“I’ve Got Every Angle Covered”: Strategy Coach Reveals How He Started Working With Novak Djokovic

Published 08/04/2021, 6:34 AM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his final match against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini REUTERS/Toby Melville


World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has been the most dominant player in the last decade. The honors he has earned along with the records he has broken in the recent past highlight his mark on the game. In the current season itself, the Serb has won all the Grand Slam events that have taken place. 

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However, for every successful player, there is a team that helps get the best out of the athlete and helps them flourish. In Novak Djokovic’s case, there is Craig O’Shannessy, who plays a key role as the strategy coach and provides an insight into analyzing opponents. 

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Men’s Singles – Bronze medal match – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 31, 2021. Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during his bronze medal match against Pablo Carreno of Spain REUTERS/Mike Segar

The Australian coach stated, “With Novak early on when I first started it was 2017. The relationship started through Marian Vajda… We then met in Monte Carlo and I’m sitting with my laptop I’m like Marian nice to meet you and this is what I do. I’m showed him the analytics, I showed him the videos, I showed him how I break down matches. Like, I can do this for you guys, there’s no more guessing.”

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Key members instrumental in the success of Novak Djokovic

Craig spoke about how he got in touch with the Djokovic camp. After speaking for the first time in Monte Carlo, they finally met in Australia. They got along, as they both could cater to each other’s wants. When they met, they were honest with each other. 

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Men’s Singles – Semifinal – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 30, 2021. Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during his semifinal match against Alexander Zverev of Germany REUTERS/Mike Segar

The director of the Brain Game added, “If Novak plays a match, I’ve got every angle covered, and most importantly that we’re really interested in is can you give us information about upcoming opponents… So that relationship built over the rest of the year and in December we said let’s go. The first time we sat down together was in Melbourne… and there’s Novak here and Marian here and a little small talk. I said Novak how can I best help you? And he goes ‘Craig there are three ways that I’d love for you to help me’ and I’m like all ears.” 

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Djokovic was last seen at the Tokyo Olympics. However, he ended up causing damage to his shoulder towards the latter stages of the event, but fans will hope to see him compete at the US Open later this month.

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Watch this story: How Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, and Others Travel

 

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Rohan Kollare

1072 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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