Novak Djokovic: “(Boris) is my coach and we're working daily on all possible aspects of my mental and physical, emotional preparation” - UBITENNIS
Connect with us


Novak Djokovic: “(Boris) is my coach and we're working daily on all possible aspects of my mental and physical, emotional preparation”




TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – 30th of June. N. Djokovic d. J. Tsonga 6-3, 6-4, 7-6. An interview with Novak Djokovic


Q. You must be delighted with that victory. It looked pretty emphatic.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. I was aware of his qualities, especially on this surface. He looked, before the match, very determined to play his best and very focused.

I think I did really well from the start to the end, especially in the third set where I thought he elevated his level of game and he started serving very high percentage first serve, very strong, all angles.

It was difficult to get the return back in play, but managed to save a couple break points, crucial ones, get myself in the tiebreak and wait for the opportunity to be presented.

We both served very well in the tiebreak, and the only opportunity I had was on second serve on 6-5, and I used it. I went for the shot.

Yeah, I’m just glad that I didn’t allow him to go into the fourth set, because he started to use obviously the crowd support. And, you know, I knew that he’s going to do that because he’s the kind of player that feeds off the energy, so it was very important for me to get this done in straight sets.


Q. Yourself and Andy both benefited from playing under the roof today. There is a bit of a backlog. Stan Wawrinka was complaining about the scheduling. He will have to play back to back. Is it beneficial to you going forward in this tournament?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, in my own case, yes. I mean, I had a couple of days off and then scheduled to play today on the Centre. No interruptions, played the whole match under the roof, didn’t think about the rain. This is advantage of being scheduled on Centre Court.

But I understand why Wawrinka was complaining, because, you know, we have this tradition here of the middle Sunday not being played any match. This tradition was broken a couple of times, and I remember a few years ago it was the case when they actually had to play a few matches.

So I think, you know, we have to rethink about this Sunday in between, because the day was beautiful. It was no rain, and the whole day there was no match played. No other Grand Slam has this particular rule.

We all know that tradition is something that is nurtured here in All England Club, and we respect that. But there are some rules that I believe should be, you know, updated, changed, you know, for the better of the schedule and for the better of the players.


Q. Didn’t play a warmup tournament here, and then you had three very tight matches and only dropped one set. Are you where you want to be at this stage of the tournament?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. Especially after the match today, beating Tsonga who is very good player overall, but especially on the grass. He won in the Centre Court against Federer a couple years ago, so he knows how to play on the big stage. He has been winning against all the top players in different, various, big occasions and big tournaments. He was in a couple of Grand Slam semifinals, finals.

So he’s a top player, established top-10 player, and he loves the big stage. So to be able to win against him in straight sets on the surface that I said that I feel like it suits him the most is a great result. I was very happy with consistency today, mental consistency, and variety in my game. Played very good from back of the court. Good serve.

So all in all, it was a very good match, and hopefully I can continue keeping the same level.


Q. What about the left upper arm? You pinched that a couple times in the third set.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, just happened in the tiebreaker in the third set that I felt it a little bit.

But it’s good.


Q. You face Marin in the next round, which pits your coach, Boris Becker, up against Goran Ivanisevic. Do you expect Boris to be working especially hard the next couple days to make sure…

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I expect him to come into the court and play instead of us (Laughter).

Well, you know, there is no difference in our approach in terms of practice and what we work on, and I will try to stick to the kind of a game plan that I had against Marin in the previous occasions.

I am aware of the fact, as well, that since he started working with Goran that he has improved, especially in his service department, where for his height I thought that he didn’t use his full potential up to now work with Goran, where it’s evident that it works well for him.

Especially on the grass it serves as a great weapon. He won here in straight sets against Chardy and Berdych and some very good players.

So it says enough about his quality play in this tournament.


Q. Is this the point in the tournament where Boris’ impact comes into its own?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Of course. I mean, he’s my coach and we’re working daily on all possible aspects of my mental and physical, emotional preparation and trying to get myself in the best possible shape.

You know, of course he can dedicate himself and help as much as he possibly can, but I need to execute the same work that we are doing.

But we do have a much better understanding now, and it shows on the court.


Q. You’re obviously very good friends with Marin. Whenever we ask about you two friends playing each other you say, Yeah, but we’re professionals on the court. Is there some intensity that perhaps gets lost on both sides because you have so much respect and liking for each other off court?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, not in my case, to be honest. There was few times that I felt – that’s a good question – that I felt this particular sensation when I would play somebody, especially somebody from my country, like Troicki or Tipsarevic, if I should go for this shot. It seems a little bit strange because you don’t want to express your emotions.

But in the end of the day, it’s not a cliché. This is actually how it should be. The mental approach should be that we are both professionals and we want to win against each other. I played Radek the other day and we had a tough match. We both showed, expressed emotions. We wanted to win. We fighted through. One hour after the match we were joking around in the locker room and we were practicing today and tomorrow as well.

So, you know, we are good friends. We are both aware of the fact that that’s our work, it’s our life, and we need to do what we need to do on the court.


Q. Goran was such a force of nature as a player, such a strong character. Do you think that will naturally have an impact on Marin and how he approaches it on the court?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think it already does. It shows with the results that he has in this tournament and lately their relationship helps Marin, for sure.

I mean, he’s definitely feeling, you know, privileged to have Goran on his team because Goran is a legend of our sport, and especially in Croatia and in our ex-Yugoslavian countries. He’s somebody that we respect a lot. He always had this personality, this great drive about him.

He’s tall, as well as Marin, so I’m sure that he helped him out and improved his serve and also his mental approach to this big tournaments and big matches.

I have played him last two times a tough three-setter in Indian Wells, and also a tough four setter in Roland Garros a couple of weeks ago.

No easy matches, really. I feel like he has improved, and I’m sure he’s going to try to go for his shots and try to win the match.


Stefanos Tsitsipas sets up blockbuster third round match against Matteo Berrettini in Rome




Stefanos Tsitsipas edged past Marin Cilic 7-5 6-2 to advance to third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 


Tsitsipas has improved his win-loss record to 28-7 this season, equalling Andrey Rublev for most match wins after Rublev beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 6-4 earlier today. 

Tsitsipas had to save two break points in the ninth game to hold serve after four deuces. The 2021 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters winner earned his crucial break in the 12th game to win a hard-fought first set 7-5. 

Tsitsipas was in control of the match and cruised to a 6-2 win in the second set with two breaks in the second and eighth games. 

“Sometimes I need to adjust my game and Marin is someone I respect a lot. I knew he was going to come out here and play his best tennis. He made move a lot. It was quite tricky to adjust to that at the beginning, but towards the very end of the first set I stayed calm and stayed calm and resilient. I had to play deep on the returns and find solutions from the baseline rallies. That worked well for me from 6-5”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitsipas set up a blockbuster third round match against last week’s Madrid Mutua Open finalist Matteo Berrettini, who beat John Millman 6-4 6-2 in front of fans, who will return on Thursday. Tsitsipas enjoyed the atmosphere on the Pietrangeli Stadium. 

“The Pietrangeli Stadium is very beautiful. It’s one of the best courts on tour. I feel like the Pietrangeli here is great. We are surrounded by trees in the city and it’s very quiet which is very important for tennis. Honestly, I can’t wait for the fans to come and fill in the stadium”, said Tsitsipas. 

Berrettini missed three consecutive break points in the third game of the opening set and earned his first break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. The Rome-native star served out the first set at 15. Berrettini earned two consecutive breaks to race out to 4-0 lead. Millman saved a break point to hold serve in the fifth game, but Berrettini never looked back in his next two service games to claim the second set 6-2. 

Berrettini has improved with his each appearance in the Rome tournament, reaching the second round in 2018, the third round in 2019 and the quarter final in 2020. 

Tsitsipas beat Berrettini in their only head-to-head match at the 2019 Australian Open. 

Continue Reading


Alexander Zverev eases past Hugo Dellien to set up a third round match clash against Kei Nishikori in Rome




This year’s Madrid Mutua Open champion Alexander Zverev cruised past qualifier Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 on Nicola Pietrangeli Court to move into the third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 


Zverev fired 27 winners and fended off all six of the break points he faced. The German won five consecutive games from 0-1 down with a double break to race out to a 5-1 lead and served out the opening set at 15 in the eighth game. 

Zverev went up a break in the third game to take a 2-1, but he had to save six break points in a 12-game fourth game. Zverev managed to hold serve after seven deuces before breaking serve in the fifth game to open up a 4-1 lead. The German served out the win on on his second match point in the eighth game. 

The  German star will face Kei Nishikori for the second time in two weeks. He beat Nishikori, Dan Evans, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Matteo Berrettini last week at the Madrid Mutua Open en route to the fourth ATP Masters 1000 title of his career after claiming three previous trophies in Rome and Canada in 2017 and Madrid in 2018.  

Federico Delbonis didn’t face a break point and converted four of his nine break points in his 6-2 6-1 win over David Goffin. The Argentine player will take on Felix Auger Aliassime, who cruised past last year’s Rome finalist Diego Schwartzman 6-1 6-3. 

Continue Reading


Aslan Karatsev beats Danil Medvedev in all-Russian clash in Rome




Aslan Karatsev beat his compatriot Danil Medvedev 6-2 6-4 after 1 hour and 18 minutes in an all-Russian match to move into the third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the Foro Italico in Rome. Karatsev has scored his fifth career win against top 10 opponents.


Karatsev has improved his win-loss record to 21-6 in his 27 matches this year, including the ATP 500 title in Dubai, the semifinal at the Australian Open and the final at the Serbian Open in Belgrade. 

Karatsev has scored his second top 5 win in the past month after taking an upset win over world number 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinal in Belgrade. 

Karatsev earned a double break in the fifth and seventh games to open up a 5-2 lead. The 27-year-old Russian player earned another break in the seventh game with a volley to take a 4-3 lead. He never looked back and served out the win on his first match point in the 10th game. 

Karatsev won 90% of his first serve points and saved just one break point. 

Karatsev faced Medvedev for the first time in his career on the ATP Tour. They teamed up with Andrey Rublev at the ATP Cup in Melbourne last winter helping Russia win the final against Italy. 

Continue Reading