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Novak Djokovic spoke about his collaboration with former doubles No. 1 player, Nenad Zimonjic, at the Monte Carlo Masters, calling him an “older brother” figure. Djokovic, who recently split with his long-time coach Goran Ivanisevic, explained that Zimonjic has been a mentor and friend to him for over 20 years. Zimonjic has been providing valuable advice to Djokovic, particularly on his net game, as he does not play many doubles matches. Djokovic expressed his admiration for Zimonjic’s achievements in doubles, including winning many Slams and being ranked No. 1.

Djokovic also expressed his hopes for Rafael Nadal to return to the court before retiring, as Nadal had mentioned that this season might be his last. Djokovic recalled some of the memorable matches he has had with Nadal over the years, including the Australian Open final in 2012 that lasted almost six hours and his first victory against Nadal on clay in 2013. Djokovic acknowledged Nadal’s dominance on clay courts, particularly at Roland-Garros, and expressed his desire for one last great encounter with him.

Reflecting on his rivalry with Nadal, Djokovic mentioned significant moments such as his victories in the Australian Open and Roland-Garros against Nadal. He acknowledged that their matches have been intense and that their rivalry has been something to be proud of. Djokovic mentioned that their rivalry, spanning over 50 matches, is something that they will appreciate more once they retire. Despite their competitive matches, Djokovic expressed his respect for Nadal and their professional relationship on and off the court.

Having split with long-time coach Goran Ivanisevic, Djokovic turned to Zimonjic for guidance during his clay-court preparation in Belgrade. The collaboration between Djokovic and Zimonjic has been fruitful so far, with Zimonjic providing key insights to improve Djokovic’s net game. Djokovic emphasized the importance of surrounding himself with experienced and knowledgeable individuals like Zimonjic to continue evolving and learning as a player. Their partnership at the Monte Carlo Masters has allowed Djokovic to refine his skills and prepare for future challenges on the court.

As a tennis fan, Djokovic expressed his desire to see Nadal compete in more tournaments before potentially retiring. Recognizing Nadal’s impact on the sport, particularly on clay courts like Roland-Garros, Djokovic hopes for another opportunity to face Nadal on the court. Despite their intense competition and high-stakes matches, Djokovic emphasized the mutual respect and appreciation he holds for Nadal as a fellow athlete and competitor. Djokovic’s admiration for Nadal’s achievements and competitive spirit reflects the camaraderie and camaraderie among top players in the tennis world.

The ongoing collaboration between Djokovic and Zimonjic highlights the importance of mentorship and support in professional tennis. As Djokovic navigates changes in his coaching staff and prepares for upcoming tournaments, working with experienced figures like Zimonjic offers valuable insights and perspectives. Djokovic’s continued commitment to growth and improvement as a player, coupled with his respect for fellow competitors like Nadal, demonstrates his dedication to the sport and his desire to challenge himself against the best in the world. As Djokovic competes at the Monte Carlo Masters and looks ahead to future events, his partnerships with individuals like Zimonjic and his competitive spirit against rivals like Nadal showcase his pursuit of excellence on the tennis court.

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