Goran Ivanisevic, former World No.2, and currently part of 16-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic’s coaching staff was inducted to the Tennis Hall of Fame on Tuesday. Novak Djokovic spoke highly about Ivanisevic, who became the first Croatian to receive the honour.
Meanwhile, Djokovic is in good form at the moment having secured himself of a spot in the Australian Open semifinals after overcoming Canadian Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 at the Rod Laver Arena.
The Croatian, who was friends with NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash recently cut an emotional figure during the post-match ceremony despite his win over Raonic.
TV broadcaster and legend of the game John McEnroe who was present during the occasion in an attempt to make the mood lighter informed him of his coach Ivanisevic’s induction into the Hall of Fame.
Djokovic jokes about coach Ivanisevic
On being asked what he felt about it, Djokovic who at the moment was still reflecting upon his Bryant’s tragic death took some time before replying “Excuse me, what did you ask me, again?”
His innocent reply soon left the crowd laughing which brought back the smile upon the Croatian’s face.
After a brief moment, Djokovic was ready to give McEnroe a reply saying, “Congratulations to my dear coach for being introduced to the Hall of Fame. He deserves it. He is a legend of our sport. He has been very close to me in my life and my career. I have known him since I was twelve years old.”
He later went on to share his experiences with Ivanisevic whom he said he knew from his time at the Niki Pilic Tennis Academy in Germany, where both used to train.
“We go back in Germany, to the Niki Pillich Tennis academy where he was preparing for his Wimbledon title. I was there and you know obviously amazed to have an opportunity to be with him on that court and get an opportunity to play few balls with him and ever since then we had a friendly relationship,” said Djokovic bringing back memories from the past.
“We speak the same language so we got along very well and I am really honoured to have him in my team,” he concluded.