Home » Australia ‘mayhem’ blamed for Novak Djokovic coaching divorce

Australia ‘mayhem’ blamed for Novak Djokovic coaching divorce

Responding to speculation about what caused the coaching break-up after a successful five-year coaching relationship in which Djokovic won 12 grand slam titles, Ivanisevic said the truth was the pair had simply grown tired of each other after an intense few years both on and off the court.

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“There isn’t really a “real” reason,” Ivanisevic told Tennis Majors.

“One reason is indeed a sense of saturation/fatigue, this really was a difficult and intense five years.

“People forget that period during the coronavirus, they forget that he was at one moment labelled as the greatest villain on the planet because of his vaccination status.

“So then we weren’t allowed in this country, then that country, then we travel over here… I mean, we were always in some sort of limbo – playing, not playing, ready again, then changing restrictions which forbid us from playing and we can’t travel there.”

While it was quite clear the 2001 Wimbledon champion was referring at least in part to Djokovic’s nightmare trip to Australia in 2022 in which he was held in Covid detention and had his visa cancelled ahead of the Australian Open, Ivanisevic made sure to point the finger directly at Australia.

“Not to mention Australia and all of that mayhem,” he said.

“So yes, we reached a certain level of saturation, as I like to say: ‘material fatigue’, just as a car needs a regular service and tune up, basically I became tired of him, he became tired of me; in any case I didn’t feel like I could help him anymore.

“Even so, when we add it all up together, we achieved great things for ourselves and for tennis.”

Indeed Ivanisevic claimed that the pair should have stopped working together six months earlier after Djokovic won the 2023 US Open, his 24th grand slam title.

“We then went to America, and it goes without saying, an incredible run there – that finals match against (Carlos) Alcaraz in Cincinnati, winning the US Open; however, that’s when I really began to feel that the end was near.

“It was only a question of whether that would be at the end of the year, or at some point in this year, and just now in America when I spoke to Novak he said something good – there is no right or wrong moment, there is only that moment when it happens, when two people agree it is time.

“Maybe in hindsight you could say it should have been at the end of last year but after the US Open, I had that operation on my knee, I wasn’t there for six to seven weeks, I wasn’t there for Paris Bercy, Turin came after that.”

In the end the pair suddenly decided to part ways during a recent tough trip to America in which Djokovic, 36, was eliminated early at Indian Wells before pulling out of the Miami Open.

Djokovic is now on the lookout for a new coach ahead of the French Open in May.

There is speculation he will trial the coaching of former doubles world No. 1 Nenad Zimonjic at the Monte Carlo Masters which gets underway in April. The pair have been spotted working together in recent weeks.