In Effort To Find “Winning Spark”, Novak Djokovic Fires Coaching Team (Keeps Pepe?)
by Staff | May 5th, 2017, 8:57 am
  • 65 Comments

Struggling Novak Djokovic has announced that he has fired his coaching team, including Marian Vajda. Djokovic, who hasn’t won a title since the first week of the season in Doha, made the move in effort to find a winning spark.

In a statement, Djokovic said:
“I am forever grateful to Marian, GG and Miljan for decade of friendship, professionalism and commitment to my career goals. Without their support I couldn’t have achieved these professional heights. I know they completely dedicated themselves and their lives to help me achieve my dreams and they were always my driving force and wind in my back. It was not an easy decision, but we all felt that we need a change. I am very grateful and proud of our relationship and unbreakable bond that we built through years of mutual love, respect and understanding. They are my family and that will never change.

“I want to continue raising the level of my game and stamina and this is a continuous process. I enjoy this journey, it feels like I am starting something new again and I love this challenge. I am a hunter and my biggest goal is to find the winning spark on the court again.”

Vajda had been with Djokovic from the start in 2006.

“Time spent with Novak feels like a whole lifetime,” Vajda said. “We were part of many of his incredible achievements, we were living and breathing for his dreams. I gave everything I could as a coach and I am very proud of our results. We arrived to the point where we all realized we need new energy in the team. Novak can do so much more and I am sure he will. I am convinced that he will remain at the top of the tennis for many years and that he will bring a lot of joy to all the tennis fans around the world with his victories. Of course, we will continue consulting each other, seeing each other and hanging out together because after all, we are a family.”

With Vajda, fitness trainer Gebhard Phil Gritsch and physiotherapist Miljan Amanovic all out, Djokovic has apparently retained the controversial Pepe Imaz. And while he’s looking for a new coach, but is in no rush.

“I feel like this is a new chapter in my life. My career was always on the upward path and this time I’m experiencing how it is when the path takes you in a different direction. I want to find a way to come back to the top stronger and more resilient. I have so much faith in this process and that’s why I will take time to find the right person who I can connect with professionally. I have been on the tour long enough to know how to manage daily routines and I don’t want to rush my decision. I will be on the tour alone for a while with support of my family and management. I will inform the public when I find the right person, but for now I thank you for your support and understanding.”

The announcement comes in a very important ranking points stretch for the Serb. Djokovic, who turns 30 later this month, returns to action next week for his title defense in Madrid then has the Rome finals and French Open title points coming off.

A year ago, Djokovic was on top of the tennis world. Now, no one remains from that coaching team including Boris Becker who parted from the camp in December.

Novak and wife Jelena are expecting a second baby late this summer.


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65 Comments for In Effort To Find “Winning Spark”, Novak Djokovic Fires Coaching Team (Keeps Pepe?)

Nits Says:

Very surprising need to digest it first then analyse….


AndyMira Says:

Best of luck for Nole…Like Rafa said yesterday,he will win again[insyaallah]…it’s just a matter of time…


Dennis Says:

Becker gone last year, and now he fires longtime coach, fitness trainer, and physio all at once? But keep Guru Pepe? Yeah…Nole is fried. Put a fork in him he’s done.


skeezer Says:

Well not a bad decision if Novak wants to commit to a different regiment and commitment. Sometimes you have to shake things up to get better. But keeping Pepe? Ok den.


Humble Rafa Says:

The Egg Lover keeping Pepe is like the Arrogant One keeping his longtime Mrs. Arrogant One.


Zeke Says:

Pepe is a non issue. He was with Djokovic when he won Roland Garros, but no one make a stink about it then. While I’m shocked about Vajda, I’m even more surprised about Gritsch and Amanovic. I don’t understand why he would dismiss the two people who protect and keep his body in shape.


madmax Says:

Wow!

This is a big divorce in the family. You don’t dump people who are so important and so special – to me the most surprising was Vajda.

Good luck to Nole and to his future aspirations. I somehow feel he is not telling us the whole story.


Van Persie Says:

He “fired” them, because they cannot stand the new “work” strategy, I suppose.
Wish them all good luck in the future. Was a great team…


Humble Rafa Says:

Uncle Toni is firing me at the end of the season. Thats how it should be.


J-Kath Says:

Ah dearie me – Nole needs to watch what diet Pepe recommends and presents him with – some supplements can unwittingly get you into trouble…


Vladi Says:

Well, lets see after 2 months how hes doing in the rankings, if he doesnt improve ASAP he will be out of top 4 and that will be even bigger shock to him, than this is to us.
Also im very confident this move to fire his team was initiated by Mr. Pepe Imaz, his new gurumanager. Im just not sure if he believes him so much himself, or its his wife who is calling the shots now. (After the little fun he had with the Indian actress i wont be surprised for Novak to do everything Jelena wants to save his marriage and family)..


Wog Boy Says:

Somebody call the priest for the last rites..


chrisford1 Says:

Disagree with Zeke about Pepe. I think Pepe has been throwing wrenches into the gears of a finely tuned machine, and damage slowly takes it’s toll. Just being there at the French Open and saying Pepe isn’t at fault is like saying J Lo didn’t stink up a movie because the 1st ten minutes were not so bad. Maybe stinking up Djokovics game is more like a dead skunks stench getting worse the longer you have the skunk near you.
But strongly agree that firing his trainer and trainer/bodyguard makes no sense (unless they told Nole they would not work with him if he kept doing x,y, and z to his body, fitness, and hard practices needed and maybe ditch Pepe and not listen to his wife on some issues. The only one that made sense was Vadja, if Novak or Marian felt it was time for a new coach.
And note the Fed fans are not going to rag on the faithless ditching of Djokovic’s team because Fed would then have people talking about his faithless callous dumping of Team Edberg.


Daniel Says:

Agree, the only way he dismisses his whole fitness team is due to “irreconcilable differences”. They put him on the wall and he “fired” back.

Let’s see, maybe shaking things up to the core is what he needs right now, not having too many people telling him what to do and try to “swing freely”, be brave in your shots, as Federer said after AO final.

Nadal and Djoko in the same side of the draw, in Madrid.
Potentially a bunch of great matches:

-Nadal vs Fognini round 2, than Nadal vs Kyrgios, Nadal x Raonic, Nadal vs Djoko
-Djoko vs Almagro, Djoko vs Simon/Monfils, Djoko vs Kei, Djoko vs Nadal
- Murray vs Garcia Lopez, Murray vs Pouille, Murray vs Thiem/Dimi, Murray vs Wawa
- Wawa vs Carreno Busta, Wawa vs Sock, Wawa vs Berdych/Zevrev/Cilic, Wawa vs Murray


skeezer Says:

“And note the Fed fans are not going to rag on the faithless ditching of Djokovic’s team because Fed would then have people talking about his faithless callous dumping of Team Edberg.”
What a bunch of crock. Fed whaaa???” 🎼Still crazy…..I mean jealous after all these years🎼”


Wog Boy Says:

“.. not having too many people telling him what to do..”

Nole never had too many people telling him what to do, but right people people telling him what to do , the results 2011-2016 speaks for themselves, but he ended up with wrong people telling him what do, he is in denial and making irrational choices, that resulted in his real friends and people who were most loyal to him leaving him and I mean leaving him not him firing them.
Boris left him, not the other way around…his team left him, not the other way around.
When your best friends are leaving you than something is wrong with you, not with them!


Deidre Says:

I’m sure we will eventually hear “all” from BB.


Van Persie Says:

WB,

Agree with you…am also very disapointed. Also do not now if I can follow Nole’s matches in the future. He’s getting to autodistructive for my taste.


Van Persie Says:

It’s like fu’king mental suicide…


Wog Boy Says:

“I’m sure we will eventually hear “all” from BB.”

Why not? I hope he is going to come out and say it, he is absolutely entitled to do so!


Wog Boy Says:

VP,

He is one very lonely and isolated soul and that is what pains me.
Am I going to watch his matches? I don’t know. If I decide not to it is not because he is going to lose, but because of sad picture of once gladiator turning into Tinky Winky teletubby.


Van Persie Says:

WB,

Yep…I do not understand what is going on there…it is really painful, what is happening there.


Van Persie Says:

All of this is happening after he spent some time in Marbella.


Truth Says:

Here is what I believe happened.
He begged people to bow down and tell him how terrific he was on and off court, but since his real friends didn’t do that anymore, he argued with them for the first time, instead of holding his irrational thoughts inside for years.

He wants to clown around in public events, parties & exhibitions and make many millions of $$$$ and never worry about winning Slams again.
That was what the mental midgets (Safin, Roddick) of 2003 did before they became washed up laughingstocks.
He may be the first self-sabotaged (criminally destructive) multi-Slam loser/laughingstock.
Even Borg didn’t burn out like this.


jane Says:

idemo nole! let’s hope this works.
hugs nole fans and tennis-x-ers.
wacky year if you ask me. ;)
hope everyone is well


Czarlazar Says:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name…


Okiegal Says:

Shocked about Marian the most……


Danica Says:

Why are you so shocked?! Marian was with him for ages, 10 years, he himself took part time position to be with his sick wife and push his daughter’s tennis career. Miljan Amanovic, Nole’s physio, had two kids born during his employment with Nole. I have seen maybe a tournament or two when he was not present in Nole’s box. Having Nole in finals all the time meant that he was with Nole more than with his young children. I think it was enough. In the end, family must be a priority for him too. Vajda can’t teach Nole anything new. He is like a father to him. And recently, Nole’s real father was supporting him from aside the court. GG also has nothing new to offer anymore. He made Nole a monster on the court the way he made Muster. But like Rafa who is silently dissing his uncle, Nole needs new and fresh perspective, new views… If that means going without the coach for some time, so be it. He won’t be the first and certainly not the last without one.

I am fine with changes. In fact, I welcome them. I think the change is good. People were throwing fits when he diminished Vajda’s role and hired Becker. Now they are too sad that Becker is not part of the team anymore.

In any case, I am not stopping watching him or rooting for him. This makes it even more interesting. I am really interested to see how he fares in Madrid where he is a defending champion.


Czarlazar Says:

It’s reasonable to assume he’ll fare as well in Madrid as he has in every other tournament this year. Poorly. What is so interesting about that?


Danica Says:

All this season has been interesting. Because, he was not playing poorly. He failed mostly where his mental abilities needed to show up.


Danica Says:

PS: There are already rummors in Serbian press that some contacts were made with Agassi. Apparently, for now, this relationship will be purely on a trial basis.


Truth Says:

People weren’t throwing fits when Becker was hired.
The criers weeped for Fed to demolish Djoker the way Roddick was creamed in 2004, despite the fed fans’ whining about how old and injured Fed was. *yawn
Now these muppets pretend they love Djoker.

I guess all those fake injury insults & mockery took a toll on him when Djoker was really injured several times. Even he said he would be called a faker when he had more injuries.
Ironically, Fedal had a history of taking time off and avoiding playing him when Djoker dominated tennis.


skeezer Says:

@Danica re; 10:58 post
👍
#trueNolefan


Danica Says:

Sure I am Skeeze ;)


Vince Says:

Fed 2013, Nadal 2015, Nole 2017…


Vince Says:

Fed 2013, Nadal 2015, Nole 2017..thats the pattern


Willow Says:

It could be possible that other players are just better than he is now, and he doesnt have that intimidation factor anymore, could be more about them rather than him, nothing to with his mentality, but more to do with theres when playing him, personally and i know it wont go down well, im enjoying a year with things been shared out, rather than the whole year being dominated by one particular player ….


Giles Says:

With fitness trainer gone ( the huge burly monster of a man) who is going to rejuvenate joker after a 3/4 hour match ready for the next one?
Maybe Pepe???


J-Kath Says:

Jane – Compared to the tennis players, I think we are all well – hope you are too.


Willow Says:

J-Kath well my life seems to generally be alot better when TX isnt part of it lol ….


Emilia Says:

I think Nole didn’t fire the team — they all agreed to this change. All of them, especially Vajda, really devoted their time to Nole as Danica put it in detail.
On the other hand, Nole is trying something new to stop his downfall. We, Nole’s fans, are selfish wanting him to win, to win, to win. And he may succeed again. Good luck!


madmax Says:

Truth Says:
People weren’t throwing fits when Becker was hired.
The criers weeped for Fed to demolish Djoker the way Roddick was creamed in 2004, despite the fed fans’ whining about how old and injured Fed was. *yawn
Now these muppets pretend they love Djoker.

I guess all those fake injury insults & mockery took a toll on him when Djoker was really injured several times. Even he said he would be called a faker when he had more injuries.
Ironically, Fedal had a history of taking time off and avoiding playing him when Djoker dominated tennis.

Truth, you sure do have a thing for Fed. Why bring him up when it has nothing to do with Nole. This is all to do with your conflict of wanting to support Federer, *screaming, Oh Please Roger*, rather than focusing on Nole.

Your words are so transparent.

I really believe that Novak’s strength is there, he needs something fresh though that will re energise his game. That will happen. It just will. He is an elite athlete and it is only a matter of time that he begins to threaten others once more.


madmax Says:

Willow,

Don’t leave TX. I mean that. Of course, there will always be disagreements, but you are a refreshing change.


J-Kath Says:

Willow:

I thought Jane was basically asking if “Tx posters” were all well – as in health.

PS: I thought you’d overcome all your challengers???


Markus Says:

Willow, that’s the nice thing about TX, you go there and then you realize your life is so much better outside of it. TX makes you appreciate what you have in the real world.


Anto Says:

@Danica re; 10:58 post

Tennis need more fans like you.


Willow Says:

J-Kath all is well dont get me wrong, i just dont think i need TX or to be here as much anymore, its not got the same emotional pull it once had for me ….


Humble Rafa Says:

Skeeze is all arrogant because the Arrogant One is resting. When the Arrogant One returns and plays like World No. 50, Skeeze will have a meltdown. Enjoy the lull.


Truth Says:

Seeing the Novak wreck is not the same as “watching interesting future Novak behavior and sharing tennis success with many players”.

Now that Murray can’t play and Djoker’s joke, let’s cheer for Fed.
Fed floons wish. Lmao!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

HR, you are out of character again.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

This is huge news. So many people thought Vajda was there for life, whatever the role. Amazing how things have changed in a year.

The positive is that Novak recognizes that he is not just a victim of some bad puck luck. He needs to change if he wants to get back to #1. Knowing that and being able to achieve it are different things, but it can’t be done without that understanding.

Meantime… Milos is back from injury and into a clay final.

Also glad to see Novak in Rafa’s half- I don’t want to be robbed of that match again, and this increases the odds. Also really looking forward to Rafa vs Kyrgios.


Zeke Says:

There’s no mention of Dusan Vemic. Is he still with Nole? I think the idea was that Vemic would accompany Djoker to tournaments where Vajda was unable to.


Okiegal Says:

@Danica……That’s the reason I was surprised or shocked……because of the years they had together and the success of their partnership. I remember reading that Marian wanted a break from it at one time….ailing wife..kids for whatever reason but he seemed to be in the team box most of the time…… or maybe just for the slams??? At my age my memory isn’t the best….heck I can barely keep up with Rafa! Lol Thanks for enlightening me on all things “Novak”…..you are a true Novak fan!!! 👍👍


Danica Says:

Thanks Anto.

I think Vemic is more of a sparing partner than a coach.


Okiegal Says:

Rafa got the best draw possible…….I think I will have a glass of 🍷and I don’t even partake of the spirits….with the exception of a wedding toast to the once happy couple……a piece of paper spoiled it all…… Novak’s blushing bride is his problem, me thinks!


Danica Says:

Okie, thanks to you too :).


Okiegal Says:

@Danica…..U R welcome.!!


Wog Boy Says:

Hi jane,
good to “see” you, but I have to disappoint you, I don’t share your optimism regarding Nole, not at all.


Truth Says:

Djoker became anorexic within a few months. So he dropped over 10 pounds.
I expected him to be around 172-174 pounds to gain speed on court but this is beyond insane.
There’s no normal mental health.
He was still muscular in 2012. Now he looks like a concentration camp victim.
His face is gaunt which makes his nose look longer. He is Pinocchio. He’ll never fight again. Shameful.


JM01 Says:

What is wrong with Novak? What the hell is he smoking?? Sad to see Jelena and Marco sabotaging Novak’s career. Jelena has changed post 2015, going vegan, experimenting, blah blah, why drag Novak with her. Makes me so sad as a huge fan of his. He might as well retire later in the year at this rate. I want Boris to spill the beans, whatever is going on behind the scenes. The kind of free fall and brain malfunctioning Novak is having, it is all hard for me to comprehend. Sad end to a truly great career. He had all the potential and momentum to win atleast a couple more grand slams. Can’t even get out of round 2 now, all thanks to Guru’s theory of hugs,cringey heart throwing , meditation, veganism, having a nagging wife etc etc


Danica Says:

JM01,

Nobody can make Nole do what he deos not want himself. No one is forcing him to change anything. In the end, those are all HIS choices. I may not like them, I may not agree with them but I respect that he made them for himself on his own free will. If he thinks they’re the best options for him, who am I, who are we, to judge him? I can only wish him the very best on his path.


Czarlazar Says:

Cult victims rarely make decisions of their own free will, though their brainwashing may make them believe so. Our dear boy is obviously hurting, and needs help. I believe his parents are the last best chance to give him the help he needs, but he seems to be distancing himself even from them. Meanwhile, he is sucked ever deeper into the Jelena/Pepe/Marko death spiral. Sad!


JM01 Says:

Yeah they don’t make decisions on their own. The whole team and Boris couldn’t take any more of this Imaz guy and they left Novak. This is what I feel, Boris laid down the gauntlet and asked him to chose his team or that Guru, Novak chose the latter. Unbelievable mental breakdown from his part. The faster he parts from his crazy control freak wife, depressed brother and that fake idiotic looking guru the better for him. Unfortunately don’t see it happening any time soon.


Truth Says:

Exactly. Why should he be allowed to do anything destructive, just because he was spoiled with money?
I don’t have to respect his sycophantic distracting actions.
Sometimes he just acts condescending.
He claps repeatedly at opponents and chokes away matches.
He tells people to hug and love everyone. Even love hateful fake people.
He doesn’t look like himself anymore.
The real Novak is lively, the most sharp on court, alert, intelligent & restrained.
Now he’s fake, irritated, lazy, confused, desperate & miserable.
This is brainwashed cult behavior.
If he doesn’t listen to great advice from his mother, he doesn’t respect her much after all.

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