Team Novak Djokovic: Who is in, who is out after massive shake-up of Grand Slam-winning machine’s support staff

Shahida Jacobs
Team Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic has parted ways with several key team members

Team Novak Djokovic has undergone a major revamp over the past 17 months as the tennis great has parted company with several key members and added several new faces to the team.

Since the backend of the 2022 season, Djokovic has split with six members of his trusted squad with head coach Goran Ivanisevic the most prominent name to leave after they went their separate ways in March this year.

So Who Is Out?

Ulises Badio – Physiotherapist

The clear-out started just over a year ago when Ulises Badio left in December 2022 and Djokovic confirmed during his preparation for the 2023 Australian Open that “I ended my cooperation with Uli at the end of last season”.

Badio started working with the tennis great in 2017 and he was part of the reason why Djokovic was always in tip-top shape during the latter part of his career.

Djokovic won multiple Grand Slams during the five-year stint, but Badio also caught the headlines with his controversial drinks preparation for the tennis great. During the 2023 Paris Masters, Badio mixed a drink for Djokovic in the stands but he was then shielded by fellow support staff in an attempt to “hide” something.

It caused a storm on social media and even Djokovic’s wife Jelena hit back stating: “I don’t see anything dodgy. In fact, I see people trying to be private about their business in a world where everyone feels like they have every right to point [the] camera at you whenever they want.”

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Edoardo Artaldi and Elena Capellaro – Managers

Reports emerged in September 2023 that he had parted company with long-time managers Edoardo Artaldi and Elena Capellaro, but it wasn’t until November that Djokovic confirmed their departure.

Artaldi was Djokovic’s agent and chief-of-staff since his Grand Slam breakthrough in 2008 and oversaw all 24 of his major wins. The Italian and his partner Cappellaro turned the Serbian into one of the biggest sports stars ever.

“We stay friends but professionally we decided to go different ways. I’m entering a new chapter about the off-court approach. The transition is not easy but I’m moving forward,” Djokovic said.

He later stated: “I need some time to really think it through, to look at things from a broader perspective – where is my current place in tennis, sports in general, the world in general. There are a lot of things we have to take into consideration so that my brand continues to grow.”

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Goran Ivanisevic – Coach

The biggest shock came at the end of March 2024 as Djokovic dropped a bombshell by announcing he and Goran Ivanisevic had parted ways after a difficult start to the year.

“Goran and I decided to stop working together a few days ago. Our on court chemistry had its ups and downs, but our friendship was always rock solid,” he said.

Ivanisevic started his partnership with Djokovic on a full-time basis in 2019 as he worked alongside Marián Vajda before taking full control when Vajda left in 2021.

Marco Panichi – Fitness trainer

A month after Ivanisevic’s departure, Marco Panichi also left the team after an extended second stint with Djokovic. After working with him during the 2017-18 season, the Italian joined full-time in 2019.

“We reached the summit, won titles, broken records. But most of all, I have enjoyed our most ‘ordinary’ days of training in and out of the gym. Endless hours of ‘carciofini’ and laughs that made me feel super motivated to prepare for success,” the tennis great wrote.

Under Panichi, Djokovic became a machine with his fitness levels considered the best in the business.

Who Is In?

Mark Madden – Agent/Business Advisor

Not long after his split from Artaldi and Capellaro, Djokovic started working with Mark Madden with their first public appearance at the Ryder Cup in September last year.

“My caddy Mark Madden is my business advisor,” he revealed.

As promised during an interview after Artaldi and Capellaro’s departure, he wanted his brand to continue to grow and the Djokovic PR team have worked overtime as he has had several high-profile public engagements including attending the Rugby World Cup final last year, the Ballon d’Or, several big matches in the NBA and MLS, rubbing shoulders with the likes of footballer Lionel Messi and basketball player and compatriot Nikola Jokic.

Carlos Gomez-Herrera – Team manager

Charly – as Djokovic refers to Carlos Gomez-Herrera, was initially the Serbian’s hitting partner and coach, but he took on a new role at the start of the 2024 season.

“He is still part of the team as an assistant coach, but this new role is now his main job. He is doing excellent work, although he doesn’t have much experience. Charly is extremely dedicated and a fast-learner, so he already made strides,” Djokovic said in January.

Nenad Zimonjic – Coach

Shortly after splitting with Ivanisevic, Djokovic started working with former world No 1 doubles player Nenad Zimonjic. He described Zimonjic as “an older brother”.

Even Ivanisevic felt that Zimonjic – who was part of Serbia’s 2010 Davis Cup-winning team – was the perfect man to coach Djokovic, saying “I don’t know for how much longer Novak plans to keep on playing, but the perfect person is with him at the moment – ‘Ziki’.”

Djokovic, though, is yet to confirm if Zimonjic will stay on permanently as his head coach.

Miljan Amanovic and Claudio Zimaglia – Physiotherapists

Miljan Amanovic has been a long-term member of Team Djokovic as he first joined in 2008, but he stopped travelling with the team in 2022 as he now spends most of his time at Novak Tennis Centre in Belgrade.

Following Badio’s departure in 2022, Djokovic turned to Claudio Zimaglia, who had previously worked with the likes of Milos Raonic and Jannik Sinner at the Piatti Tennis Center.

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