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

Kevin Palmer
Nenad Zimonjic with Novak Djokovic
Nenad Zimonjic with Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic has hinted that he may not hire a permanent coach to replace the departed Goran Ivanisevic, but he is calling on the support of an old friend as he prepares for next week’s Monte-Carlo Masters.

Former Wimbledon champion Ivanisevic became the Serbian’s main coach in March 2022, having previously worked alongside Djokovic’s long-time mentor Marian Vajda for several years.

It proved to be a highly successful partnership, but Djokovic revealed they are no longer working together in a warm Instagram message.

“I remember clearly the moment I invited Goran to be part of my team. It was back in 2018, and Marian and I were looking to innovate and bring some serve magic to our duo,” said Djokovic.

“In fact, not only did we bring serve, but also lots of laughter, fun, year-end no1 rankings, record-breaking achievements and 12 more Grand Slams (and a few finals) to the count since then. Did I mention a bit of drama too?

“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.

“In fact, I am proud to say (not sure he is) that apart from winning tournaments together, we also had a side battle in (the board game) Parchisi going on… for many years. And – that tournament never stops for us. Thanks for everything my friend. Love you.”

The 24-time Grand Slam champion also suggested he might not look to hire a full-time replacement for Ivanisevic, which sparked some suggestions that he may not be playing professional tennis for much longer.

READ MORE: When could Jannik Sinner replace Novak Djokovic as the new world No 1?

“I still don’t have a clear idea who a new coach would be, or whether there will be one at all,” stated Djokovic.

“I’ve had coaches since I was a kid, now I am trying to feel by myself what I need, what I feel most comfortable with. You will be informed in case someone joins the team.”

Djokovic has always had a close-knit team and he is reluctant to welcome new faces into his world, so it was not a surprise to see his old friend Nenad Zimonjic working with him during his practice sessions in Monte-Carlo.

Zimonjic was a doubles specialist during his career and reached the world No 1 ranking in that version of the sport, playing alongside Djokovic in the Serbian Davis Cup team.

He was a three-time Grand Slam champion, winning the Wimbledon doubles title in 2008 and 2009 and backing that up with a win at the French Open in 2010. He also won the end-of-season ATP Finals doubles title on two occasions.

Zimonjic played doubles with Djokovic at the 2016 Olympic Games and had a spell as Serbia’s Davis Cup captain, where he again worked alongside Djokovic.

Djokovic has yet to confirm whether Zimonjic will be his full-time coach moving forward, but he was playing a role in the practice sessions as the world No 1 hit with top ten friend and rival Holger Rune.

Zimonjic was also working with Djokovic as he trained in Belgrade ahead of flying into Monte-Carlo last week and the bond the pair have had for many years should ensure he fits neatly into ‘Team Novak’.