Novak Djokovic started yelling at coach Goran Ivanisevic despite an early lead in the third set against Jiri Lehecka, telling his coach not to tell him that everything is fine when he feels it is not and wants answers from him.
After losing a tight second set in a tie-break, Djokovic started the third set with a 3-0 lead. When Djokovic got to the bench at the changeover, he was furious with Ivanisevic but also with Serbian United Cup team captain Viktor Troicki. Djokovic seemingly wasn't happy with how his serve was working and he wanted some answers.
"I know brother, but everything is not okay when I am asking, everything okay, what? If I am asking you everything cannot be okay," Djokovic could be heard telling Ivanisevic in Serbian. But Ivanisevic kept insisting that everything was indeed fine, telling Djokovic: "You are playing good tennis. I can't tell you anything when the service is good (swears). You didn't do anything wrong. You only tossed the ball too low at 30-15, everything else was great, great throwing, great serving."
Novak pobesneo na Ivaniševića— sportsscandals (@sportsscandals1) January 2, 2024
Video: Sportklub pic.twitter.com/clFsmd884y
Djokovic survived the Lehecka challenge
Lehecka, ranked at No. 31 in the world, competed well against Djokovic and even managed to take a set off the Serb and make him frustrated. But in the end, record 24-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic found a solution and beat Lehecka 6-1 6-7 (3) 6-1.
In the first set, Djokovic claimed back-to-back breaks in the fourth and sixth games to win five games in a row and win the opener in style.
After winning the first set, Djokovic also earned an early second-set break and opened a 3-1 lead. Down by a set and a break, Lehecka responded by claiming back-to-back breaks and going from 1-3 to 5-3 in the second set. Although Djokovic managed to get the break and force a tie-break, he still ended up losing the set after Lehecka won three consecutive points from 4-3 in the tie-break to force a decider. After losing a tight second set, Djokovic impressively bounced back at the start of the third set as he won the opening five games of the set before converting his first match point in the seventh game.
In the end, Serbia defeated the Czech Republic 2-1 and made the United Cup quarterfinal.