Novak Djokovic: Roger Federer Hired Ivan Ljubicic Because He Knows My Game
by Tom Gainey | January 4th, 2016, 9:53 am
  • 63 Comments

Speaking in Doha yesterday, Novak Djokovic commented on Roger Federer’s recent hiring of Ivan Ljubicic to his coaching team. Djokovic said his rival made the move in part because of Ljubicic’s familiarity with the current players including himself.

“Ivan was No. 3 of the world,” Djokovic said of Ljubicic. “He was a Davis Cup winner and somebody that has played in a few different generations. I played against him a few times. He knows my game. He knows the game of all Roger’s opponents. I think that’s one of the reasons why Roger has hired Ivan to be with him in the team.

“Whether it’s going to work or not, that’s something that is left to see for all of us, but I wish them all the best. I think Ivan is a great guy, very calm, very composed, and I’m sure Roger knows why he hired him.”

Djokovic plays his opener today in Doha against Dustin Brown.


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63 Comments for Novak Djokovic: Roger Federer Hired Ivan Ljubicic Because He Knows My Game

Giles Says:

Bit of a stupid statement. So what if Lubi knows Joker’s game? It’s the execution on court that matters, no?


Margot Says:

If Roger doesn’t “know” Nole’s game by now, there really is no hope.


MMT Says:

“Giles Says:
Bit of a stupid statement. So what if Lubi knows Joker’s game? It’s the execution on court that matters, no?”

Yes.


J-Kath Says:

I’m Not quite in tune with comments. Think Roger will have short-term advantage….he usually does until it fades i.e. SABR.


Wog Boy Says:

JK,
Good one.


Sarah Says:

Fed is desperate to beat Djoker… so I guess Nole is right with his comments ..


Deborah Says:

I don’t think Fed has been desperate to do anything since he broke Pete’s Slam encore in 2009.


Deborah Says:

Slam record


Michael Says:

Coaches can only be as good as the Players. It is the later who have to perform on court. Coaches by hindsight can give some valuable tips, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Opponents and suggest some readjustments in your game to strategise and make it more sharper. They can also be of great help to change your playing pattern too from a prominent baseliner to occasionally hurry to the net to surprise your Opponents.

There are some Coaches like Lennart Bergelin and Tony Nadal who go far beyond the duties of a normal coach and emerge as a kind of father figure to develop a lasting bond with the players they teach.


Chrisford1 Says:

Deborah –
As this Golden Era of the Big 4 fades out in the next 3-6 years ( youngest player Djoker just might follow Fed in longevity at the top and last till 35 or so), fans and writers will gain more perspective on the impact of each of the 4, who was better.
I think with the recent widespread discussions of weak and strong eras, ELO, futility of comparing male and female athletes records, growing import of other tennis events besides the Slams in 4 declining 1st World countries – metrics are being rethought.
And new thinking is needed given the difficulty in a fast changing sport of comparing even Federer 5 years out of phase with the careers of the other three stars at present. Can’t compare Rod Laver’s “Slamcount” to Petes, given a whole different game back then in Rod’s time of around 30 guys barnstorming the 6 year + bans from Slams as they went pro in the 60s. And a fixation on Slams can distract from honoring so many worthy athletes of much lower or non-existent Slam Counts. Courier is a worthy player, so is Tsonga, or Stan, or the sad and glorious at the same time career Delpo has had.

But even with the criteria for comparing great players still evolving, 2016 is shaping up to be a decisive year in regards to the Big 4′s legacy.

1. Right now, incredibly so given the odds against something like this happening in competitive sport, the W-L record of the two most contested rivalries in the Open Era – Rafa vs Nole and Fed vs. Nole are all tied up. 22-22, and 23-23.
2. Prize money won between Roger and Novak is almost a dead heat. Though unfair to Roger due to inflation and higher prize money in the last 7-8 years.
3. Djokovic passed Fed in Masters 1000 wins last year and is now at 26 vs the current record holder Rafa’s 27. Novak is also tied with Pete and Ivan Lendl at 5 wins at the WTF. Gunning for Feds record 6 wins. And he of course seeks Olympic gold for the 1st time. And a “Novak SLam”. A golden career Slam. A career Masters 1000 sweep. And while highly unlikely, a possible Calendar Year Slam or Golden Slam.
4. Roger now fights the valiant fight to stave off Djokovic and knows that 1 WTF, 1 Barclay’s WTF, or even just possibly though unlikely – a Slam win -would be monster as a senior statesman.
5. Andy Murray now only has a couple of years left to show he stands as a peer of the other 3, rather than being the runt of the Big 4 litter.
6. Will there be a strong Rafa comeback that is good enough to stop the Djuggernaut? Deny him the French?

A portentous year for the Big 4 players. And while no “young gun” seems near to challenging them – you have Stan, a possible Delpo comeback, the chance that at a huge event, several other players inc a “young gun” like Tomic or Kyrgios could have a red-hot run and get the trophy in question. But if a red hot run happened my guess it would be Stan again, or Cilic, Kei Nishikori, Tsonga, even the perpetually disappointing Berdych.


Chrisford1 Says:

Michael –
Sometimes a coach’s impact goes past a tweak here, a tweek there but it is all on the player’s talent…etc. Sometimes the coach shapes the game a pro plays the rest of their career. Sometimes a player is lucky to land a Magnus Norman that gives a player some critical missing bit.
Sometimes a great coach is worthless because the player is set in their ways, doesn’t listen. (Here’s looking at you ladies – Ana, Venus, and Maria!! And Andy Roddick, Tsonga, Monfils, Tomic.)

And sometimes a player’s attributes include a better ability to listen and learn than others have. And the drive and brains to do so.


Wog Boy Says:

“I don’t think Fed has been desperate to do anything since he broke Pete’s Slam encore in 2009.”
Oh yes, and since 2009 he is playing for the love of the tennis and to promote tennis, give me the brake please.


Wog Boy Says:

Coach-player is two way street, does anybody really believe that Nole would be where he is now if he didn’t have Vajda and Becker, or Andy would have won 2GS and Olympic gold without Lendl or Rafa would become second best player in the history of tennis without uncle Toni…? Even Roger needs a coach, though he can play without one too, but he is Roger..


jane Says:

that was fun MMT. thanks for sharing. and as a nole fan, i’m happy to be a “stooge” for a while longer. nole can be iggy pop. ;)


Gypsy Gal Says:

When push comes to shove its the GS that are the holey grail of tennis,it was as Ben said some years back,its highly doubtful that Sampras would care that Murray has more Masters than he has,tennis players past and present,pundits or whatever say its the GS that in fact matter the most….

As for Delpo,and sorry to Emily if shes reading,and i hope im wrong,but i see nothing that suggests to me hes even returning to the tour anytime soon,let alone ready to have some massive impact when he does,in fact i said some weeks ago that sadly i wouldnt be surprised if he followed Sodaling into retirement,however i will apologize if im wrong….


Gypsy Gal Says:

A strong Rafa comeback to deny Novak the French,well Novak beat Rafa but still didnt win the French last year,so its not only Rafa that denyed Novak the French like Stan did too….


Chrisford1 Says:

Besides Rafa and Stan – Federer denied Djokovic in 2011 when he played lights out tennis to nail Novak before he could have his way with Rafa again.
And Djokovic has returned the favor, richly, denying Roger Slam after Slam, starting in 2011′s US Open. An epic choke that Federer still hates to think about.


bojana Says:

MMT,
If You are not hater and You look at Novak Djokovic there is no reason to call him poor Novak.
When a person has: mother, father ,two brothers ,wife ,son,whole country that loves him,millions of fans,and he is the best tennis player ,smart,
handsome,THE PERSON IS RICH.
If YOU are hater by calling Novak poor Novak You try to place Yourself above Novak.
For me it is very, very poor.


Giles Says:

Poor joker, inspite of all his success, he is still disliked by the vast majority. He tries so hard to be liked and recognised but to no avail. He even bribes the media with chocolates. Lol


Gypsy Gal Says:

The thing is Rafa not winning the French is in no way a guarantee that Novak automatically will….


Sarah Says:

Gypsy Gal, I do not understand why are you so bothered in acceptung, that Nole could win the French…if you do not want Nole to win the French, it does not mean, that everybody should agree with you


Gypsy Gal Says:

Sarah i accept Novak could win the French,but COULD is the operative word not will,im just not ready to give Novak everything or throw everyone else under the bus though in doing so,especially given that the year has only just started,and sure everybody doesnt have to agree with me either,im just giving my opinion,and no i dont hate the guy either,hes an amazing player….


Sarah Says:

in this case, please let us all express our opininions and please do not play the judge here and teach us what we supposed to say or not


Gypsy Gal Says:

Dont care for the tone,as i in fact did no such thing as i dont care for it, please dont put words in my mouth….


Giles Says:

Oh look, we have another joker bandwagoner by the name of Sarah. A newbie I believe.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Shouldve said i did no such thing….


Sarah Says:

Let me guess, you are a Rafa fan :)…sorry for the smiley…and as I am a Nole fan, we could disagree with each other. Hopefully 2016 will be a great year for both players, but as a Nole fan I can only wish that Nole will be better. Wish you a nice day or evening, Gypsy Gal ;)


Gypsy Gal Says:

Sarah i am yes,but i also like Murray,Stan,Kei,Fognini to name but a few,Rafa first although that doesnt mean to say that i believe he should win everything either,or that i believe hes perfect,or hate Novak as ive been here a number of years and people know me well enough by now to see that i always try to be fair to all players,i just hope for a well contested year is all,anyway thanks and nice to have you on board,and wish you a nice evening too SARAH ;)….


jake Says:

A defensive statement?


Gypsy Gal Says:

Whose?….


RZ Says:

In very important tennis news, everyone’s favorite player Berdych is no longer with H&M. Goodbye bad Hawaiian shirts…


Chrisford1 Says:

Giles – “Poor joker, inspite of all his success, he is still disliked by the vast majority…..LOL”

My, my, a guy well liked by the other players and Tour staff with perhaps the exception of somebody from the Alps? Followed by millions on Facebook and Twitter? Hero of a country, guy who keeps friends for life, married his HS sweetheart? Who lives a balanced life, who is quite intelligent and has constant drive to improve himself in many areas on and off the court?
And all you can say is you and a well-entrenched herd of sheep have eyes only for Feddy Bear? And therefore, because of that, all other players must be disliked, bad and unpopular…

You, Giles? How does your life match up with his?? LOL! LOL!


Daniel Says:

Wow, Ferrer about to go out firt round in Doha. Knew this was going to be a “bad” year for him. Think is his last in top 10. Same for Berdych. Will see…


J-Kath Says:

Apologies to all of you for this personal info.

Gypsy Gal
Could not find the thread where you wanted to know what my cunning plan actually was.

Events have overtaken me. Walter got an infection and now he is “At the End of Life”…this heart-rendering poignant phrase is forged on my brain.
Estimate is 4-6 days.

Again, apologies to everybody.


jane Says:

bojana, maybe i misinterpreted MMT’s intention but i assumed he was being satirical in that piece, i.e., i don’t think (?) he meant “poor novak” seriously. i am guessing that because of the references to “elmer federer” and “lady mcfederer” etc…

but only MMT knows for sure.

of course you are 100% right about this: “When a person has: mother, father ,two brothers ,wife ,son,whole country that loves him,millions of fans,and he is the best tennis player ,smart,
handsome,THE PERSON IS RICH.”

cheers! :)


RZ Says:

@J-Kath – I am very sorry to hear that. :-(


rojhin Says:

Novak is a narcissist


Gypsy Gal Says:

J-Kath like RZ im so sorry to hear that about Walter too,my prayers are with you and your family at this sad time :((….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Giles this is an open forum,and made for fans of all players,so Sarah has as much right to be here as anyone….


Sarah Says:

thank you Gipsy Gal, I will ignore Giles


bojana Says:

Jane,

It is OK,I just had to say what I think about that “poor Novak”

Cheers!:)


Gypsy Gal Says:

Your welcome,my apologies for any earlier ranting,im bi polar and suffer from depression,and therefore my virtual mouth sometimes runs away with me….


Gypsy Gal Says:

^Post for Sarah^….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Actually ive always found Novaks fans to be a pretty cool bunch,with the odd exception….


Sarah Says:

I have a lot of Rafa and Fedfans as friends, so I am ok in accepting other opinions.;) Hugs and kisses for Gipsy Gal


Gypsy Gal Says:

Sarah and to you too ;)….


django Says:

J Kath
Oh, those words are not good to hear.
My mother recently passed from an infection acquired in hospital. It’s a tragedy.

Stay strong and find support during these next days, weeks.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Django so sorry to hear about your mothers recent passing,i lost mine through breast cancer many years ago round this time too….


Wog Boy Says:

JK,
Sad to hear that, stay strong.


Wog Boy Says:

django,
My sincere condolences.


Wog Boy Says:

CF1,
I would ignore that creature with sad life, the player who just won Eurosport’s World Star of the Year award as the runaway winner leaving behind likes of Messi, Curry, Bolt, Hamilton was voted by over 300.000 in the poll and it was conducted in the West. That is a prove how “unpopular” Nole is and how stupid is that statment of Nole’s “unpopularity”.


Margot Says:

So sorry Kath. How terrible for you.
Sending you big love and hugs. Over Christmas and the new year too. How sad.


Margot Says:

PS
And my condolences to Django. This is not a happy start to the new year, folks.


RZ Says:

@Django – very sorry for your loss. :-(


J-Kath Says:

Thank you Margot, Wog Boy and Django…so much…somehow the worst thing is he’s lost the capacity to speak.

My favourite sister and nephew arrive tomorrow..so I am not alone and your kindness counts a great deal.

Thank you


Chrisford1 Says:

Sad news, J-Kath. Thoughts and prayers for all ill and suffering – are with you.


Margot Says:

Really glad you are not alone Kath.
x


Michael Says:

Chrisford1 @ 12.38 am – Good thoughts !!


django Says:

Let’s all try to stay strong and get through this.
It’s a sad part of life and we control what we can but in the end it’s not up to us.

Thinking of you too Okie.


MMT Says:

I had no intention of disparaging Djokovic in that piece.

The point was only that the “rivalry” is not really a rivalry, no matter how it is sold, because Djokovic wins when it counts and loses when it doesn’t. And despite that he is not as popular as Federer AND Federer’s fans still (want to) believe that he has a chance whenever they play a big match.

I am convinced that he does not.


MMT Says:

J-Kath – sometimes we forget that on the end of every comment is a life with friends, family and loved ones. I’m sorry for the struggles of you and yours, but thanks for reminding us of that by sharing with us. The same goes for Django – I’m sorry for your loss.

A good reminder that none of us are just words on a page, so be passionate, but be kind.


NINMESH Says:

It would be wonderful if Novak could win the calendar slam, of course the odds of that happening to me are about 30%. Novak still doesn’t convey that air of inevitability that Pete & Roger did in their primes or Nadal at the french. Also Im not sure Novak could handle Stan if he gets hot like he did for his two slam wins.

Top story: Djokovic Finds Way to Win, Meets Monfils in Rogers Cup Semis