Ivanisevic Explains How Djokovic's Training Differed From Big 3 Rivals

Ivanisevic Explains How Djokovic's Training Differed From Big 3 Rivals

by Nurein Ahmed

Goran Ivanisevic shared a symbolic insight on how Novak Djokovic's practice sessions were dissimilar to those of fellow Big 3 rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

The triumvirate of Djokovic, Federer, and Nadal is widely considered the golden era in men's tennis. They have won a combined 66 Grand Slams, among other significant accolades.

While the end goal was the same for all three men, they each walked a different path in pursuing excellence. Each one had a unique trait. Federer is popular for flair and style and often made playing tennis effortless.

Djokovic was the definition of resilience and strategic playing style. He was exceptionally flexible, and defying the laws of physics became his norm. As for Nadal, his relentless determination and intensity made him the ultimate fighter.

Ivanisevic, who coached Djokovic for five years until they parted ways earlier this season, spoke to German tabloid Blick and revealed how his former pupil strived for perfection on the court and had to manage a high-level training regime.

The Croat also explained how the members of the Big 3 were all unique players in their own right, likening Federer's training to that of a relaxed player, which was completely different from Nadal's.

"It's very difficult to identify weak points in him. Is it a weakness if he misses a shot after 25 rallies? But what we did: We worked a lot on his service, especially on the second serve. There was also the positional play at the net and the volleys. It was about details at this high level."

"This is the case with all top players - and yet they are all different: Roger Federer always seemed completely relaxed in training. And Rafael Nadal? He trains so intensely that you feel like he's being chased by 300 lions."

Ivanisevic helped Djokovic win nine Grand Slams between 2019 and 2023. Their last tournament together was the 2024 Irish Wells Open. Djokovic has since been working with countryman Nenad Zimonjic in an interim capacity.


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