Novak Djokovic replaces Boris Becker with another former World No. 1 - reports
A former doubles World No. 1 will take on his role according to Serbian media.
Last week, World No. 2 Novak Djokovic officially announced his split from coach of three years Boris Becker, with whom Djokovic won six Grand Slams in addition to a significant number of titles. With several names being thrown about as Becker’s successor, Serbian media are reporting Becker’s successor will be none other than former doubles World No. 1 Nenad Zimonjic.
Zimonjic, who has been in four Grand Slam doubles finals and won three, is a longtime associate of Djokovic, and was only the second player from Serbia to become the doubles World No. 1.
Together, the two have represented Serbia in the Davis Cup, and played as doubles partners – most recently at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
40-year-old Zimonjic was considered among the world’s best doubles players in his heyday, and his partnership with Canadian doubles specialist Daniel Nestor proved to be an immensely fruitful one, with each of his four Grand Slam finals played with Nestor.
Although Zimonjic is yet to retire, at 40-years-old, he is on the significantly older end of the spectrum for tennis players. Given he is currently at 61st in the ATP doubles rankings, it is quite possible that Zimonjic will announce his retirement in the next few years.
Marian Vajda, a Slovak former tennis professional, has been Novak Djokovic’s head coach since 2006 and perhaps the most constant figure on his team. Until a replacement is found, it will be the 51-year-old Vajda who remain’s the Serb’s primary coach.
The team are yet to make any official announcement, but several well-placed tennis sources have suggested it is in fact Zimonjic will take on the role, rumours that have been further compounded by the fact that the two are longtime friends.
Several top players on the current ATP World Tour do not currently have a full-time coach, so it is possible Djokovic will train with Vajda and the rest of his team until a replacement is found, or may not look for one at all.
Controversial ‘guru’ Pepe Imaz, who preaches ‘love and hugs’, has been a fairly recent addition to Djokovic’s team, with the former No. 1 alleging the Spanish former tennis professional helped him ‘find peace’. The decision was derided by many, among them Boris Becker himself, although the Germa refused to divulge any further details.
Becker appeared to lash out against Djokovic in an interview following the pair’s split, implying the Serb had ‘not worked hard enough’ in the latter half of the 2016 season.
More details are awaited.