“I don’t think Novak Djokovic is done winning” – Serb’s ex-coach downplays concerns over his lack of motivation to keep winning

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Novak Djokovic is not done yet, feels ex-coach

“I don’t think Novak Djokovic is done winning” – Serb’s ex-coach downplays concerns over his lack of motivation to keep winning

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Novak Djokovic’s ex-coach Marian Vajda has downplayed the concerns about the Serb’s lack of form in recent times, emphasizing that his former protege will prove his detractors wrong once again this year.Vajda is one of the most successful coaches in ATP history, having been part of Djokovic’s entourage for over 15 years and leading him to 85 tour titles. Of the World No. 1’s 24 Grand Slam titles, 20 came with Vajda in his corner. The duo finally split up in 2022, following which Vajda became the coach of compatriot Alex Molcan for a brief while.

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Djokovic, meanwhile, has been having a below-par 2024 by his own lofty standards, and is yet to win a title this season. He reached the semifinals of the Australian Open but then faced an early exit in Indian Wells before pulling out of Miami Open. At the ongoing Monte-Carlo Masters, however, the 36-year-old has reached the semifinals and will take on Casper Ruud for a spot in the final.Speaking in a recent interview with Ubitennis, Marian Vajda opened up about the situation, emphasizing that Djokovic will put his main focus on the Slams and the Paris Olympics this year, meaning he will not be too worried about other results.At the same time, the Slovak admitted that the sort of shortened calendar the World No. 1 prefers these days could backfire, as it means he comes into tournaments with less match practice than other players.

“I think Novak is trying to adapt and find the right balance. He can’t imagine playing all the tournaments like he used to. The ATP calendar is too intense, he has to make choices. The greatest motivation for him is the Slams and the Olympics. So he has to find the time to prepare, to train well, but he can’t put the same focus on the other tournaments as well,” Vajda said.

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“The real question, I think, is whether this new method will still succeed in making him win. Because if you play fewer tournaments, you may arrive less trained than those who have played more than you,” he added.

Regardless, Vajda maintained that he has the confidence that the 24-time Grand Slam champion will find a way to make it work, especially considering the experience he has under his belt.

“But Novak knows how to do it, he’s very smart and none of the new top players have his experience, simply because of his age. Also last year he missed several tournaments such as Indian Wells and Miami but then he won Roland Garros, made the final at Wimbledon and won the US Open. So I don’t think he’s done winning and this year he’s going to prove it once again,” Vajda said.

“I was quite surprised” – Marian Vajda on Novak Djokovic’s split with Goran Ivanisevic

Marian Vajda also commented on Novak Djokovic’s recent split with Goran Ivanisevic, a partnership that brought 12 Slam titles to the Serb. Vajda admitted that it was surprising to him, as he and Ivanisevic have always had a comfortable relationship as far as he knew.Vajda wondered if the pressure that coaches in tennis have at the top level got to the Croat in the end, causing him to take a break from the game.

“Well, no, I didn’t expect that. I read about it in the newspapers like everyone else, so my opinion is based only on what I have read in the last few days. I was quite surprised because in the last few years Novak has always been comfortable with him, he was totally part of the team,” Vajda said.

“Maybe the pressure that coaches have to endure, which I mentioned before, has become too tiring for Ivanisevic as well. But I’m not sure about it,” he added.

The World No. 1 has since hired Nenad Zimonjic as his next coach, with whom he has already forged a successful run in Monte-Carlo this week.

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