Former Serbian Davis Cup team captain Radmilo Armenulic thinks Novak Djokovic’s condition has improved a bit but adds the world No. 1 still has ways to go before returning to his peak physical form.
In his Monte Carlo opener, Djokovic won a tight second set to force a decider versus Alejandro Davidovich Fokina but then was left out of energy as the Spaniard dominated the Serb in the third set to clinch a 6-3 6-7 (5) 6-1 win.
In Belgrade, Djokovic won three matches in three sets before losing to Andrey Rublev in three sets in the final.
“He looks a bit better than before, although I think he was better physically prepared a year or two ago. He took too many breaks, which is not good. He went to Bosnia, to visit the pyramids … He didn’t need that. The matches are a real preparation and I hope that he is slowly getting back in shape,” Armenulic told Kurir.rs.
Armenulic: Djokovic misses Marian Vajda
After Dubai, Djokovic announced he and his long-time coach Vajda decided to part ways.
Djokovic has been working with Goran Ivanisevic since 2019 and the Serb suggested he doesn’t plan on making any additions to his coaching staff following the Vajda departure.
Armenulic thought Djokovic was “more mentally stable” while he was working with Vajda.
“I think he misses Vajda! With him, Novak achieved better results, he was mentally more stable. Ivanisevic is a new coach, he has no experience, he can share advice, but Vajda was more specific, convincing, closer … Somehow he had a family relationship with Nole, and that meant a lot to Djokovic, because he is emotional,” Armenulic noted.
Djokovic and Vajda have kept a good relationship following their split.
Just recently, Vajda was announced as the new coach of Slovakia’s Alex Molcan.
After the Belgrade final, Vajda took part in a special ceremony hosted by Djokovic.