Loss of ‘match toughness’ the reason for Novak Djokovic struggles, says coach

Marian Vajda and Novak Djokovic

Marian Vajda has revealed the conversations that helped restore Novak Djokovic to the top.

The Serb rehired Vajda early in 2018 after splitting from then-coach Andre Agassi, and he has not looked back since.

However, Vajda admits that Djokovic was a long way short of his brilliant best when they reunited, and not just because of his elbow injury.

“I told him: You have it inside you. But now we have to find our daily routines again.

“Now we have to face these tough moments. On a physical level he was missing something.

“He had done fitness, but the match toughness was missing. Now on a muscle level he is much better again.

“The most important thing, however, was mental.

“The big question matter was: for how much time could he stand losing? He needed wins.”

Vajda also pinpointed the tournament that turned Djokovic’s season around after his shock French Open exit to Marco Cecchinato.

“The question mark was then if he would play Halle or Queens before Wimbledon.

“We have chosen Queen’s, and when he stepped on grass for the first time, he forgot everything that happened before.

“He suddenly felt well again. Look, forgetting is a big quality. Although Novak lost the final to Cilic, that tournament gave him a lot of confidence.”

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