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Novak Djokovic needs to overcome mental block, says Boris Becker

Utkarsh Bhatla
|Sat Mar 03 2018

Novak Djokovic will have to be mentally strong when he returns to the Tennis circuit after another injury setback that he suffered in his 4th round match in the Australian Open feels Boris Becker.

A hip and an elbow issue had ruled Djokovic out of the latter part of the 2017 season and it was apparently the same elbow issue that made him struggle to the core during that 4th round encounter against Chung at the Australian Open.

Becker who coached Djokovic for a good 3 seasons told journalists at the Laureus awards that Djokovic will need to overcome his mental hurdles to get back to his best in the Tennis circuit.

“Mentally is going to be the biggest challenge,” said Becker.

“How much you accept to do the dirty work like Monday morning practice, the first and second round of tournaments you are expected to win and it is hot and windy conditions.

“Usually they say the amount of time you have been away takes you the same amount to come back to your previous level and I hope that is not the case for Djokovic because that would mean the end of the year.” he added.

Becker feels that while Federer and Nadal have shown the world that players can come back from long injury layoffs and still win grand slams, but the Fedal duo is not normal.

“It would be a lot to expect him (Djokovic) coming back and winning his first tournament at a Grand Slam,” said Becker.

“Rafa and Federer have set examples of coming back but they are not normal. Usually it takes time.” he added.

Becker then spoke about surgery and how one needs to be absolutely correct with the timing of the surgery.

“Tennis players don’t have only one injury,” the German said.

“You play a Grand Slam over two weeks it is more than an elbow that hurts.

“You take the decision to have surgery when it is a serious problem.

“If you were to go into the locker room on a Monday morning you would be amazed how many players have elbow, ankle and foot injuries.I hate to tell you tennis is a very physical game. Period. I can’t admire them (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray who has undergone hip surgery) enough. To play 75-80 matches a year — most sports aren’t like that.” he concluded.


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