The intervention of the coach in an individual sport such as tennis appears as a sort of diminutio of the player himself. The competitive trance, the ability to bring home a match that goes wrong is all of the tennis player, and would be mortified by the active intervention of the coach during the competitive act, giving the coach an additional role during the game, making him become protagonist almost as much as the player himself, perhaps bringing tennis coaches to an even more evident role, as happens in the reviled world of football.
Talking with his close friend Fabio Fognini, Novak Djokovic believes tennis should start allowing on-court coaching, but with one major condition. “I’m always in favour of innovation,” World number one said.
“I think that the tennis industry needs to keep evolving. One thing I’d like to work on is lowering the age of the fan-base, since I’m told that in the US and in Europe it’s usually above 60 years old.
As for rules, I like the experimentation done during the NextGen Finals in Milan. I think that on-court coaching should be implemented, but without letting the crowd hear what is being said, because it would certainly reach the ears of the opponent’s team”.
This past Sunday, the 17-time Grand Slam champion spoke openly about his concerns of potentially being mandated into taking a COVID-19 vaccination before returning to the ATP tour. "I have expressed my views because I have the right to and I also feel responsible to highlight certain essential topics that are concerning the tennis world," the 32-year-old explained to the Associated Press.
"I am no expert, but I do want to have an option to choose what's best for my body. I am keeping an open mind, and I'll continue to research this topic because it is important, and it will affect all of us."