"Stupid to even talk about panic... Novak Djokovic's best in the world" - Ex-coach Goran Ivanisevic rubbishes concern amid 2024 slump

Novak Djokovic (L), Goran Ivanisevic (R)
Novak Djokovic (left), Goran Ivanisevic

Novak Djokovic’s ex-coach Goran Ivanisevic has yet again placed his confidence in the Serb’s resurgence despite his string of subpar performances.

Before pulling out of the 2024 Madrid Open, Djokovic competed at the Monte-Carlo Masters, where he lost to Casper Ruud in the semifinals. The result is encouraging, considering he hadn’t made the final-four of the event since his second title in 2015. However, it comes at a time when the World No. 1 is having a rather forgettable campaign.

Novak Djokovic’s yet to win a title this season – his most recent triumph was at the 2023 ATP Finals in November. He came up short at the 2024 Australian Open (losing to Jannik Sinner in the semifinals) and the Indian Wells Masters (losing to lucky loser Luca Nardi in the third round) before his run in Monte-Carlo.

The 36-year-old admitted that the title-less start is uncharted territory for him. Several in the tennis world, too, expressed concern about his form. However, Djokovic’s ex-coach Goran Ivanisevic rubbished any such concerns and noted that the Serb is still the top-ranked player.

The Croat also recounted that the World No. 1 kicked into gear at the Italian Open during the 2022 season – he clinched four more titles thereafter, including Wimbledon and the ATP Finals.

"It's stupid to even talk about panic. He also won the first cup in Rome in 2022. What a panic, he is the best in the world, he is not 50th on the ATP list," Ivanisevic recently told Sportal.

The former player said that if the Serb stays focused in the upcoming tournaments, nobody would stand a chance against him.

"Everything depends only on him and on which Novak appears on the field. If the right, focused one appears, then on any surface to play, everyone can pack up and go home. And if the other one appears, then it's a different story," he said.
"We know what his goals are, and I think he will be ready for the Olympics," Goran Ivanisevic added.

Goran Ivanisevic on Novak Djokovic's on-court absence: "It is not easy to motivate himself again and again"

Novak Djokovic pictured at the 2024 Monte-Carlo Masters
Novak Djokovic pictured at the 2024 Monte-Carlo Masters

Having competed in only four tournaments in 2024, including the United Cup, Novak Djokovic has registered 11 wins against four losses. He pulled out of two Masters 1000 events – in Miami and Madrid - but is expected to compete at the upcoming Italian Open (May 6-19).

Goran Ivanisevic backed Djokovic amid the backlash he received following his withdrawals.

"I see that many criticize him for perhaps having no motivation, but the man broke all the records, won everything he could win, and it is not easy to motivate himself again and again," he said in the aforementioned interview.

The Croat also emphasized the importance of training while pointing at the 24-time Grand Slam champion’s adaptability during matches.

"Training is one thing, and matches are another. You have to train," he said.
"If you don't train you can't expect great things. He is a genius and he easily adapts to matches, and if you tie his hands and feet, there are players he will win," he added.

Goran Ivanisevic said that Novak Djokovic may need to find another gear if he faces Jannik Sinner or Carlos Alcaraz.

"Against these two, I mean Sinner and Alcaraz, it is a little more difficult. Janik and Carlos are currently five steps ahead of everyone else. I'm not just talking about Novak," he said.
"But I will repeat for the umpteenth time, everything depends on him, how motivated he is, where he will play and how he will appear on the field."

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