Novak Djokovic does not hold back about Goran Ivanisevic snub

(Photo by Shi Tang/Getty Images)
(Photo by Shi Tang/Getty Images) /

The ATP are handing out their year-end awards this week. We have already seen Jannik Sinner win the Fans’ Favorite award and his coaches, Darren Cahill and Simone Vagnozzi, won the award for Coach of the Year. This last part seems to have really miffed Novak Djokovic, and well…it should.

After all, no offense to Sinner but he is only 22 years old and his improvement in 2023 might simply be a natural progression in his game. Cahill has proven to be a great coach in his career, but something Sinner just needed to work out on his own on the court. In 2024, if Sinner wins his first Grand Slam (or two) then his coaches should get all the praise due to them.

Novak Djokovic’s coach,Goran Ivanisevic, failed to win the award even though Djokovic won three major titles and the ATP Finals. No other player came close to those numbers, of course. But maybe there is more afoot here than simply being given awards.

Novak Djokovic fires back at Goran Ivanisevic snub

Before I get into that, Novak Djokovic did voice his displeasure on Instagram about Ivanisevic not being named Coach of the Year. One could almost take what Djokovic said as an unbridled threat against the rest of the ATP tour and a warning of how motivated he will be next year on behalf of Ivanisevic.

According to the Instagram post, Djokovic said, “Goran, I guess we need to win 4/4 Slams in order for you to maybe (just maybe) be considered coach of the year.” Novak Djokovic congratulated Jannik Sinner’s coaches for winning the award, too. Djokovic was not being a jerk but simply – and rightfully – stood up for his own coach.

But the issue is twofold. Awards are basically popularity contests. Novak Djokovic is an elite player but some people simply do not care for him for some reason. Ivanisevic would unfortunately have guilt by association and he is less liked because he coaches Djokovic. This is, obviously, just a theory.

The other part that might hold Ivanisevic back is that Novak Djokovic has been so successful for so long. How much coaching does he really need? According to the ATP awards in 2023, Djokovic does not need much.

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