Novak Djokovic is considered as the fittest athlete in tennis and also one of the best in sports as a whole. The Serbian known for his grit, tenacity and never die spirit and that has propelled him to World No. 1 rank. However, the nine-time Australian Open champion was not always inch-perfect in his life as former retired professional and Djokovic’s coach Marian Vajda shared his first impression on the 33-year-old tennis superstar.
Vajda had a very interesting take on the incident when he saw the 18-time Grand Slam winner for the first time during a training session. He recently appeared on the Changeover Chat show presented by SportMaster on the Tennis One app. There he was quizzed by the interviewer about the first impression on Novack Djokovic. he admitted that his first impression was more on the pragmatic side as he thought that the young boy had some technical flaws. But also added that tenacity and never give up attitude which was inbuilt since the young age.
The coach said, “I saw him [Novak] straight on the court, he was practicing… and it was nothing extraordinary. Actually, it’s also a funny story, I had my daughter, who was beside me standing, and I asked her, ‘What do you think of this guy?’”
However when Marian met him again in 2006 when Djokovic was preparing for the Roland Garros his opinions did take a drastic turn and he was a fan of the Serb’s athleticism. That’s where he saw the star in him.
He said, “He was playing really good. He was a hell of an athlete. I saw his athleticism was incredible, nice and solid, and everything. But I saw some technical gaps there. But overall, he was a competitor. I saw that he doesn’t give up any ball, and I see that his game is in frame, and he sees the ball perfectly clean and hits it clean.”
However, the retired professional did turn to his daughter, Natalia for her opinion on Djokovic even after analyzing himself. He added, ” “Anyhow, finally I ask my daughter, ‘Natalia, Listen, What do you think of this guy?’ She says, ‘Daddy, he looks good, but his backhand doesn’t work.”
Currently the 33-year-old is already a legend of the sport and the duo have created history by being the most successful player and coach pair in terms of Grand Slams. After winning the Australian Open for the ninth time, the World No. 1 will return to action at the Monte-Carlo ATP 1000 Masters event as he is gearing up for the clay-court season.