Ex-coach reveals ‘perfect person’ for Novak Djokovic ahead of clay season

The Serb is currently without a coach after parting ways with Goran Ivanisevic

By Web Desk
April 03, 2024
Novak Djokovic with his potential next manager Nenad Zimonjic. — AFP/File

Novak Djokovic’s former coach Goran Ivanisevic named Nenad Zimonjic as the "perfect person" to replace him as the Serb's mentor ahead of the clay season.

Ivanisevic, who bagged the singles title at Wimbledon in 2001 after finishing runner-up in 1992, 1994, and 1998, became a part of Djokovic's team in 2019 and helped the 36-year-old clinch nine majors and a total of 24 titles before parting ways after their five-year working relationship.

Ivanisevic has plenty of working experience with Djokovic and the Croatian ended up suggesting Zimonjic to be the Serb’s next coach as the clay season is about to begin and the 24-time Grand Slam winner is still without a mentor.

“I don’t know for how much longer Novak plans to keep on playing, but the perfect person is with him at the moment – Ziki,” Ivanisevic told Sport Klub (translated by Tennis Majors).

“He is a great friend of mine, we went through a lot together and I love him. He has vast tennis knowledge, but what is most important – he knows Novak really well.

“At the moment, Novak doesn’t need someone completely new, who is yet to get to know him. Let’s say 10 days pass, Novak ‘goes crazy’ and this new coach is left wondering what is going on.

“I have a theory – men from the Balkans can coach anyone, but only someone from this, our region can coach a Balkan player. Marian [Vajda] is Slovak, we’re close and we know each other well. Boris [Becker] also worked well with Novak, but his tennis IQ is off the charts.”

Zimonjic, who claimed five Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, has already played alongside Djokovic in the past and Ivanisevic believed that their working relationship would be good as they know each other.

“Ziki can help him tennis-wise,” he added. “Novak does know everything already, but it will be refreshing for him to maybe hear the same thing from someone else, with a different approach. Ziki knows Novak’s mentality really well, they collaborated in the Davis Cup as well.