French Open

Djokovic's former coach dies

2013-06-01 23:42
Novak Djokovic (AFP)

Paris - Novak Djokovic moved into the fourth round of the French Open on Saturday but then suffered the emotional blow of learning that the coach who nurtured his fledgling career had died.

The Serb beat Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2, 6-3, but discovered only after the match that Jelena Gencic, his first coach and the person who first recognised his exceptional talent, had died in Belgrade on Saturday aged 77.

The world No 1 broke down in the locker room after the match, according to a spokesperson, and cancelled his post-match media commitments.

Gencic noticed Djokovic when she ran a tennis camp when he was six years old and coached him for five years.

Djokovic's team had kept the news of her death a secret and even the post-match courtside interviewer was instructed not to mention it.

The Serb had come through his match against Dimitrov untroubled.

The only concern hanging his emphatic display was an injury timeout in the third set when then the trainer was called on court to massage a problem with his shoulder.

The Serb, chasing the only grand slam missing from his collection, capitalised on a string of Dimitrov errors to gain revenge over the player who had beaten him in Madrid in May.

He will now face German Philipp Kohlschreiber who beat Romania's Victor Hanescu.

Read more on:    french open  |  atp tour  |  novak djokovic  |  tennis

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