Thursday, June 20, 2024

Tennis world shocked by Novak Djokovic split

Must read

World No.1 Novak Djokovic has farewelled long-time fitness coach Marco Panichi in another shake-up to his team.

The 36-year-old last week said he was considering going without a coach after ending a five-year partnership with Croatian coach Goran Ivanisevic last month, following his early exit from the Indian Wells tournament in California.

Italian Panichi joined Djokovic’s team in 2017, helping the Serb to 12 of his record 24 grand slam titles.

Know the news with the 7NEWS app: Download today

It’s unclear what has led to the split, but Djokovic paid tribute to Panichi on social media.

“What amazing years of collaboration we’ve had. We reached the summit, won titles, broken records. But most of all, I have enjoyed our most ‘ordinary’ days of training in and out of the gym,” Djokovic wrote on Instagram.

“Endless hours of “carciofini” and laughs that made me feel super motivated to prepare for success.

Panichi (right) has been working with Djokovic since 2017.Panichi (right) has been working with Djokovic since 2017.
Panichi (right) has been working with Djokovic since 2017. Credit: Getty Images

“(Thank you) for all the energy, effort and time you invested in making me the best possible player and person I can be. Much love ❤️ and I will see you soon in Roma. Forzaaaa.”

The decision sent a shudder through Djokovic’s fan base.

“Is there a reason why he’s splitting from all his coaches?” One asked.

“Who is left in his team now?” another asked.

“Wow. Guess we will never be privy to what is actually going on with Djokovic,” another said.

“I’m getting worried now,” another said.

“This is not OK. I’m afraid,” another added.

Djokovic skipped the Madrid Open this year to focus on the grand slam events and the upcoming Paris Olympics, but plans to compete in Rome.

In late March, Djokovic penned an emotional goodbye to Ivanisevic.

“I remember clearly the moment I invited Goran to be part of my team. It was back in 2018, and Marian and I were looking to innovate and bring some serve magic to our duo,” Djokovic wrote.

“In fact, not only we brought serve, but also lots of laughter, fun, year-end No.1 rankings, record-breaking achievements and 12 more grand slams (and a few finals) to the count since then. Did I mention a bit of drama too?

“Goran and I decided to stop working together a few days ago. Our on-court chemistry had its ups and downs, but our friendship was always rock solid.

“In fact, I am proud to say (not sure he is) that apart from winning tournaments together, we also had a side battle in (the board game) Parchisi going on… for many years. And — that tournament never stops for us.

“Thanks for everything my friend. Love you.”

Djokovic remains one grand slam title away from passing Australian Margaret Court’s tally of 24 to become the most successful singles player in history.

Latest article