Novak Djokovic has been working with Goran Ivanisevic since Wimbledon 2019, adding the Croat to his coaching staff to improve his initial shot further and make it more efficient. Before they started the collaboration, Novak and Goran had known each other for years, always staying in touch and seeing each other at tournaments when Goran worked with other players.
Speaking about Novak, Goran said that he met him at Niki Pilic Academy in Germany when Novak was 14. Pilic introduced Djokovic as the future world no. 1, and he played against Ivanisevic for half an hour, having a great time on the court and offering his future coach chocolate when they finished.
Sharing the same language, Novak and Goran stayed in touch until June 2019 when the Serb invited the Croat to work with him at Wimbledon. Goran spent a couple of days with the future champion before leaving the event, joining Novak for the rest of the season and becoming a part of his team.
Goran Ivanisevic spoke about Novak Djokovic and how they met.
Working alongside Marian Vajda, Ivanisevic was in Djokovic's coaching team last year, helping his pupil finish the season at the top and traveling with him to Adelaide in January.
Doing everything right on the practice court, Djokovic and Ivanisevic were ready to chase the ninth Melbourne crown despite an injury. Novak served 100 aces at a single tournament for the first time in a career and defeated seven rivals to claim the 18th Major crown, sharing the celebration with his coach and hoping for more of the same in the rest of the year.
"You know, Novak is like a lion, and you never see a lion drinking a cocktail. He's hungry for blood and wants to beat you and eat you. Novak wants to win, and that's how he performs on the court. When he steps on the court, if you give him a little finger, you are gone.
It's unbelievable to see. I saw Novak for the first time when he was 14 and a half years old at Niki Pilic Academy. I was working with Niki in Germany, and Novak was there. I remember Pilic telling me: 'Listen, there is one kid from Serbia; he's gonna be number one in the world one day.'
I played with him for half an hour. When we finished, Novak gave me chocolate because he thought that I'm tired. He ran and brought it to me. I remember that, and since then, I'm following his career," Goran Ivanisevic said.