Novak Djokovic receives family of imprisoned Boris Becker in Wimbledon box

Novak Djokovic of Serbia, right, poses for a television camera during an interview with former tennis champion Boris Becker, left, before the start of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Sunday, July 1, 2018. The championships begin on Monday, July 2 - AP

Novak Djokovic of Serbia, right, poses for a television camera during an interview with former tennis champion Boris Becker, left, before the start of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Sunday, July 1, 2018. The championships begin on Monday, July 2 – AP

Novak Djokovic has received Boris Becker’s family in his box at Wimbledon because he is heartbroken for his former coach.

Becker was jailed for two and a half years in April for hiding £2.5m in assets and loans to avoid debt.

The Serb received Becker’s girlfriend, Lillian de Carvalho Monteiro, and his son, Noah, in his box at both rounds so far at Wimbledon and Djokovic revealed that Becker’s family will be visiting him in prison for the first time in the coming days.

“Noah and his younger brother Elias are going to visit Boris in the coming days, I think for the first time since he went to prison,” Djokovic added. “I’ve just tried to support the people around him, his closest people, his relatives, because I really consider Boris a family member, someone I greatly appreciate, respect and care about.

“We have been through a lot together in those three years of working together. Our relationship dates back to before that. Of course, after we ended our professional relationship, we always stayed close, him with my team, with my agents, with my family.

“Of course it breaks my heart to see what happens to him. I can only imagine how hard it is for his relatives. So of course this is a small gesture of friendship to invite them.

“He knows and they know that they can always count on me for any support or assistance I can provide.”

to be . follow straight sets triumph at Wimbledon on Wednesday, Djokovic attacked the US Open for allowing unvaccinated American players to play when he and other foreigners who refuse the jab are banned from traveling.

Djokovic has already said he will likely serve out the final Grand Slam of the season due to his tough anti-vax stance.

He insists it won’t be “the end of the world” if he can’t travel, but speaking to Serbian journalists, he suggested effectively banning all unvaccinated players given the restrictions facing non-US citizens.

Djokovic said he had been texting Tennys Sandgren since the American said he found it “embarrassing” that the USTA helped Djokovic get the green light to participate.

Responding to questions from Serbian journalists, he added: “I texted Tennys Sandgren a few days ago. I wanted to thank him for the public support he has given me in this situation. What he said makes perfect sense – if unvaccinated players aren’t allowed to compete in the US Open, then everyone should be. I don’t see the medical logic behind that Tennys can play because he’s a US citizen and I can’t.”

Djokovic was deported from Melbourne in January for his determined but controversial stance, forcing him to suspend a bid for a 10th Australian Open title.

“Grand Slams are tournaments that are my priority at this stage of my career and of course I want to play in New York,” Djokovic added. “On the other hand, if I don’t get the chance to do that, it’s not the end of the world, we’re looking forward. But at the moment I’m completely focused on Wimbledon.”

With no sign of US authorities relaxing their rule that all visitors must be vaccinated, the 35-year-old believes Wimbledon, which starts Monday, will be his last Slam of 2022.

He has 20 Slams to his name, two less than longtime rival Rafael Nadal. Last year’s defeat in the New York final against Daniil Medvedev prevented him from becoming the first man since 1969 to win a Grand Slam on the calendar.

The defending Wimbledon champion sailed comfortably into the third round after beating Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis on Wednesday. The league-leader, who bid for a seventh title at SW19, was unconvincing in his 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Korean Kwon Soon-woo in what was his first game on grass since the competition from last year. last. But Djokovic looked back at his best in a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over Center Court.

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