Boris Becker: 'Novak Djokovic's loss to Rafael Nadal in Paris hurt my heart'



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Boris Becker: 'Novak Djokovic's loss to Rafael Nadal in Paris hurt my heart'

During their time together, Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker were among the most successful player & coach duo in the game's history. The German led the Serb towards a Career Grand Slam, six Majors and 14 Masters 1000 crowns, working with Djokovic in his dominant seasons on the Tour.

Becker and Djokovic have remained friends, and Boris was there to congratulate Novak when he won that epic Wimbledon title against Roger Federer in July 2019. The six-time Major champion would have loved to see Djokovic winning the second Roland Garros crown last Sunday but that didn't happen, with Rafael Nadal defeating the Serb in straight sets to break Becker's heart.

In one of the most important encounters of the century, Nadal took down Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 41 minutes following an almost flawless performance, securing the 13th title in Paris and the 20th Major overall.

Standing withing two Majors from each other, Djokovic was eager to take another step closer to the Spaniard in the GOAT race, making the slowest start and ruining his chances for winning the second Major of the season. Nadal had a clear vision of beating the most formidable opponent, delivering aggressive tennis that surprised Djokovic and blew him off the court in the opening two sets.

The Serb recovered in the third to avoid disaster, staying in touch until 5-5 before Rafa grabbed a crucial break that carried him towards the finish line. Nadal had 31 winners and 14 unforced errors and stole 51% of the return points to control the scoreboard and stay in front.

Novak sprayed 52 unforced errors, searching for his A-game for more than two hours and suffering a massive loss despite a solid effort in set number three. Rafa lost serve once and grabbed seven breaks from 18 opportunities, pushing strong on the return and outplaying Novak in the shortest range up to four strokes, the area where the Serb should have had the advantage.

Boris Becker would have loved to see Novak Djokovic winning Roland Garros.

Just like in 2008 final against Roger Federer, Nadal delivered a bagel to Novak in the opening set, playing almost impeccable tennis and providing three breaks against the world's leading player, finishing it with an ace at 5-0 after 45 minutes.

Rafa faced no break points in set number two, taming his strokes nicely and overpowering Djokovic with a double break for another rock-solid set of tennis that propelled him 6-0, 6-2 in front after only an hour and 34 minutes.

Rafa broke Novak at love at 2-2 in the third set and suffered the first and only break a few minutes later, providing Djokovic with a necessary boost that kept him in contention. With no room for errors, Nadal held comfortably in games eight, ten and 12, earning a break at 5-5 after a double fault from Novak and sealing the deal with a hold at love for the 20th Major crown.

"It hurt my heart when Rafa Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic. When Novak and I worked together, it was a very remarkable time for both. We were brothers at heart," Boris Becker said.