Goran Ivanisevic reveals ‘perfect person’ to coach Novak Djokovic – ‘He knows Novak’s mentality really well’

Shahida Jacobs
Novak Djokovic and his coach Goran Ivanisevic
Novak Djokovic and his coach Goran Ivanisevic

Goran Ivanisevic believes Novak Djokovic has already found the right man to be his next coach as he believes Nenad Zimonjic is the man to fill the role that he left vacant.

Just under five years after they started working together, Djokovic announced last week that he and Ivanisevic had gone their separate ways. The partnership delivered 10 Grand Slams, two ATP Finals titles, seven ATP Masters 1000 trophies and numerous individual records.

No reason was given for the split with the 24-time Grand Slam winner just stating that “Goran and I decided to stop working together a few days ago” adding that “our on-court chemistry had its ups and downs, but our friendship was always rock solid”.

Djokovic later revealed that he is not sure who will be his next coach or if he will even appoint a coach, but he has started to work with fellow Serbian Zimonjic.

The three-time Grand Slam men’s doubles champion has plenty of experience working alongside Djokovic as he coached the Serbia team to glory at the 2020 ATP Cup and also had two stints as the European country’s Davis Cup captain.

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic has a coach working with him in Monte-Carlo after Goran Ivanisevic’s exit

Ivanisevic feels Zimonjic is the ideal person to coach Djokovic.

“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,” he told Sport Klub (translated by Tennis Majors).

“He is a great friend of mine, we went through a lot together and I love him. He has vast tennis knowledge, but what is most important – he knows Novak really well.

“At the moment, Novak doesn’t need someone completely new, who is yet to get to know him. Let’s say 10 days pass, Novak ‘goes crazy’ and this new coach is left wondering what is going on.

“I have a theory – men from the Balkans can coach anyone, but only someone from this, our region can coach a Balkan player. Marian [Vajda] is Slovak, we’re close and we know each other well. Boris [Becker] also worked well with Novak, but his tennis IQ is off the charts.”

Zimonjic, who also won five Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, has already accompanied Djokovic to Monte Carlo for next week’s ATP Masters 1000 event and Ivanisevic highlighted some of the 47-year-old’s strengths.

“Ziki can help him tennis-wise,” he added. “Novak does know everything already, but it will be refreshing for him to maybe hear the same thing from someone else, with a different approach. Ziki knows Novak’s mentality really well, they collaborated in the Davis Cup as well.”