Serena Williams' childhood coach identifies what made Novak Djokovic great champion


Serena Williams' childhood coach identifies what made Novak Djokovic great champion
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Serena Williams' childhood coach Rick Macci says Novak Djokovic "made himself into a champion" and also identified the reasons behind the Serb's long-standing tennis dominance. When Djokovic arrived on the tennis scene, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were already doing major things.

In 2008, Djokovic officially put himself on the map when he became a Grand Slam champion at the Australian Open. Since then, Djokovic has won 23 more Grand Slams and today he is the first-ever man with 24 Majors. This year alone, 36-year-old Djokovic won three Grand Slams and broke several records.

What Djokovic is doing at 36 has never been seen before. “First off, mentally he’s a different animal and that’s always the first that people have to understand when they look at greatness. I’m sure when he’s retired the stories that he will tell about going in the mountains, hanging out with the wolves, all the meditation he does, the visualization.

People have no idea what this guy does. All I see is what they see on television. But behind the curtain of greatness, people just have no idea, you know we might have a little better idea but this is a unique person in that regard.

So mentally it will be interesting to see how he elaborates on all that stuff," Macci said on the Match Point Canada podcast, via Sportskeeda.

Macci on the second reason behind Djokovic's dominance

Djokovic's extraordinary movement and footwork is well-documented and Macci believes that component of the Serb's game has also played a major part in his success.

“Number two, the movement, the guy is made of rubber, he’s a rubber band man, so what that means is once he gets going, he can counter punch quality after quality and you see that in Alcaraz. They can counter off a quality [shot] better than anybody.

So that’s another thing, while the rest of the world might chip it or lob it, he can hit a winner. That’s what people don’t understand, these minute-level details," Macci said. After winning the ATP Finals, Djokovic warned his rivals that he is still feeling and that he will be aiming for more success in 2024.

Serena Williams Novak Djokovic Rick Macci