Goran Ivanisevic funnily reveals moment team feared Novak Djokovic would 'kill them'

Ivanisevic tells a hilarious anecdote from Djokovic's 2023 Adelaide International final against Sebastian Korda.

by Dzevad Mesic
Goran Ivanisevic funnily reveals moment team feared Novak Djokovic would 'kill them'
© Getty Images Sport - Mark Brake

Goran Ivanisevic has told a great story related to Novak Djokovic's 2023 Adelaide International win as one piece of advice left the team fearing the Serb "would kill them" but then that same advice led to a major comeback in the final against Sebastian Korda. 

In his 2023 season-opener in Adelaide, Djokovic made the final without a lost set but things weren't looking well for him early on against Korda as the American won a tight opener 7-6 (8) after the Serb missed out on a set point previously. When the second set started, it remained a very tight contest as Djokovic just wasn't able to find a way to break Korda's game. 

Last year, Djokovic's family joined him in Australia and his brother Marko was there with him. At one point during the Adelaide final, a frustrated Djokovic turned to his team seeking advice and he wanted it from none other than his brother. 

Djokovic, who is no stranger to losing his cool when things aren't going pretty well, was then told by Marko that he should try to find his inner piece. That comment left Ivanisevic and the rest of the team pretty stunned as they instantly started fearing Djokovic's reaction and burst into laughter after the Serb turned around. 

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic © Getty Images Sport - Sarah Reed

But Djokovic took that advice calmly and he went on to save a match point and create a comeback 6-7 (8) 7-6 (3) 6-4 win against Korda for the Adelaide title.

"Madness, darkness, tempered, he loses a set, Korda is better at that moment, everything is going crazy, and he is a meter away from us," Ivanisevic told Sport Klub. 

"He asks 'what's wrong,' he asks me, he asks Charlie, and his brother Marko was also there, so at one point he asks: 'Mare, what's wrong?' Mare looks at him for three seconds and tells him: 'Find inner peace' in yourself.

"He turns around... We are down on the floor, I was thinking which of us he was going to kill first... Five minutes passed, he completely changed the course of the match and won. We laughed afterward, that helped him."

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic © Getty Images Sport - Sarah Reed

Ivanisevic thinks Djokovic now needs someone who knows him pretty well 

After six years of a very successful partnership, Ivanisevic and Djokovic ended their partnership in late March. Instantly, many started wondering and became curious about who would be the Serb's next coach. 

When Djokovic showed up with Nenad Zimonjic during a practice session in Belgrade last Friday, that gave the first hint about in which direction the record 24-time Grand Slam champion could go. After arriving in Monte Carlo with Zimonjic earlier this week, it became clear that the world No. 1 was intending to work with the former Grand Slam doubles champion during at least his first Grand Slam tournament of the year. 

While Djokovic hasn't made any official announcements yet, Ivanisevic thinks Zimonjic is the perfect option since the 36-year-old Serb doesn't really have time now to get to know someone and develop a chemistry. 

"I don't know for how long Novak will keep playing, it depends on him, but I think that he is now with the perfect person at this moment - Ziki," Ivanisevic said.

"He is my great friend, we have been through a lot, I love him – he is a great tennis expert. However, the most important thing in this whole story is that he knows Novak.

"Novak doesn't need a new coach now (someone he doesn't already know), until he gets to know him, this (Novak) would go 'crazy' after ten days, and that coach would wonder what was going on. 

"My theory is - a Balkan man can train anyone, but only a person from this area can train a Balkan man. Marjan (Vajda) is Slovak, but we are close, while Boris worked very well with him, as he is a very intelligent person in tennis. He helped him a lot."

Novak Djokovic and Nenad Zimonjic
Novak Djokovic and Nenad Zimonjic © Getty Images Sport - Ronald Martinez

Who will pick up Ivanisevic's after the Croatian's split with Djokovic?

While Djokovic seems to have found a new coach in Zimonjic, Ivanisevic hasn't yet found his new gig. 

Before starting to work with Djokovic, Ivanisevic worked with three very well-known names In 2013, Ivanisevic got into tennis coaching when he started working with Marin Cilic and it was a major success since the following year the Croatian became a Grand Slam champion at the US Open. 

After splitting with Cilic in 2016, Ivanisevic also had stints with Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic. 

Now that Ivanisevic is no longer working with Djokovic, he is definitely one of the biggest coaching names on the market as considering his resume, it will probably be very easy for the 2001 Wimbledon champion to find a new job. 

Goran Ivanisevic
Goran Ivanisevic © Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

It will be interesting to see who will pick up Ivanisevic and make him their new coach.

Novak Djokovic Adelaide International Sebastian Korda