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The return of the Djoker

Long before he was a top-ranked player, Djokovic had earned the nicknames “Court Jester” and “Joker.”

Melbourne |
January 20, 2014 3:05:44 am

Novak Djokovic the entertainer has made a comeback, adding to his repertoire of impersonations by poking fun at his new coach Boris Becker in front of a roaring crowd.

Long before he was a top-ranked player, Djokovic had earned the nicknames “Court Jester” and “Joker” for his impressions of fellow pros. He imitated Maria Sharapova’s shrieks, Rafael Nadal tugging at the back of his shorts, John McEnroe’s tantrums. They weren’t always well-received.

The 46-year-old Becker, a six-time Grand Slam champion, was seated among Djokovic’s supporters Sunday, red in the face and laughing as he watched the Serbian star mimic his characteristic rocking motion for serves.
After the match, Djokovic walked back onto the court for an interview with Jim Courier, one of Becker’s main rivals in the 1990s,who asked him: “Back in the day when you did impressions, did you have any of Boris?”

Seated in the stands, Becker laughed and wagged his finger. “Uh, yes. I did,” Djokovic said. “But he hasn’t seen it yet.”

Djokovic then requested a ball and approached the baseline, where he began rocking his body back and forth with his ball on his racket to build momentum for his toss, which he then threw into the air, swung and intentionally missed as he stumbled forward.

“This was in your better days Boris, and today you look like this,” Djokovic smiled, as he walked forward like a stooped old man with a limp. Becker recently had ankle surgery and hasn’t been able to hit balls since starting his new coaching job.
After the crowd quieted, Djokovic said he couldn’t wait to return Becker’s serve and added: “I’ve got to give him credit, he’s trying, working every day.”

Djokovic said the impersonation was not perfect: “I have to gain a few kilos and colour my hair in order to do the proper Becker imitation.”

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