Novak Djokovic: Return of legends as coaches good for tennis

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

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.

"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.

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"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.

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.

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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."

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