Ivanisevic reveals the 'torture' inflicted by Djokovic: "He handcuffed us!"



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Ivanisevic reveals the 'torture' inflicted by Djokovic: "He handcuffed us!"
© Shaun Botterill / Staff Getty Images Sport

Goran Ivanisevic explained what it means to work for Novak Djokovic. The season played by the Serbian champion was crazy. Three Slams titles, the ATP Finals, the Wimbledon final, sensational records and statistics. The world number 1 always aims for the maximum in any tournament in which he takes part.

"A good analogy would be to think of him as the CEO of a company, seeking and demanding profits. These profits set him apart from others. As with losses in a company, if he loses, he loses market share, which results in a drop in the rankings.

For Nole, like for any other elite player, this is too difficult to handle," said Ivanisevic during an interview with We Are Tennis. The Croatian coach revealed an anecdote that tells how demanding Djokovic is: "He chained us with handcuffs for three days.

He's not an easy guy, let's put it that way. Especially when something doesn't go the way he wants. He tortured us, tore out our nails and many other things that I cannot say. But we are still here, we are still alive. My heart is still good.

I am an old man and I have to watch my heart. We're here to make it feel better and work better. Sometimes it's not easy. Sometimes it's very complicated. It's very difficult to improve with him, but he wants to do it. This is good and bad for me as a coach and for the rest of the team.

I think he has improved his volée, his game and his position at the net a lot. Now, when he goes to the net in general and this year, he's hitting some incredible volée. His position at the net has improved a lot, it is very difficult to pass him.

Before it was very easy to pass him, but now he is comfortable at the net. In the US Open final he played two or three of the important volée in the final against Medvedev. He's not afraid to go to the net. He's hitting his forehands a lot harder, he's hitting the net.

Who am I to get mad at him? He is the best player in the history of tennis," he explained.

Ivanisevic: "Who am I to get angry with him?"

When Nole loses a match it's not easy to manage: "Who am I to get angry with him? He's the best player in the history of tennis.

Sometimes I just get mad at him when he yells at us for no reason. When he loses the match, he always gives his all and does his best. But it's not easy to deal with him when he loses the game. On Tuesday night at the ATP Finals he finished late.

We didn't see him at all on Wednesday and didn't know what was going on until Thursday. We were in the room and we didn't know if we were going home or if we were going to warm up against Hurkacz. Like every human being, he too has arguments with himself.

I think he made the right decision to stay calm. I know it's not easy. I know it's not easy to motivate yourself. He has won everything and ranked first, but he always finds motivation. It's not easy, it's life. He is number one. He always wants more. He always wants something better," he told.