Novak Djokovic's gesture for Boris Becker's family at Wimbledon

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Novak Djokovic says Boris Becker's girlfriend Lily de Carvalho and the tennis great's family have his support while he's in prison. Pic: Getty
Novak Djokovic says Boris Becker's girlfriend Lily de Carvalho and the tennis great's family have his support while he's in prison. Pic: Getty

Novak Djokovic says the family of jailed tennis legend Boris Becker have his full support after being pictured in the Serb's player box at Wimbledon.

German legend Becker was sentenced to jail in London in April for hiding $4 million worth of assets and loans to avoid paying his debts.

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After retiring as a player, Becker turned to commentary and coached Djokovic for three years starting in December of 2013.

In that time, they won six majors in a run that saw Djokovic complete a career Grand Slam after clinching the first of his two French Opens in 2016.

Djokovic says it is heartbreaking to see his former mentor go to prison and the 20-time grand slam champion has vowed to do what he can to help Becker's family.

At the All England Club, the Serb invited Becker's girlfriend and son to watch his second round match against Thanasi Kokkinakis, from his player box.

Lily de Carvalho and the fallen star's son Noah were pictured with Djokovic's entourage watching at Centre Court as he downed Kokkinakis 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.

"Of course, it breaks my heart to see what's happening to him," said Djokovic. "I can only imagine how hard it is for his family members.

"So, this is a little gesture of friendship to invite them. He knows and they know that they can always count on me for whatever support or help I can provide."

Boris Becker's girlfriend and son were invited into Novak Djokovic's player box to watch his Wimbledon second round match. Pic: Getty
Boris Becker's girlfriend and son were invited into Novak Djokovic's player box to watch his Wimbledon second round match. Pic: Getty

Djokovic says he considers Becker to be part of his "family" and revealed that the tennis great's sons were planning on visiting him for the first time behind bars.

"Noah and his younger brother Elias are going to visit Boris in the next few days for the first time since he went to prison," added Djokovic.

"I've just been trying to give support to people around him, his closest people, his family members, because I consider Boris really a family member, someone that I greatly appreciate, respect, and care about."

Djokovic's win against Kokkinakis saw him reach the Wimbledon third round for the 16th time, with the Serb bidding to match Pete Sampras by claiming a seventh title at the All England Club.

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Making his first appearance at the All England Club in five years, Kokkinakis felt Djokovic was untouchable at times and said he'd be surprised if anyone stopped the Serb from claiming a fourth consecutive Wimbledon title and the seventh of his career.

"If someone beats him when he's playing like that, it means I'm even further off than I thought. Hope not if he plays like that anyway," Kokkinakis said.

"If that's not his top intensity, I'm going to get chopped even more next time. He returned unbelievable, just did everything well."

Hungry for a 21st grand slam singles crown to pull within one of great rival Rafael Nadal on the all-time men's major titles leaderboard, Djokovic produced the full array of shots that left the crowd breathless at times.

From exquisite drops, to sublime volleying and even one incredible airborne backhand down-the-line winner, Djokovic was in full control.

"I must say I was quite pleased the way I've raised my level in two days. "It was really, really high-quality," Djokovic said after needing exactly two hours to underline his credentials as the tournament's hot favourite.

While Djokovic marches on, Kokkinakis will turn his attention to doubles with embattled countryman Nick Kyrgios.

The reigning Australian Open champions had their scheduled first-round clash with Aljaz Bedene and Kwon Soonwoo postponed from Wednesday to Thursday.

with agencies

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