Coaching role has Becker against Lendl once again

Boris Becker and Ivan Lendl will renew rivalries at the Australian Open in a month’s time – 23 years after Melbourne Park played host to their last ever meeting in a grand slam final.

Becker was named as the new head coach of world No 2 Novak Djokovic in a move that mirrors Andy Murray’s appointment of Lendl two years ago.

Lendl is credited with helping the current world No 4 break his grand slam duck – winning his first major title at the 2012 US Open before becoming the first British men’s champion at Wimbledon in 77 years this year.

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Comparisons between Becker and Lendl from their playing days are there to be made.

Both men shot to prominence in the 1980s as leading lights of a new breed of hard-hitting ‘power’ players and went on to become multiple grand slam champions – Becker winning six titles from 10 major final appearances and Lendl eight from 19.

They also crossed swords in three grand slam finals, starting at Wimbledon in 1986 – when Becker retained the title he had won a year earlier at the age of 17 – then again at the 1989 US Open – when Becker again prevailed – and finally at the 1991 Australian Open.