Ivan Ljubicic, former mentor to Roger Federer, believes that the current motivational crisis afflicting Novak Djokovic takes the shape of a psychological block.

The Croat who reached world No. 2 in his playing career and transitioned to a key member of Team Federer, also shares the decidedly dark Balkans mentality with Djokovic, who is without a title and apparently less than excited about his tennis so far in 2024.

Ljubicic told La Gazzetta dello Sport of his concerns for the world No. 1 who failed to win a 10th Australian Open title in January and skipped the ongoing Miami Masters after losing this month in the Indian Wells third round to an unknown Italia, Luca Nardi.

Djokovic is expected to resurface at the Monte Carlo Masters starting in 10 days.

In the meantime, the 36-year-old sacked coach Goran Ivanisevic in a shock move revealed this week.

“His problem is psychological, he certainly hasn’t forgotten how to play tennis. Undoubtedly, ‘Nole’ must have fire inside, otherwise he is missing something,” Lubi told the Milan outlet..

“He is used to fighting on every point, to conquer the pitch inch by inch, and if he doesn’t feel those stimuli, he can get into difficulty. 

“But I’m convinced that as his real goals for the season approach – Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the Olympics – he will be able to recover.”