Ex-Olympic winner jokes Novak Djokovic should hit up Roger Federer after shock move

Monica Puig jokes a Djokovic and Federer collab would be quite something after the Serb fired Goran Ivanisevic.

by Dzevad Mesic
Ex-Olympic winner jokes Novak Djokovic should hit up Roger Federer after shock move
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

2016 Rio Olympics gold medalist Monica Puig jokingly suggested Novak Djokovic should look at hiring Roger Federer before getting serious about the Serb's coaching decision, while Andy Roddick suggested that the world No. 1 might explore getting back to working with Marian Vajda.

On Wednesday, the tennis world was rocked by the news of Djokovic ending his five-year partnership with coach Ivanisevic. During their stint, the two enjoyed massive success together as the 36-year-old Serb won 12 Grand Slams during that period and now owns an all-time record of 24 Majors.

To no one's surprise, many instantly started wondering who would be Djokovic's next coach. Puig, a former world No. 27 who retired in 2022 after years of struggling with injuries, mentioned Federer as a potential replacement since the Swiss tennis icon is retired and sitting at home. 

"It's a little bit of a shock, but really curious to see what he's gonna do now. I mean, we're even joking about in the green room that Roger's not doing anything, maybe it could be a good collab," Puig said on Tennis Channel. 

"But I think, Djokovic knows what he's doing. He's been doing it long enough to know what he's best for him at this point of his career."

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer
Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Puig on Djokovic's decision: Not something I would do 

While Djokovic's start of the year hasn't been perfect - he lost in the Australian Open semifinal before suffering a shock Indian Wells Masters third-round exit - no one really expected him to make such a radical move and go separate ways with Ivanisevic. 

But the record 24-time Grand Slam champion might have felt that he needed shock therapy or even that he could not improve or win with Ivanisevic anymore.

Novak Djokovic and Goran Ivanisevic
Novak Djokovic and Goran Ivanisevic© Getty Images Sport - Shaun Botterill

For Puig, it was a shock decision and something she would not for the simple reason because whoever Djokovic hires now, it will take time for the two to develop chemistry, unless it's someone with who the 36-year-old already worked.

"It's not something that I would do, definitely. It's something that I would do more in the offseason, because you have a little bit more time to get to know somebody, see what works, see what doesn't. Sometimes, the way a coach says something may not sit right with a player, and vice versa," Puig explained.

Roddick on Djokovic splitting with Ivanisevic 

Roddick, the 2003 US Open champion, was also pretty shocked with Djokovic's decision as the American tennis legend highlighted that these are not the kind of moves that players look to make around this time of the year. With that being said, Roddick suspects something happened that triggered the breakup. 

"I was surprised, you know, you don't look to make moves in March or April. This had to be a surprise to both, there had to be something to set this in motion mid-season," Roddick said on the Tennis Channel set. 

While Djokovic's decision to abruptly end his partnership with Ivanisevic may be surprising, it is not the first time that the Serb is pulling off something like this. In the spring of 2017, Djokovic fired his entire team amid his struggles to return to his old level following elbow surgery.

At the time, one of the coaches who were gone was coach Vajda. But a year later, the two reunited and Djokovic again started enjoying major success. In 2022 March, Djokovic revealed that he was no longer working with Vajda and their split was agreed upon in 2021 December. 

Considering that Djokovic is not someone who really likes to experiment much and has a history of working with people whom he trusts, Roddick believes that the world No. 1 reuniting with Vajda could be an option. 

"Djokovic has turned over his entire team, his management, now Ivanisevic, I'll be curious to see who he goes to next. It seems that he always ends back up with Vajda when something like this happens. That's happened a couple of times," Roddick added.

"But the one thing is that, Novak can only take opinions from certain amount of people on Earth. That's why he went with Becker, that's why he went with Goran. People who know those situations. I will be very curious to see what his next steps are."

Novak Djokovic and Marian Vajda
Novak Djokovic and Marian Vajda© Getty Images Sport - Marian Vajda

Meanwhile, after skipping the Miami Masters, Djokovic is currently preparing for the clay season and the Monte Carlo Masters, which starts on April 7th.

In Monte Carlo, Djokovic is a four-time finalist and a two-time champion. But in his last couple of appearances, Djokovic didn't have much success, twice losing in the round-of-16 and once in the second round. 

It remains to be seen if Djokovic will have a new coach in Monte Carlo and if he can do better in the Principality this year.

Novak Djokovic Roger Federer Monica Puig