Djokovic 'Lucky' To Have Nadal And Federer Come Before Him Says Ivanisevic

Djokovic 'Lucky' To Have Nadal And Federer Come Before Him Says Ivanisevic

by Nurein Ahmed

Goran Ivanisevic has spoken of the impact that Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have had on Novak Djokovic's career, explaining how his charge's late arrival was somewhat "lucky".

Few people know Novak Djokovic quite as well as his coach, Goran Ivanisevic. The Croatian former ATP player has been working with the Serbian for over four years. Ivanisevic has overseen most of Djokovic's groundbreaking milestones in that span, not least, a record 24th Grand Slam - the most by any man.

Yet, Ivanisevic, pointed out the presence of Djokovic's great rivals Nadal and Federer as having a lasting effect on his career as a player. The one-time Wimbledon champion opined that Djokovic's late arrival to the scene worked in his favor as he had the chance to improve himself.

That explanation certainly holds enough water. Djokovic had a very challenging time trying to break the hegemony of the duo in the late noughties but has expressed his admiration and the importance they've had on his career. Federer won 16 Grand Slams between 2003-2010. Nadal, for his part, was not far behind, winning nine majors between 2005-2010.

Djokovic had won one Grand Slam title in the early phase of his career before the end of 2010, which came at the Australian Open in 2008. But that aside, he was losing many of the close battles against Nadal and Federer at the important events.

But in 2011, Djokovic moved into a whole new level of greatness, producing one of the best seasons in men's tennis, winning three of the four Slams and ending the year with a combined 10-1 head-to-head record against his two rivals.

Ivanisevic states how self-drive and the ability to motivate himself set Djokovic apart from the rest. While there is a bit of luck involved that he was the latecomer to the party, Djokovic knew what he came for and he's eclipsed both of them in almost every tennis metric.

"He’s a winner. He’s the guy who is self-motivating. He had luck to have guys like Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer come before him, so they pushed each other, but he’s a born winner. For him, when you tell him he cannot do something, it’s even worse. Then he’s going to show you that he can do it."


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