- Novak Djokovic lost to Jannik Sinner in his second match at the ATP finals
- His coach has revealed he did not see Djokovic for a full day after that loss
- Djokovic returned to beat Sinner in the final of the tournament on Sunday
Novak Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic has revealed he did not see the World No1 for a full day last week after his disappointing loss to Italy’s Jannik Sinner.
Djokovic arrived in Turin as the favourite to win the ATP finals, but needed three sets to edge past Holger Rune in his opening match, and was then beaten by Sinner in a final set tie-break.
That result left him with no guarantee of progressing into the semi-finals, and Djokovic reacted to the loss by staying away from his team, leaving Ivanisevic unsure if he would even play his final group match against Hubert Hurkacz until the last minute.
‘Tuesday night ended late. On Wednesday we didn’t even see him all day,’ Ivanisevic told Sport.
‘We didn’t know what was happening until Thursday. We were in the locker room and we didn’t know if we were going to have to go home or if we had to go do the warm-up.’
Novak Djokovic suffered a disappointing loss to Jannik Sinner in the group stages of the ATP finals last week
His coach, Goran Ivanisevic (right), revealed he did not see Djokovic for 24 hours after the loss
Ivanisevic, a former Wimbledon champion himself, admits Djokovic is ‘not easy to deal with’ after a loss, but when asked if he was angry at the Serb for not letting him know his whereabouts, he responded: ‘Who am I to be mad at Novak? He is the best in history.
‘He only makes me angry when he yells at us for no reason. He is number one and he always wants more, to improve all the time.’
After going AWOL for 24 hours, Djokovic did take to the court to face Hurkacz, but needed a deciding set to see off the Pole and move into the last four.
Yet having not been at his best in the group stages, Djokovic found another level in the knockout rounds, easing past Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals before gaining revenge on Sinner in the final to win his seventh ATP finals, taking him past Roger Federer’s tally of six titles.
Djokovic returned to his best at the back end of the week to beat Sinner (right) in the final
Ivanisevic noticed a clear difference in Djokovic’s mentality over the weekend, and that meant he was never going to be beaten at that point.
‘Of course, he changed once he was qualified for the semifinals,’ Ivanisevic said.
‘On Saturday I saw it in his eyes, how he approached the locker room, how he trained. In the first point with Alcaraz he was already raising his fist. In his eyes you could see his change in mentality.
‘He was going for the tournament. And when the real Djokovic is on the court, at that moment there is no one who can play with him.’