The mentor of Novak Djokovic, Goran Ivanisevic, discussed camaraderie in tennis. Former Italian singer Adriano Panatta also discussed the matter: “At the time, we were in Marbella for a performance, and there was dancing for $30,000, which you could also use to purchase an apartment, in between wins and losses.
I had to compete in the Davis Cup the following week, so I was Borg instead, chaste and pure. He drank an absurd amount of vodka the night before the final—about thirty glasses—to the point where I had to take it to his hotel room and dump it on the bed because he had consumed too much.
Instead, he defeated me 6-2, 6-1 on the day we took the field. I flipped and spit at him.” One of the many tales Panatta gave about his friendship and competition with Bjorn Borg, one of the greatest tennis players ever, was this one.
The Panatta-narrated incident stands in for the friendship that the players previously had, both on and off the field.
“In my day, tennis players were pals, but now,” said Goran Ivanisevic
This development was discussed by Goran Ivanisevic in a fascinating interview.
The current Novak Djokovic coach noted that tennis players now have contentious relationships with their peers as a result of the escalating media attention. He clarified: “What generation was the best. Not easy to say.
Rafael Nadal, Nole, and Roger Federer could be the greatest players ever. However, every age has contributed something fresh and original. However, there is a significant difference. All tennis players were friends back then. We were a real group that frequently went out together and to restaurants.
Tennis players no longer exchange greetings outside of the court; only on the court. They are not connected in any way. There are too many media outlets, agents, and websites. Regrets? I’m quite proud of myself, the Wimbledon victory from 21 years ago, and the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
However, I lost some crucial contests, including semi-finals and Grand Slams, because I lacked the proper mental equilibrium and was battling myself rather than the opposition.”