Johan Kriek, a former 2 time Australian Open Champion (who won the Australian Open singles title in 1981 & 1982) who is at US Open site in New York today tweeted that Wojtek Fibak (a former Polish Top 10 player) has joined the coaching team of World No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
Picture of the accredited identity card issued to Wojtek Fibak by US Open
A closer look at the I-card issued to Wojtek Fibak states that Fibak is now a part of Novak Djokovic's coaching staff or at least, the US Open accreditation in favor of Fibak has been made stating that he is part of Novak Djokovic's coaching team.
Who exactly is Wojtek Fibak?
Wojtek Fibak aged 61 is a former Top-10 singles Tennis player from Poland. Fibak won the Australian Open doubles championship in 1978. He is widely considered as the pioneer of Polish Tennis & the person who made Tennis famous in Poland.
Wojtek Fibak also coached Ivan Lendl for five years & is widely considered to have played the sheet anchor role in transforming the career of Lendl. Lendl in his book "Power Tennis" had stated that he copied Fibak's "rolling" backhand when he finally added an attacking topspin shot to his defensive slice.
In late 1980s, Fibak had worked with former World No. 5 French Man Henri Leconte.
In 2006, Fibak had coached the Polish WTA player Marta Domachowska for some time.
Currently, Wojtek Fibak resides in Monaco & does a bit of commentary during Monte Carlo Rolex Masters (an ATP-1000 tournament) in April.
His current interests include art & painting collection & according to his profile on ATP's web-site, he owns the largest collection of Polish master paintings outside of Poland.
Current Coaching Staff of Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic's head coach since June, 2006 is Marian Vajda.
File Picture of Novak Djokovic (left) lifting his coach Marian Vajda with the physio Amanovic on the right
Miljan Amanovic – Physiotherapist
Considered as the most professional person ever yet one of the best friends of Novak Djokovic
File Picture of coach Marian Vajda (left), Novak Djokovic (center), Miljan Amanovic (right) taken at Basel
Gebhard Phil-Gritsch (Fitness Coach/Physical Trainer)
The Austrian (who in the past had also worked with Thomas Muster) has been a part of Team Djokovic since April, 2009.
File Picture of Novak Djokovic with Gebhard Phil-Gritsch
Dusan Vemic - Hitting partner (Now, no longer associated with Novak Djokovic)
Dusan Vemic joined Team Djokovic in January, 2012 but as reported by Serbian Media on 22nd August, 2013 & as confirmed by Djokovic's PR team, Djokovic and Dusan Vemic have parted ways. Dusan Vemic had also acted as Djokovic's head coach at Rogers Cup, Montreal and Cincinnati Masters 2013 as Marian Vajda was busy with some personal work.
The Famous five, picture of Team Djokovic from Left: Dusan Vemic (now no longer associated with Djokovic), Novak Djokovic, Gebhard Phil-Gritsch, Miljan Amanovic, Marian Vajda.
Does Novak Djokovic need the services of Wojtek Fibak?
Novak Djokovic in the past had worked with Mark Woodforde and Todd Martin to work on his net game & serve respectively. Though, having multiple coaches can be bit confusing at times.
Also, it needs to be added that in the last 7 years, Fibak hasn't been part of any Tennis coaching program or player. In spite of this, Wojtek Fibak's prior experience in coaching can add good value to Novak Djokovic's game and overall strategy formulation. Though, at this point of time, its hard to comment if Fibak has been appointed only as a consultant for US Open.
Mean while, some Polish tennis journalists called the appointment of Fibak as a rumor while some others described the receiving of identification accreditation (by using his friendship with Novak Djokovic) as Fibak's ploy to access players parties & enjoy US Open action free of cost describing him as an arrogant party animal.
PS: Before publishing this article, I have written to the media team of Novak Djokovic to clarify whether Fibak has been appointed by them. Their response is awaited. Will update their response as soon as I receive any reply from them.
Special thanks to Karolina for all the inputs.
Update: I received a confirmation from Novak Djokovic's PR team that Wojtek Fibak will be assisting Marian Vajda during US Open.