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Djokovic turns to Murray coach’s mentor

The National staff  |  August 29, 2013

Novak Djokovic, the world No 1, has not won a tournament since April this year. Darron Cummings / AP Photo
Novak Djokovic, the world No 1, has not won a tournament since April this year. Darron Cummings / AP Photo

Hiring Ivan Lendl as his coach helped Andy Murray become a grand slam winner. Now, the Briton’s rival, Novak Djokovic, has turned to the man who taught Lendl to boost his own game.

The world No 1 hired Wojtek Fibak to join his coaching team ahead of the US Open, and the Serbian is pleased to have the Pole with him.

After winning his opening-round match, at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday, beating the Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 6-1, 6-2, 6-2, he said: “We worked very well the last six, seven days of the preparations for the Open and tonight’s match went really well. He has an important role in the team. He’s consulting me.”

Djokovic, who has not won a tournament since April, said that he and his coaching team felt that Fibak’s expertise could help him win the US Open for a second time. “We all agreed that we might need that extra help and consultation,” he added. “Wojtek Fibak was the right person for us at that moment.

“He joined the team this year for the US Open. It’s kind of a trial in this tournament to see how it goes, how he’s going to fit in the team.”

Fibak, who turns 61 tomorrow, reached a career-best 10th in the rankings in 1977. He won 15 career titles and, after retiring, became a coach. He guided Lendl, who won eight majors, for five years.

“He shares a big love and passion for this sport,” Djokovic said. “I think he has a great input and a great way of observing the tennis matches so, hopefully, we can work together very well in this tournament.”

– Agence France-Presse