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Novak Djokovic’s coach details key to surpassing Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal records | Tennis | Sport

Novak Djokovic found it incredibly difficult to break down the seemingly immoveable barriers of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal when he first burst onto the scene. However, the Serbian has chipped away at his long-term rivals’ success and it is viable he could retire with the most glittering career that tennis has ever seen.

Federer and Nadal have set the pace over the past two decades, amassing 20 Grand Slam titles each.

Djokovic is six years younger than Federer and one year below Nadal , meaning he has time on his side.

The 33-year-old won his 18th Major at the Australian Open last month and he is expected to win more Grand Slams this year.

But first Djokovic had other ambitions in his bid to end the GOAT debate once and for all.

Djokovic is the only player to have won all nine Masters titles. He has also spent the longest time at the top of the world rankings.

The world No 1 surpassed Federer’s record when he spent his 311th week at the top of the standings earlier this month.

Helping Djokovic hit the lofty heights has been Marian Vajda’s job – and now the coach has spilled the beans on the secret to success.

Vajda, speaking as an ASICS shoe ambassador, a role Djokovic has also taken up, said: “Initially, when I began working with Novak, he did not make it to No 1 as he wanted to get there too fast – I always emphasised that he had to work hard and to put in the quality of the practise to get there.

“He really did put through the sweat and patience for the sport, developing his game through pain and effort even when there was a time that he didn’t believe he could make it to No 1 for those five years between 2006 and 2011.

“I always believed in building up slowly to improve his game until Novak himself believed he could get to the level required, like in 2011 where he broke through and performed such an incredible season.

“After he became No 1 in Wimbledon and his life changed, I was worried that would be it as he’d reached his dream, but now he is dominating the game and is beating the likes of Federer and Nadal, which was impossible before.

“He is physically stronger, altered his diet and changed his attitude to the practices.

“If his health remains stable, I know he can break more records, he is very motivated.”

Fellow coach Goran Ivanisevic added: “With Novak, every day is to improve he pushes to be better and when I see the amazing results, it makes me a better coach.

“However, it’s not easy, there are a lot of ups and downs with a lot of pressure because a final is not good enough. Novak only strives for records and to win so it’s a lot of pressure, but without pressure, life is boring!

“Novak looks to us to provide insight to his questions and we need to be able to answer them.”

Novak partnered with ASICS to create the most technologically advanced shoe to stand up to his demanding playing style – the Court FF Novak. To play as confidently on court as Novak, head to: https://www.asics.com/nl/nl-nl/court-ff%E2%84%A2-novak/p/1041A089-104.html?width=Standard



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