‘West afraid of the Balkan mentality,’ says Goran Ivanisevic

Goran Ivanisevic believes the Balkan mentality of Novak Djokovic gives him an edge over the others

Goran Ivanisevic believes it has been an unfair year for Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic has called the World No 1 a ‘genius and perfectionist,’ while adding that the resourceful Balkan mentality separates him from the rest.

“It would take us three hours to talk about it (what separates him from everyone else),” Ivanisevic told Sport Klub during a recent interview.

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“Everything separates him, although I always believe that first our Balkan mentality is special, different, more resourceful, the best.

“I’m not just talking about Novak as a tennis player, but in general in all branches of sports and outside of sports. That is why the West is afraid of us, we are good.”

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Djokovic, who won the Australian Open in February, now has 18 majors to his name. He is two short of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s record tally of 20 Grand Slam titles.

Having lost to Nadal in the French Open final last year, the Serb will hope to do better this time around.

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“Novak is special, a genius, a perfectionist,” the Croat added.

“I’m not saying it’s always easy with him, but it’s one big challenge. He is a man who wants to be better and better every day, today was good, tomorrow is not and must be better, you are pushing forward, a lot can be learned from him. It’s never boring.”

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Former Wimbledon champion Ivanisevic however admitted that the Serb has one flaw.

“There may be one thing, but no one can (rectify it),” he said.

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“He quarrels with the clock. In my life, I don’t think he (ever) came on time. He knows it, but he still doesn’t (come on time). We all know that he will be late, everyone is used to it.”

Djokovic is currently competing at the ATP event in Belgrade.