London - Defending champion Novak Djokovic fears he is becoming the victim
of a smear campaign after his opening Wimbledon victory on Monday was
overshadowed by more allegations of cheating.
The world number one and top seed eased to a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over
Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber on Centre Court but many eyes were glued to the
Serb's coach Boris Becker after the German legend admitted he employed ways to
instruct his player even though coaching is banned during a match.
Djokovic had spent large parts of the weekend defending Becker, a three-time
Wimbledon winner, but admitted that many coaches use subtle means to encourage
"I'm just trying to figure out what you want to achieve with this
story. I don't understand what you really want. Do you want to say I'm
cheating, my team? I'm really trying to figure out what's behind this,"
fumed the 28-year-old Djokovic.
"I mean, are you asking only me or are you asking other players, as
The usually affable Djokovic added: "I'm going to say that there are
certain ways of communication which is encouragement, which is support, which
is understanding the moment when to, you know, clap or say something that can
lift my energy up, that can kind of motivate me to play a certain point. But
it's all within the rules."
Djokovic insisted that if the media wanted to pursue their line of
questioning then they should talk to Becker.
He refused to divulge if the German's means of encouraging him were in use
on Monday where the Serb opened the two-week tournament.
It's not a new controversy for Djokovic - he has twice been rapped for
coaching in the past, although on both occasions it was before Becker came on
board to work alongside long-time coach Marian Vajda.
"If I am breaking any rules or my team does, I would be fined for that,
right? The chair umpire would say, Coaching penalty, and that's it. Or the
supervisor, or whoever," he said.
"I think it has happened in my life, no doubt about that. Of course, I
accept the fact if my coach, Boris or Marian, do say something that is against
the rules that are in place, I have no complaint about the code violation that
I get for coaching. So, I mean, I'm completely fine by that."
Djokovic said the issue had not been discussed with Becker or any of his
support team before Monday's match.
The world number one was playing his first match since his defeat to Stan Wawrinka
at the final of the French Open three weeks ago ended his hopes of completing a
career Grand Slam.
He will now face Finland's Jarkko Nieminen for a place in the last 32.
"This is the cradle of our sport," said Djokovic on his return to
Centre Court where he defeated Roger Federer in five sets in the 2014 final.
"There is no bigger tournament in our sport than Wimbledon. It's always
a special feeling to come out here as defending champion. There's always a few
Djokovic, also the 2011 champion, hit 12 aces and 36 winners past world
number 33 Kohlschreiber for a seventh win in eight meetings with the German.