Novak Djokovic’s former coach Nikola Pilic has showered praise on his former pupil. Pilic trained Djokovic during his early years and played a key role in his success. Meanwhile, it is noted that Djokovic doesn’t get the respect he deserves as compared with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
Djokovic is the most successful tennis player of all time with 24 Grand Slam titles. The Serbian is still going strongly at the top level and won three Majors in 2023.
Pilic reckons one day everyone will realize that players like Novak Djokovic are born once in a century. Pilic said he held a special bonhomie with Novak Djokovic and is glad he was able to get the best out of him.
“There are 200,000 tennis coaches in the world, but only about 30 can create players. I put 39 of them among the top 100. I don’t want to compare myself to anyone, but it’s the same as when Michelangelo was painting the church ceiling, and before that, he sketched how it should all look up there,” Pilic told Serbian media outlet Vecernje Novosti.
“After three months, both he [Djokovic] and I saw that it was better, and after six months even better. He was hurting, I was hurting all over, too. But we made it,” he added.
The former coach reckons that the Western world is jealous as Novak Djokovic has achieved all the records in the book.
“The Balkans have their great qualities, not only in sports, but also a lot of negative, wild things. But one day it will be clear to everyone that Novak is a man who is born once in a hundred years. And the whole region loves him,” he said.
“But there are also some who are jealous. Such always exist. They are not important. Novak has both personality and charisma, and that bothers the West a lot. Let them mind,” he added.
Novak Djokovic will be looking to win his 11th title at the upcoming Australian Open, all set to begin on January 14.