• French Open

Becker tips Djokovic to take Nadal's crown

ESPN staff
May 23, 2013

Six-time grand slam singles champion Boris Becker believes that world No. 1 Novak Djokovic can end Rafael Nadal's dominance at Roland Garros.

Nadal has won seven French Open titles in the last eight years; the 26-year-old's spell of supremacy has only been interrupted once, by Roger Federer when defeating Robin Soderling in the 2009 final.

In April, Djokovic ended Nadal's eight-year reign at the Monte Carlo Masters, and although being impressed by the Spaniard's recovery from injury, former world No. 1 Becker believes the Serb can achieve the same in Paris.

"Nadal has had quite a sensational comeback," Becker told ESPN. "Who would have thought at the start of February that, by the middle of May he'd almost be the best player of the year with Djokovic?

"Nadal has won the French Open seven times. That's a pretty good record. The question mark was at Christmas, was he going to come back, is his knee going to be strong enough?

"Having said that, you can never underestimate Djokovic. He is the No. 1 player for a reason and he's the only player that has beaten Nadal on clay this spring [in Monaco]. I think it could be another rematch of last year's final between the two."

Nadal has reached eight finals since his return from injury, defeating long-time rival Federer in his most recent at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome. However, Becker said the Swiss cannot be left out of contention for a second France title.

"I wouldn't completely rule out Federer. On any given day, when his magic is on he can beat anybody," Becker added. "There are a couple of dark horses in there, a couple of floaters too.

"[Tomas] Berdych is good. David Ferrer is very good and has pushed Nadal a couple of times. [Jo-Wilfried] Tsonga in Paris is dangerous too. At the end of the day, the winner has to win seven times against the best players in the world."

Boris Becker wants to see Bayern Munich lift the Champions League trophy © Frank PR

With Federer slumping to Nadal in Rome and Djokovic suffering recent ATP Tour defeats to Gregor Dimitrov and Berdych, Becker was quick to state losing is simply part of the game and players have no choice but to accept it.

"Tennis is a pretty tough sport and there are never any easy matches and, unless you're at the top of your form, you're bound to lose to players you're not supposed to," Becker said. "Only very few are untouchable.

"Djokovic had a year where he didn't lose a match, Nadal is not losing at the moment. Federer had many years like that but in general, you do lose and you just have to deal with it."

The French Open is not the only competition that Becker is excited about this weekend. The German will be at Wembley on Saturday to witness his beloved Bayern Munich take on Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final.

"I put a little bet on it," Becker said. "I feel that, as a Bayern supporter, it's the moment we should take this title home.

"The way we kicked Barcelona out of the competition and the way we won the Bundesliga championship makes me confident. It'll be a great, great match and the team that's got a little more luck will win."

When asked what would be more nerve-wracking, a Bayern Munich win on penalties or facing Championship point at Wimbledon, Becker replied: "For me, Championship point at Wimbledon - because I'm involved."

Boris Becker is the new ambassador of online betting company Youwin.com, who are offering a special 'Becker Cash Back' bet on the Champions League final. For more information and a full list of odds, visit youwin.com

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