‘Novak Djokovic has spent years working on himself as a person,’ says former coach

A calm borne of focusing on personal emotional development is the secret behind the supreme mental strength of Novak Djokovic, says his former coach.

Pepe Imaz, who was a former doubles player before turning to coaching, worked directly with Djokovic for two years before the two parted ways in 2018.

Their collaboration coincided with a tough spell in the Serbian’s career, but the two remain friends and many of the methods implemented by the Spaniard reportedly remain part of Djokovic’s routine.

And, speaking to Eurosport, Imaz has attempted to explain the source of Djokovic’s apparent iron-clad strength of will.

“Play tennis like angels, that’s to begin with, because if you have peace and tennis is not up to par, you can achieve little on the court,” Imaz said.

“Novak has spent years working on his person, his interior, understanding that when one is better inside, when everything he does is with more harmony, the things are at the end of the day.

Asked if there was anything special they have worked on of late, Imaz explained: “We have not worked on anything in particular.

“It is not a topic that is done in a month or two months or to focus on something specific.

“It is more a work base that in the end is designed to help him become aware, and prioritize that before being a tennis player. You are a person and a human being [first].

“When you enter that part, the other is still important but not with the same relevance. It becomes less difficult to go to harmony.

“In this difficult year that we have all lived, he has become even more aware of the importance of what is the human being, the family and relativizing things. I think that has helped him.

“The calm that comes through the result – that does not depend on you. You can have it today and not tomorrow.

“The intrinsic calm is more solid and goes within you, that is the one you have to nurture.”

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