Former tennis star Marc Rosset has revealed he is interested to see how Novak Djokovic performs after parting ways with long-time coach Marian Vajda. The 1992 Olympic champion highlighted how the Serb's previous split with the Slovakian did not prove successful.
It was revealed last month that Djokovic and Vajda had decided to end their partnership after last year's ATP Finals. The pair worked together for a period of 15 years between 2006 and 2022, briefly parting ways between 2017 and 2018.
The 34-year-old won all 20 of his Grand Slam titles to date with Vajda as part of his coaching team, making the Slovakian the most successful coach in men's tennis history. Vajda is a former professional player who was ranked as high as No. 34 in the world before retiring in 1994.
In an interview with RTS, Rosset suggested that the split with Vajda could be challenging for the World No. 1 to deal with.
"There is still something that bothers me with Djokovic," Rosset said. "Well, I'm curious to see what it will be like now that he has parted ways with his historic coach Marian Vajda. Because the last time it had happened, it hadn't really paid off. We'll see if he manages to be as strong as ever without his trusted man. Of course, Goran Ivanisevic will always be there, but it's not the same lemonade between them. They don't have that 15-year relationship or that closeness."
Djokovic was upset by Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the second round of the 2022 Monte-Carlo Masters on Tuesday. Playing his first match since losing to Jiri Vesely in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships in February, the Serb was rusty in the early going and struggled physically during the closing stages.
"If he wants to, he can play every week from here to Paris" - Marc Rosset on Novak Djokovic
Marc Rosset also discussed Novak Djokovic's defeat to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina at the 2022 Monte-Carlo Masters. The Swiss said the Serb's defeat highlighted the fact that returning from a long absence was difficult even for the cream of the crop.
"He had a match somewhat identical to that experienced by Stan [Wawrinka], namely that he collapsed in the 3rd set. 'Nole' was "crimson" late in the game against Davidovich Fokina," Rosset said. "It's rare with him! It also demonstrates that nothing is done with a snap of the fingers."
The former World No. 9 declared, though, that he expects the 34-year-old to be in better shape to defend his Roland Garros title.
"But I think he will be well on his feet at Roland-Garros, because if he wants to, he can now play every week from here to Paris," Rosset continued. "He is no longer in uncertainty, when he did not know which tournament he could participate in, when he could not put the same intensity in training. There, everything will go back in the right direction for him."
The Serb recovered from a two-set deficit to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the 2021 French Open final and claim his second Roland Garros crown. The 2022 French Open will be held from May 22 to June 5.