Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Novak Djokovic: Return of legends as coaches good for tennis

December 28, 2013 -- Updated 1952 GMT (0352 HKT)
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
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
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.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"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.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
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.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 2359 GMT (0759 HKT)
British tennis player Elena Baltacha won 11 ITF Pro Circuit titles during her 16-year playing career.
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
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."
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
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.
ADVERTISEMENT