'Very Demanding': Djokovic's Ex-Coach Ivanisevic Details Working With Him

'Very Demanding': Djokovic's Ex-Coach Ivanisevic Details Working With Him

by Zachary Wimer

Goran Ivanisevic worked with Novak Djokovic for six years, and he recently talked about what it's like to coach arguably the best player ever.

The Croatian was a great tennis player himself at his peak, and he's encountered some of the best players in the world. Djokovic, though, is arguably the best player ever, so working with him was quite special for Ivanisevic.

It's not often that you get a chance to work with such a tremendous player, so it was a huge privilege for Ivanisevic, but the partnership ended recently after six years.

Speaking with Blick after their split, the Croatian detailed what it was like to work with Djokovic for so many years, explaining that the expectations might be much different from working with any other player on the ATP Tour.

"Well, when you train Novak Djokovic, anything other than winning the title at any tournament is a failure. That's a lot of pressure to deal with. Novak is very demanding. Something new has to happen every day, he always wants to get better. If you can't handle it, it's better not to take the job at all."

While it was quite tough, some things helped Ivanisevic. Speaking the same language and hailing from a similar background certainly helped the two make a connection quicker than if that wasn't the case.

"The language certainly helped me – we had no barrier between us. With Novak it's like this: you only have a few seconds to explain something to him. He then wants to know 15 things from you at once, but you only have three seconds to do it. So you have to try to summarize everything in some clever way. It can be hard, but I enjoyed it with Novak."

For now, Ivanisevic remains without another protege, while Djokovic remains without a coach. The Serbian hinted that he may end his career without starting to work with someone again, while the Croatian will likely take a break before mentoring someone again.


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