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Goran Ivanisevic in Novak Djokovic's player box during the US Open.

‘He’s One Of A Kind’: Ivanisevic Lauds Djokovic

Serbian’s coach pays tribute to his charge's 'genius'

As a coach of Novak Djokovic since 2019, Goran Ivanisevic has become increasingly familiar with the post-Grand Slam victory routine.

“I like these press conferences, because that means he won a Grand Slam,” said Ivanisevic on Sunday night at the US Open, where Djokovic defeated Daniil Medvedev to claim his 24th major crown.

Djokovic again underlined his reputation as one of sport’s greatest fighters by holding off Medvedev in a lung-busting 104-minute second set en route to victory on Arthur Ashe Stadium. With his fourth US Open crown, he tied Margaret Court for the most Grand Slam singles trophies in history.

“He's a genius. He's one of kind,” said Ivanisevic of Djokovic. “There are not too many people in this world like him sport-wise. This is one of the biggest achievements in sporting history. We're not talking about tennis. We are talking generally in sport.

“He's a winner. He's the guy who is self-motivating. He had luck to have guys like Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer come before him, so they pushed each other, but he's a born winner. For him, when you tell him he cannot do something, it's even worse. Then he's going to show you that he can do it.

“There are no excuses. He always try to find a way how to win, how to fight, even when he's not feeling well, injured, not injured.”

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That ability to fight back from disappointment was key for Djokovic following his agonising five-set Wimbledon final defeat to Carlos Alcaraz. Ivanisevic cited the Serbian’s ability to quickly shed any emotional baggage from that loss as key to his successful American hard-court summer, during which he also claimed a record-extending 39th ATP Masters 1000 crown at the Western & Southern Open.

“We came to Cincinnati. [Wimbledon] was not even mentioned one time,” said Ivanisevic. “It's past. When you lose, it's past. You know you can't get it back. That day Carlos was better player, and he won. Very simple.

“He won Cincinnati. He's the guy who is just forgetting things and moving on. That's why he's so good. That's why these four-and-a-half weeks in the States, he was happy that he could play here and it was really, really enjoyable and fun.”

In the four years Ivanisevic has been part of Team Djokovic, the Serbian has lifted eight Grand Slam crowns. That includes Djokovic winning three majors in each of 2021 and 2023, when he turned 34 and 36 years of age, respectively.

“I'm not surprised,” said Ivanisevic, when asked about Djokovic’s ability to continue winning Slams deep into his 30s. “He’s just enjoying it. He likes the challenges. If he wins 25, he's going to think, If I win 25, why not 26? It's always one more, something more.

“He's taking care of his body, he's taking care of everything, every single detail has to be perfect, prepared. He's never happy on the court, I don't know if that's good or bad, not good for us,” joked Ivanisievic.

“Generally [it] just does drives him through and he wants more and more. That's why he wants everything perfect to be on the court, at practice, and that's why he has unbelievable results.”