Ivanovic appoints Djokovic’s former coach
Originally published on 23/07/14
Petrovic, who helped a teenage Novak Djokovic break into the world’s top 100 in 2005, will initially work with the 26-year-old for the American hard court swing. The former world No.1, who split from Nemanja Kontic after Wimbledon, will return to action at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford next week.
“[Dejan] will accompany Ana to the North American tournaments this summer,” said a statement on Ivanovic’s website.
Australian-born Petrovic, 36, runs an academy in Kragujevac, two hours south of Belgrade. He reached a career-high ranking of No.157 in singles and No.116 in doubles, played Davis Cup for Yugoslavia in 2003 and alongside a 16-year-old debutant Djokovic for Serbia and Montenegro in 2004.
He gave up his playing career later that year to start coaching Djokovic, helping guide the teenager from No.272 to No.94 when he was replaced by Italian Riccardo Piatti after Wimbledon in 2005.
“Novak is like a son to me,” Petrovic is quoted as saying in Novak Djokovic and the Rise of Serbia: The Sporting Statesman by Chris Bowers. “Yes it was nice playing Davis Cup and it was a wrench to give up that part of my playing career, but I have had that 10 months working with him – I don’t regret it at all.
“He appreciates it and that’s the most important thing for me – I don’t need any financial reward, I’m just happy with the fufilment of being a piece of the puzzle to a crucial period of his playing career and in helping move up to the top 100 so quickly.
“Players like Becker, Federer, Nadal and Novak – they’re one in a million, not really from this planet, so I feel blessed to have been able to work with one of them.”