Boris Becker wanted commentary stint with Nick Kyrgios despite online insults

By Sports Desk January 10, 2024

Boris Becker would have loved to commentate with Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open, but has revealed the Eurosport pundits will be on opposite sides of the planet over the next fortnight.

It was confirmed earlier this week that injured former Wimbledon finalist Kyrgios will be part of Eurosport’s punditry team for the first grand slam of 2024.

This raised the prospect that Kyrgios, who was sidelined for most of last year with knee and wrist issues, could come face to face with six-time major winner Becker in Melbourne after their online exchange last month.

Kyrgios and Becker traded insults on X, formerly known as Twitter, over a succession of days in December with the recent jail sentence served by double Australian Open winner Becker referenced, but he has now confirmed they will be – unintentionally – kept apart during their media duties.

“I would have liked to see a match where we are both commentating next to each other. I think that would be more watched than the tennis match actually,” Becker said.

“Look, he joined the team of Eurosport International out of Melbourne and I joined the Eurosport German team out of Munich. So, unless we get connected into the cube where they beam you into the studio, I don’t think there is anything happening there.

“Ultimately we both love the game, we love tennis, we like to commentate on a good match and that’s the bond we have.

“We have a difference of opinion, but that’s normal. We agree we want to see great matches, we want to see a great tournament and this is why we do the job.”

Becker will not be in Australia for the first major of the year, but has a vested interest after he took up the role of Holger Rune’s coach in 2023.

While the German has backed the 20-year-old to do well at Melbourne Park, he cannot look beyond defending champion Novak Djokovic, another player he has coached in the past.

He added: “I have to mention my player Holger Rune, who reached the fourth round last year, he was also comfortable, he started the year well with the final in Brisbane. He had a good practice week and I am sure he is ready by Sunday.

“Holger is a very intense, very dynamic and a very explosive young player. He reminds me a little bit of a young Novak Djokovic.

“For me, the clear-cut favourite is Novak Djokovic. He won the tournament 10 times. Let me repeat, he won it 10 times. This is a really outstanding achievement.

“He is the clear-cut favourite but he is 36, he had a small injury on his hitting hand. I saw him practicing yesterday and today, he seemed fine but we have to watch this space because he is not getting any younger.

“Having said that, when the tournament starts, he is the number one player in the world, he is the defending champion and he is the top favourite.”

Becker is back on the tennis scene after he spent part of 2022 in prison for hiding £2.5million of assets and loans to avoid paying debts.

The 56-year-old, a three-time Wimbledon winner, believes he is a better coach for his recent battles with bankruptcy.

“I don’t want to go into details to what happened to me and how I came out of it, but I think I am a better man now than I was five years ago,” Becker reflected.

“Hopefully my family would agree with that but also because of the things I have experienced, I might even be a better coach. All the top guys, the difference is often their mentality, their attitude, how they deal with disappointment.

“This is my strong part. I can really talk to a player about overcoming adversity at any given time and I am much more credible now than I was five years ago.”

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