Djokovic’s coach gives verdict on Nadal comeback and names Grand Slam threats

Goran Ivanisevic has given his thoughts on some of the biggest topics of the 2024 season after watching Novak Djokovic end the year with a record seventh ATP Finals crown. The Croat has been coaching the world No 1 since 2019 and the pair have enjoyed huge success together. With Djokovic’s long-time rival Rafael Nadal set to return next year, Ivanisevic knows that no-one will want to face the Spaniard on his comeback. And he’s also looking at Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner as potential threats to Djokovic’s chances of winning more Majors.

Djokovic completed another incredible season as he downed Sinner to win the ATP Finals – his seventh title of the year. The 36-year-old had already won three Grand Slams to get to a record tally of 24 and secured his spot as the year-end No 1. He now has the Davis Cup with Serbia but is done with regular tour events until 2024.

Ivanisevic has been by the Serb’s side since they started working together four-and-a-half years ago, watching Djokovic battle with old foes like Nadal and form new rivalries with Alcaraz and Sinner. And the 2001 Wimbledon champion is eager to see what all three men do next season.

Nadal recently announced that he would be able to return to competitive tennis next season, and is expected to confirm a concrete date and tournament soon. “If is true that Rafa is coming, this is for me the best news in tennis. I love Rafa,” Ivanisevic said of the Spaniard’s comeback.

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Djokovic’s coach believes that the 37-year-old still has something to give and could be a dangerous prospect, especially given that he will be unseeded at tournaments. He continued: “It’s going to be interesting, Rafa [is] not seeded. He can play first-round anybody. You don’t want to see Rafa first round in the hotel.

“It’s great for tennis. Rafa will come only if he’s 100 per cent ready. And when Rafa is ready, I think he still has something to say in this left arm.” Meanwhile, Ivanisevic is expecting big things from both Alcaraz and Sinner next year, even after Djokovic beat both of them this weekend.

He added: “Carlos already won two Grand Slams and he’s future of tennis. Jannik really stepped  up this year. He showed the world and himself that he’s ready next year to win Grand Slams, and he’s not afraid of anybody.

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“I think they going to both of them practice hard. The season is over. Not for Jannik, he has Davis Cup. But for Carlos. I think next year’s going to be very, very competitive and interesting year.”

But Ivenisevic will surely be hoping that his man still comes out on top as he admitted that Djokovic was still keen to improve. “It’s very tough to improve with him,” he smiled. “But he wants to improve. That’s the good thing and bad thing for me as a coach and the rest of the team.

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