Serena Williams' ex-coach reveals Serena-like approach Novak Djokovic is taking

At 36, Djokovic is still a dominant force on the Grand Slam level.

by Dzevad Mesic
Serena Williams' ex-coach reveals Serena-like approach Novak Djokovic is taking
© Getty Images Sport - Shaun Botterill

Rennae Stubbs thinks Novak Djokovic is taking a Serena Williams-like approach in prioritizing Grand Slam tournaments in the latter stages of his career. This year, 36-year-old Djokovic appeared in just 12 tournaments and four of those tournaments were Grand Slams.

That tactic worked out extremely well for Djokovic, who won three Slams and ended as runner-up only at Wimbledon. After Wimbledon, Djokovic only appeared in four tournaments and won as many titles - the US Open, the ATP Finals, and the Masters events in Cincinnati and Paris.

Djokovic also represented Serbia in the Davis Cup Final 8 but that's a team event. Stubbs, a former five-time Grand Slam champion in doubles, worked with Williams during the American's farewell at the 2022 US Open.

Stubbs: Just like Williams, Djokovic is prioritizing Slams at this stage of his career

"Look at Serena, Serena didn't play after the US Open for like seven years maybe.

In the later part of her career, she didn't even play the WTA Finals. She was like 'Eh I'm done.' After the US Open she used to literally hang her rackets up for the year, which a lot of people were like 'you weren't supporting the tour.'

I'm like she was supporting the tour for almost 20 years, like give me a break. If she wants to take two months off of competition she can come back and win the Australian Open, good for her. A lot of players still obviously continue to play after the US Open because they wanted to make the championships, the WTA finals and they want the money and it helps their ranking.

And Serena's like 'My priority is to win Grand Slams so for me to go into the Australian Open being rested and then winning Wimbledon and everything else is my priority' and that's what Novak's doing right now," Stubbs said on the Rennae Stubbs Tennis Podcast.

Throughout 2023, Djokovic highlighted multiple times that at this stage of his career his biggest priority is being at his best come Slam time.

Serena Williams Novak Djokovic