Novak Djokovic coach – who is Goran Ivanisevic?

Novak Djokovic coach – who is Goran Ivanisevic?
Photo by Icon sport

There is an element of mystery surrounding the Novak Djokovic coach topic. Of course, Djokovic has worked with numerous coaches throughout his decorated career. But as things stand, it’s Goran Ivanisevic who is the man that works with Djokovic as his primary coach.

As for why there is an undercurrent of mystery, unless you followed tennis a few decades ago, you may have no idea who this man is. Additionally, he’s not a man who is in the media all too often. Ivanisevic is a guy who prefers to keep himself to himself, although he does appear at the customary press conference when Djokovic wins a Grand Slam.

This is pretty much the only time you will see him giving any interviews, or even talking to the media in general, for that matter. Yet you can certainly see Novak Djokovic’s coach looking rather stressed in his box during the many high-profile matches that he plays. 

Anyway, now that I’ve identified the man who ticks the box as the current Novak Djokovic coach, you may be curious about his background, career, and how he landed the job as Djokovic’s coach in the first place.

Of course, that’s precisely what I will be focusing on today, so read on if you wish to discover all of the interesting details about Goran Ivanisevic. 

The crazy Croatian – introducing the current Novak Djokovic coach

Let me introduce this man to you with a fun fact. Back in 2001, Goran Ivanisevic became the only man ever to win the prestigious Wimbledon Championships as a wildcard. How about that for something pretty unique about this man?

It’s clear from this alone that Ivanisevic was a man who overcame the odds on the court, much like his student, Novak Djokovic. Furthermore, since he had been a runner-up at Wimbledon on three separate occasions before then, it’s obvious that Ivanisevic is one to accomplish the goal – no matter how large the obstacle may seem.

But while that Wimbledon victory might be his most impressive playing accomplishment, there is so much more to learn about this wild Croatian. For example, he was (and still is) a ‘lefty’ with a huge serve, which is quite the contrast to what you’d expect from any Novak Djokovic coach. 

Additionally, at the time of writing, Goran Ivanisevic is now in his 50s, so some might say that he is ‘knocking on’. Then again, he seems to believe that Djokovic will play into his 40s, so I’d imagine that Ivanisevic isn’t planning on retiring just yet.

He has been a coach of several players on the ATP since 2013 too, so this certainly isn’t a career path that is new to him. As for his level of coaching success with the numerous players he has helped, his resume is seriously impressive – and that’s without accounting for his success with Novak Djokovic. 

Novak Djokovic coach profile – his playing career 

I mentioned above about the quite astonishing achievement of 2001 for Ivanisevic, but this wasn’t his only accolade. In fact, if you zoom out and look at his career as a whole, he was a very successful tennis player. 

Specifically, Goran Ivanisevic took home 22 ATP titles during his career. This all started when he turned professional in 1988, and he enjoyed a full 16 years on the ATP Tour before retiring in 2004. So as you can see, Goran Ivanisevic competed on the professional tour for quite some time, which no doubt helps him with his coaching abilities.

Adding to that, he achieved 599 career wins compared to just 333 career losses, thus producing an overall win percentage of 64.30% – not bad at all. And it’s not like Goran was competing in low-level tournaments. 

Since he was ranked as high as number 2 in the world in his time, he was right up there with the very best during that period. But the Wimbledon title in 2001 was the only major he was able to win, despite reaching the semis of the US Open in 1996 and making the quarters of both the Australian Open and French Open on three separate occasions. 

As for the money that Goran Ivanisevic banked from his playing days, he retired having made just shy of $20 million. This is impressive, yet when you compare such figures with Novak Djokovic’s net worth, $20 million seems like a mere drop in the ocean.

Goran Ivanisevic’s profile on the coaching side of things

Of course, the objective today wasn’t just to highlight who holds the title of being the Novak Djokovic coach right now. I felt it was important also to give you a background on what Ivanisevic achieved in his career, what he is best known for, and what he brings to the table as a coach – most importantly. 

Ivanisevic and Djokovic
Photo by Icon sport

So, switching the focus to the latter, I can tell you now that Ivanisevic has worked with four top-level professionals since 2013. Between 2013 and 2016, he coached Marin Cilic, guiding the big Croatian to his one and only Grand Slam title. He then switched to coach Tomas Berdych from 2016 – 2017, during which time Berdych made two successive Wimbledon semi-finals.

Ivanisevic then enjoyed a brief coaching spell with the big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, from 2018 – 2019 before he took up his current role as the coach of Novak Djokovic. 

Key achievements as Novak Djokovic’s coach

The best way to wrap this up is to quickly highlight what this dream team has achieved since they started working together in 2019. In fact, if you look at Djokovic’s results since Ivanisevic took over, it’s quite extraordinary. 

Looking at Grand Slams alone, Djokovic has won 10 of them with Ivanisevic in his corner over just a 5/6 year period. Adding to that, Ivanisevic has helped Djokovic to capture 7 Masters 1000 titles, as well as 2 ATP Finals titles since 2019. 

Bear in mind that Djokovic missed a ton of top-level tournaments during the COVID pandemic, too, which makes these numbers even more staggering. And most significantly, many believe that the current version of Djokovic, despite being 36 years of age, is the ‘deadliest’ version we’ve ever seen.

Needless to say, Novak Djokovic’s coach is doing a rather solid job, and I’m sure their relationship will continue to blossom for another few seasons.

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