Novak Djokovic and Goran Ivanisevic - Wimbledon 2023

Novak Djokovic ‘became tired of’ Goran Ivanisevic admits former coach

Novak Djokovic and Goran Ivanisevic’s split has been detailed further, with the Croatian revealing the ‘material fatigue’ that both parties gathered over time.

Djokovic announced that he would be parting ways with Ivanisevic last week, with their last tournament taking place at Indian Wells.

In a new interview with Sport Klub, Ivanisevic went into detail about how the split came about and the ‘material fatigue’ that ensued over time, “I mean, there isn’t really a ‘real’ reason. One reason is indeed a sense of saturation/fatigue, this really was a difficult and intense five years. People forget that period during the coronavirus, they forget that he was at one moment labelled as the greatest villain on the planet because of his vaccination status.

“So then we weren’t allowed in this country, then that country, then we travel over here… I mean, we were always in some sort of limbo – playing, not playing, ready again, then changing restrictions which forbid us from playing and we can’t travel there. Not to mention Australia and all of that mayhem.”

Ivanisevic added, “So yes, we reached a certain level of saturation, as I like to say: ‘material fatigue’, just as a car needs a regular service and tune up, basically I became tired of him, he became tired of me; in any case I didn’t feel like I could help him anymore. Even so, when we add it all up together, we achieved great things for ourselves and for tennis.”

Both Djokovic and Ivanisevic have made it very clear that it is only their professional relationship that has come to an end, with their friendship continuing post coaching split.

The 2001 Wimbledon champion was then asked about when these feelings of fatigue first arose, leading to Ivanisevic suggesting that they should perhaps have split after the US Open.

“No it wasn’t now in America [this year], I mean, it never really ‘occurred’,” explained the 52-year-old. “I first noticed the feeling, if I’m being completely honest, last year in America. I won’t say as far back as Wimbledon, but that Wimbledon, of course the player is always most affected, but as a coach that loss really hit hard.”

He continued, “Of course, all congratulations to [Carlos] Alcaraz, at the end of the day he was the better player, but one or two points here and there it could have easily turned out different, I won’t go into it now. We then went to America, and it goes without saying, an incredible run there – that finals match against Alcaraz in Cincinnati, winning the US Open; however, that’s when I really began to feel that the end was near.

“It was only a question of whether that would be at the end of the year, or at some point in this year, and just now in America when I spoke to Novak he said something good – there is no right or wrong moment, there is only that moment when it happens, when two people agree it is time. Maybe in hindsight you could say it should have been at the end of last year but after the US Open, I had that operation on my knee, I wasn’t there for six to seven weeks, I wasn’t there for Paris Bercy, Turin came after that.”

Djokovic will return to the ATP Tour next week at the Monte Carlo Masters, in his first tournament since splitting from Ivanisevic.

Inside the baseline…

It is very interesting insight given by Goran Ivanisevic, with it being perfectly understandable that himself and Novak Djokovic had reached their limit after five years together. Despite the honesty, it is clear how much respect they still have for each other as friends and it would not be surprising if Ivanisevic still offered Djokovic advice, without being part of his coaching team across the ATP calendar.

READ MORE: Goran Ivanisevic reveals ‘perfect person’ to takeover coaching Novak Djokovic

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.