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Novak Djokovic still unsure about coaching appointment ahead of Roland-Garros defence

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Novak Djokovic is still considering his options on his next coach after the world No.1 announced the end of his six-year partnership with Goran Ivanisevic last month.

Croatian great Ivanisevic helped the Serb win all four of the grand slams during their successful stint together but Djokovic has not performed at optimum this year, failing to win a title or make a final in four tournaments played.

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Djokovic bowed out in the semi-finals of the Australian Open and lost at Indian Wells in the round of 32, before deciding to split with Ivanisevic.

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Since the move, Djokovic has joined forces with his country’s former Davis Cup captain Nenad Zimonjić on a trial basis, with the pair recently teaming up for the and the pair for the Monte Carlo Masters, where Djokovic lost to Casper Ruud in the semi-finals.

The 36-year-old is still weighing up whether to appoint Zimonjić on a full-time basis and revealed at the 25th Laureus World Sports Awards that he could even decide to go without a mentor and coach himself.

“I am considering that as well, whether I should or shouldn’t have the coach,” Djokovic said.

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“I had a really good time with Nenad Zimonjić as my coach the last three weeks so we’re talking about continuing and seeing. Let’s see, I’m going to make the decision in the next period.

“I’m not rushing. I feel like playing tennis over 20 years and having a lot of different teams and coaches, it’s not like I think I don’t need a coach at all. I think there’s always value in having that quality team and fitness coach, physio, mental coach.

“It’s all important. It creates a formula for success and helps you perform better, train better, recover better.

“Stay on the top for as long as you can. But I think I’m in the stage of my career where I can afford to maybe think having no coach is also an option. Let’s see. I’m going to make my decision soon.”

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Djokovic made the comments after he took out his record-equalling fifth Laureus sportsman award — tying Roger Federer — after titles at the Australian Open, Roland-Garros and US Open to reach a record 24 grand slam singles triumphs.

Djokovic also confirmed he will not play at the Madrid Open in a bid to be fresh for his French Open title defence.

The 36-year-old revealed his next clay court tournament is set to be at the Rome Masters next month as he ramps up preparations for Paris.

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“Unfortunately I will not be playing in the Madrid Open this year, hopefully next year – I’m still young, I have time,” he told reporters.

“But I’m preparing my body to be ready particularly for Roland Garros, Wimbledon, Olympic Games and US Open. That’s the most important block of the year for me.

“I’m intending on playing in Rome, so I hope I can be there, be ready. This year has been a bit different for me, the start, I’m still finding my best level of tennis. Hopefully that can still come in Roland-Garros.”

 

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