Ivanisevic: When Djokovic 'Reboots Software', It's Time For 'Bye-Bye'

  • Posted: Jun 11, 2023

Ivanisevic: When Djokovic ‘Reboots Software’, It’s Time For ‘Bye-Bye’

Croatian reflects on Djokovic’s Roland Garros victory

Coach Goran Ivanisevic was not concerned about Novak Djokovic’s Roland Garros chances despite his charge’s 5-3 start to the clay-court season.

“He has this software in his head that he can switch when a Grand Slam comes. [A] Grand Slam is a different sport comparing to other tournaments. He switches his software. The day we arrived here, he was better, he was more motivated, he was more hungry,” Ivanisevic said after Djokovic defeated Casper Ruud in Sunday’s final. “Every day he played better and better. I thought against Alcaraz one-and-a-half hours he played unbelievably smart and unbelievable tennis. And today he just finish what we started actually in Monte-Carlo, to practise, and now it’s payday. We cashed the cheque.”

During the trophy ceremony, Djokovic alluded to difficulty he had given his team throughout the fortnight. Ivanisevic confirmed that and joked about how the Serbian was able to work through it all to claim his record 23rd major title.

“He chained us with handcuffs for three days,” Ivanisevic said, cracking a smile. “He’s not [an] easy guy, let’s put it this way. He is not [an] easy guy. Especially when something’s not going his way. But we are here to put our back and to get beaten, you know. That’s what the team is for. We are here for him to feel better, for him to perform better. Sometimes [it is] not easy. Sometimes it’s very complicated.

“But overall, this is for what you live, the tournaments like this, the finishing like this. [It] was not easy. [It] was not [an] easy journey. You know we started in Monte-Carlo, Banja Luka. Rome was a little better but still away from his real form. He was torturing us, taking our nails off. A lot of more things but I cannot tell you that. But we are still here, we’re alive. My heart is still okay. I’m [an] old man, I need to be careful of my heart. So he’s okay.”

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Djokovic broke a tie with Rafael Nadal to become the men’s all-time leader in major trophies. Ivanisevic explained why he hopes to see the Spaniard back in the winners’ circle.

“I’m really sorry that Rafa is not here, but I said a long time ago before even I became member of his team that him and Rafa, they’re going to go over 22. I am hoping Rafa coming back winning one more, and Novak is [the] only player who can win [the] calendar Grand Slam,” Ivanisevic said. “He was one match away two years ago, so he has a chance this year.”

The most-anticipated match of the tournament was the semi-final between Djokovic and top seed Carlos Alcaraz. The two battled through two tight sets before cramp set in for Alcaraz, ultimately allowing Djokovic to surge ahead for a four-set victory.

“A lot of people [were] saying that Alcaraz is a favourite against Novak. You cannot say that. The guy played 33 Grand Slam finals. He won 22 Grand Slams. Alcaraz is the next unbelievable [player], he’s amazing. I love Carlos, and he’s going to win I don’t know how many Grand Slams,” Ivanisevic said. “But you cannot say that he’s a favourite. Yeah, he played better coming here. But this is [a] Grand Slam. This is nerves. You see what happened in the third set to him. And Novak knows. Novak knows. Novak waits.

“Like Roddick said, I read, he takes the legs, then he takes your soul, then he digs your grave and you have a funeral and you’re dead. Bye-bye. Thank you for coming.”

With that in mind, Ivanisevic believes Alcaraz and others will continue to challenge Djokovic. But the former World No. 2 still has faith in his player regardless of the situation.

“For sure he’s gonna be [a] threat. He’s going to be [a] threat on grass, he’s gonna be [a] threat on hard court, he’s gonna be [a] threat everywhere,” Ivanisevic said of Alcaraz. “But, it’s always this “but”, he’s still young. You know, you have Novak and you can’t ever bet against Novak.”

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