After coming close to the 'Calendar Grand Slam' last year, Novak Djokovic had to manage some tough times. Due to his choice not to get vaccinated against Coronavirus, the world number 1 was unable to defend his title at the Australian Open and suffered serious damage to his image.
Strict US regulations forced him to miss the Indian Wells and Miami Masters 1000s as well. The 20-time Grand Slam champion looked rusty and drained in Dubai, Monte Carlo and Belgrade, revealing a condition still far from 100%.
The 34-year-old from Belgrade, engaged this week at the Mutua Madrid Open, will try to arrive in full form at Roland Garros, where he will be called to defend the title he won in 2021. In March of this year, Nole has chosen to separate from his historic coach Marian Vajda.
To be sure, the decision had already been made at the end of last year. During a long interview with 'Pravda', the Slovakian coach revealed the reasons for the separation.
Vajda reflects on Novak Djokovic
"We were together for a long time, Novak Djokovic wanted to focus more on Grand Slam tournaments and the team was no longer important in such quantity," Vajda said.
"He wanted to reduce it and have only one coach. He chose Goran IvaniševiÄ. There was no reason for us to be more. However, we have never talked directly about it, I am only based on an analysis of the program that you have prepared for the near future." Vajda was then asked if he still watched his former ward in action.
"Yes, I saw some matches," Vajda said. "Of course, everything is conditioned by the events that took place at the beginning of the season. It didn't help, he didn't play matches." Vajda also believes that the World No. 1 will struggle in Madrid and Rome before heading to Paris.
"I don't know if it's Roland Garros," said the Slovak. "There will be players running and Novak still lacks wrestling experience. It is visible. But he could be ready for Wimbledon. It is his surface, he can use its advantages there." Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic have faced each other 36 times and the players would now face each other after a long time.
The H2H of the two players has a ratio of 25-11 in favor of Novak Djokovic. Andy Murray defeated Denis Shapovalov and Dominic Thiem to face Novak Djokovic, while the Serbian player defeated Gael Monfils. Novak has finally got back on court after getting banned by various countries due to the vaccine regulations.