Novak Djokovic - Wimbledon 2023

Novak Djokovic to ‘lose motivation’ without ‘constant competition’ of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer claims top coach

Novak Djokovic ‘didn’t play his best tennis’ in the Wimbledon final according to Dominic Thiem’s former coach, who claims that the Serb ‘will lose motivation’ without his two biggest rivals.

Djokovic lost his first match at Wimbledon since 2017 when he was beaten by No.1 Carlos Alcaraz in five sets, however Günter Bresnik was not as impressed by the match as many others.

“I cannot agree with that. The first set was totally bad, the fourth okay,” claimed Bresnik. And I was surprised how carelessly Djokovic gave up the tie-break in round two. Novak didn’t play his best tennis throughout the match anyway.”

Djokovic was unbeaten at major tournaments in 2023 heading to SW19, but Thiem’s coach of 17 years believes that the 23-time Grand Slam champion is ‘descending’.

“I have the theory that the rivalries with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray drove him to top performances – of course that also applies to the others,” said the Austrian. “Not only in the match, but also in the time in between, during training or preparing for a match. And this rivalry does not exist with Alcaraz.”

Bresnik continued, “I have always said that Djokovic will lose motivation once there is no more constant competition with Nadal and Federer and he has won 23 Grand Slam titles. Alcaraz, on the other hand, played freely and finds it easier against the older ones, because they are on the decline. The branches are high, but descending.

“I’m still convinced that Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and maybe Murray played better at their best than Alcaraz is doing today.”

The Austrian tennis coach has also labelled Alcaraz as ‘lucky’ for taking the stage when ‘the big three’ are retiring or closing in on retirement.

“He’s [Alcaraz] lucky enough to take the stage when the best of all time are thinking of retiring, or have already done so. The level in the top ten isn’t the best at the moment either, and he’s the only one in his age group,” said Bresnik.

“He could dominate for the next few years but has yet to confirm his successes. Something can always happen, he’s had a few injuries, but it could also just get boring for him.”

The next time that Djokovic and Alcaraz could go head-to-head is at the Cincinnati Masters next month, as that is the only US Open warm-up event that the Serb is playing.

Novak Djokovic at Grand Slams in 2023

Novak Djokovic appears to have saved his best tennis for the major tournaments this year, and despite his recent loss we at Tennishead wanted to look back at his achievements at the three Grand Slams so far in 2023:

Grand Slam win-loss record in 2023: 20-1 (95%)

Australian Open

First Round – Beat Roberto Carballes Baena, 6-3 6-4 6-0

Second Round – Beat Enzo Couacaud, 6-1 6(5)-7 6-2 6-0

Third Round – Beat Grigor Dimitrov (27), 7-6(7) 6-3 6-4

Fourth Round – Beat Alex de Minaur (22), 6-2 6-1 6-2

Quarter-final – Beat Andrey Rublev (5), 6-1 6-2 6-4

Semi-final – Beat Tommy Paul, 7-5 6-1 6-2

Final – Beat Stefanos Tsitsipas (3), 6-3 7-6(4) 7-6(5)

Roland Garros

First Round – Beat Aleksandar Kovacevic, 6-3 6-2 7-6(1)

Second Round – Beat Marton Fucsovics, 7-6(2) 6-0 6-3

Third Round – Beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (29), 7-6(4) 7-6(5) 6-2

Fourth Round – Beat Juan Pablo Varillas, 6-3 6-2 6-2

Quarter-final – Beat Karen Khachanov (11), 4-6 7-6(0) 6-2 6-4

Semi-final – Beat Carlos Alcaraz (1), 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1

Final – Beat Casper Ruud (4), 7-6(1) 6-3 7-5


First Round – Beat Pedro Cachin, 6-3 6-3 7-6(4)

Second Round – Beat Jordan Thompson, 6-3 7-6(4) 7-5

Third Round – Beat Stan Wawrinka, 6-3 6-1 7-6(5)

Fourth Round – Beat Hubert Hurkacz (17), 7-6(6) 7-6(6) 5-7 6-4

Quarter-final – Beat Andrey Rublev (7), 4-6 6-1 6-4 6-3

Semi-final – Beat Jannik Sinner (8), 6-3 6-4 7-6(4)

Final – Beaten by Carlos Alcaraz (1), 1-6 7-6(6) 6-1 3-6 6-4

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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.