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Novak Djokovic Announces Surprise Split From Coach Goran Ivanisevic Ahead Of Clay Season

Novak Djokovic US Open

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has officially parted company with Croatian coach Goran Ivanisevic. In a shocking announcement on his Instagram account, Djokovic announced their mutual separation after working together since 2018.

Ivanisevic, a former pro who reached a career-high ranking of world No. 2 during his heyday, helped transform Djokovic’s serve to become one of his best shots. Additionally, they won nine Grand Slams together in their six-year professional relationship.

What did Djokovic say about the shocking parting of ways?

Djokovic dedicated an entire post on Instagram to this announcement. He admitted that the decision to “stop working” was reached just a “few days ago”. The Serbian ace is not competing at this year’s Miami Open. That means Djokovic and Ivanisevic’s last tournament together was in Indian Wells, where the 24-time Grand Slam champion suffered a dismal defeat in the third round to Italian lucky loser Luca Nardi.

Djokovic wrote, “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. Šefinjo, thanks for everything, my friend. Love you.”

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What’s next for Djokovic as he looks to overcome a lackluster start to 2024?

Djokovic has had an inauspicious start to 2024, during which he lost his 43-match unbeaten run on Australian soil (he lost to De Minaur at the United Cup). At the Australian Open, he was hampered by a viral infection and was hardly at his best in the opening rounds. Eventually, Jannik Sinner dethroned him as the defending champion.

The 36-year-old did not play a single minute in February and only returned at this month’s Indian Wells Masters, where he lost to Luca Nardi before deciding to skip the Miami Open. Djokovic was recently seen practicing on the clay courts in Belgrade. His next ATP event will be in Monte Carlo, where he will attempt to win his first title of 2024 without Ivanisevic’s services.

It is also unclear whether he will remain with the rest of the coaching team, which includes fitness coach Marco Panichi and physiotherapists Miljan Amanovic and Claudio Zimaglia. His hitting partner, Carlos Gomez Herrera, was promoted to the role of interim team manager at the end of last season to replace his longtime business manager, Edoardo Artaldi. The world No. 1 has not clarified their futures.

Main Photo Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran – USA TODAY Sports


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