Novak Djokovic's former coach: This is why he lost to Denis Istomin at Australian Open
NOVAK DJOKOVIC played 'way too defensive' and it led to his downfall against Denis Istomin, according to his former coach Boris Becker.
Novak Djokovic was 'too passive' against Denis Istomin, according to Boris Becker
Boris Becker spent three years as Novak Djokovic's coach but the pair split last month following a disappointing run of form for the 29-year-old, who failed to win Wimbledon, the Olympics or the US Open.
But the Serb's fresh start fell on its face when he was beaten 7-6, 5-7, 2-6, 7-6, 6-4 by wildcard Istomin in the second round of the Australian Open.
It is the first time he has lost before the third round of a grand slam in 34 attempts, since he was beaten by Marat Safin at Wimbledon in 2008.
Denis Istomin secured the biggest win of his career against Novak Djokovic
"I'm really shocked that Novak Djokovic lost," said Becker told Eurosport.
"I thought he was playing much too defensive and never really took the initiative and never really fought for it.
"I absolutely never expected him to have trouble with Denis Istomin.
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"No disrespect but Nole is a six-time Australian Open champion.
"But I could tell in the first set he was way too defensive and way too passive.
"The first set in a three-out-of-five match is always very important.
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"In the fourth set again he was a bit lethargic and not playing at full power.
"Then once you're in the fifth set anything can happen and credit to Denis, he kept his composure, he kept his nerve, he went a break up and kept serving well and hitting the lines so it's well deserved."
Djokovic was bidding to win a record seventh title at the Australian Open, where he has been crowned champion in four of the last five years.
His exit leaves world No 1 Andy Murray in pole position to clinch a first triumph at the tournament having lost five of the last seven tournaments.
And while the Scot will hope to capitalise on Djokovic's demise, Becker finds sympathy for the 12-time major winner.
"It's a tough one – I feel for him and I still have so much respect for him," Becker added.
"This is a new situation for him.
"The Australian Open was always the foundation of the year and you leave Australia with the title in the bag and the 2000 points and the year plays much easier.
"And now it's a new situation and I think the team has to stick together and sleep on it because nothing is going to come out of it tonight.
"They need to find a cure for this current situation."
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