Report reveals incident that dropped hammer on Novak Djokovic-Goran Ivanisevic collab

Djokovic and Ivanisevic reportedly had a major falling out before the Serb decided to end things with his long-time coach.

by Dzevad Mesic
Report reveals incident that dropped hammer on Novak Djokovic-Goran Ivanisevic collab
© Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

Tennis insider Craig Shapiro reports that there was "a big argument" between Novak Djokovic and Goran Ivanisevic in Indian Wells, which pretty much dropped the hammer on their partnership and sealed the fate of what was already starting to be a very rocky relationship.

Although Djokovic wasn't competing at the Miami Masters last week, he was the news of the day after announcing his decision to part ways with his long-time coach Ivanisevic. While Djokovic's split with Ivanisevic came as a shock, there were also some things that indicated that something like that happening was possible. 

After not playing up to his level and expectations in Australia, Djokovic took some time to rest and recharge but then suffered a shock Indian Wells third-round loss to 75th-ranked qualifier Luca Nardi. For Djokovic, it was his third event of the 2024 season and the third time that he didn't win a title. 

Not having a single through the first three months of the season is not a common situation for Djokovic and it was Ivanisevic - with whom he worked for six years - who paid the price. 

But now, a report indicated that there was more behind their split than just Djokovic not playing well. According to Shapiro, Ivanisevic took exception to Djokovic's effort during an Indian Wells practice sessions and the Serb also reacted in a strong way. 

"Been told that everything officially fell apart after a big argument over Novak’s effort in practice in Indian Wells," Shapiro wrote on X.

Novak Djokovic and Goran Ivanisevic
Novak Djokovic and Goran Ivanisevic © Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

Shapiro was the first to reveal than a major Djokovic move was about to drop 

Shapiro's sources appear to be very credible as on March 21st he was the first to report that Djokovic could be looking to make a major change in his coaching setup. At the time, Shapiro's report also indicated that there may be some contradicting views on the Serb's schedule.

"Speaking of Novak, Just learned from inside sources that Novak is “unhappy with his team” and is going to be making some changes. Will focus on the clay, is unsure about playing Wimbledon as he is hyper focused on winning Olympic Gold in Roland Garros," Shapiro wrote on X on March 21st.

Six days later on March 27th, Djokovic announced he and Ivanisevic were no longer collaborating.

Shapiro's post on X from March 21st drew even more attention after the Djokovic announcement as many pointed out how the insider indicated days earlier that something like that was about to happen. 

Novak Djokovic and Goran Ivanisevic
Novak Djokovic and Goran Ivanisevic © Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Djokovic wasn't revealing much initially but then made some revelations

The post in which Djokovic announced his separation from Ivanisevic wasn't a small one but it wasn't a really revealing one either as the record 24-time Grand Slam champion mainly spoke about his success with the Croatian tennis legend and did his best to highlight that he thought very highly of the 2001 Wimbledon champion. 

But many wanted answers as some were quick to point out the frequent on-court arguments between Djokovic and Ivanisevic as something that may have played a role in their decision to go their separate ways. 

On Thursday, Djokovic was visited by Croatian media in Belgrade, and while he greeted them politely, he didn't reveal much. But that same night, Djokovic attended an event in Belgrade and finally offered a glimpse into why his partnership with Ivanisevic ended. 

That was the first time when Djokovic admitted that he and Ivanisevic reached a point of saturation.

"Goran is, first of all, a friend for life. Mine and my family's. Someone who is extremely dear to me. Just because we ended our collaboration, it does not mean that we will stop being friends. We reached a point of saturation, we felt that it was time to part ways after almost six years of partnership where we have written the pages of the history of our sport. We have gone through everything and a lot during our time," Djokovic said during the event.

"We went through many moments that were not at all pleasant for us. Despite everything, he was there for me. What I will remember most is that humanistic relationship towards me. And because of that relationship, the result came as a consequence of all that. I wish him all the best.

"More I don't have a clear idea who could replace him and if it will be anyone. I always had coaches with me, I'm trying to sense what exactly I need."

Novak Djokovic and Goran Ivanisevic
Novak Djokovic and Goran Ivanisevic © Getty Images Sport - Bob Martin

After ending things with Ivanisevic, Djokovic was spotted practicing with Serbian legend and ex-doubles Grand Slam champion Nenad Zimonjic. As it stands now, Zimonjic will accompany Djokovic in Monte Carlo next week and from then they will decide about the prospect of collaborating on a full basis.

Novak Djokovic Goran Ivanisevic