Djokovic Drops Coach Todd Martin, Hopes to Fix Serve
by Sean Randall | April 12th, 2010, 9:30 am

I know many of you Novak Djokovic fans and supporters were hoping for this announcement, well, here it is. ADHEREL

Djokovic officially gave word in Monte Carlo that he will not be using the coaching services of Todd Martin any longer.

“Todd is a fantastic person,” Djokovic told FoxNews. “He has so much experience and was willing to share everything with me. There are no hard feelings but we just decided it was not working. It was probably a question of understanding what kind of person I am.”

The main issue of Djokovic’s problems of late has been his serve, and that’s what he now aims to correct.

“At the ATP Finals in London my shoulder was tired and the body automatically started to make adjustments because of that,” Djokovic said. “Then we tried a slightly different action and it all got very complicated. So now I am just going back to my original action.”

Djokovic and Martin, a two-time Slam finalist, began working with each other last August. Marian Vajda will remain his coach.

Djokovic is the top seed at the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters. After a bye, on Wednesday he’ll play the winner of Florent Serra and Stephane Robert.

Already today Tomas Berdych and David Nalbandian were easy winners.

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121 Comments for Djokovic Drops Coach Todd Martin, Hopes to Fix Serve

Ben Pronin Says:

What does that mean? His body automatically made adjustments? Why didn’t he go back to his old motion after all those double faults?

madmax Says:


Your dreams have come true!

Huh Says:

Hi Maxi! :D

Well, so far as Nole is concerned, only he can fix his problems. If I were his fan, I’d hope that he becomes lucky(a little bit) again for 14 days during one or more slams and plays the way he did in AO 08. That’d certainly fetch him at least one more GS.

MMT Says:

It’s hard to argue with reaching #2 in the world, but the disconcerting thing about his form is that he hasn’t really come close to winning a slam since AO08. Does he really need a travelling circus with him?

Nadal’s uncle doesn’t always travel with him, and Federer’s coaches are hardly ubiquitous, but both Murray and Djokovic seem to travel with a small army of hangers on – what does that add? Nothing but pressure – because just like Davis Cup, when 10-20 people depend on your results as much as you do, it can feel like 10-20 times the pressure. And both Djokovic and Murray have shown signs of succumbing to the pressure on the big stages.

Maybe they should be more self-reliant. Just a thought.

stu Says:

I think the issue with Nole is too many changes. I don’t like TM but this might be a bit hasty…

ThyGodisTennis Says:

Can you give Roger a break for once? #2 in the funk. Come on!

jane Says:

I think it’s better he just has the one coach now, and probably the right one as he and Vadja seem to understand one another and have had a long working relationship. Other than Vadja, I think he has only his trainer (the guy he hired last year) and sometimes his PR guy travels with them. I think that is it? Not sure.

I am not sure what this means for his serve going forward or whatever, but focus-wise I think it’s better.

My initially reaction to his hiring Todd was that it would be a good thing; I was hopeful that Martin could give him that missing edge, but it didn’t work. Too bad.


At the moment, as his fan, I just want to see him get through the first couple of rounds!

stu Says:

I’m worried about Wawa for multiple reasons. Nole always underperforms immediately after making a big decision, Wawa is really good on clay and has troubled Nole before, Nole’s confidence will probably be at an all time low whereas Wawas is riding high after his Morocco win…

Ben Pronin Says:

But think of the confidence gained if Djokovic could make it to the final beating Wawrinka and Youzhny and, possibly, Berdych or Verdasco.

stu Says:

Nice to know that at least someone is optimistic, Ben!

sar Says:

I think Nole will play well because he might be relieved to get this Todd thing out of the way.

Nole fans: Got our Finals and Semi finals tickets for Serbia Open. Also going to Nole’s restaurant and doing some sightseeing. After that we head to Ireland for some R&R.

Fot Says:

I see stan is playing the same guy in the first round of this tournament that he beat in the finals of this last tournament! lol! I hope the same results come! Let’s go Stan!

Now on Djokovic. I think getting rid of Martin was a good idea because it certainly wasn’t working with him. His getting to #2 was mostly what he did late in last year and what the other players didn’t do more than what Martin was able to do for Djokovic when he was with him (hope that made sense) lol!

Anyway…it was good of him to at least try some new things, but seeing that it wasn’t working, he made the right choice not to keep on with it. I don’t mind the players trying new things, but they need to also realize if those new things don’t work – get rid of them. That goes for things and people!

I was sad to see Jose go as Roger’s coach but it was Jose’s choice to work with the USTA otherwise I think he probably would still be with Roger today.

On to MC…just getting to see some of the matches. JCF looked pretty good today. I didn’t see the earlier matches. I’m watching Monaco/Nieminen now. How did the others look?

margot Says:

Ah! Live tennis at last and I’m not asleep!
FOT: although Gasquet lost second set he was playing some beautiful tennis, s and v too which was good to see. Ferrero was looking terrific, I just love his style.
I see the lovely Monsieur Chardy has gone, rather easily too, a touch of the Andyitis, perhaps.
jane: your response re Djko dropping Martin was a bit ambivalent. Are you not a happy camper now?
Will someone tell me why they have dusty clay courts next to the breezy ocean. When there’s a gusty wind it blows up like a desert sandstorm. Nightmare!

jane Says:

margot, I said it’s better. : ) That’s pretty straight-forward. I think it was the right decision, as then he just has ONE person telling him what to do/work on now, so focus-wise he can buckle down. Too many cooks, and Djoko already has his own mental-demons to deal with.

What I am ambivalent about is whether this change will actually help him get his serve working again. Don’t know quite what to expect at this point! His old motion certainly did seem to work better for him, so that’s a plus.

BTW, I read an article on Murray yesterday, about how he was working on getting mentally focused again too.

Funny that these two were hitting together the other day. Maybe they should be in joint counseling sessions. LOL!

Polo Says:

My random thoughts:

When Gasquet is on, he is beautiful to watch. If only he could play like that all the time. He could excel on any surface. I wish he had more confidence to be able to play more consistently.

Also happy to see Berdych playing very well in his first match. Hopefully, his win over Federer has started a great fire in him and keep him fueled for the rest of his career. I like players with great potentials to live up to them.

Chardy has stalled and appears to be backpedalling.

Can’t wait to see Nadal and Djokovic play on clay. That should give me a better idea on how they will do for the rest of the clay season. Maybe also for the rest of the year. Right now, I have nothing but speculations. Speculations don’t really mean anything, at least, to me.

Polo Says:

more thoughts:

I wonder who ever thought that hiring Todd Martin as a coach was a good idea. And where did he/she/they get that idea…and would anybody hire Todd again after seeing the kind of a job he accomplished with Novak?

stu Says:

Polo, Nole was already struggling with his head switch (:P) when he hired TM, and a lot of people thought he’d be the perfect solution. You’re right, sucks for Todd because he will now be blamed for ALL of it!

Kimo Says:

Nole is young. He can still fix his game back. You can’t reinvent yourself in tennis. You can’t change your game. It’s not possible. When Roger was asked if he changed anything in his game after the horrible losses at Wimbledon and the Australian Open after that, he said he didn’t think that was even possible. The rigors of the tour doesn’t allow you to breathe, let alone tinker with your game.

Changing something as fundamental as your serve can only be allowed if your body can no longer handle your serve, and you have to realize that any changed to your serve after being successful with it almost always changes it to the worse. You just have to trust your game, believe in it.

I hope we get 2007 Djoko back.

MMT Says:


If Federer said this, he’s saying one thing and doing another. His serve, forehand and backhand have changed significantly over the course of his career, as well as his playing style and a host of shots that he didn’t have including drop shots, short-angled slices.

And Henin has re-engineered her serve and backhand to good effect. Rafa has changed his serve significantly, and McEnroe’s distinctive served didn’t come into play until his second year on tour.

There are a lot of players who have made big changes to their strokes, and I don’t see any reason why Djokovic should be any different. Maybe with a coach who’s been with you for 10 years whispering in your ear that your game is just fine, it’s easy to fall back on the familiar, but I think he would be well served to make continual adjustments to his game, including the serve, if he wants to improve.

Kimo Says:

I’m not saying players don’t improve. They do. By they don’t try complete overhauls of their games. Did Fed’s serve change? I dunno. Still looks like the same action to me. His forehand does look a bit different now than it did a few years ago, but he didn’t wake up one day and say: I’m gonna change my forehand. He did it over a long period of time. He can’t risk losing his biggest weapon. As for tactics, they change with every match, every set. I wouldn’t call changing your game-plan a real change. Back in 2004, he played all opponents the same way and he beat them all. As he’s gotten older, he needed to add an extra trick or two up his sleeve. All players do that when they get older.

Improving is one thing, changing your game is another.

Ben Pronin Says:

Martin completely changed Fish’s forehand, for example.

Ben Pronin Says:

Federer didn’t wake up and decide to change his forehand, he did it on the court. The subtle changes must’ve been on purpose, they don’t happen by accident. Well, Federer’s don’t look like they did. His serve was different in his early years. Not by much, but you can see the difference.

Kimo Says:

Ben, I think Fed’s case is different. He can hit any kind of forehand. He just selects which one in any given match, and if fore example his cross-court, top-spin heavy forehand doesn’t work, he’ll got for a very flat up the line forehand. For him it’s no problem. He has that shot, he just selects when to use it. But take Rafa for example. He doesn’t have a flat up-the-line forehand and he never will. He doesn’t have that shot. His up-the-line forehand is the same as his cross-court forehand, except that it’s…up-the-line. He has limitations on his forehand that he can’t overcome. Of course, he tries to hit it flatter every now and then, but it still has significant top-spin on it even when he does so otherwise it will sail long, way long (match point against Roddick is a fine example of that). Same goes with his serve. Sure it’s better now than it used to be, but he’ll never be a great server.

Todd mistake with Novak is that he tried to turn him into something that he’s not. Bad idea.

Ben Pronin Says:

What did he try making Djoker into? I was very confused with what Djokovic was doing on the court and his face told me he was pretty confused, too.

Federer’s technique allows him to mix up his spins and whatnot. That’s something he never changed. He modified his take back slightly. I’m not sure why but it’s not like it really hurt him so it’s not a big deal.

Nadal’s technique does not allow him to hit flat forehands. The extreme grip, the take back, the motion itself, it prevents him from hitting a flat ball. But that doesn’t mean he can’t. All he has to do is alter the motion. But he’s not going to do that in a drastic sense since his forehand has carried him to number 1 in the world and 6 slams and counting.

As for Djokovic, I still don’t know what was wrong with his serve before. Shoulder pain is not a reason to tinker the motion. It happens. He played a crap load of matches and served quite well at the end of last season. Roddick damaged the nerves in his shoulder (or something of the sort) but you don’t see him changing his motion or anything. It was a dumb idea to begin with for the Djoker.

Kimo Says:

So we agree. Wait, what were we arguing about again? :D

Kimo Says:

One thing though: Rafa cannot alter his technique. No way. It’s impossible.

Ben Pronin Says:

I didn’t think we were arguing, just conversing about tennis :D

Depends on what you’re referring to. Long term change? No way. Messing around during practice and completely changing his grip for fun? Sure, why not.

jane Says:

Kimo says “I hope we get 2007 Djoko back.” ME TOO!!

blank Says:

Here are some ATP match facts I pulled from the website. Below is a summary of where Djokovic, world # 2 player, stands. The numbers within brackets are that of Federer’s. We all know how talented this young man is, but the statistics present, correctly so, a picture of a man that’s totally lost confidence in his ability. It’s all about putting mind over everything else, but that the toughest thing to do!

Aces – Rank 50 (23)
1st serve – Rank 29 (30)
1st serve points won – Rank 42 (8)
2nd serve points won – Rank 53 (4)
% Service games won – Rank 43 (9)
% Break Points won – Rank 29 (10)

jane Says:

blank, what’s so telling about those serve game stats is that he used to be in the top 5, 10, 15 in pretty much all categories. Were it not for his great return game, he’d be falling fast. Here are the returning stats by comparison:

Points won Returning first serve: rank #2 (Fed is #3)
Points won Returning second serve: rank #13 (Fed is #24)
Return games won: rank #2 (Fed is #9)
Break points converted: rank #28 (he used to be high here too! (Fed is #40!)

stu Says:

wow blank, im a big fan and even i hadn’t realized it was that bad!


The double faults is what really hurts. He is averaging over 5 per match this year. If you have a big 2nd serve and get a fair number of soft/defensive returns like a Roddick or Karlovic then it could be worth it, but even those guys don’t throw in that many doubles. Roddick by the way is averaging less than 1 double per match. Amazing!

The good servers swing as hard on their 2nd serve as they do on their 1st. The only difference is the 2nd has more spin for better control. This makes the shot basically choke proof. Ever notice how Fed is sometimes silent on his 1st serve then you hear a grunt on the 2nd serve? It looks like Djokovic is pushing 2nd serves. When you reduce the speed of your swing like that you actually lose control. It’s like aiming the pitch in baseball.

stu Says:

Novak and Viktor had only 1 DF in their doubles match, and 7 aces. 69% first serves. Is it too early to think that something might be clicking again? :D

jane Says:

stu – keep it coming! We need all the good news we can get (hence I posted those return stats.) ; )

blank Says:

Jane, Thanks for posting the return statistics. I actually didn’t see them at all. They look pretty decent, which probably is the reason why he is still # 2.

As Morpheus would say, I think all Novak has to do is ‘begin to believe’! :-)

Ben Pronin Says:

Even though I know we’re going to hear Djokovic bitch about how long the season is, I’m glad he’s playing doubles. It’ll help him work on his serve and volleys (not the combo). Also, he only has to take care of half the court so he has less to focus on and that could relax him and help him find a good groove.

Nelta is right, you’re not supposed to reduce the speed of your arm on a second serve. Doing that allows for choking/tightening up.

blank Says:

I am appalled at Fed’s break point conversion rate these days. The stats just confirm how bad it really is, by his standards. I bet he ranks in the top 5 for number of break chances received.

stu Says:

jane – the DF was Viktor’s!

stu Says:

:P just kidding – i actually have no idea

Kimmi Says:

Those stats from blank and jane shows djoko return game is very good, what he needs to concentrate on is his serve..

federer return game is not as good nowadays but he can back it up with the serve which kind of balances everything.

What is interesting to me is this comment


““At the ATP Finals in London my shoulder was tired and the body automatically started to make adjustments because of that,” Djokovic said. “Then we tried a slightly different action and it all got very complicated. So now I am just going back to my original action.”


It looks like djoko changed his motion before todd martin changed it. maybe they were thinking that this new serve will also help to minimize those shoulder injuries? don’t know!

All that said, its very good for him to realize quickly that things are not working and try to correct it.

I think he will be might take a little bit of time to gain the confidence back, coz I think his confidence must have been affected especially during important (big) points.

During last year the moment he started clay season, i thought that was the time his game just clicked togethet. Djoko was struggling for a while in the begining of the year thru North american HC, even thought he reached the final of miam, he was still not as confident until monte carlo imo.

maybe clay is where Nadal, Djoko, federer and hopefully Murray finds their game again..

Ben Pronin Says:

I was thinking about that, too. Djokovic didn’t have a great start to last year, either. The results were there but his form was so-so. This year, the only difference was the 2 masters. He reached the QFs in Australia again and won Dubai. Hopefully he’ll regain his form again and maybe even win some titles instead of just being a finalist.

I went back to watch his matches in London and it didn’t look like his motion was different. His last match was against Nadal and he served pretty well in that match. I don’t know what he’s talking about. I think he just made a mistake here.

stu Says:

I dont understand how he can just switch it on and off – Okay he wanted something that would be less strenuous to the shoulder so he tried to change it with TM, but now how can he just “go back” to his original serve?

Agree with Ben. I’m glad he’s playing doubles, it almost forces him to practice the parts of his game that need work. Now lets hope he doesn’t lose touch with his groundies.


My 2nd serve stat was slightly off on Roddick. He has 35 doubles in 30 matches so just over 1 per match.

Kimmi Says:

NELTA – did you mean Djoko? Roddick does not hit too many DF..

andrea Says:

the biggest noticeable difference in fed’s game started about 2-3 years ago when jose showed him how the drop shot (particularly on clay) is a thing of beauty. fed now uses that shot all the time, on every surface. prior to jose he almost never used it.


Hi Kimmi and Andrea,

No that was Roddick’s stat. If you look at my first post I was comparing Djoko’s double faults to Roddick. I said Roddick is averaging less than 1 double per match, but that was incorrect. It is slightly more than 1 per match. See below.

Roddick- 35 doubles in 30 matches = 1.17 ave/match

Djoko- 100 doubles in 19 matches = 5.26 ave/match

Kimmi Says:

thanks Nelta, I missed your last post. when I read your post @ 6:51 pm..I thought 35 DF is a lot but 100 in 19 matches is A LOT!

Ben Pronin Says:

Andrea, the added forehand drop shot is an extra shot. Actually that could explain the change in the take back. His current take back allows for a better disguise as opposed to his old one. He did use the backhand drop shot every now and then, though.

Kimmi Says:

federer chip returns nowadays don’t work so much. I thought that was a problem he has against Berdych. Berdych seem to be able to attack federer returns because of that chip returns.

I am also wondering why federer BH slice did not work as much with Berdy but Roddick slice was such a weapon against berdy..whats up with that?

jane Says:

Kimmi, “maybe clay is where Nadal, Djoko, federer and hopefully Murray finds their game again..” – Yes, hope so!

“It looks like djoko changed his motion before todd martin changed it. ”

Actually, Martin was with Djoko at the WTFs. Vadja was with him in Asia and through Basel and Paris, but Todd flew to London for the finals, so maybe that is where they first started to think about tinkering with the serve.

Agree with you Kimmi and Ben – there is no doubt Djoko was struggling before he hired Todd; you’re right. Partly it may’ve been due to other changes he’d made, and also confidence or lack thereof, particularly in his fitness after retiring at the AO. One of the best changes he made, I still maintain, was hiring Muster’s old fitness trainer just prior to last year’s clay season. It really showed when he hit the first few clay court events.

blank, at least Fed’s serve game backs up those return stats, but he could definitely convert on a few more break chances as then he might not get into those 3rd set (or any set) tiebreak situations, which can then go both way, depending on a shot here or there.

Amen to Morpheus. : )

stu – LOL on Troicki’s DF. : D

NELTA “Djoko- 100 doubles in 19 matches = 5.26 ave/match”

EGADS!! That’s about all one can say to that. Sheeeeeesh!

Ben Pronin Says:

Federer was missing a LOT of slices.

jane Says:

“federer chip returns nowadays don’t work so much.” Very True Kimmi! I remember the commentators talking about that in both the USO final and in WTF, both matches between Fed and Delpo. The power hitters are taking advantage of that return because they know it’s coming, and so Delpo, for instance, would just come in and put it away for a forehand winner.


I watched the 06 and 07 MC finals last week on TC and Fed hit quite a few backhand drop volleys, but did not have a forehand drop volley in the arsenal back then. His backhand drop volley actually has more precision and spin compared to the forehand dropper, but does not have the same disguise. Nadal knows based on the stroke preparation it will either be a normal backhand slice or drop shot so he is in a slightly forward position anticipating a slice(he loves to run around slices to hit forehands). If the backhand dropper comes instead of the slice Nadal isn’t stuck 6 feet behind the baseline on his heels.

Fed’s forehand drop volley has more disguise because Nadal has to respect the forehand drive by staying a good distance behind the baseline. He can’t move forward until he sees the quick arm motion forward which signals the dropper.


Oops. In my first sentence I meant DROP SHOTS, not drop volleys.


I don’t know why I kept saying “drop volley”. I meant drop shot

sar Says:

“Todd is a fantastic person, who has so much experience and he shared everything with me,” added Djokovic, who appeared to be suffering from a cold.

Novak has a cold so we’ll see how he plays.

Kimmi Says:

jane, I think fed chip return works very well with a lot of players but does not work with some.

It definetly does not work with Nadal
Now delpo can set up and attack it.
(berdych was also successfull last week, but as what ben is saying he made a LOT of errors in that match)

With other players it seem to be just fine…he was doing the same at the USO before the final and at the AO ’10 and had his usual success with it. So its working, just not with few players.

Von Says:

OUCH, I wouldn’t want to be in Todd Martin’s shoes right now. Poor guy, his reputation will now hit the dirt, especially in view of what Djokovic said about Todd wanting to change his serve. That can be viewed several ways. Djokovic had a choice, he could say yay or nay. He obviously said YES, and went along with the changes.

To me, Djokovic was encountering serious problems before Martin joined his entourage, and it’s one of the reasons he recruited Todd. Therefore, how could Todd be blamed for the entire breakdown in Djokovic’s game, considering Djokovic’s woes began before Martin’s arrival? His problem stems not only from the serve itself, but the manner in which he rotates his shoulder to hit the serve. His toss plus the shoulder rotation is very much out of kilter, and could cause him some serious injuries.

Obviously, there is a lot that Djokovic has to change other than his serve. And, for my viewing pleasure, I’d like to see a change in the histrionics department, as that behaviour certainly detracts from the enjoyment of the match for me whenever I’m watching.

Ben Pronin Says:

2007 Djokovic had no problems in his technique, except the volleys, which improved throughout the year. Last year, Djokovic played really well at the end of the year, maybe due to Martin’s influence. But Djokovic didn’t do anything out of his comfort zone, he played with his game. The confidence issues had started way back in 08 though.

Kimmi Says:

Gasquet is 2-0 H2H vs bedych

I am cheering for gasquet to get back to the top. he beat berdych before, he can do it again. But berdy is very confident at the moment. Go gasquet.

Nalbandian Vs Youznhy. I like youznhy but its nalby all the way. Tough match for Nalby!

Cilic vs Andreev..go Cilic. bring your AO form back

Benneteau v verdasco..Goo hot sauce

Tsonga v Almagro..NELTA, I route for tsonga. I know you have Almagro on your challenge..but gooo Tsonga


Yes I do Kimmi. Go Nico!

Kimmi Says:

How did you do today NELTA, it went pretty much with seeding/ranking

except for


Kimmi Says:

Sorry I sent before finish typing

Kohl and bellucci would always be tricky
And maybe garcia lopez loss is unexpected too.


I have 3 bad picks so far in the draw. Chardy, G-Lo and Bellucci who was my upset pick. He almost pulled it off, but lost in the 3rd set breaker.

Kimmi Says:

I knew those three would have been my problem too. Bellucci has most of his best results on clay but he has not done much on big tournaments. I have watched some of his matches in South america and he was very good.

Good luck for tomorrow.

A lot of tricky matches…


You didn’t enter the draw challenge Kimmi?

Kimmi Says:

No, I didn’t. Never entered. Maybe I will play Rome. It seem to be fun.

goat galz Says:

I’d like to see a change in the histrionics department,

Oh Von lighten up, you never complain about histrionics when it comes to the master of umpire abusers, journeyman Roddick.

Long Live The King Says:

Who wants to make the pity post that goat galz or cindy beach wants? Please guys someone take pity on this miserable life form and give her some attention please :)

stu Says:

if you guys watch Nole’s interview on the ATP website, i think you’ll start to feel more positive about his chances, like i now do. vajda and monte carlo are an excellent combo imo. ajde!

Ben Pronin Says:

LLtK, I gotta give it to her, “journeyman Roddick” gave me a great laugh.

Sean Randall Says:

Here’s what Todd Martin had to say about the sacking. Seems like Novak wanted his serve fixed last month. Todd said not now. Adios Mr. Martin.

Martin told’s Bonnie D. Ford on Monday that his relationship with Vajda and Djokovic’s trainers “had only improved” over their time together, and characterized the past eight months as “interesting” and “constructive.”

Martin said he was receiving positive feedback from Djokovic and those around him “until our time in Miami, when it was obvious Novak had had a change of heart,” he said.

Djokovic asked Martin for targeted help with his serve at the Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami last month, but the high-pressure atmosphere of those tournaments was not an ideal environment to make changes, Martin said. Djokovic lost in the early rounds of both events.

“If a couple weeks is what my eight months are going to be judged on, so be it. I understand some level of resistance from a player who’s had that level of success before,” Martin said of Djokovic, one of only a few players to interrupt Roger Federer’s and Rafael Nadal’s recent dominance in Grand Slam events. “I was committed to the process of effecting some change, not drastic change, but gradual change, and Novak did not have the same level of commitment.”

Kimmi Says:

aha! conflicting reports.

If I understand correctly, djoko asked for help on his serve at IW and Miami…does that mean Todd martin did not do any changes to Djoko serve prior to that???

Well, well well!

Long Live The King Says:

Looks like a cat fight between martin and djokovic…. like djokovic doesn’t have enough drama….

novak should imitate martin’s serve at monte-carlo….. lol

i am guessing it would be better than the sorry thing he calls a serve these days ;)

Long Live The King Says:

@Ben :

yea, for goat galz’s IQ that’s a major wisecrack….. rumour has it that her IQ falls somewhere between that of a chair and a wall….

stu Says:

hmm. i knew this was going to snowball into something big-ish once TM met the press..

jane Says:

All along Martin was hired to work on Djoko’s “serve and volley” game, and I beleive they were working on the serve at the AO; there were photos of them on the practice court there. However, there were none where Novak was on his knees or whatever, and trying to really rejig things.

Maybe Novak was feeling desperate about his serve so far this year, and based on the stats NELTA posted earlier, it’s no wonder!

I read somewhere else, I think it was tennistalk, that Djok was playing with a somewhat injured shoulder at both Dubai and in the Davis Cup tie, so maybe that’s why he was wanting to fix his serve asap?

Anyhow, I still think it’s good he has only one coach. Two is too many as a player could get stuck in the middle.

Andrew Miller Says:

Djokovic is allowed to fire whoever he wants. I don’t think Djokovic played great with Martin in his corner.

Sorry Todd…if Novak Djokovic turns into IDont KnowhowtoWinoVitch on your watch…

and his game resembles less a former slam finalist and champion, still in his ultra prime years but going nowhere fast,

it’s “see ya”.

goat galz Says:

LLTK/Von: What’s the matter Von, you need your sock puppet to answer for you?

Dan Martin Says:

I think Nole is making the right move at a good time. He can gear up for Roland Garros and Wimbledon by getting his self-confidence back week by week.

Dan Martin Says:

The Basel-Paris run Novak made last year had me thinking he was on the verge of making a run at #1. He blew through the early rounds in Oz and got sick (body issues and maybe psychosomatic issues could be holding Novak back). He did win Dubai again, but I think Novak psychologically is a player who has to feel his game flow rather than being extremely analytical about his game from point to point. Martin was an analytical player. Not bad to try to get the best of both worlds, but if it was not working it was not working. Better to make the change now.

Long Live The King Says:

Goat galz, dont bring down the IQ of the blog with your stupidity.

go take your medications….

blank Says:

Nadal, Murray and Djoko are all in kind of a mini slump. It will be interesting to see who gains confidence first.

If Djoko loses another tough one to Nadal, I am not sure if he can really bounce back anytime soon.

Murray is yet to shine on clay. Maybe such low expectations from him on this surface is what he needs to do well and get his confidence back.

Everyone expects Nadal to win. So a loss for him could mean a gain for Murray/Djoko.

No disrespect to others, but right now it’s tough to look past these 3.

stu Says:

Dan, that’s what I took from TM’s I-wanted-to-effect-a-gradual-lasting-change comment. If you’re idealistic about taking your time to perfect your technique, you end up exactly where he has – as one of the most thoughtful, intelligent players to have never won a slam. He seemed surprised that Nole wanted immediate results, but come on, the guy is #2 in the world, not getting any younger and already getting enough criticism for his losses!

Kimmi Says:

Obviously martin is trying to save his face. This is his career after all.

Its true andrew that djoko can fire his coach if not happy with results. i thought the way Djoko handled the whole thing was very professional..i liked it.

The only problem is, the split came at a time when Djoko needed the most help and there is rumours that martin is the one who could have caused the damage to Djoko serve.

So, he is trying to save his name and in a way i can’t blame him.. but djoko needs to forget and just concentrate on improving his game…
I listen to his interview at MC and he said Roland garros is where he is aiming his clay success..good luck to him.

Kimmi Says:

blank..don’t forget federer, he is in a mini slump too. He has not really impressed since the AO. Murray has not impressed since the AO..same situation if you ask me.

So, who will come out of it firts, i would like to know! nadal is pretty confident right now i think!

blank Says:

I agree Kimmi. I didn’t include Federer just because he wasn’t playing. Maybe that’s a really smart move. The top 3 guys here at MC won’t play until Wednesday, so we are looking at potentially 2 of them playing 5 matches in 5 days. The rest of the Spanish contingent (Almagro, Ferrer, Ferrero and Verdasco) will not be very easy to dispose off in clay. It’s easy to get worn out too soon.

My main concern is Nadal. He looks pretty good. But if he keeps winning all the tournaments he enters till FO (hard to imagine why not), he’d have played over 20 matches in about a month and a half. But I am not sure if that body will hold up for that long (again imo hard to imagine how it could). Again, can he really skip Barcelona or Madrid or Rome? If he does, good for Fed! He has that much less to worry about the ranking points till after FO.

I want to see Murray do really well here.

stu Says:

This episode had better live up to the hype its generated. It will be hilarious if Nole comes out armed with his new-old serve and loses R2 to Wawa.

I just wanna watch Nole play good tennis for a few consecutive matches!

Morning Ollyk!

jane Says:

I am pretty sure that when Djoko and Martin got together, Martin said he wasn’t even really looking to coach (after he and Fish had parted); he plays on the Championship tour and is more-or-less retired, plus he has 2 (or is it 3?) little ones.

So that’s one of the reasons he was only ever going to be a part time coach, as he did not want to travel as is required on the regular tour. The plan was that he’d just meeting up with Djoko at North American events and at the slams. It’s bit awkward to be switching gears like that, for Djoko, and probably for the two coaches to be picking up where others left off.

It makes more sense that Djok has one coach who travels with him on a regular basis.

Kimmi Says:

Murray! me too blank. he is my main man I cheer at the top of my voice this week.

right now i don’t know what to think. kohl can be dangerous. first match first! go murray!

blank Says:

Kimmi, if the top seeds make it deep into the tournament, it’ll be great. We can watch the matches live on TSN (1/2 finals and final) instead of computers!

jane Says:

In my view, Martin’s coaching career is by no means ruined if that’s even something he wants to still pursue. Players on the tour will know about the situation with Djoko, and if they think working with Todd is a good choice, I doubt this will deter them (for example, after Fed fired Roche, it didn’t stop Hewitt from hiring him). Still, I’d be curious to know whether Martin even wants to coach that much; in the past, he’s sometimes had reported for ESPN (on the website), so he has other options, I would imagine, if he wants them…

I can see both of them wanting to save face and move on, and it sounds like, overall, they parted amicably.

jane Says:

blank I keep forgetting you’re in Canada too; that’s right, you, me and Kimmi can all tune in to the tube – will have to hook up the LCD projector if the top guys are playing in the final rounds!

Kimmi Says: semi and final..great! i will look for a date with murray on saturday hope i get it..

blank Says:

True, Jane. I just got an LCD TV late last year. It was awesome to watch the AO final at home on that as I was all about catching the live internet streams before then. Now that I have a TV, I realize that TSN isn’t that good either. They give recorded curling club games a higher priority than live Masters tennis event. :-/

blank Says:

True Kimmi. I can’t wait for this work week to end.

Jane, it’s on TSN2 though.

OllyK Says:

Maxi, you are right!!! I am veeeery happy right now.
It took me some time to read all of your comments, guys, since I haven’t had time to log in these days, and as far as I can see almost everyone here share the same feeling of relief. :) Nole fulfilled my (our) expectations in coaching decisions, now it is time to do sth about performing ones. :) I’ll wait and see how his game looks like in MC (I can’t wait!!) and then, hopefully, start to glorify his desicion even more.. It is your turn again, Vajda, do everything you can to bring our Nole from 2007/2008, whom you created, back!! :)
SAR, enjoy in Belgrade and Serbia Open! I’m a little bit sad cause I won’t be there this year…Last year it was a fantastic experience! I’m sure, you’ll have a great time and if you’ll have some free time check out night life. Belgrade is the best nightlife-city in Europe! :)

Ajde, Noleee!

Kimmi Says:

jane, roche career and Todd are different though. Roche has been there for years and I believe he took some players to GS success. But Todd is only starting. I don’t know how many players he is coached so far. I did not even know of fish (thanks for making me learn that).

So he was probably worried or concerned and decided to tell the whole world.

You say players will know about his relationship with djoko, how will they know? I don’t know if players are thinking the same way fans think because as i said above fans think its all todd martins fault. the only way he can save his face is by coming out and tell the whole world his side of the story.

as you said, maybe there wont be any damage but its too early to say.

OllyK Says:

Beautiful morning, stu, isn’t it? :)
And don’t start with pessimistic thoughts. Grr… ;) Nole is going to play great in MC! I can feel it! :P

jane Says:

Kimmi, I don’t know if Todd even wants a coaching “career,” as mentioned in my previous post. He plays tennis still. He has 3 little ones. I know he did not want to be a full time coach anyhow. He worked with Fish on a part time basis too.

“You say players will know about his relationship with djoko, how will they know?”

What I mean to say is that they will know that Djoko’s serve wasn’t perfect before Todd came along anyhow; there were already glitches.

Moreover, they would all know that Djoko was switching between two coaches in different locations and at different events, and I would presume they’d know even better than any of us if that might be difficult for some players to adjust to. Maybe some players flourish with more input and others with less?

I truly believe that if another player feels Todd is a good fit, and if Todd still wants to coach, he will be fine. I guess that remains to be seen, of course. But that’s just my opinion. I think there are probably several precedents of coaches getting let go where they’ve gone on to work more effectively with someone else. Look at Stefanki – after he and Gonza split up, he’s done great with Roddick. It’s all about finding the right “fit” / help.

Kimmi Says:

“I think there are probably several precedents of coaches getting let go where they’ve gone on to work more effectively with someone else. Look at Stefanki – after he and Gonza split up, he’s done great with Roddick. It’s all about finding the right “fit” / help.”

yap, good point. Its probably happening a lot with players and whatever reason it is..cannot be big deal because some relationships just don’t work.

The only thing i am suprised with is the 2 different stories. todd sounds like is not nery happy with the whole situation.

i agree with the point of two coaches, one at this time and another at that is that working?

Murray arrangement seem to have worked for him though he is going thru some problems at the mo. he had corretja only on clay to start with and then he became full time. How does that work, have no idea..I believe he must have one coach as primary coz its hard to understand.

jane Says:

BTW, Kimmi, I think Martin should tell his side of things; that’s a good and professional decision. It clears the air.

I honestly don’t know much about his past and coaching; I think he coached Mardy from 04 but I don’t know when they officially parted or what. I am pretty sure their relationship was part time, at least for some of it. Maybe it began full time and then was reduced to part time? But he was always part time for Novak; that experiment, being an “across the pond” and slam coach only, just didn’t work out.

jane Says:

Kimmi I didn’t know Corretja is full time for Murray!? I thought Murray;s main, full time coach is Miles Maclagan?

As for Todd, maybe he was a little surprised, (i.e., didn’t see it coming) or maybe he suspected, but thought things were working out from his end, whereas Djoko was finding it confusing, etc.

LOL, this is starting to sound like divorce court. I need to sleep as have major marking to do the next few days. But great talking with you as always.


Kimmi Says:

me too..good night.

O-Kerr Says:

You must be seeing the true face of your good friend. You made the choice, darling.
Remember the conversation in the link below?

I guess chickens are coming home to roost.
Nole’s gutless fans are retreating with their tails between their legs. Shame on you, cowards !
Thanks to Duro for his subtle reference to lesser of the evil.
If you still don’t get it, you will see when it starts coming more directly. It won’t be long, believe me.

margot Says:

jane: group therapy sessions for Andy and Djko? Well, at least it’d be cheaper…
kimmi: like your optimism, but unfortunately Andy is so short of match practise at the mo. and Kohlschreiber is tough for a first match. However, let’s travel hopefully.
Andy’s old coach is new Davis Cup Captain. Shows how influential Andy has become, I guess.

Polo Says:

I do agree with Von about Djokovic’s histrionics. Anybody who considers Roddick’s actions on court as histrionics does not know the meaning of the word.

jane Says:

margot, lol. I wasn’t even thinking of the expense. But they do have similar issues: falling short of expectations, struggling mentally, weakish second serves (and in Djoko’s case, double-fault-itis), and potentially both were/are suffering from too much input, either from many coaches, or from fans, press, etc.

At least the two of them won in doubles!

I like tennis bullies Says:

dropped him like third period french!

bojana Says:

What about us Nole’s fun’s if we like his histrionics department.For all others if you do not enjoy watching Nole just turn your tv or computer off and enjoy your life.
About “poor Tod”,he was hired to help Nole it did not work,he is fired.That is the end of the story.
If he is good as a coach he is going to find other job if he is not that is not Nole’s problem.
There are people who would not be satisfied with anything that Nole does,so hate him as much as you like.WE LOVE YOU.

sar Says:

Got a resevation at Novak’s Dorcal for the semis. Might meet up with Duro and definitely Dva Jelena or Tri Sesira? Dan Martin:I will post photos on my facebook when we get back.

stu Says:

Sar, thts so exciting! I’d be interested to see the pics too!

Huh Says:

“Long Live The King Says:
Who wants to make the pity post that goat galz or cindy beach wants? Please guys someone take pity on this miserable life form and give her some attention please :)”

Hi LLTK, u took my words friend! BTW, how r u? U r missed for sure.

Huh Says:

I agree that it all depends on Nole’s attitude after all rather than anyone else’s as to how he performs.

OllyK Says:

O-Kerr, nobody is choosing sides here. At least, I am indifferent. That is something between you two, so…
Sar, have a great time in Serbia! I would like to see pics too!! Then I’d know what I’ve missed. :( “Dva jelena” and “Tri sesira” (you can pick either one, it’s almost the same) are Serbian authentic restaurants in old part of the city, Skadarlija, with ensemble playing “Old city songs” on tamburicas (I think same word is used in English for that instrument ) while you eat. ;) Very interesting experience. And about Novak’s restaurant – great interior, great food. I was there many many times. Enjoy your stay and say hello to Duro, if you meet him!

jane Says:

sar, I agree with stu and OllyK – I’d love to see your pictures and hear about your adventures in Serbia. You manage to get to so many tournaments, you lucky thing you. You must be a very sophisticated traveler. Have fun! : )

stu Says:

BTW OllyK, what happened to those DC pictures you had promised, when you got up close and personal with Nole? :)

sar Says:

Did you eat at Dorcal or the other one? Does he have a tennis shop near that restaurant?

We went to our first tournament ever in Cincy last year. Then the opportunity to go to IW came up because we were going to Phoenix anyway and the drive is about 4-5 hours from there and we only had a long weekend. Both of these tourneys we had nosebleed seats. This year we were going to Europe for the first time since 2001 and decided on Ireland. All we did extra was plan on a side trip to Belgrade and tickets were easy and cheap to get online.

I will try to set up an album and email some shots to people who want them. I’m not good with jet lag and we are going to Ireland after so it may be a while.

MMT Says:

Oof – lots of comments since I last checked in. My only point with Djokovic was that firing Todd Martin and going back to a service motion that was mechanically flawed to begin with is no way to improve. If he wants to improve he has to address his technical issues.

This business of “belief” seems to me to be the most overrated term in tennis – what’s belief got to do with it when your stroke production is flawed, as the Djoker’s serve clearly is. “Believing” in techniques, tactics or strategies that are flawed is, in my opinion, madness.

OllyK Says:

stu, I’ve never said I had pics from that exact moment (unfortunately :( ) They didn’t let me bring in the camera in backstage..I don’t know why, some security policy, I think! :( I have pics from the stands. Nothing sooo interesting, except fantastic atmosphere, on them. ;)
sar, I was in both of them. That one on Dorcol is bigger and newer. :) Food menu is the same. You’ll have tennis shop (you are guessing, it is called “Novak shop” ;)) somewhere around Central court in tennis village. At least, it was there last year. The other shop is near that other “Novak” restaurant in the part of the city called New Belgrade…

jane Says:

sar, thanks for filling me in – still nice to be seeing a few tournaments in the last year in varied locations, which is a treat too! I am sure you’ll have a blast.

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