Novak Djokovic is further reassembling his old team—alongside longtime coach Marian Vajda, former trainer Gebhard Phil-Gritsch is also now back.
Djokovic is training in Belgrade this week for Madrid with both Vajda and Phil-Gritsch. Both have agreed to work with him during the clay-court season but there is no further agreement, said Serbia's Novosti. It added that Djokovic's recent clay-court defeats led him to conclude that his fitness needs more work.
The former No. 1 is 5-5 for the season, and 2-4 since undergoing elbow surgery following the Australian Open. Djokovic is now ranked No. 12.
Match point from Djokovic's loss to Thiem in Monte Carlo:
Former Serbian player and a friend of Djokovic, Nenad Zimonjic, says that Djokovic's elbow problems affected him mentally, because he had never been seriously hurt until this injury.
“The return to the previous form is a process that takes more time. He was never out for such a long time,” Zimonjic told Serbia's Alo.
“He never had this kind of injuries. He needs to overcome a lot in a process that, I repeat, is not easy. It's important that he stays mentally strong and positive, so I don't have any doubt that we will see the old Novak again.”
The 41- year-old Zimonjic is still playing doubles, and is now also the captain of the Davis Cup team for Serbia. He has been another familiar source of expertise for Djokovic.
“I went through these, and I am trying to share my experience and encourage him. I am trying to help all our players,” Zimonjic said. “We are looking forward to the day of his comeback at the top. I think it will happen.”