Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Novak Djokovic: Return of legends as coaches good for tennis

updated 2:52 PM EST, Sat December 28, 2013
Novak Djokovic, left, beat David Ferrer to win a lucrative exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Novak Djokovic, left, beat David Ferrer to win a lucrative exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Novak Djokovic says retired legends who are now back on tour coaching is good for tennis
  • Djokovic recently hired Boris Becker and Roger Federer teamed with Stefan Edberg
  • Djokovic beats David Ferrer to win an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi for the third time
  • In a battle of beaten semifinalists, Rafael Nadal defeats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

(CNN) -- One by one, retired tennis legends are returning to the tour as coaches and Novak Djokovic says that can only be a "very good" thing for the game.

Andy Murray got the ball rolling by hiring eight-time grand slam winner Ivan Lendl at the end of 2011, with Djokovic turning to six-time major champion Boris Becker this month.

And just this week, Roger Federer added six-time grand slam winner Stefan Edberg -- who was a playing rival of Lendl and Becker -- to his team in a bid to recapture old form.

"It is very good for the sport," Djokovic told CNN in Abu Dhabi, where he won an exhibition tournament on Saturday by defeating David Ferrer. "I've seen people coming out with head to heads between Edberg, Lendl and Boris, which was funny to see.

Who will be the tennis ace of 2014?
Is Murray ready for the Australian Open?

"It's going to attract more positive attention to our sport ... on court, off the court. These guys have won multiple grand slams and achieved a lot on and off the court. They can identify with us and us with them.

"They know what we are going through. I believe all of us who made arrangements with ex players (are) looking forward to the help on court during big moments."

Djokovic didn't discard longtime coach Marian Vajda in appointing Becker and he is confident he has the right people in place.

"(Vajda) has been a friend and a life companion for so many years," the world No. 2 added. "And then Boris coming in as a legend of the sport and somebody who has achieved so much and has great experience that he can transfer to me ... the combination of the two I believe will be (successful)."

Straight sets for Nole

With Becker courtside, Djokovic captured the Mubadala World Tennis Championship for a record third time by easing past Ferrer, 7-5 6-2, and pocketed $250,000.

Marion Bartoli: Why I left the game
How Novak Djokovic stays on top

Djokovic hasn't been beaten since the U.S. Open final in September and heads to the Australian Open in January as the three-time defending champion.

Rafael Nadal, the man who topped the Serb in New York, overcame Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third-place match, 7-6 6-3.

The world No. 1 will now compete at next week's Qatar Open in Doha and was looking forward to more training time.

"The period between seasons is not big," the Spaniard was quoted as saying by The National. "So during Abu Dhabi and Doha, I will continue practices and doing my warm-ups for the match more than what I would usually do.

"The period of practice in Mallorca was not enough so I need to keep preparing myself in these two events. I feel like I need to work on that extra thing to be 100% ready in a few weeks."

Read: Federer calls on Edberg

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
updated 8:52 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
updated 7:02 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
updated 7:01 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
updated 9:14 PM EDT, Sun June 22, 2014
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
ADVERTISEMENT