Novak Djokovic’s coach reveals when the Serb could retire
Novak Djokovic is currently the Australian Open and Wimbledon champion, as well as being the ATP No.1, and his coach Goran Ivanisevic has had his say on how long the Serb can keep playing for.
Djokovic added the 2001 Wimbledon champion to his coaching team four years ago, and has since collected seven major titles to add to his tally.
“I am sure that he [Djokovic] can go on for a few more years – two, three, four, I can’t put an exact number on it,” said Ivanisevic.
“His body is in perfect shape because he takes care of it so meticulously, he is always introducing something fresh into his regime.”
The Croat spoke of how the 35-year-old managed to win his tenth Australian Open title earlier this year, despite being hampered with a ‘three-centimetre tear’ to his hamstring.
“I mean, he won seven matches in Melbourne with half a leg, playing the way he played. His tennis keeps getting better and this is not just my opinion as his coach. Tennis commentators have noted the same and, most importantly, so have fellow players.”
Ivanisevic added, “For how long can he keep going like this, it depends on his motivations, desire, goals… A few more years for sure.”
Djokovic originally planned to play the sunshine double, but due to his vaccination status had to withdraw from Indian Wells and is likely to have to do the same for Miami Open, which begins in a couple of weeks time.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion confirmed that if he were to have to miss the first two ATP Masters 1000 events of the season he would move to the clay, with Monte Carlo ‘probably’ being his next destination.
Ivanisevic touched on how much Djokovic struggled during the clay court season in 2022, with the Serb damaged by the events that took place in Australia.
“After everything that happened in Australia, he was sick and stuck to his bed for 10 days before the clay court season,” said the coach of Novak Djokovic.
“In Monte Carlo, he could barely breathe, it was a bit better in Belgrade, and then he started to play better – Madrid, Rome, all the way to the Roland Garros quarter-final (against Nadal).”
Ivanisevic continued, “To be honest, I still don’t know what happened there, I still find that match a bit odd. Novak just wasn’t mentally ready to fight Nadal, who was the better player and deserved to win.”
“So this year, the most important thing is to stay healthy and to prepare really well physically. Of course, our main focus is Roland Garros, he needs to be ready to give it his all there. He can do it.”
Despite backing his player’s chances to win a third Roland Garros title, Ivanisevic still believes 14-time champion Rafael Nadal is the favourite.
“Nadal is the favorite on clay as long as he can walk, but if Novak is mentally up for it, he can beat anyone,” claimed the 51-year-old.
Novak Djokovic has the chance to lead the Grand Slam record books for the first time at the Paris major, and it could be a bigger opportunity than ever with Nadal still on the injury sidelines.
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