Ivanisevic: Novak has in his body many more Slam wins

Djokovic's coach sees no limits for his charge following Serb's 23rd major title

Novak Djokovic, family, box, clan, Roland-Garros 2023, final© Cédric Lecocq/FFT
 - Simon Cambers

Novak Djokovic's coach Goran Ivanisevic said he always believed the Serb could hit top form in time to win the title at this year’s Roland-Garros.

Djokovic was struggling with an elbow injury at the start of the clay-court season and lost early in Monte-Carlo, Banja Luka and Rome.

But the 36-year-old played his best tennis when he needed to, completing his record 23rd Grand Slam title with a straight-sets victory over Casper Ruud on Sunday, putting him one ahead of Rafael Nadal, level with Serena Williams and one behind the overall leader, Margaret Court.

“Coming to this tournament, he didn't come with unbelievable confidence and form,” Ivanisevic said. “I was not worried. I said in Monte-Carlo, I don't count these tournaments. Monte-Carlo, Rome, anything. Only tournament that count is this one.

“He has this software in his head that he can switch when a Grand Slam comes. Grand Slam is a different sport compared to other tournaments. He switch his software. The day we arrived here, he was better, he was more motivated, he was more hungry.

“Every day he played better and better. I thought against [Carlos] Alcaraz [in the semi-finals], one-and-a-half hours he played unbelievable smart and unbelievable tennis. And today he just finished what we started actually in Monte-Carlo, to practise, and now it's payday. We cash the check.”

Goran Ivanisevic, clan Novak Djokovic, box, final, Roland-Garros 2023© Corinne Dubreuil/FFT

Rising to the occasion

Ivanisevic said Djokovic’s ability to raise his game at the biggest moments in a Slam was what sets him apart.

“What makes him the best, last two matches, especially that one before, he played the best,” he said. “He showed himself. He came. Today from second and third set again, tiebreak in the first, he started to play unbelievable tennis.”

“It’s this when it counts. Big moments like this then he shows up and plays unbelievable tennis.”

Novak Djokovic, Roland-Garros 2023, final, trophy© Pauline Ballet/FFT

New hills to climb

Djokovic is halfway to the calendar-year Grand Slam for the third time in his career and the 2001 Wimbledon champion said he feels anything’s possible for his man.

“It's fascinating to see, because sometimes you think, okay, now you have 23. But he's gonna find, again, some kind of motivation to win 24, maybe 25, who knows where is the end,” he said.

“I don't know [if the calendar-year Grand Slam is a goal with him. You need to ask him.

“I'm really sorry that Rafa is not here, but I say a long time ago before even I became member of his team that him and Rafa, they're going to go over 22. I am hoping Rafa coming back winning one more, and Novak is only player who can win calendar Grand Slam. He was one match away two years ago, so he has a chance this year.”

“It's still long way. But, you know, Grand Slams are the goal. I don't know how many, but I think he has in his body a lot more.”