Novak Djokovic (Player Profile) is hoping to inject some Ivan Lendl magic into his own game in a bid to hold off his two main challengers to the Number 1 spot – Nadal and Murray.
World number 1 Djokovic has added a new member to his coaching team – Wojtek Fibak – the man widely regarded as responsible for transforming Lendl into an “armour-plated warrior, an opponent with no chinks in his game nor weaknesses in his mind or body”. This move has already paid dividends to the Serb as he sailed into the US Open second round last Tuesday with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis.
Speaking about his relieving win at the Grand Slam Tuesday, Djokovic told reporters that Fibak is “an important role in the team…..we worked very well last six, seven days of the preparations for the Open”.
His success at the US Open comes after a troubled year for the player when he lost to both Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal in two crucial tournaments in the calendar. “I didn’t play so well….in the warmup tournaments for the US Open”, Djokovic admitted, which promoted him and lead coach Marian Vajda to see extra assistance in helping the talent stay in the top spot.
Having turned 61 last week, Fibak holds 15 career titles and reached key quarter finals during 1980 in addition to those unorthodox coaching methods that help Lendl become such a Grand Slam danger. Believing that his new charge has “practically no weaknesses” Fibak has confirmed that his role as coach to Djokovic is “mainly preparation, looking after the details and the tactical and mental side. To give him the confidence and motivation” that he needs to retain his top title after such a challenging year.
Djokovic will face Nadal in today’s final in Flushing Meadows and will try to stop the Spaniard’s amazing run on hard courts this year (22-0).