinuation being that instructions were being passed.

"I don't think that we're cheating," the 28-year-old Djokovic, who has worked with the German since 2013, said.

"I don't think that's how you can call it. I mean, there are special ways of, I would say, communication.

"As (Boris) 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.   Continued...

 
Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns the ball to Rafael Nadal of Spain during their men's quarter-final match during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, June 3, 2015.      REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier