Djokovic hires Muster's old fitness coach

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Deleted member 3771

Guest
Good move. He'll need the extra fitness v Nadal on clay.

Djokovic hires Muster's old fitness coach


By ANDREW DAMPF
Associated Press
2009-04-26

Novak Djokovic has hired Thomas Muster's old trainer as his new fitness coach.

The third-ranked Serb started working with Gebhard Phil-Gritsch after losing to Rafael Nadal in last week's Monte Carlo Masters final.

The move comes at a key point in Djokovic's season. He is the defending champion at the Rome Masters, which starts Monday, then plays at home in Belgrade, followed by the Madrid Masters and the French Open, which starts May 25.

"(Fitness) is what I'm going to need a lot of in the next period, which is very difficult," Djokovic said Sunday. "I play all three weeks and then we have the French Open, and we all know the transition between the clay and grass is very short. It's going to be a very exhausting couple of months."

Muster won three titles on the clay at the Foro Italico in the 1990s and won the French Open in 1995.

Djokovic was the only player to take a set from Nadal in Monte Carlo, but he appeared to grow weary in the third set before getting beat by the Spaniard, 6-3, 2-6, 6-1.

"I've been always trying to be a better player and to improve myself in any aspect, so as soon as I felt that I cannot improve or learn anymore with a certain member of my team, no hard feelings, but I have to change some things," Djokovic said. "I was thinking about it for the last couple of months."

Muster was renowned for his fitness and clay-court prowess, and Djokovic labeled his first week with Phil-Gritsch as painful.

"It's a new program, a new system, a new person, so obviously a lot of innovations, but of course we didn't take it from the start, from zero, because it's too much risk to change everything right away. But I think we have a great base, and he has a good knowledge that we can use," Djokovic said. "We are working a lot on endurance and strength in the legs, because clay requires a lot of endurance."

Djokovic retired from his quarterfinal match at the Australian Open against Andy Roddick due to illness brought on by the heat. He also changed his racket this year, going from Wilson to Head. He has reached the final in his last two events, losing to Andy Murray at the Sony Ericsson Open before getting beaten by Nadal last week.

"I think things are coming together for me," Djokovic said. "I'm (improved) fitness-wise and tennis-wise, and hopefully I can reach the most important level for the most important events in this period of the year, which are Roland Garros and Wimbledon. I'm back on the right path, I just need to keep it up."
 

batz

G.O.A.T.
A step in the right drection for Novak, but he should have been doing this stuff back in December.
 
T

TennisandMusic

Guest
Interesting. The guy makes an apparently wise move and so far you guys are just dogging him. :p Let's see where this takes him. Work ethic can take people a long long way...
 

l_gonzalez

Professional
I much as I like Djoker he just doesn't have the natural fittness and stamina that Federer and Nadal have.

I don't know about that... maybe doesn't have the resilience and determination of Nadal and Federer, but he could be as fit as either one of them if he puts the hours in. I don't believe there's a thing such as natural fitness/stamina, this is the one area that everybody can work on and there is no excuse for not being as fit as you possibly can if you play pro tennis.
 

kungfusmkim

Professional
I much as I like Djoker he just doesn't have the natural fittness and stamina that Federer and Nadal have.

Yeah. Hearing about all the bird flus, sars, lung cancer, heart disease we've beeen hearing about in the conferences, all i have to say is DUHHHHHH.
 

cucio

Legend
We will see whether this move ends up being effective or not, perhaps it is a bit late for this season. But at least the attitude is the right one: his physical conditioning has let him down at important points in his career, so anything he can improve there can make the difference at the level he moves in.
 

P_Agony

Banned
Wise decision by Djokovic. If he can improve that fitness, he's got the potential to pass both Fed and Nadal in the rankings. He has the talent to do that, but does he have the mental game and stamina? Not quite yet.
 

nickynu

Semi-Pro
Hmm I seem to remember a top player doubting Musters fitness, and if it was arrived at in a legitimate way (was it Becker?). Anybody remember this or have quotes, as I recall he basically put up the suggestion without actually saying it that Muster's fitness was arrived at in an unatrual way - wink cough cough!
 

deltox

Hall of Fame
this actually made me smile, im extremely pleased to see that novak understands hes weak stamnina wise and making positive moves to fix the situation. he has earned major respect from me. i hope it does as much for his fitness level as roddick has gotten from his new coach

bravo novak imo
 

pound cat

G.O.A.T.
I hope Djokovic is really prepared to do a lot of really hard training. Anyone who produced someone as fit as Muster no doubt is a very strict task master, and will not accept any lagging on the part of his student.

This will be a test of character for Djokovic and I hope has it in him to get into really good shape (like Murray did).
 
D

Deleted member 3771

Guest
I think his net game is the biggest thing he could improve to take his game to the next level (why did he stop working on that)

But improving fitness can only be positive.
 

tkramer15

Semi-Pro
Hmm I seem to remember a top player doubting Musters fitness, and if it was arrived at in a legitimate way (was it Becker?). Anybody remember this or have quotes, as I recall he basically put up the suggestion without actually saying it that Muster's fitness was arrived at in an unatrual way - wink cough cough!

Yeah, Becker insinuated that Muster had some kind of steroid or doping assistance after blowing a two sets to love lead against him in the 1995 Monte Carlo final. Muster came back to win in five sets, destroying Becker 6-0 in the fifth. Becker claimed that there was no way that Muster could have had enough stamina left to make that kind of a comeback after his grueling semifinal match the previous day. I think it was more sour grapes than anything. Muster's training regimen and discipline were legendary. Other players were intimidated by his fitness. There was never a shred of evidence behind Becker's claims.
 
Yeah, Becker insinuated that Muster had some kind of steroid or doping assistance after blowing a two sets to love lead against him in the 1995 Monte Carlo final. Muster came back to win in five sets, destroying Becker 6-0 in the fifth. Becker claimed that there was no way that Muster could have had enough stamina left to make that kind of a comeback after his grueling semifinal match the previous day. I think it was more sour grapes than anything. Muster's training regimen and discipline were legendary. Other players were intimidated by his fitness. There was never a shred of evidence behind Becker's claims.

That, combined with Becker's legendary reputation for laziness... There's a guy who could have been better if he'd been consistent with the fitness regimen.
 

Ljubicic for number1

Hall of Fame
I think his net game is the biggest thing he could improve to take his game to the next level (why did he stop working on that)

But improving fitness can only be positive.


He hasn't stopped working on it, he just stopped working with Mark Woodford for some reason. I think his net game has continued to improve each year. He was very good at net against Rafa in the monte carlo final especially in the 2nd set where he was 9 from 9 points in the fore court.
 
We will see whether this move ends up being effective or not, perhaps it is a bit late for this season. But at least the attitude is the right one: his physical conditioning has let him down at important points in his career, so anything he can improve there can make the difference at the level he moves in.
I don't think its that late. This is the fourth month only. Seven more to go. I have never done anything with fitness but would think that results would start to show in a month or two.
 
Oh, and thanks for the interesting news, Nat. Roddick dropped pounds but how do you gain strength in legs? Improve stamina? Every player can use that, right? Lets see what happens. Am not overly optimistic at the moment.
 
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