Skip to main content

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 10:20 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
updated 2:00 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
updated 7:07 AM EDT, Fri March 21, 2014
Tennis star Venus Williams reveals how she is beating the autoimmune disease that derailed her career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Wed March 5, 2014
After two decades dedicated to the game, Amelie Mauresmo wants a second life -- one away from tennis.
Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face after losing his men's final match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day 14 of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
Almost five years to the day after reducing Roger Federer to tears at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal shed a few in his own loser's speech.
updated 9:48 PM EST, Sat February 1, 2014
Li Na outperformed Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open, but can she now surpass the Russian as the world's richest female athlete?
Roger Federer may have lost again to Rafael Nadal in the business end of a grand slam, but he can take some heart from yet another record says CNN's Will Edmonds.
updated 8:58 AM EST, Tue January 21, 2014
Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg, Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker -- today's tennis stars are teaming up with past legends of the game.
updated 1:59 PM EST, Wed January 15, 2014
Can't stand the heat of the first tennis grand slam of 2014? Then you clearly haven't been doing enough Bikram yoga.
After nearly a decade without any real change at the top of men's tennis, CNN's Will Edmonds looks at next generation of future stars.
updated 8:14 AM EST, Thu January 9, 2014
Ana Ivanovic is still seeking to rediscover the form that took her to the top of the rankings -- but she has found a new lease of life.
updated 6:42 AM EST, Mon January 6, 2014
As a teen sensation, Bernard Tomic had the tennis world at his feet -- but he's in danger of blowing it, says Australian great Pat Rafter.
ADVERTISEMENT