Novak Djokovic news: ‘He chose Goran Ivanisevic,’ says former coach Marian Vajda about split

Novak Djokovic with Marian Vajda

Novak Djokovic’s former mentor Marian Vajda has opened up about the decision to part ways with the world No 1 for a second time, saying the Serbian “wanted to have only one coach”.

The Djokovic-Vajda partnership started back in 2006 and they enjoyed 15 successful years together that yielded 20 Grand Slams.

They did go their separate ways in 2017 as Djokovic struggled with injury and form, but reunited again in 2018 before deciding to call it quits for a second time in December 2021, but it was only made public in March.

A press release at the time thanked the Slovakian for his contributions over the years and added: “Since 2019, Marian has been joined by Goran Ivanisevic who has also played a hugely important role within the coaching team and will continue to work with Novak moving forward.”

Vajda has now given more detail about the split, telling Tennis Majors: “It was a combination of various reasons: we have been together for a really long time and his decisions showed that he wanted to focus on Grand Slam tournaments – that is why he might think that it is not ideal to have so many people in his team. He wanted to reduce it and have only one coach.

“I don’t know for sure, because I never asked him, but I assume from my analysis of his tournament schedule, that he wanted to reduce his team, and he chose Goran Ivanisevic. It did not make sense for a coach to coach him only him on Grand Slams, because a coach needs a long-term plan.”

Vajda, though, is back in the coaching ring as he has signed up to be the head coach to fellow Slovak Alex Molcan and he hopes to meet up with his friend Djokovic.

“Novak and me are still friends, it was an amicable split,” he said. “I told Goran that we will practice together in Paris.

“I did not tell Novak (about working with Molcan), but I did tell Goran, so I am sure Novak knows.”