Wouldn’t Be Surprised if Novak Djokovic Pulls Out for the Rest of the Season, Says Roger Federer’s Coach

Published 09/28/2021, 5:30 PM EDT
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 24: Novak Djokovic of Serbia practices with Casper Rudd of Norway before the start of the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 24, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)


Novak Djokovic enjoyed a brilliant 2021 season, bagging three Grand Slam titles and reaching the final of the fourth. In a recent interview, former Croatian player and coach of Roger Federer, Ivan Ljubicic talked about the Serbian.

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The Croatian discussed Djokovic’s unavailability for the remainder of the year. Ljubicic stated he wouldn’t be surprised to see Novak Djokovic not taking part in any competitions till 2022. Nole deciding to skip the rest of the season would be surprising given the form that he is in. However, it wouldn’t be entirely unfathomable as the World No. 1 was visibly distraught after his loss in the US Open final.

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Ivan Ljubicic wouldn’t be surprised by Djokovic’s absence

In a recent interview with Il Messaggero, Ivan Ljubicic talked about what he thinks the ATP tour will look like for the next few years. He said, “The scenario for the next few years will be the same as we had when the rivalry ended of Sampras and Agassi. We will have many different Grand Slam winners. I remember when we had Ferrero, Moya, Gaudio, Hewitt, Safin … We will have a totally different tennis than we have had in this last decade.”

Elaborating on what he expects from Nole in 2021, the coach stated, “as for the question of what I look forward to the remainder of the year, I would like to see Djokovic at Paris-Bercy and at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin 2021, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he decided not to play again for the remainder of the season.” 

Aug 31, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia wipes his face between points against Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune of Denmark (not pictured) on day two of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

While Ljubicic wants the World No. 1 to compete in few tournaments, he wouldn’t be surprised if Djokovic decides to withdraw. However, the Serbian hasn’t confirmed anything about his plans so it will be fascinating to know Djokovic’s decision.

Ljubicic also opened up about Federer’s rehabilitation after his knee surgery, adding, “Federer has yet to resumed training and at the moment there is no specific program for his return”.

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Novak Djokovic was denied the Calendar Grand Slam at US Open 2021

The World No. 1, Novak Djokovic entered the US Open as a complete favorite. After winning all the previous three Grand Slam titles, Djokovic was eyeing the Calendar Grand Slam. The Serbian cruised into the finals at Flushing Meadows. In the final, he faced World No. 2 and in-form Daniil Medvedev of Russia.

Sep 12, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; (L-R) Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Daniil Medvedev of Russia celebrate with the finalist and championship trophies, respectively, after their match in the men’s singles final on day fourteen of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

However, Medvedev put pressure on World No. 1 right from the start. Medvedev completely dominated over the Serbian and claimed his maiden Grand Slam title at US Open 2021. In straight sets, the Russian crumbled Djokovic with a score of 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

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Atri Bhatt

150 articles

Atri Bhatt is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is pursuing his Master's degree in Sports Management from Deakin University, Australia. In addition to critically analyzing the game, he also plays tennis professionally.

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