Novak Djokovic - Roland Garros 2023

Novak Djokovic ‘not an easy guy’ claims coach Goran Ivanisevic

Novak Djokovic has been described as ‘not an easy guy’ by his coach Goran Ivanisevic, who also praised the Serb after his historic triumph at Roland Garros.

Djokovic beat Casper Ruud in the Roland Garros final on Sunday, and by doing so became the first 23-time men’s singles Grand Slam champion in history.

The Serb was going into the clay major in poor form, and Ivanisevic suggested that Djokovic’s mind is different when it comes to the Grand Slams, “He has this software in his head that he can switch when a Grand Slam comes.”

Ivanisevic continued, “Grand Slams are a different sport compared to other tournaments. He switches his software. The day we arrived here (in Paris), he was better, he was more motivated and he was more hungry.’

“Every day he played better and better. I thought against [Carlos] Alcaraz for one-and-a-half hours he played unbelievably smart and unbelievable tennis.”

In his post-match speech on Court Philippe Chatrier, Djokovic alluded to not always being the easiest person to work with and his coach of four years has commented on this.

“He’s not an easy guy, let’s put it this way. Especially when something’s not going his way,” said Ivanisevic. “But we are here to put our back in and to get beaten. That’s what the team is for. We are here for him to feel better and for him to perform better. Sometimes it is not easy. Sometimes it’s very complicated.”

The Croatian added, “It has not been an easy journey. We started in Monte-Carlo, then Banja Luka. Rome was a little better but he was still away from his real form. He was torturing us, taking our nails off.”

Despite listing his frustrations of Djokovic, Ivanisevic claims that the 23-time Grand Slam champion has made him ‘a better coach’ after winning the US Open with Marin Cilic in 2014.

“He has made me a better coach. I had success before with Marin Cilic and I have been a lot of times on the court with him but on the opposite side,” explained Ivanisevic.

“Every day is a new challenge. He makes you motivated. You have to be motivated more and more every day. Every day it’s something new. A lot of times I disagree, but this is the job. You can’t agree with everything, and we are functioning very well as a team.”

Novak Djokovic and Goran Ivanisevic Partnership Achievements

Djokovic and Ivanisevic have worked together since June 2019, and have collected eight Grand Slam titles in that time.

Here is their list of biggest achievements:

  • Three Australian Open titles (2020, 2021 & 2023)
  • Two Roland Garros titles (2021 & 2023)
  • Three Wimbledon titles (2019, 2021 & 2022)
  • ATP Finals title (2022)
  • Five ATP Masters 1000 titles (Paris Masters 2019, Italian Open 2020, Canadian Open 2020, Paris Masters 2021 & Italian Open 2022)

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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.