Ana Ivanovic applauded Novak Djokovic's astonishing longevity and revealed that Rafael Nadal told her in 2008 that he didn't know how long he would be able to last in pro tennis. Ivanovic, who turned 36 this month, retired from pro tennis after the 2016 season.
15 years ago, Ivanovic and Djokovic became Grand Slam champions in the first half of the 2008 season - Ivanovic won the French Open while Djokovic won the Australian Open. 15 years later, Djokovic is coming off a 2023 season in which he won three Grand Slams.
On the other side, Ivanovic decided to retire seven years ago due to constant injury issues. When it comes to Nadal, the 37-year-old Spaniard hasn't played since this year's Australian Open but he is hoping to be ready for the start of the 2024 season.
Ivanovic: Nadal told me in 2008 he didn't know how long he'd last
"Honestly, we didn't think it would last this long. What is really fascinating to me is how he manages to keep his body fit and healthy. It's a hard sport, it has a big impact on the body, we can see it from Roger and Rafa.
I remember Rafa telling me in 2008, 'I don't know how long I will last', and here is Novak, fighting. The fact that Novak is so strong and healthy is really fascinating to me, kudos to him for that," Ivanovic said during her appearance on the Alesto podcast.
A decade and a half ago, Djokovic and Ivanovic were one of the most talented young players in the game. Now, they are in their mid-thirties and have families. When asked if something has changed since they were youngsters, Ivanovic confirmed that's absolutely the case. "Definitely, we all mature and some things go with age, experiences.
He has definitely changed. And he is a man, he is no longer a child and what we were when we were 18 years old. I think we are all constantly changing," Ivanovic said.