Goran Ivanisevic reveals real truth in Novak Djokovic screaming, yelling at him

Ivanisevic addresses the thing that he and Djokovic had to often hear about in the last few years of their partnership.

by Dzevad Mesic
Goran Ivanisevic reveals real truth in Novak Djokovic screaming, yelling at him
© Getty Images Sport - Justin Setterfield

Goran Ivanisevic says Novak Djokovic's shouting at the team was blown out of proportions by the fans and media as the Serb's now-former coach insists there were numerous times when stuff like that happened because it was a misunderstanding or a situation in which they couldn't hear each another clearly. 

In the last few years of Ivanisevic and Djokovic's collaboration, a lot was made about the Serb's yelling and shouting toward his team, particularly the Croatian tennis legend. To no one's surprise, some were quick to suggest that Djokovic's behavior toward Ivanisevic may have made the 2001 Wimbledon champion feel disrespected and played a role in their split that was publicly announced last Wednesday. 

After dismissing concerns regarding Djokovic's shouting several times during his tenure with the world No. 1, Ivanisevic has reiterated the same message even now that they are not working together anymore. 

"People say that we had a turbulent relationship. Anyone who followed Novak with Becker and Marjan (Vajda) knows that this is how he works," Ivanisevic told Sport Klub

"His communication on the court - during a match, it didn't bother me at all, his shouting, because I didn't even hear half of it, those are big courts. He never liked to come to us to ask, he always liked to shout from 20-30 meters away, of course we don't hear him..."

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic © Getty Images Sport - Daniel Pockett

Ivanisevic explains what was really happening during Djokovic's outbursts 

When something is not going well on the court or Djokovic feels dissatisfied with something, he never shies away from making that clear and letting it out of himself. In such cases, the 36-year-old usually turns to his team to seek answers. 

According to Ivanisevic, there were many times when he would point out to Djokovic what was the reason behind a mistake or a lost game but he just wouldn't clearly, or by the time the Serb would understand, yelling and shouting had already occurred. 

"For example, he loses his serve, a difficult game in which he serves phenomenally, but he misses two or three forehands, his rival returns well. Now he shouts - what about the service?! I can't tell him in five seconds: 'There is nothing wrong with the serve, but with the forehand.' While I'm thinking about how I'm going to tell him, and he doesn't hear me, he's already asking - what's wrong with my return?!" Ivanisevic explained. 

"We didn't solve either the forehand or the serve, which he thinks is not good for him, but it is. I always have the thinnest voice, so I tell Miljan, who has the most penetrating voice. Well, the main thing was that he wins the match... We have to react in three seconds, and we are under stress."

Goran Ivanisevic
Goran Ivanisevic © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Ivanisevic: When Djokovic was calm, even then people wouldn't be satisfied 

Concluding that topic, Ivanisevic funnily pointed out that even when a Djokovic match would go pretty calmly without the Serbian tennis star much reacting, people would assume that an argument or something like that may have happened before the match. 

"It wasn't fine even when he doesn't shout - then they say, 'Oh, now he doesn't shout, something must have happened between them... It never worked with people," Ivanisevic concluded. 

During the interview, Ivanisevic also very candidly spoke about Djokovic's perception and worldwide image.

Goran Ivanisevic and Novak Djokovic
Goran Ivanisevic and Novak Djokovic © Getty Images Sport - Justin Setterfield

It is not a secret that Djokovic has been portrayed as a villain for pretty much his entire career. Since 2020 and the pandemic, the criticism and media scrutiny that were coming the Serb's way sky-rocketed. 

But over these last couple of years, Djokovic also set some of the biggest records in tennis as he now owns a record 24 Grand Slams and he is also the first-ever tennis player male or female to spend over 400 weeks at the world No. 1 spot. 

Addressing Djokovic's image, Ivanisevic says a lot of the criticism and scrutiny coming the Serb's way can be linked to him coming from the Balkans. Also, Ivanisevic added he is fully certain that Djokovic's astonishing success would be much more celebrated and recognized if he was a British player for example.

"And he said that recently - it has to do with where he's from, and no one can convince me it's not like that. If he were English, they would build another palace for him next to Buckingham Palace... It matters from where you are from, we from these parts - you and us - you have to do something twice or three times to be recognized, it's that simple," Ivanisevic explained.

Goran Ivanisevic Novak Djokovic