‘It breaks my heart’ to see Becker in prison, says Djokovic


Moment of victory for Novak Djokovic on Friday © AFP / Christophe ARCHAMBAULT

Paris (AFP), May 27 – Novak Djokovic said on Friday “it breaks my heart” to see former coach Boris Becker in jail on charges related to a 2017 bankruptcy and hopes the German legend remains “healthy and strong”.

Six-time Grand Slam winners Becker and Djokovic teamed up for three years until 2017.

During that time they have won six majors, a run that included a career Grand Slam when Djokovic won the first of his French Open in 2016.

“It breaks my heart to see him go through this,” Djokovic said. “Boris has always been so kind to me and my family, and we’ve had a great relationship over the years and achieved great things in the sport.

“I’ve been in touch with one of his sons, Noah, and asked him if there’s anything I can do to help. But it’s terrible. I just hope he stays. healthy and strong.

World number one Djokovic also said on Friday he wants to return to the Australian Open next year after being kicked out of Melbourne in January after refusing to get vaccinated.

Since that fiasco, there has been a change of government in Australia and Djokovic hopes a new administration will also mean a fresh look at his visa status.

“I would love to go there and play the Australian Open. I have no hard feelings,” he said.

Djokovic, the defending champion in Paris, reached the fourth round for the 13th consecutive year with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Slovenian Aljaz Bedene, shooting nine aces and 30 winners ahead of his 195th-ranked opponent .

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Next up for the 35-year-old is a match against 15th-seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman for a quarter-final spot.

Djokovic, in contention for a record 21st Grand Slam title, has a perfect 6-0 record over Schwartzman, including a five-set victory in Paris in the third round in 2017.

Djokovic, who is yet to drop a set at Roland Garros this year over three rounds, is seeded to face 13-time champion Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals.

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