While Novak Djokovic plays, he often yells at his player’s box.
During the fourth round of the U.S. Open, he had multiple outbursts, leading him to comment on his relationship with his team. “They keep me sharp, I keep them sharp,” Djokovic said during a post-match conference. “I demand the most focus from my team and they do the same for me. In the heat of the moment, a lot of fun words come out. Coaching is allowed this year to some extent and obviously when I am on that side I try to communicate with them, which is not always the most efficient way and easiest way, but it helps.”
His coach, Goran Ivanišević, commented on their relationship earlier this year, saying, “He’s not an easy guy, let’s put it this way. Especially when something’s not going his way. But we are here to put our back in and to get beaten. That’s what the team is for. We are here for him to feel better and for him to perform better. Sometimes it is not easy. Sometimes it’s very complicated.”
The TV cameras will often focus in on Djokovic’s box. But who all is on his team? Here, a guide to Novak Djokovic’s player’s box:
Novak Djokovic has been with Jelena since the early 2000s, and they married in 2014. They have two children: Stefan and Tara, who often accompany Jelena to the matches.
2. Coach: Goran Ivanišević
Ivanišević, a former tennis player from Croatia, has been coaching Djokovic since 2019. “He has this software in his head that he can switch when a Grand Slam comes,” Ivanišević said earlier this year. “Grand Slams are a different sport compared to other tournaments. He switches his software.”
He added, “He has made me a better coach. I had success before with Marin Cilic and I have been a lot of times on the court with him but on the opposite side. Every day is a new challenge. He makes you motivated. You have to be motivated more and more every day. Every day it’s something new. A lot of times I disagree, but this is the job. You can’t agree with everything, and we are functioning very well as a team.”
3. Trainer: Marco Panichi
Panichi is an Italian fitness coach and trainer who works with Djokovic.
4. Hitting partner: Carlos “Charly” Gómez-Herrera
A newer addition to the Djokovic team is Carlos Gómez-Herrera, a Spanish tennis player.
The two played doubles together once, but he now travels as Djokovic’s hitting partner for practice. “He is the best friend of my middle brother Marko and one of mine best friends,” Djokovic said during Wimbledon. “Carlos played a lot of tournaments with Marko, so he became a member of our family in a way, a person we are really close to. We practiced together many times while he was still playing. Last year, when he decided to retire, we talked and I wished for him to join the team. Goran and the rest of the team agreed.”
Djokovic added, “Apart from being a hitting partner and an assistant coach, Charly is a very well organized person. He is contributing to our team both logistically and analytically.”
5. Chiropractor: Stephen Sassinis Shashyan
Shashyan began working on Djokvoic’s team during the Australian Open. He recalls, “There were some big matches, the second match, the quarter-final, the semi – there were some notable ones where you had to dig deep and work as a team to figure out how to get him to the next stage. Mentally and physically what he had to endure was none other than superhuman. There was no one else that could step up like him and get through his injuries – it was phenomenal. It wasn’t just crunching bones that’s for sure. It was a pinnacle moment putting all my skills to work – every single part of my skillset was used through these two week.”
6. His brother, Marko Djokovic
Novak’s brother, Marko, is a former tennis player who sometimes travels with Djokovic. In fact, in Australia earlier this year, Novak yelled at Marko to leave during the ATP Adelaide finals. He later thanked him during his victory speech, saying, “I would like to thank my team for handling me, tolerating me in the good and bad times today. I am sure they did not have such a blast with me going back and forth with them. But I appreciate them being here. My brother Marko is also here and I do not see him that much, so I appreciate you coming here, love you.” You can watch the moment here:
7. Physiotherapist: Miljan Amanovic
While Djokovic announced last year Amanovic wouldn’t be traveling with him, he has been spotted at major tournaments this year. “Miljan is one of the closest people in my life,” Djokovic said during the Australian Open. “He has been working a lot these days, always gives his best. Considering the circumstances, we spent a lot of time in the car these days, since we are going to three or four different locations for therapy, different machines. We are trying to get my body good enough, so that it can last five sets…I am very grateful to Miljan, it would be a lot harder without him.”
8. Physiotherapist: Claudio Zimaglia
Another physio on his team is Zimaglia, who replaced Ulises Badio in 2022. He’s the author of Sports Massage: And Complementary Techniques, and has worked with other players on tour.
9. His parents, Srdjan and Dijana Djokovic
While his parents are not always present, they typically are in the stands during his Grand Slam finals, including at the French Open and Wimbledon this year. They have been spotted at the U.S. Open, so they’ll likely attend the finals, too.
10. His manager, Edoardo Artaldi
Djokovic’s manager Artaldi is often present in the box. “Edoardo, he is more than an agent to me. He is a family member. He is a friend. He is like an older brother and a father figure as well,” Djokkovic said.
11. TBD Celebrity guest
Sometimes, a famous face will appear in Djokovic’s box. At the French Open finals, Tom Brady sat in Djokovic’s box next to Jelena. “Tom Brady being in my box for Roland Garros finals and sitting next to my wife, was a huge honour. I have a relationship with Tom for several years. We go back. I have tremendous respect for him,” Djokovic said.
Emily Burack (she/her) is the news writer for Town & Country, where she covers entertainment, culture, the royals, and a range of other subjects. Before joining T&C, she was the deputy managing editor at Hey Alma, a Jewish culture site. Follow her @emburack on Twitter and Instagram.