How difficult is ‘crazy’ Novak Djokovic to deal with? His coach Goran Ivanisevic shares his thoughts
Goran Ivanisevic and the rest of Novak Djokovic’s coaching team felt the full wrath of the tennis great’s anger during the 2023 Australian Open final, but Ivanisevic insists “it’s okay” as long as he wins Grand Slams.
Djokovic always keeps up his end of bargain by winning majors – in fact he won a 10th title at Melbourne Park with victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final on Sunday to take his Grand Slam tally to 22 Grand Slams.
If you read the scoreline, a 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5) win would suggest it was a breeze in the park for the Serbian and, for most part it was, but that doesn’t mean Djokovic didn’t lash out against Ivanisevic and company.
His team were on the receiving end during the second set as the Serbian made some uncharacteristic errors, but once the match was complete he ran over to his team and let out all the emotions, and all was forgiven.
During the trophy presentation ceremony Djokovic was quick to apologise and thanked them for sticking with despite being difficult to deal with.
Angry Djokovic is the best Djokovic pic.twitter.com/nzyW43g7lI
— Sandi (@realsplusk7) January 29, 2023
During the post-match press conference, Ivanisevic was asked “Is he really that difficult?”
“I mean, I can talk about that for 10 days. I mean, I was tennis player. I was also little bit crazy. I understand how he feels. I understand the emotions,” the 2001 Wimbledon winner replied.
“This is [a] final of [a] Grand Slam. I don’t mind. If this going to help him, we already talk it so many times. I don’t mind. I told him, You can tell me whatever you want, but you have to win, otherwise you have a problem. As long as he wins, is okay.
“But he’s okay. Last year was not easy. Nothing is easy. But he’s the same like if you are a coach, football coach of Real Madrid, you need to have the pressure. If you don’t win one, two games, you get fired.
“In his tennis life, it’s nice to be in the final, but in the end you need to win. Only Grand Slam counts, only record counts. But it’s a good challenge. I already used to it. I am four years there in the team. It’s okay. I’m used to it.”
Djokovic now sits on 22 Grand Slams alongside Rafael Nadal while Sunday’s success also saw him return to the top of the ATP Rankings for a seventh stint.
Many believe Djokovic will go down as the greatest tennis player of all time (GOAT) so did Ivanisevic learn anything new from the man during his latest success at Melbourne Park?
“You learn all the times. He’s getting crazier and crazier, I can say that (laughter). It’s no end of the field of craziness. In a positive way, I mean,” the Croatian answered.
“I mean, the guy is unbelievable. I don’t know how to describe in the words. I thought I saw everything, and then you see this. Probably I going to see something else.
“Unbelievable. I know he’s emotional on the court. Doesn’t matter. We talk, he talks. But, like I said before, how he won the tournament, how he played also today in the moments was good tennis, in the moments was bad tennis, but doesn’t matter, overall he won 10 Australian Opens.”
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