Novak Djokovic’s physio suffered ‘severe heart attack’ due to ‘stress of tennis tour’

Novak Djokovic’s physio Miljan Amanovic has recently been seen in his box after scaling back his responsibilities.

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Novak Djokovic’s physiotherapist Miljan Amanovic suffered a heart attack in 2017 (Image: Getty)

Novak Djokovic’s long-serving physio Miljan Amanovic was forced to adapt his career after suffering a heart attack which he attributed to the stress of travelling on the tennis tour. Amanovic started working with the world No. 1 back in 2007 but has since taken a step back, working at Djokovic’s tennis centre in Serbia and travelling with him on a part-time basis.

Amanovic has been one of several trusted figures in Djokovic’s camp since the early days of his career. The pair started working together a year before the Serb won his first Grand Slam title in 2008 but they briefly split in 2017, when Djokovic gutted his team entirely, also axing long-term coach Marian Vajda and fitness trainer Gebhard Phil Gritsch.

While Amanovic eventually returned to Djokovic’s box, it came after he suffered a heart attack which meant that he could no longer travel full-time. The incident is mentioned in Novak Djokovic: The greatest of all time, a new book profiling the 24-time Major champion’s rise to the top of tennis.

“In 2017, when Novak made wholesale changes to his support team, Amanovic stopped working with him. That same year, the physio suffered a heart attack, brought on, he said, by the stress of travelling full-time on the ATP Tour,” the book states.

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Miljan Amanovic has been part of Novak Djokovic’s team since 2007 (Image: Getty)

After making a full recovery, the Croatian physio later said: “I survived a severe heart attack. I was resuscitated four times. Now I can say that it was God’s will in the true sense of the word, because if only one link in the chain of events had not been in place that day, I would probably have left this earthly life. They say that they fought for me for 40 minutes.”

Djokovic eventually rehired Amanovic and Vajda after getting rid of them in 2017. While Vajda left the camp for good in 2022, Amanovic has been seen cheering the world No. 1 on as recently as last month at the Australian Open. But he was forced to relieve his workload after the heart attack.

In 2022, Djokovic announced that the physio would be taking up a new role at his Novak Tennis Centre in Belgrade. “Miljan has travelled a lot, he has got three kids. Also, we have big plans here in the Novak Tennis Centre, we intend to transform it to an Academy, and Miljan is one of the key people there. I am delighted that he has accepted that role, he will mean the world to us,” he said during the Serbia Open – a tournament held at his facility.

Miljan Amanovic

Miljan Amanovic was back in Novak Djokovic’s box at the recent Australian Open (Image: Getty)

But Amanovic was back in his team by the end of the year after the world No. 1 got rid of his other physiotherapist Ulises Badio, who he hired in May 2017. Amanovic – who also worked with Red Star Belgrade – travelled to the 2023 Australian Open with Djokovic, who won the title despite suffering a hamstring tear.

He paid tribute to his long-time physio for looking after his body during the tournament, telling Serbian reporters: “Miljan is one of the closest people in my life. He has been working a lot these days, always gives his best. I am very grateful to Miljan, it would be a lot harder without him.”

Amanovic has been travelling with Djokovic more often in recent months and was seen in his box again at this year’s Aussie Open. It’s a testament to their bond, as the physio continues to work with the 36-year-old after his ordeal.

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