“The worst set that I saw him play,” Former coach Goran Ivanisevic revisits Novak Djokovic’s loss against Luca Nardi dishing out brutal criticism

The Croatian also analyzed Djokovic’s struggles at the 2024 Australian Open.
“The worst set that I saw him play,” Former coach Goran Ivanisevic revisits Novak Djokovic’s loss against Luca Nardi dishing out brutal criticism

Gpran Ivanisevic, Novak Djokovic (Images via Imago)

Novak Djokovic is the No. 1 tennis player in the world. With 24 Grand Slam titles to his credit, the Serbian walks in as a favorite in any tournament.

However, the 2024 season has not been kind to Djokovic. Not only did he fail to defend his crown in Australia, Djokovic suffered an early exit in Indian Wells, and that too after losing to Luca Nardi, an emerging Italian star.

The 36-year-old was blown away by the kind of tennis Nardi played. The Italian youngster beat Djokovic in three sets. While Nardi got all the credit, Djokovic was criticized and is still getting criticism from none other than his ex-coach.

Goran Ivanisevic, who coached Djokovic for over five years and helped him win as many as 12 Grand Slam titles, has hit hard at the Serbian, claiming that the first set Djokovic played against Nardi was the worst set he saw him play.

Ivanisevic, who was relieved of his coaching duties a few days ago, analyzed Djokovic’s early exit at the Indian Wells Open. The Croatian claimed that while Nardi was outstanding, Djokovic did not play to his potential, resulting in a heartbreaking loss for the Serbian ace.

To come back to this American swing, I think if (Aleksandar) Vukic believed more he probably could have beaten him as well. That first set against (Luca) Nardi was maybe the worst set that I saw him play in these five years that I’ve been his coach...Novak simply wasn’t ready for that battle, even though he really tried it just didn’t go his way.

Goran Ivanisevic said to Tennis Majors

Goran Ivanisevic claims Novak Djokovic can beat players on one leg

Goran Ivanisevic also revisited Novak Djokovic‘s struggles at the 2024 Australian Open. The Croatian admitted that it could have easily been a 3-0 defeat for the Serbian in the semifinal considering how he played on the way to the important match, but he avoided a thrashing by winning the third set.
Novak-Djokovic-2024-Indian-Wells
Novak Djokovic in action (Image via Imago)
Ivanisevic then talked about Djokovic’s entire campaign at the year’s first Grand Slam and how the Serbian was not at his best. He then talked about Djokovic’s capability to beat his opponents on one leg when he is on song.

Throughout that whole period in Australia he was a bit hot and cold, first couple of rounds struggling, then against Mannarino and Etchverry better, against Fritz one or two good sets, then one or two bad sets… I mean his level is so high that he could beat those players with one leg.

Goran Ivanisevic said

Notably, Djokovic struggled to register wins right from the start of the tournament in Australia. The 24-time Grand Slam champion had to play back-to-back four setters in the first two rounds.

While Djokovic managed to beat Tomas Martin Etcheverry and Adrian Mannarino in three sets, he was pushed to the limits by Taylor Fritz, whom the Serbian dominated 8-0 in head-to-head record prior to this match.

Djokovic’s struggles were further exposed in the semifinal against Jannik Sinner, when the World No. 1 player was able to win only three games in the first two sets. Although Djokovic won the third set, he was taken to the cleaners in the fourth set, losing it 3-6.

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