Coach Goran Ivanisevic believes Novak Djokovic has “a lot more” grand slam titles in him.

The Serbian broke the record he has been pursuing relentlessly with his 23rd major trophy at the French Open on Sunday, making him the most successful male player ever.

He can equal Margaret Court’s all-time record at Wimbledon, where he will be the hot favourite, and could break it at the US Open, where a first calendar Grand Slam by a man since Rod Laver in 1969 would also be on the line.

That he has reached 23 despite the problems caused by his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19, leading to him being deported from Australia last year and missing the US Open, is all the more remarkable.

“It’s incredible,” said former Wimbledon champion Ivanisevic, Djokovic’s coach since 2019.

“If I go back last year in Australia where all this s**t started and then we didn’t know what to do. And now he’s with 23 grand slams and it’s no end.

“I’m really sorry that Rafa (Nadal) is not here, but I say a long time ago before even I became member of his team that him and Rafa, they’re going to go over 22.

“I am hoping Rafa is coming back winning one more and Novak is the only player who can win the calendar Grand Slam. He was one match away two years ago, so he has a chance this year.

“It’s still a long way. But grand slams are the goal. I don’t know how many, but I think he has in his body a lot more.”

Djokovic’s two children, Stefan and Tara, watched him lift the Coupe des Mousquetaires for a third time but Djokovic shows no sign of tiring of life on the road or the demands of top-level tennis.

“Sometimes I see it and then he comes on the court and then you’ll see how much he enjoys to practise, how much he enjoys to hit winners, how much he enjoys to work on little details,” said Ivanisevic.

“Winning in front of this unbelievable crowd, unbelievable stadium. He’s keeping his body great, he’s in great shape. Thank God not too many injuries.

“So it’s fascinating to see because sometimes you think, ‘OK, now you have 23’. But he’s going to find, again, some kind of motivation to win 24, maybe 25, who knows where is the end.”

While Djokovic defeated Ruud in the final, his biggest hurdle was getting past Carlos Alcaraz – who he has surpassed again as world number one – in the semi-finals.

After two pulsating sets, 20-year-old Alcaraz was stricken by cramp, ending his hopes of landing a rare meaningful blow for the next generation against Djokovic.

It is very unlikely to be their last grand slam battle and Ivanisevic said: “I love Carlos. First of all, he’s a great kid. And he’s such a well-educated (guy), nice, always laughing, great tennis player, already won a grand slam.

“He’s going to be extremely dangerous. There are few more guys, always (Daniil) Medvedev but Carlos, I love that guy. He’s a fresh air for tennis, how he plays, how he smiles, how he’s happy, how he plays tennis on the court, the ideas, is just amazing.

“For sure he’s going to be a threat. He’s going to be a threat on grass, he’s going to be a threat on hard court, he’s going to be a threat everywhere. But, it’s always this ‘but’. He’s still young. You have Novak and you can’t ever bet against Novak.”

Fourth seed Ruud has now made three slam finals in a year having lost to Nadal at Roland Garros 12 months ago and Alcaraz in New York.

He has won only one match at Wimbledon in three attempts and last year earned headlines for saying grass was for golf.

“It was more of a joke that got taken too seriously,” he said. “I think it’s fun to play. It doesn’t suit my game very well. I feel a little uncomfortable on it.

“But it’s always so fun to come to Wimbledon. It’s maybe the most historic event that we have. So I really look forward to being back there, and this year we’re playing for points again. I’m going to try to be ready and give it my best effort.

“I have become friends. I enjoy being on the golf course and I enjoy being at Wimbledon.”

Goran Ivanisevic says Novak Djokovic has not given up hope of competing at the Miami Open this month.

The 22-time grand slam champion withdrew from Indian Wells on Monday as he is unable to play in the United States.

As he is not vaccinated against COVID-19, Djokovic had applied for special permission to enter the USA, but was not given the green light.

While the 35-year-old is in the draw for the Miami Open, he may have to withdraw again despite the United States Tennis Association and US Open expressing their hope he would be allowed to feature.

Djokovic wants to play in a tournament that starts on March 22, his coach Ivanisevic confirmed, and pressed for a swift decision on the issue.

"We haven't given up. He wants to play and I would love it if they allow him – it would be great both for him and for tennis," he told Tennis Majors.

"If not, it's not the end of the world, he didn’t play last year as well. The most important thing is that we find out soon, so that we can make a plan.

"Although, in terms of preparing for the European clay court season, I'm not sure playing in Miami is the best solution. It depends on Novak – in the past he has triumphed in Monte Carlo having played in Indian Wells and Miami.

"If he is mentally ready and in his fighter mode, like he was in Australia, then anything is possible."

Goran Ivanisevic says Novak Djokovic is from "other space" and revealed he took "77 therapies a day" on a hamstring injury to ensure he could win a record-extending 10th Australian Open title.

Serbian great Djokovic moved level with Rafael Nadal on 22 grand slam titles, a record for male players, by defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5) on Rod Laver Arena in Sunday's final.

Djokovic was able to go all the way at Melbourne Park despite suffering from a hamstring problem that troubled him particularly during the first week.

The 35-year-old moved back to the top of the rankings with his latest major triumph and Ivanisevic, his coach, felt it was impressive that he was able to play, let alone win the title. 

"Let me put it like this. I don't say 100 per cent, but 97 per cent of the players, on Saturday when you get results of the MRI, you go straight to the referee's office and pull out of the tournament," the Croatian said. 

"But not him. He is from other space. His brain is working different. I [have been] with him [for] four years, but it still sometimes [amazes me] how his brain works.

"He gave everything, 77 therapies a day. Every day was kind of better and better. I didn't expect this. Honestly, I was shocked. First two rounds [were] okay, but then against [Grigor] Dimitrov [I] was very scared.

"But he got through and in the end he won the tournament."

Djokovic also became the third-oldest player in the Open Era to win the Australian Open, younger only than Ken Rosewall (in 1972 and 1971) and Roger Federer (2018).

Ivanisevic was also asked by reporters how much longer he believes Djokovic can continue to take on all comers at the highest level.

"Definitely two, three more years. The way he's taking care of his body, the way he approaches everything, the food, it's amazing. It's unbelievable the level," he said.

"We are talking about young guys. They're here, it's great for tennis, great for the future of tennis.

"But you still have these two guys [Djokovic and Nadal] battling. This was Novak's home court, and now we are going to Rafa's home court [the French Open] in this handball match of 22-22.

"Yes, [young players] are coming, [Carlos] Alcaraz, unbelievable. Still, if Rafa steps on the court on the French Open, for me, he's always the favourite to win the tournament... [Djokovic and Nadal] really push each other.

"It's good that we have a lot of young guys. We have Stefanos who is going to win a grand slam definitely one day because he's just an amazing player."

Novak Djokovic has no doubt in his own mind he is the best tennis player in the world, regardless of what the rankings say.

After clinching a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals title by downing Casper Ruud in Turin, Djokovic reflected on a turbulent 2022 season in which he was unable to play in two of the four grand slam events.

His refusal to accept a COVID-19 vaccination meant Djokovic was denied permission to compete at the Australian Open and US Open, while the various tennis authorities' reaction to the Ukraine crisis meant no ranking points were on offer at Wimbledon.

Indeed, Djokovic successfully defended his title at the All England Club, but in doing so he lost all of his 2,000 points for being the 2021 champion.

As such, he entered the ATP Finals as the world number eight, with his unbeaten run at the tournament seeing him collect 1,500 points and jump up to fifth on the ATP ranking list.

Carlos Alcaraz is the number one for now, after a stellar season for the 19-year-old Spaniard in which the highlight was his US Open victory, but Djokovic will be the favourite with many for the Australian Open, with authorities expected to allow him to play next year.

Asked if he was the world's best player, Djokovic said: "I'm not. I'm fifth."

That came with a smile from the Serbian, who added: "This week I probably am [the best]. Overall the rankings are showing who had the best year, and Alcaraz is the number one in the world. Not much to say about that.

"But in my mind I always see myself as the best player in the world, of course. I have that kind of mentality and that kind of approach. Regardless of who is across the net, regardless of what the surface is, regardless of what season it is, what number of the professional season in my career we're facing, I mean, it's always the same. The ambitions are as high as possible.

"That kind of approach, I feel it brought me to where I am sitting here today as a 35-year-old, holding one of the biggest trophies in the sport."

The 21-time grand slam winner, one behind Rafael Nadal on the men's all-time singles list, said the prospects for future success come down to his "love and passion" for tennis.

"As long as that's there I'll do anything in my power to challenge the young guys for the biggest trophies," Djokovic said.

"I don't know what the future holds, but I know that what I hold in my mind is a huge hunger still to win trophies, make history of this sport, compete on the highest level all around the world, bring good emotions to sports fans, tennis fans."

Djokovic was greeted after the final by Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, another sporting evergreen at the age of 41, albeit very much in his career twilight.

The same cannot be said yet for Djokovic, who may have several seasons left at this high level.

His coach, former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, watched on admiringly as Djokovic won 7-5 6-3 in Turin against Ruud on Sunday.

According to Croatian Ivanisevic, the key to Djokovic's success in his mid-thirties is his relentless work rate.

"He's practising even harder than when he was 22," said Ivanisevic. "That's why he's still so good and that's why he's still going to be even better.

"The will to practise, the will to improve, the will to be better is amazing. He's taking care of his body. In my time we stopped tennis at 30, 31. You were already an old guy ready to leave.

"They all talk about, yes, young players are coming. It's great for tennis. You have the youngest number one in the world who made unbelievable things this year, Carlos. But look at Novak. He's still hungry, he's still winning the tournament, playing unbelievable tennis. He's still already thinking now about preparation for next season.

"Till he's like that, in his mind he's going to be always competitive, favourite to win majors and the big tournaments."

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