‘Novak Djokovic was nothing extraordinary,’ says coach as he recalls first meeting
Marian Vajda says he did not consider Novak Djokovic to be ‘anything extraordinary’ upon their first meeting.
Vajda is the long-term coach of the world number one after first encountering him 15 years ago.
However, he says that when they first met even his young daughter could see what Novak Djokovic had to work on, which he has obviously now done to spectacular affect.
“I saw him [Novak] straight away on the court, he was practicing – and it was nothing extraordinary,” Vajda told the Changeover Chat show.
“Actually, it’s also a funny story, I had my daughter, who was beside me standing, and I asked her, ‘What do you think of this guy?’”
“She says, ‘Daddy, he looks good, but his backhand doesn’t work.’”
Despite that first impression, Vajda also said he immediately saw plenty to work with in Djokovic’s game.
“He was playing really good. He was a hell of an athlete. I saw his athleticism was incredible, nice and solid, and everything.
“I saw some technical gaps there. But overall, he was a competitor.
“I saw that he doesn’t give up any ball, and I see that his game is in frame, and he sees the ball perfectly clean and hits it clean.”
- Join the tennishead CLUB and receive £250/$350 of FREE GEAR including ASICS Gel-Resolution 8 trainers, shorts, shirt & socks
- Keep up to date with the breaking news & tennis action at our tennis news section
- Win amazing prizes by entering our competitions
- Learn more about your favourite players including Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic
- Check out the latest tennis equipment with our tennis gear reviews
- Receive regular updates in our legendary free newsletter
- Read in depth features with stunning photography in tennishead magazine
- Can’t visit the tournaments you love? Check out our guide on how to watch tennis on TV
- Don’t miss a thing with our Live Scores service
- Follow tennishead on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube
- EXCLUSIVE 5% DISCOUNT for all tennishead readers on tennis rackets, balls, clothing, shoes & accessories with All Things Tennis, our dedicated tennis gear partner