A ex-tennis star believes Novak Djokovic wants to enjoy life, now

A former WTA No.3 analyzed the moment of the Serbian champion, who, at 37 years old, could have different priorities

by Lorenzo Ciotti
A ex-tennis star believes Novak Djokovic wants to enjoy life, now
© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

In an exclusive interview given to the Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, the former WTA No.3 Gabriela Sabatini talked about Novak Djokovic's future. The 1990 US Open winner believes the Serbian wants to enjoy life a little without thinking obsessively about tennis.

"I don't know, I think that at this point in his career perhaps he wants to enjoy life a little. I think that if he's physically well he can still win, but we have to see what his body decides. At 37 years old, he can play seven games in a row be tiring.

What he achieved however remains unrepeatable," she said. Djokovic's season did not start in the best way, at least considering the level consistently expressed by the Serbian champion over the years. The Serbian ended 2023 by winning the US Open, the ATP Masters 1000 in Paris-Bercy and the Nitto ATP Finals, losing to Jannik Sinner in the Davis Cup after wasting three consecutive match points, but at the end of a dream year, also crowned by triumphs at the Australian Open at Roland Garros and with the epic Wimbledon final lost in the 5th set against Carlos Alcaraz.

In the first months of 2024, Djokovic failed to make a difference at the United Cup and at the Australian Open it was Sinner again who stopped him in the semifinals.

Novak Djokovic© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

Things didn't go according to plan either at the ATP Masters 1000 in Indian Wells, where the 36-year-old surprisingly surrendered to Luca Nardi in the third round.

As a culmination of these three nightmare months, Djokovic put an end to the successful sporting collaboration with Goran Ivanisevic and explained that he might not even rely on any other coach. Djokovic is preparing for the clay court season in Belgrade and is expected to return to the court at the Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo, scheduled for April 7-14.

Djokovic is preparing for a new rebirth

Who will be in Novak Djokovic's box at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters? At the moment there are no certainties but the feeling is that the Serbian, also due to a certain experience gained during his long career, is in no hurry to make a decision.

In recent days Djokovic has been training near Belgrade together with Nenad Zimonjić, former number 1 in doubles and Nole's partner in the Davis Cup, with whom he has always been on excellent terms. The Serbian media underline that he could be the one to follow Djokovic in the ATP tournaments in this first post-Ivanisevic period.

With them there is also Carlos Gómez Herrera, a Spanish tennis player who often sparring with the world number 1. In the meantime, this could be Djokovic's new start while awaiting any new evaluations.

Novak Djokovic© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

In the meantime, the Croatian media reached Djokovic in Belgrade, where he is preparing the clay season together with Zimonjic, to delve deeper into the matter.

The Serbian was very friendly, but he did not want to provide further details. "I can't comment right now. I'm sorry I can't tell you what you want to know, but thank you for coming. You can stay here, but Goran and I have stopped our collaboration.

You've seen the place on social media. Goran is a member of the family and will be always a friend. We simply separated professionally. We achieved historic results: we are the coach and the player who have won the most," told Djokovic to Slobodna Dalmacija.

We recall Nole made his split with Ivanisevic official through this Instagram post: "Goran and I decided to stop working together a few days ago. Our on court chemistry had its ups and downs, but our friendship was always rock solid.

In fact, I am proud to say (not sure he is) that apart from winning tournaments together, we also had a side battle in Parchisi going on… for many years. And - that tournament never stops for us. Thanks for everything my friend.

Love you. I remember clearly the moment I invited Goran to be part of my team. It was back in 2018, and Marian and I were looking to innovate and bring some serve magic to our duo. In fact, not only we brought serve, but also lots of laughter, fun, year end no1 rankings, record breaking achievements and 12 more Grand Slams (and a few finals) to the count since then.

Did I mention a bit of drama too?"

Novak Djokovic