Novak Djokovic is one of the most successful players in the history of tennis. However, several coaches have played their role in Novak’s success in the past decade. Novak Djokovic’s coaches have been changed periodically in the last several years.
Novak Djokovic has had eight coaches during his 17-year-old professional career. He is currently working with his long-time coach Marian Vajda and alternate coach Goran Ivanisevic. Very few people know how these coaches have helped Novak grow into the mature player that he is now. Let’s look at the various coaches that influenced Novak Djokovic over the years on the ATP Tour.
Novak Djokovic started working with Petrović at age 16. The two started their partnership in 2004 after the Serbian turned pro. Under Petrovic’s tutoring, Djokovic went from being ranked outside the top 300 in the ATP rankings to breaking into the top 100 in less than a year.
However, Dejan could not help Djokovic win an ATP singles title during his short tenure with him. Subsequently, the pair ended their partnership in 2005. Petrovic then started working with the Serbia and Montenegro Davis Cup team. He also tutored the former World No.1 Ana Ivanovic from 2014 to 2015.
From the fall of 2005 until June 2006, Djokovic worked with Riccardo Piatti. Under his mentorship, Novak reached the third round of both Wimbledon and the US Open for the first time in his career. The Italian coach also helped him enter the top 40 of the ATP rankings in 2006. However, Djokovic parted ways with Piatti as the latter refused to work full time with him.
After Djokovic became the World No.1 for the first time in 2011, Piatti claimed in an interview with Reuters that he knew in 2006 that Djokovic could become number one in the world. He also suggested that he can reach the level of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Piatti revealed that the Serb always worked hard as a kid and was very determined to be world number one. Piatti later worked with women’s tennis legend Maria Sharapova. Currently, he works closely with young Italian sensation Jannik Sinner.
Novak Djokovic hired Marian Vajda as his coach in 2006. This partnership continued until 2017 and was again renewed in 2018. However, from December 2013 until 2016, Boris Becker was Djokovic’s head coach with Vajda remaining part of Djokovic’s team.
The Serbian got the breakthrough of his career, working under Marian Vajda. He also claimed his maiden ATP Title with Vajda. The Serbian has worked with the Czechoslovakian coach for the better part of his professional career.
Novak Djokovic clinched the career Grand Slam title with Vajda. The 17-time Grand Slam champion has claimed 17 major titles with Marian, which includes 8 Australian Open titles, a French Open, 5 Wimbledon Championships, and 3 US Open titles. The Serb also won 5 ATP World Tour Finals and 33 ATP Masters 1000 titles. He also conquered a Davis Cup title and Olympic Bronze medal for his country.
For his great success with Novak, Vajda won the award for the best coach by the Olympic Committee of Serbia in both 2010 and 2011. In 2018, Vajda also won the ATP Coach of the Year award.
Djokovic appointed the former World No.4 Todd Martin as his second coach in 2009 alongside Marian Vajda. The Serb was consistently losing in Grand Slam Round of 16’s and quarterfinals while working with the Vajda and Martin partnership. Martin was not with Djokovic very long and did not impact his game for the better.
Novak then parted ways with Martin in 2010. He told ESPN that it became complicated working with two coaches whose styles were different.
In December 2013, Novak Djokovic announced that the former World No.1 Boris Becker would become his head coach for the 2014 season with Marian Vajda being the alternative coach. Becker helped Djokovic to dominate his arch-rivals, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
Under his mentorship, Djokovic clinched 6 Grand Slam titles, including four in a row and 14 ATP Masters 1000 titles in the span of three years.
In December 2016, Djokovic and Becker parted ways. “After three very successful years, Boris Becker and I have jointly decided to end our cooperation,” Djokovic posted on his Facebook account. “The goals we set when we started working together have been completely fulfilled, and I want to thank him for the cooperation, teamwork, dedication and commitment.”
Stepanek and Andre Agassi, who began working with Djokovic on a part-time basis at the French Open in 2017, were hired by Novak for full time before the 2018 season.
Djokovic hired Agassi and Stepanek as coaches at a period when he was struggling, both physically and mentally. Djokovic had also split from longtime coach Marian Vajda shortly before bringing Agassi aboard and stopped working with Becker a year ago.
He then parted ways with Agassi and Stepanek in 2018 after an 11-month partnership. Since then, Djokovic managed to recapture his form, winning Wimbledon and the US Open after undergoing elbow surgery. He returned to the No. 1 rankings, after falling out of the top 20. He then reunited with his ex-coach, Marian Vajda.
Novak Djokovic has added former World No. 2, Goran Ivanisevic, to his coaching staff on June 30, 2019. He hired Ivanisevic as his second coach alongside Vajda ahead of the Wimbledon Championships 2019.
In adding Ivanisevic to his team, Djokovic gained the insight from the former Wimbledon champion. Goran triumphed at The Wimbledon Championships in 2001. As a result, the Serb clinched his 16th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, defeating his arch-rival Roger Federer in a thrilling five-setter final.
It will be interesting to see if Djokovic continues to work with Ivanisevic and his long-time coach Marian Vajda. He might also make some further changes in his coaching team.