Ulises Badio has provided a fascinating look into his relationship with Novak Djokovic, revealing he looks after 'every little detail' of how the Serbian manages his body.
Badio is an absolutely key member of the Djokovic team and has been since 2017. We may have underestimated just how influential he really is, though.
Djokovic is probably the fittest and most durable player on the ATP Tour, with him rarely getting injured or struggling with fatigue during matches. In fact, Djokovic getting stronger as opponents physically wane is a common feature of his game.
Badio has now lifted the lid on just how influential he is in that, saying: "The responsibility that exists on a tennis player like Novak Djokovic is 200%.
"When you treat an athlete like this, at such a high level, you can always be close to hurting him. It was very important for me to have a lot of experience in my field of work and, in this case, to be a little more open to a more alternative philosophy.
"We work with him 24 hours a day. It is not enough to spend four hours with him, during his training, and see him before the game. I follow him at all times, even when he is sitting down to see how he is, or how much water he has drank, or if someone has been talking to him on the phone for a long time: every little detail can influence him during the match.
"When I joined the team I knew how to work and what my professional job was, but not what my role was within the team. However, Novak and I created a close bond and started to get to know each other, creating this important link."
The only real time in recent memory when Djokovic has struggled for fitness was earlier this year following his belated start to the season due to events in Australia.
Djokovic played a limited number of tournaments before finding his feet in clay season, and he admitted he 'collapsed physically' during some of those matches, although it was down to a lack of tennis rather than a lack of preparation.
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