Marian Vajda: "Novak Djokovic feels great support from me"



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Marian Vajda: "Novak Djokovic feels great support from me"

In June 2006 Marian Vajda became Novak Djokovic's coach, helping to bring him to the top of world tennis. In 2013 Djokovic's new head coach became Boris Becker, but Vajda remained on the staff until 2017, when the new coaches Andre Agassi and Radek Štěpánek arrived.

In 2018 Djokovic terminated the contract with Agassi and Štěpánek and called Vajda as head coach. The Serbian champion was recovering from a serious injury and a long crisis of results. Vajda persuaded him to abandon the vegan diet and to remove his spiritual guide Pepe Imaz.

Speaking with sport.sk, Vajda opened up about his decision to join Djokovic's team: “Before Roland Garros 2006, I was asked by an agency if I was interested in seeing Novak in Paris. I didn't know much about him, because he was only ranked 63rd before the tournament.

I didn't want to coach at that time because I had enough travel, but I made a spontaneous decision. I wanted to show this city for the first time to my youngest daughter Natalia, who was only eleven at that time. I also went to see Djokovic.

He made it to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros and I was travelling to his next event in Hertogenbosch as his coach. We've been working with Novak for so long that it's no longer about coaching, but about trust and energy.

Novak feels great support from me. An important role of the coach is also being mentally involved in the match. My mentee sees how much I live with him and I care about the outcome. It's not just superficial. I'm not going just to training to sit down. When I'm on the grandstand, I'm so interested, like playing on the court with him”.