Simon Reed

Becker coaching Djokovic doesn’t add up – for either of them

I was astonished when I heard that Novak Djokovic has hired Boris Becker as his new coach. I don't see why Djokovic needs to change the set-up that he had.

But he knows what's best for himself, obviously. He's an intelligent man. He wouldn't be making a decision like this unless he knew something that we don't.

But I can only comment on what I see at face value - and I can't see the need for it.

He was really picking his game up at the end of last year. After the way he lost to Murray and Rafa Nadal in the Wimbledon and US Open finals I could perhaps have understood if he was looking for something new at that stage - but he came roaring back at the end of the year, and looked like he had all the answers when winning the ATP World Tour Finals in London.

He's already won six Grand Slams - the same as Becker - so what can Becker add to his game?

Andy Murray needed someone to take him to the next level as he hadn't won a Slam, and Ivan Lendl did that.

Did he do much, tactically? Maybe not, but by osmosis Murray was able to glean from Lendl what it takes to win a Grand Slam. He added a little extra - it was only another two or three per cent - but it made the difference.

Djokovic is already further on than Murray. Mentally, can Becker add anything to Djokovic?

Maybe he feels he can, but if you look at Djokovic he already wins Grand Slams he has no right to win, purely because he is physically and mentally so tough. And as for motivation? Well, his passion for playing tennis, and for winning, is unmatched and beyond question.

So there's no weaknesses there, as far as I'm concerned. Maybe - maybe - tactically he could do one or two things.

It was strange last year that Djokovic brought in Wojtek Fibak, the Polish great who was a guru for Lendl. Maybe it was to act as a kind of counterpunch to Murray bringing in Lendl.

And bringing in Becker could be seen in that light as well: Becker, who was one of Lendl's rivals and the two have great respect for each other but I just can't believe it's about that.

Djokovic doesn't need to move to the next level. He's at that level. I think he makes the absolute most of his game. I find it astonishing that when he's working so well with Marian Vajda, he is looking for a change. It's the one of the oldest adages in sport, and life: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

As for Vajda? He seems to be fine stepping back and allowing Boris to take the head coach role. No doubt Vajda will stay on the same pay deal he is currently on but you still have to wonder what's going through his head.

The same goes for Becker. What is his motivation? After all, he's never seriously coached anyone before. While I've interviewed Djokovic a few times I wouldn't pretend to know him, but I do know Boris a little and I wonder what will be in it for him.

He must surely have been offered a good deal from Djokovic, no doubt with healthy bonuses should he add to his haul of Grand Slams.

Being with Djokovic for all four Grand Slams will eat into his time as a commentator and analyst, so it's got to be worth his while to take on a job which will take him out of the booth.

Maybe that media work is what attracted Djokovic to Becker in the first place: he is a very fine tennis analyst, and he knows the game as well as anyone.

Then again, so does Djokovic.

One day, perhaps, we'll know the answer. It's possible to imagine, for example, that the two of them might have got into a conversation at the O2 in which Becker pointed out a couple of things that Djokovic had genuinely never thought of before; maybe that inspired Djokovic to bring him on.

And maybe in a few months time we'll be marvelling at world number two's foresight in bringing Becker in. But as things stand, it's very difficult to see what benefits it could bring - for either man.