Boris Becker recently spoke to Swiss paper Tages Anzeiger about Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal (my Google-assisted translation):
Q: Boris Becker, do you believe in the comeback of Rafael Nadal?
Yes, he could still be dangerous to Federer this season. Although Roger on hard courts is unlikely to be beat.
Q: Nadal wants to attack in August at the Montreal Masters. He doesn’t need to protect his knees?
The knees aren’t the problem. Nadal has been injured in the head since his collapse in Paris. The early loss at the French Open completely demoralized him.
Q: Do you mean that Nadal is doubting himself for the first time?
Yes. He had never lost before in Paris. The feeling of being unbeatable is gone. But he should have slowly digested it by now and be able to fight for the number 1 ranking again.
Q: Thanks to the 15th Major title at Wimbledon, Federer is again at the top. What did you say to him?
We met at the BBC’s highlight show in London. First I congratulated him, then I asked him some questions during the broadcast.
Q: What did you ask?
I said: Roger, you’ve achieved everything. How to continue? At first he didn’t know how to answer me. Then I asked: After all the victories, what motivates you now? He just said he needed to absorb his success first.
Q: Federer will soon be a father. Is it an extra boost?
Absolutely. The birth of his child will prolong his career. It was the case for me.
Q: Is the time right?
Roger at 27 is no longer at the youngest age for tennis. He wants his child to experience watching him on the court. He has the perfect plan.
Q: This perfection both on and off the court makes him a bore to some people.
I believe the contrary. He is a spectacular person. He is smart, cultured, always relaxed, even speaks four languages fluently.
Q: He has no scandals.
Yes, but that doesn’t make him a bore.He is the best ambassador for tennis in general.
Boris “Boom Boom in the Broomcloset” Becker knows something about scandals. I guess he doesn’t wish his tabloid lifestyle on anyone else! I’m not sure what to make of his Rafa diagnosis, though. No doubt Nadal’s feeling less confident than he was a few months ago, but I think it’s wrong to discount his very real physical problems. If anything, the injury would exacerbate a lack of confidence.
If you missed Becker’s BBC interview with Federer, here it is:
Anyone else counting the days until Montreal begins?