Coach Marian Vajda says his first impression of Novak Djokovic was that he clearly had talent but he was ‘nothing extraordinary.’
Vajda has coached the world number one to almost all of his incredible success, meaning he has had a front row seat to just how much he has developed over time.
His first impression, though, was that there was nothing especially remarkable about him, which only serves as testament to the incredible dedication Djokovic has put into his game during his career.
“I saw him [Novak] straight on the court, he was practicing – and it was nothing extraordinary,” Vajda told the Changeover Chat show.
“Actually, it’s also a funny story, I had my daughter, who was beside me standing, and I asked her, ‘What do you think of this guy?’”
“She says, ‘Daddy, he looks good, but his backhand doesn’t work.’”
Of course, despite not being especially blown away by Djokovic, Vajda did see all the raw ingredients that were necessary to mould him into a top player.
“He was playing really good,” Vajda recalled. “He was a hell of an athlete. I saw his athleticism was incredible, nice and solid, and everything.
“I saw some technical gaps there. But overall, he was a competitor.
“I saw that he doesn’t give up any ball, and I see that his game is in frame, and he sees the ball perfectly clean and hits it clean.”
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