Goran Ivanisevic: Djokovic urgently wanted an AO title

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Novak Djokovic's ninth Australian Open title is one of the most memorable – and meaningful – of his career, says coach Goran Ivanisevic.

The world number 1 calmed a swirling storm of injury, controversy and history and won his 18th career Grand Slam crown to fill the gap to 20-time Grand Slam champions Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

More: Dynamic Djokovic rolls to the ninth AO title

Ivanisevic said Djokovic "needed this win so badly" after a series of challenges, including the world number 1 booted from the fourth round of the US Open last September after accidentally punching a line woman in the throat with a ball would have. Last month, Djokovic had big problems with the media after speaking out on behalf of 72 players quarantined in Melbourne. When he won the third round against Taylor Fritz, he suffered a tense stomach.

"Actually, he needed this victory so badly. There is someone upstairs who sees all this injustice with a lot of media and people doing it to him," said Ivanisevic. "He's been going through a lot, you know, especially after the US Open last year, the pretty bad Roland Garros final, and it's not easy. When he got here, he was quarantined for 42 days.

"Again he tried to help the players. Again he is just him. It's his fault, like everyone else who attacks him. Nobody else attacks, so let's attack Novak. Then this injury happens out of nowhere. Incredible To be honest, I can't believe I'm sitting here today speaking to you as a member of the team of the man who won number nine at the Australian Open. "

Hall of Famer Ivanisevic hugged Djokovic after his 7: 5, 6: 2, 6: 2 triumph over Daniil Medvedev, whom his coach described as a "masterpiece".

"Despite this injury, they questioned the injury. You know, he did an MRI after the Fritz match," said Ivanisevic. "The doctor said what he had. You gave him a choice. Some people can handle the pain. Some people can't handle the pain. It is like this. Someone can take more pain; someone can take less pain."

"The key game for me was one with Raonic and then with Zverev. After that it was always better. Today was just a masterpiece. He never lost on this place. Incredible, unbelievable performance …

"He's shown the world again how great he is, how great he is as a tennis player. This is his tournament. Like Rafa has his French Open, Novak has his Australian Open. Nine times, unbelievable. It just shows that victory What's even sweeter is that I know what he's got, I know what kind of emotion and pain he went through last week and he wins the tournament. That way it's just amazing. "

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In Djokovic's races, it's also important to outperform both Nadal and Federer as the Grand Slam king of all time. Ivanisevic said Team Djokovic expects Nadal to win a few more majors, so this AO title was essential to stay within striking distance.

"If he hasn't won, he'll get older and he needed if he wanted to break the record, if he wanted to catch Roger and Rafa," said Ivanisevic. "To be honest, Rafa will win one more, maybe two, French Open. You have to keep winning. Novak is the favorite at Wimbledon and the US Open. But I mean, especially after the US Open, it's not easy to deal with." with all this disappointment.

"After another defeat in the French Open final, which was not a good performance, the rest of the year went pretty quickly. He was really motivated from the moment we trained in Australia, training 14 days in Adelaide he was very much interested in doing well here.

"He knows this is his place, this is his tournament and he has proven with injuries and everything over these two weeks that he is the nine-time Australian Open champion. Wow, beating Medvedev like that, unbelievable. Incredible performance. "

Photo credit: Paul Crock / Getty

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