2020 started really well for Goran Ivanisevic. The former Croatian champion, now coach of the World number 1 Novak Djokovic, got two great satisfactions earlier this year: admission to the Hall of Fame and the victory of the Serbian at the Australian Open.
In a recent interview with Al Jazeera Balkans, Goran Ivanisevic spoke about his relationship with the 17-time Grand Slam champion.
Ivanisevic on Novak Djokovic
"Not that he had a chance (due to the pandemic), but he will realize it.
I sincerely hope that this Corona will disappear. He brought his body to a level when it is difficult for him to match, and his tennis in all segments was great. I think he was he was the only one who could win a calendar Grand Slam.
This, in my opinion, was that year" - Goran Ivanisevic explained. Ivanisevic further added that Roland Garros would have been a huge challenge. "The only problem is Roland Garros," Ivanisevic said. "Everyone is talking about Rafael Nadal, but I was more afraid of Dominic Thiem who is a more awkward tennis player.
Nadal doesn't like to play against Novak Djokovic." The Croatian also recalled the start of his collaboration with the 17-time Grand Slam champion: "It's like I'm a football coach and Real Madrid calls me.
He moves immediately, and on foot if necessary. Novak Djokovic doesn't refuse. I'm used to living with pressure and it would be boring if everything was fine. What can Novak do? He is a person who constantly wants to progress.
We are constantly talking and looking at how we can improve his game." Goran helped Djokovic organize the Adria Tour. "We speak the same language, our mentality is the same, and we used to be one country," Ivanisevic said.
"Now we are all scattered. But there is no room for hatred and jealousy in sports. There are a lot of footballers who play in the same clubs and support each other. Tennis is individual sport, but again it's nice to see when you come to one big tournament, twenty Balkans in the locker room, supporting each other, training.
When playing a match, in those hours, everyone wants to win, but then they're friends again. The next day they train again, so this is a great thing and of course the sport is the only thing that can bring everything closer and unite, to put relations on a normal level, as they should otherwise be."