Novak Djokovic is the only player among the Big Three who still has an “aura of invincibility” on the court, according to Brad Stine, the coach of American rising star Tommy Paul.
Stine, who has worked with former world number one Jim Courier and Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson in the past, has been coaching Paul since 2019. The 24-year-old reached a career-high ranking of 50 in February this year and has shown signs of improvement under Stine’s guidance.
In an exclusive interview with Tennishead, Stine shared his views on the current state of men’s tennis and the dominance of the Big Three – Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The trio have won 60 Grand Slam titles combined and have held the top spot in the rankings for more than 16 years.
Stine said that while Federer and Nadal are still formidable opponents, they have lost some of their edge over the rest of the field in recent years. He pointed out that both players have struggled with injuries and have skipped some major events to preserve their longevity.
“Djokovic is the only one who still has that aura of invincibility. He’s still playing at a very high level and he’s very consistent. He’s also very hungry and motivated to break the records. He’s the one who is still imposing his will on the other players,” Stine said.
“Federer and Nadal are still great champions, but they are not as dominant as they used to be. They have more ups and downs and they are more vulnerable. They are also more selective with their schedule and they don’t play as much as Djokovic does.”
Stine added that Djokovic’s mental strength and physical resilience are his biggest assets, especially in the best-of-five format. He said that the Serbian is very hard to beat when he is focused and determined.
“Djokovic has a very strong mind and he knows how to deal with pressure. He also has a very solid game and he can adapt to different conditions and opponents. He doesn’t have any weaknesses and he can play offense and defense equally well,” Stine said.
“He also has a lot of stamina and he can recover quickly from long matches. He can play five sets without losing his intensity or his level. He’s very tough to break down and he doesn’t give up easily.”
Stine said that Paul, who is currently ranked 57th in the world, looks up to Djokovic as a role model and tries to learn from his game. He said that Paul has a similar style to Djokovic, but he needs to work on his consistency and confidence.
“Tommy admires Djokovic a lot and he watches him closely. He tries to emulate some of his shots and his tactics. He has a similar game to Djokovic, but he’s not as consistent or as confident yet,” Stine said.
“Tommy has a lot of potential and he has improved a lot in the last two years. He has a good serve, a good forehand and a good backhand. He can also move well and he can play on different surfaces. He just needs to believe in himself more and to be more aggressive when he has the chance.”
Stine said that Paul’s goal for this year is to break into the top 30 and to perform well at the Grand Slams. He said that Paul has the talent and the work ethic to achieve his ambitions, but he also needs some luck and some experience.
“Tommy wants to keep improving his ranking and his results. He wants to make a deep run at a Grand Slam and to challenge some of the top players. He knows that he can compete with them, but he needs to do it more often,” Stine said.
“Tommy works very hard and he listens to my advice. He’s very dedicated and professional. He just needs some time and some opportunities to show what he can do. He also needs some luck with the draw and some confidence from winning some big matches.”
Final Thoughts: Djokovic Still Holds the Aura of Invincibility among Big Three, Says Coach of Tommy Paul
The dominance of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal in men’s tennis has been well documented over the years, and their reign at the top of the sport has been unchallenged for a considerable period.
However, according to Brad Stine, the coach of American rising star Tommy Paul, Djokovic is the only player among the trio who still possesses the aura of invincibility on the court.
Stine, a seasoned coach who has worked with the likes of Jim Courier and Thomas Johansson, believes that while Federer and Nadal are still formidable opponents, they have lost some of their edge over the rest of the field in recent years due to their injuries and selective schedule.
In contrast, Djokovic is still playing at an extremely high level and is very consistent, hungry, and motivated to break records, which he is already doing.
Djokovic’s mental strength, physical resilience, and his ability to adapt to different conditions and opponents are some of his biggest assets, especially in the best-of-five format.
Stine praised Djokovic’s strong mind, which helps him deal with pressure and his solid game, which allows him to play offense and defense equally well. Djokovic’s stamina and quick recovery from long matches are also impressive, making him very tough to break down.
Stine revealed that Paul looks up to Djokovic as a role model and tries to learn from his game. Paul has a similar game to Djokovic, but he needs to work on his consistency and confidence.
Stine believes that Paul has the potential to break into the top 30 this year and perform well at the Grand Slams, but he needs more opportunities to show what he can do.
In conclusion, Djokovic’s aura of invincibility is still very much intact, and his dominance over men’s tennis looks set to continue for a while yet. Federer and Nadal may still be great champions, but Djokovic is the one who is still imposing his will on the other players.
Meanwhile, Paul has a lot of potential, and with Stine’s guidance, he could soon become a force to be reckoned with in men’s tennis.