Don't abandon coach, Djokovic tells Nadal

2015-07-04 08:46
Rafael Nadal reacts to losing a point against Dustin Brown (Gallo Images)

London - Novak Djokovic told long-time rival Rafael Nadal not to be panicked into sacking his uncle Toni as coach in a bid to salvage his faltering career.

US legend John McEnroe said he believed Nadal needs to cut the cord with Toni, who has guided Nadal to 14 Grand Slam titles, if he wants to return to the top of the sport following the Spaniard's second round Wimbledon exit to German qualifier Dustin Brown.

But Djokovic believes such a move could backfire on Nadal.

"I don't see a big reason for this to happen. I think he's going to answer better. But from what I've seen, he's saying it's not necessary," said Djokovic.

"He has won 14 Grand Slam titles. He's one of the best players in the game with his uncle Toni who has been with him for his entire career."

The 29-year-old Nadal suffered a fourth successive Wimbledon exit at the hands of a player ranked 100 and lower when dreadlocked Rastafarian Brown dumped him out on Thursday.

It was another reality check for a man who was champion in 2008 and 2010 and runner-up in 2006, 2007 and 2011.

It was a loss which followed quarter-final exits at the Australian Open and at Roland Garros, where he had been a nine-time French Open champion.

Djokovic tweaked his coaching team at the end of 2014 when he brought in Boris Becker to work alongside long-time coach Marian Vajda.

It took time for the relationship to gel and if Nadal were to make a similar change, the time it takes for a new man in charge to bed in may come too late to put Nadal back on course - especially with his 30th birthday coming next year.

"For Boris and me, it took some time. That's what I was saying in the beginning of the partnership or relationship, whatever you want to call it, when we started back in January 2014, that it's going to take some time for us to really get on the same kind of frequency of the mind and thinking, to really start making big results," said Djokovic.

"It started with the final of Roland Garros, then we won Wimbledon here last year, made great results, finished number one in the world. So results are there."

Djokovic, who stayed on course for a successful Wimbledon title defence on Friday with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 win over Bernard Tomic and will face Kevin Anderson for a place in the quarter-finals, believes Nadal should not dwell on his latest loss.

"He won two times title here and played five finals. I don't think that's too bad," the Serb said.

"That's something that obviously for him adds up to extra pressure and expectations to any tournament he goes. He sets himself a very high standard.

"It's not easy to come back in the same tournament, the surface I think he prefers the least, and get that necessary confidence.

"It seems like he needs a few more matches to get into that comfort zone on the court. But he hasn't had a chance. And the opponents he has lost to, they all probably played matches of their lives. They had nothing to lose."

Read more on:    wimbledon  |  rafael nadal  |  tennis

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Novak Djokovic has 12 Grand Slam titles to his name, while Rafael Nadal boasts 14. Roger Federer is currently out in front with 17. When all is said and done, who wins more?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.