Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - In the latest coaching change/staff addition on the ATP World Tour, Novak Djokovic has decided to employ Boris Becker as his new head coach.
Will the bold move help the Serbian star overtake Rafael Nadal and return to No. 1?
Another former world No. 1, Roger Federer, recently started working with childhood hero and fellow former top-ranked great Stefan Edberg, while Top-20 Japanese star Kei Nishikori took on former world No. 2 Michael Chang in order to help him reach ... whatever.
So why did Djokovic hire his fellow former No. 1 and fellow six-time Grand Slam champion Becker? He's (Djokovic) already arguably the best player on the planet.
The current rankings show that Nole is No. 2, behind Nadal, but it was Djokovic who was the only player to appear in three Grand Slam finals this year. It was Djokovic who closed out the season with a sparkling 24-match win streak, including a pair of wins over Rafa. And it was Djokovic who captured the prestigious season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.
So how much better can he get?
Well, for starters, he can still improve upon his already quality serve, something that "Boob Boom" Becker is certainly an expert on.
Sure, Djokovic may have reached three of the four major finals in 2013, but managed to win only one (Australian Open) while failing to prevail in the last three -- the French, Wimbledon and U.S. Open -- losing to Nadal (in the semis), Murray (in the final), and Nadal (in another final), respectively.
So, yes, there's still room for improvement.
Note: Djokovic's good friend Murray is also coached by another former world No. 1 stud (and former bitter Becker rival) Ivan Lendl, who guided Murray to his first-ever Grand Slam title at last year's U.S. Open, Olympic gold in 2012, and the Brit's glorious first Wimbledon title this past campaign.
The 26-year-old Djokovic will have the 46-year-old Becker at his side when he embarks on defense of his Aussie Open title next month. The Belgrade native has won the last three Aussie crowns and is a four-time overall champ in the land of Oz.
Even though Djokovic reached three of the four Slam finals the last three years in succession, he hasn't captured a major title outside of Melbourne since 2011 and has tallied only two major titles since his amazing '11 season. Surprisingly, he's only ever captured Wimbledon and the U.S. Open one time each and has never won at Roland Garros, which, of course, has been dominated by Nadal since the mid-2000s.
Note: Becker never reached a French Open final, while Djokovic reached his first and only one last year.
Sort of lost in the Djokovic coaching mix now is long-time mentor Marian Vajda, who will enter his eighth season with Nole, but this time around it'll be on a part-time basis only, as Becker will coach the Serbian great at all four Slams, as well as events in Dubai, Miami, Monte Carlo, Rome, Cincinnati, Shanghai, Paris and London.
It's been speculated that Vajda may be "burned out" after years on the road on the grueling ATP circuit. During the last two years, the Slovakian skipper has taken a few weeks off here and there in order to spend more time with his family, while Djokovic, of course, played on.
"Becker's assignment will not affect much my position in the team, since I will do all I can for Novak, just like I did before," Vajda said. "On the other hand, choosing Boris as the head coach is a good solution, I am sure we will get along very well, and that Novak will continue to progress."
Djokovic's coaching staff also includes Miljan Amanovic and Gebhard Phil- Gritsch.
It will be interesting to see if the attention-loving Djokovic and spotlight- finding Becker can coexist. That's two very big egos. Things certainly didn't work out this past summer between fellow former world No. 1 divas Maria Sharapova and Jimmy Connors. Can I call Connors a diva?
Either way, this will be an all-new venture for the legendary Becker, who spent much of the last decade serving as a commentator for the BBC and a spokesperson for gambling and poker outfits while transforming himself into a television personality.
He shined on the ATP in the 1980s and '90s, and was one of the game's greatest players. Becker piled up 64 tour-level titles and was the youngest- ever Wimbledon champ, at 17 years of age, in 1985. The German also led his country to back-to-back Davis Cup titles in 1988 and 1989.
So he certainly knows what he's talkin' about. Will it translate into French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles for Djokovic?
That remains to be seen.