Former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker has stated he sees his younger self in Novak Djokovic and stressed he was surprised by the criticism that came his way, when the world no.1 appointed him as his coach last year.
"I see in Novak a little bit of Boris Becker," the German told CNN. "I see him against Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, probably the two most popular players in the world, and he doesn't always get a fair deal from the crowd.
"It makes him work even harder and more determined to win. I see some similarities between him and a young Becker."
The 46-year-old was heavily criticised when he was appointed as Djokovic's head coach and became an integral part of the Serb's team back in December.
Becker's former rival Stefan Edberg joined 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer's coaching team as the same time. Another tennis legend of that era, Ivan Lendl, worked for Andy Murray, before they split in March.
However, Becker made it to the headlines most after his appointment.
"It really was weird," confessed Becker. "I never realized I had so many suspicious people around me. I must have stepped on many people's feet in the past in order to make them so willing to throw their opinions of doubt and resentment.
"We live in a free world, and anybody can say what they want. Even considering that, I can't deny I was very much surprised to hear all the concern about my announcement of partnering with Novak."
Becker sealed his first victory at the age of 17, winning the Wimbledon in 1985, and became known as "boom boom" for his vicious serve and volley style. He won six Grand Slams and 64 ATP titles during his 15-year career. The German put his racquet at rest in 1999 and contributed to tennis through television afterwards.
The three-time Wimbledon winner revealed that he was honoured by Djokovic's approach but needed to know his passion, before accepting the offer.
"I considered going back on the road but I wanted to talk to him first to see how driven he was," Becker said. "I didn't want to spend weeks with him away from my wife and kids if he wasn't driven.
"I go on the road because I want to win the majors and not being happy with the quarters or the semis. He had the same mindset and that's why I felt it was the right decision."
Becker also spoke about how it feels to be working with Djokovic and being there in the stands during the Serb's matches.
"I live with Novak. Whenever he makes a mistake I feel that I make it too. Whenever he hits an ace, I feel like I've hit an ace.
"I have to keep my poker face and have a very cool demeanor. He's looking at us up in the box and we have to give him confidence," he said. "Inside it's a volcano, I'm burning. After matches he needs to take a quiet minute to relax - I need to take one too!"
Djokovic and Becker will start their quest for the 2014 US Open next week.