Novak Djokovic wins Wimbledon!

by Albert Silver
7/7/2014 – On Sunday, right in the middle of the World Cup fever that has gripped the globe, another sporting event of superlatives took place: the Wimbledon finals. In an immensely exciting match that spanned five sets, Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer, winning his seventh Grand Slam title and second Wimbledon. So what does this have to do with chess? Read on to find out.

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The win by the great Serbian player sent him back to the no.1 spot, a spot that he has been
in hot contention with rival Rafael Nadal for the last years.

The great Roger Federer, 33, did his utmost, losing 2-1, then winning the fourth set to force
a deciding fifth. In the end, his endurance began to flag after nearly four hours of play.

Djokovic is widely considered the greatest serve returner of all-time, an accolade given by
Andre Agassi, who was once dubbed this himself. On every list of best tennis players of all
time by pros or press, he is easily in the top ten. So what does this have to do with chess?

The answer lies to the left of the picture above, from the player's box of Djokovic. Six-time
Grand Slam champion, and former no.1, Boris Becker, signed on with the Serb as a coach,
first coaching him at the 2014 Australian Open. Boom Boom Becker, as he was once nicknamed,
has helped improve an important aspect of Djokovic's game: his serve. But that is not all...

You, the reader, knew there was a catch coming, and this is it. Indeed, this picture was
posted by Novak Djokovic himself on Facebook in June, shortly before the start of Wimbledon,
commenting "Trying to beat Boris in the game of chess. Not an easy task. But I'm not giving up!"

This should come as little surprise though, since Boris Becker
is a known chess aficionado. In 2011, he played a well-publicized
game against Nigel Short despite a leg injury.

The game was recorded by TV cameras and a crowd of press photographers

Afterwards in the VIP room Boris got personal commentary from Nigel and Malcolm Pein

Nigel grabbed one of Boris' crutches and used it as a pointer 

Still, the proof of Becker's passion for the game, was not in his appearance in
front of the press, but in the VIP area, where few could see him, when he asked
Short if he could attempt to avenge his loss

Becker was doing quite well to be honest. Frederic Friedel is seen here hoping
for an upset win by the German star.

"You had a pawn less in a double rook ending," Nigel tells Boris. "If you hadn't 
swapped the rooks, or kept at least one, you would have had drawing chances!"

Pictures from official Wimbledon Facebook page,
Novak Djokovic's FB page, and ChessBase



Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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Philip Feeley Philip Feeley 7/8/2014 04:43
Link to the game:

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1649095
1