Novak Djokovic's dream of becoming the first man to win four straight Australian Opens in the Open Era is gone.
However, he and his fans shouldn't allow the disappointment of the quarterfinal loss to Stanislas Wawrinka to linger.
Since Wawrinka defeated Djokovic 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 on Tuesday, critics have questioned the legendary Boris Becker's influence on Djoker's game. In Dec. 2013, Djokovic had Becker join his staff. In the first opportunity to show what he has picked up from the former world No. 1, things didn't go as planned.
Montreal Max tweeted this after Djokovic's loss:
@PaulPabst Boris Becker as coach for Djokovic could be shaky now as his first tournament with him ends his 14 straight Major semis streak— Montreal Max (@StardustBook) January 21, 2014
Sam Clench of News.com.au did a full writeup about how fans are calling for Becker and Djokovic to part ways.
This is a bit of an overreaction and disrespectful to Wawrinka.
After all, the 28-year-old from Switzerland did come into the tournament as the No. 8 seed. It's true, he had lost 14 consecutive matches against Djokovic, but a loss to Wawrinka is nothing to be ashamed of or reason to question Djokovic's coaching staff.
Before the loss, Djokovic had a 28-match winning streak and 13 victories in a row against top-10 opponents. Needless to say, he hadn't been struggling.
Should Djokovic get rid of Becker?
If Djokovic were to fall short of the semifinals or finals in all or most of the next few tournaments he plays, then there would be some cause for alarm. He's still just 26 years old.
By most accounts, he should still be in the prime of his career. Looking at this loss as anything more than a minor setback would be irrational.
Djokovic doesn't appear to be taking it as anything more than that. Per the South China Morning Post (via Reuters), Djokovic said:
"Well, look, you know, it has been the first official tournament for us. I'm satisfied with things that we've been talking about, working on. Of course, it's unfortunate that we finished the tournament in the quarter-finals."
Perhaps Becker isn't a good influence for Djokovic, but at this early stage it is too soon to tell. For now, Wawrinka deserves a ton of credit for beating one of the best in the world in one of his favorite venues.
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