'Shattered' Boris Becker gets real on Novak Djokovic's devastating knee injury

Becker was left extremely devastated after Djokovic knee injury news.

by Dzevad Mesic
'Shattered' Boris Becker gets real on Novak Djokovic's devastating knee injury
© Getty Images Sport - Chris Hyde

Boris Becker was left in pure shock and disbelief after learning about Novak Djokovic's injury as the German tennis legend and the Serb's ex-coach was "speechless" after it happened in the worst possible time for the record 24-time Grand Slam champion.

After calling a physio early in the second set of his French Open round-of-16 match against Francisco Cerundolo, Djokovic was evidently hampered by a right knee issue on the court. But with the help of painkillers, Djokovic was able to play out the match and claim a five-set win. 

However, Djokovic didn't look particularly happy in his press conference as he indicated he may be forced to withdraw from the quarterfinal if his MRI scan returns with bad news. 

“Good thing about the slam is that you have a day between that will allow hopefully the healing process to happen more efficiently for me,” Djokovic said in his press conference after beating Cerundolo.

“That’s it. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow — or after tomorrow, if I’ll be able to step out on the court and play. You know, I hope so. Let’s see what happens.”

On Tuesday, Djokovic's worst fears became reality after it was revealed that his meniscus was torn. 

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Becker shattered over the Djokovic injury news 

"This is bad news for all Djokovic fans, and I'm one of them," Becker told Eurosport Germany

"You could almost guess it after the match against Cerundolo, which he played with a limp.

"The painkillers made the fifth set easier, but he had already warned that evening what the next morning would be like. He already had knee problems at the last few tournaments but never spoke about them."

Becker, who worked with Djokovic for three and a half years in the past and won six Grand Slams together, highlighted that the Serb sustained "a serious injury" that would take time to recover. 

"It's a serious injury and it won't go away tomorrow. That leaves me a bit speechless. You need your knees on grass, you really do slip all the time. A torn medial meniscus is a serious injury and the question naturally arises as to whether surgery is necessary," Becker said.

Boris Becker
Boris Becker © Getty Images Sport - Dean Mouhtaropoulos

What Becker said about the prospect of Djokovic having surgery before the Serb made the call

Later on Eurosport Germany show 'Matchball Becker', Becker continued addressing the issue. Addressing the timing of Djokovic's injury, Becker acknowledged it could not come at a worse time considering that Wimbledon and the Paris Olympics were just around the corner. 

When sharing his thoughts on what would be Djokovic's next move, Becker suggested that being conservative in his treatment might not be the answer. But Becker also noted that undergoing surgery would probably leave Djokovic needing time to regain the full strength in his knee and everything that comes with it.

Shortly after Becker's remarks were made, it was announced that Djokovic decided to have a knee surgery on Wednesday in Paris. 

“It's a serious injury, footballers often have it - and it won't be gone tomorrow. The question is: how do you treat it? Conservatively without surgery or does he have to have it treated arthroscopically?

"Wimbledon starts in four weeks, then the Olympics in six, seven weeks. That's the worst possible time to have an injury. Especially such a bad one. There will now be a lot of discussion in the Djokovic camp about what the right treatment is.

"After an operation like that, if he needs one, you're on crutches at first, then you lose muscle. It takes weeks, if not months, before you have 100% confidence in your knee again. It's a very difficult situation for Novak Djokovic.”

A few hours after it was revealed that Djokovic was undergoing surgery, Serbian media reported that the surgery was a success. According to reports, when Djokovic's knee was opened, it was revealed that he avoided a more serious meniscus injury - and since it wasn't the worst possible outcome, the Serb could need just three weeks to recover although his recovery time will also depend on some other factors.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

If Djokovic manages to recover in three weeks, he could still potentially be in play to compete at Wimbledon. Also, Djokovic making it to the Paris Olympics now seems like a far better chance than it was then the surgery was initially announced. 

For Djokovic, being able to play at the Paris Olympics will be extremely important as it is well-known that the 37-year-old Serb is determined to win an Olympic gold medal before retiring from tennis.

Boris Becker Novak Djokovic