Ivan Ljubicic: Roger Federer influenced tennis more than Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic


Ivan Ljubicic: Roger Federer influenced tennis more than Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic

Ivan Ljubicic acknowledged Roger Federer is not the most successful player in tennis history but also highlighted that no player had more influence on tennis than the Swiss had. During his appearance on Nova TV, Ljubicic - who coached Federer for six seasons - explained why the Swiss cannot be ruled out from the GOAT contention just because he won't finish with the all-time Grand Slam record.

Federer finished his career with 20 Grand Slams, while Nadal and Djokovic are tied on the first place with 22 Majors each. I don't think it can be exclusively seen through the Grand Slams and I don't think Roger will end up being the most successful of all time.

He isn't already. Will he be the greatest? Now we have to see what exactly that means. Greatness and successfulness are not, don't have to be the same thing. If they are, then it definitely won't be Roger. And if we talk about some other topics, what influence did someone have on sport, I don't think that either Nadal or Djokovic can measure up to Roger's influence on tennis," Ljubicic told Nova TV.

Ljubicic on how it felt to work with Federer

In 2016, Federer added Ljubicic to his coaching staff. Up until the moment Federer retired in 2022, Ljubicic worked with the Swiss. In an interview with Tennis Majors last September, Ljubicic said Federer was never tough to work with.

"It is just that you have the feeling that he soaks up everything you say and he is always open to trying new things. If I told him to try a two-handed backhand, he would try it. Roger is aware that his strong character and charisma can cause people to be in awe of him, so he is trying to make it easy on the coaches: he really wants to hear the truth, to hear what is it that you really think and he is not interested in you telling him what you think he would want to hear.

He always made an effort to communicate that to us, that we can tell him everything we think, and that then it is up to him to process that information," Ljubicic told Tennis Majors.

Roger Federer Rafael Nadal Novak Djokovic