Ivan Ljubicic: 'Roger Federer is my first, second and third priority'

Tennis - Ljubicic has been working with Federer since 2016, leading the Swiss towards three Major titles

by Jovica Ilic
Ivan Ljubicic: 'Roger Federer is my first, second and third priority'

Finishing his career in 2012, Ivan Ljubicic had stayed around tennis for a couple of years before getting a chance to embrace a massive new project, becoming Roger Federer's coach in 2016. Roger lost the final in Doha to Milos Ranos at the beginning of the season and in the semis at the Australian Open to Novak Djokovic, breaking his schedule to undergo knee surgery on February 3.

Ivan Ljubicic had to wait until April to join Roger on the court again but that wasn't a problem, with the Croat being eager to get Roger back to the winning way, knowing exactly how to achieve that. As it turned out, the issues with the knee were very serious and Roger had to skip the rest of the season following the semi-final defeat at Wimbledon, dropping out from the top-10 for the first time in 15 years and starting all over at the Australian Open 2017.

With enough time to prepare everything, Ivan led Roger towards two Major crowns that year, conquering Melbourne after an epic win over Rafael Nadal and adding Wimbledon to his tally, holding a Major trophy in his hands for the first time in five years.

With other notable results, Federer scored 54 wins from 59 matches that year, finishing second behind the Spaniard and pushing hard in 2018 as well, especially after defending the crown in Melbourne for the 20th and so far the last Major title.

In February, Roger became by far the oldest world no. 1 in ATP history, producing magic from his backhand like never before and standing strong against much younger rivals. In the previous season, Federer did enough to stay in the top-3 behind Nadal and Djokovic, wasting a massive opportunity of adding another Wimbledon trophy to his collection and hoping for more good runs in 2020.

Roger was the semi-finalist in Melbourne but before announcing a knee surgery that will keep him away from the court until Halle in June, missing Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami and Roland Garros. Just like in 2016, Ljubicic is patiently waiting for his player to return, traveling to Switzerland and spending time with Roger in his first days of recovery.

The Croat confirmed once again that Roger Federer is his top priority as long as he wants to play and compete, appreciating a chance to work with him for the fifth straight year. "Roger is my first, second and third priority.

For him, I'm available for 52 weeks a year and it will remain so as long as he wants to continue playing. I'm grateful for the opportunities that this gave me and none was more significant than the privilege of working with Roger. I can't imagine coaching anyone else after Federer. "

Ivan Ljubicic Roger Federer