Djokovic was sometimes prickly when characterizing his relationship with Pepe Imaz, as he did when talking to reporters in November 2016:

“I don’t know where you heard that he’s a guru, first of all,” Djokovic said. “He’s been in tennis for all his life. I’m just glad that he came this week, together with my brother, to be with me and work with me.”

Pressed further about the nature of their working relationship, Djokovic wasn’t keen to elaborate.

“I’m not going to go into details, because there is no sense. I know certain media is trying to find a story here in calling him guru,” Djokovic said. “I’m not going to give any room for speculations anymore. He’s been there, and he’s part of the coaching team and that’s all.”


Were the hugs holding Djokovic back? It might’ve been the hugs.