'He Gets Nervous': Ivanisevic On 'Argument' With Djokovic At US Open

'He Gets Nervous': Ivanisevic On 'Argument' With Djokovic At US Open

by Nurein Ahmed

Goran Ivanisevic, the coach of Novak Djokovic, shed light on the Serbian's occasional struggles with his serve during the tournament and how he manages to aid his cause.

Ivanisevic, a former Grand Slam winner himself, and one of the best servers in his heyday, has played a massive part in working on the subtle details of Djokovic's serve. The Serbian has previously lauded the importance of Ivanisevic's impact behind the scenes when it comes to his serve.

But throughout the 2023 US Open, Djokovic struggled with his ball toss and generally his serve and engaged in a tetchy affair with his coaching box. On-court coaching is allowed these days, and Djokovic previously stated that he demands the most focus from his team and tries to engage with them while on the court.

In Sunday's final against Daniil Medvedev, Djokovic had his nervy moments on serve, struggling with his ball toss. Sometimes he tried to mix it up, serving and volleying in an effort to exploit Medvedev's deep positioning on the return. In those moments, Ivanisevic explains that they had 'a little fight'.

"Yeah, yeah, when he gets kind of nervous or something, he's not tossing the ball, just tossing too far in front and rushing. But then, you know, he needs something different. You know, I'm telling him, toss, he needs to process that in his head. Then after he lost the serve, I don't know, had a little fight. He was screaming up there."

Eventually, Djokovic used outside counseling to his advantage, channeling Ivanisevic's words of wisdom into his mind and maintaining his focus during the crucial final few games of the second set - first restoring the break advantage and holding serve for the championship. The Croatian coach admits even a tennis immortal like Djokovic is bound to experience nerves, saying he's human after all.

"But then he focused, broke back, and then he served actually much better next game and game to win the match. But happens a lot to him, just, you know, out of nowhere. When he's a little nervous his ball toss is going too much in front, and then he's bending too much. But it's these things, you know, he's also a human being and can happen also to him, you know."


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