Wimbledon

Goran Ivanisevic after Novak Djokovic’s Wimbledon victory: “He’s the best”


How do you feel after this new victory of Novak Djokovic?
This is great. I am very proud to be a part of his team, to be his coach and friend. He’s writing tennis history. It wasn’t the best finale (6-7 wins [4]6-4, 6-4, 6-3 against Matteo Berrettini), but there were too many problems. He could have won his twentieth Grand Slam tournament, his third this year. After losing the first set, it was very important to break at the beginning of the second set and then recover. Unbelievable. I don’t know what else to say. I won the tournament as a player (in 2001), now as a coach. I don’t need to come here anymore (Laughs).

Ever since he won Roland-Garros, everyone has started talking about the possibility of a Grand Slam calendar (which hasn’t been achieved since Rod Laver in 1969). How do we deal with this pressure?
We had very good tablets. I recommend them to you. then you will be very relaxed (Laughs). You know, I’ve been repeating this for so long and long before I joined your team. If anyone can win this Golden Slam (four Grand Slam tournaments and Olympic Games in the same year), this is it. He came here with confidence after his victory at Roland-Garros, he played well. And he even won the games he played poorly. That’s why he’s such a great champion. This title is huge. Join these two great guys (Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal) with twenty Grand Slam titles… He’s now going to the US Open for the first time in his career and like Rod Laver there’s a chance he can win all four in the same year, it’s crazy. Nobody thought this would be possible in the 21st century. But you know, we are from the Balkans. Everything is possible. Nothing is expected of us and we create such exploits. We are a very special nation.

30 Grand Slams possible? 35? What is Novak Djokovic’s glass ceiling?
To be honest, I don’t know. It progresses every day. He is an incredible competitor. He finds something new every day. He wins even if he doesn’t play his best tennis. Then imagine it’s on top. It’s impossible to beat him. Everything is possible. I won’t say you’re going to 30 because that’s a long way to go. But five or six years ago we were just talking about Federer. Then Nadal began competing with him for the title of best player in history. For me Novak is the best in history. at the US Open (30 August-12 September). I really believe he will be successful, he will win all four Grand Slams in the same year. And that will be the end of the story.

“He’s like in the movies. You kill him 27 times but he gets up again and again”

Another question about the GOAT (Greatest of All Time, greatest player of all time) title. Do you think that’s it, no more discussion?
For me this question has long been resolved. It’s all about who you choose between these three guys and 60 Grand Slam titles. You can choose Nadal, Federer… But for me he is the only man who can win all four Grand Slams in the same year. And if he wins the US Open, the debate will really be closed. Even Nadal will keep fighting. He will return to Roland-Garros with the desire to win another one. But for me Novak is the greatest player of all time. No debate.

If you were a new player and had to face him today, how would you prepare your match to give you a chance to beat him?
I honestly can’t answer, the guy is unbeatable right now. As long as he’s at this stage where he beats everyone without playing well… (Dennis) Shapovalov is in the semi-finals, but even there he shoots amazing shots… He gets better every day and he won’t stop. He doesn’t want to stop. He always says he’ll cut back on his schedule, but he likes to be on the field. Even today the people are against him. Like in those movies. You kill him 27 times but he always stands up. You kill him, he stands up, you kill him, he stands up again and in the end you can’t beat him. »



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