It’s been a curious year for the Serb in a topsy-turvy campaign which has seen his 122-week reign at the top of the men’s game come to an end by Andy Murray, and despite winning seven titles, including the Australian and French Open’s, huge question marks hang over his state of mind heading into 2017.Tennis legend Becker openly admitted in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports that the last six months coaching Djokovic were “challenging”.Troubles on and off the court forced the 29-year-old to seek the help of spiritual guru Pepe Imaz and suddenly title-winning runs turned into talk of love and peace as well as shock exits.He won just one title and reached two finals in the second half of the season following a dominant stretch that saw him win four straight majors.The rumours are already circulating as to whether or not Djokovic will look to add another coach to his team for the new season.So what are the options Djokovic has to choose from? Could another so-called ‘Super Coach’ help bring him more success?Shoo-insLong-term mentor Marian Vajda and mental guru Pepe Imaz are expected to remain part of the team. Old mentor Vajda is likely to remain in a sole coaching position. The 51-year-old has been a member of the coaching line-up for over 10 years. Under his guidance, Djokovic had climbed to the top of the tennis world.Imaz is the newest member to Djokovic’s team and preaches a philosophy of love and peace as central to his coaching.”I don’t know where you heard that he’s a guru, first of all,” Djokovic said of Imaz. “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.”If Djokovic is able to find love, happiness and harmony working alongside the former player in 2017, then there just might be light at the end of the tunnel.Pistol PetePete Sampras is a true legend of the game, and although the 14-time Grand Slam champion has been linked with a move into coaching, he has been largely removed from the tour since his retirement in 2002.He collected 12 of those majors in an era of dominance from between 1993 and 2000 and seven of them arrived on the green grass of Wimbledon.In an interview with CNN last March, Sampras said his life is now very much family focused rather than having any thoughts of returning to the game as a coach. “It’s definitely much different from my life as a tennis player,” he said. “Everything was about me. What I was eating, what I was doing. I was travelling. Now it’s about my kids.”Johnny MacJohn McEnroe, who had a spell working with Milos Raonic earlier this year, is one of the co-favourites for a role.The seven-time major winner joined Raonic’s team in May before the 25-year-old reached his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon, but his media commitments could make things difficult.One thing is for sure, should McEnroe join up the Djokovic revolution, then it would be a whole lot of fun with the outlandish American a firm favourite amongst fans and players alike.Andre AgassiJust a few years ago former world No 1 Agassi admitted he “can never say never” about becoming the latest ‘super coach’. The eight-time Grand Slam winner, however, is not yet prepared to make the commitment with a young family, his charitable work and equipment line at the peak of his priorities.But could a role alongside Djokovic be too good an offer to turn down? His wife Steffi Graf [a 22-time major winner] may have something to say about that.Pat RafterAustralian Rafter, who reached the summit of the ATP rankings in 1999, has recently backed Djokovic to recapture his form in the New Year.Rafter won the US Open in 1997 and 1998 and was twice a runner-up at Wimbledon. He is a known admirer of the Serb having described him as being in a “different league” to Andy Murray.But would the former great swap the sprawling Sunshine Coast for the long and gruelling season on the ATP circuit?Nenad ZimonjicHe might not be a name that rolls of the tongue, but Zimonjic is strongly rumoured to become Djokovic’s coach.The 40-year-old is still an active doubles player and teamed up with Djokovic in the men’s doubles at the Rio Olympics.It would be a surprise to many should Zimonjic join the party, but he is a fellow Serb and former Davis Cup captain who has known the serial major winner since he was a teenager. He has the experience and is known to be highly respected by Djokovic.
This coverage is supported by the Recover Alaska Journalism Project fund at the Alaska Community Foundation. Contributors to the fund are Alaska Children’s Trust, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, Bristol Bay Native Corporation, John S. And James L. Knight Foundation, Mat-Su Health Foundation, Providence Health & Services Alaska, Rasmuson Foundation and Wells Fargo. More information can be found at www.recoveralaska.org. The two young women show their matching tattoos. Hillman/KSKAThis week we’re exploring the Blind Spot, a look at teens who are abusing substances, but aren’t being caught by the system set up to help them. In this story, KSKA’s Anne Hillman spoke with a couple relying on each other to end their methamphetamine addiction.Download AudioTwo young women sit in an empty classroom, their hands entwined. A knit cap is pulled low over Madison’s shaggy hair, and a Batman belt holds up her baggy pants. Kylie wears a pastel hoodie over her thin body and tight jeans. Neither of those are their real names because one of them is a minor.They just started school again after they both dropped out more than a year ago, before they even knew each other.They met when Madison joined her friend for dinner at Kylie’s dad’s house. “They had meatloaf,” Madison said, laughing. “And I met her.”By then, Madison had already started using meth.“I was downtown Anchorage, in the JC Penny stairwell,” Madison said. “Believe it or not, a lot of people do drugs in all those places. So if you ever see people standing in the stairwell, they’re probably doing drugs.”But then, after meeting Kylie, Madison stopped. She knew Kylie had grown up in a house where her father and older siblings frequently used drugs. Madison didn’t want her to have to deal with a girlfriend who was using, too.Then Madison relapsed. With Kylie’s dad. And that was when Kylie decided it was time for her to try it, too. “For me it was more that I was closer to my family if I did it,” she said.She felt left out. “I had younger siblings that were allowed around our family because they didn’t know what everyone was doing. But I did… so I wasn’t allowed around them. But being on it, I was.”Don’t miss the rest of the stories in our series, The Blind Spot.That started Madison and Kylie on a six-month bender with friends and family members. They estimate they used thousands of dollars worth of drugs but paid almost nothing for them. The meth helped them escape.“It makes you feel cut off from your emotions,” Madison explained. “You just kind of get lost in this different world.”The two of them would go days forgetting to eat or to sleep. For Kylie, it all started with wanting to try it just one time.“And six months later you’re like 100 pounds and nobody—your own family—doesn’t want to be around you,” Kylie recalled. “It’s awful.”They didn’t even like each other. They said they were awful together. Madison is whiny and needy, according to Kylie.Madison described Kylie as really annoying. “She’s just everywhere, and then she’s not everywhere. And she’s always writing letters. Always writing, writing. And then she never sends the letters anyway.”The two women chatting. Hillman/KSKABut when Kylie is off drugs, she’s a completely different person, a person Madison loves.“She laughs a lot and she’s really goal-orientated, too, when she’s sober. She wants to get things done,” Madison said. “She looks out for herself.”On the days they didn’t use meth, that’s the person Madison would see. And she’d see changes in herself, as well. She says she always knew using meth was a bad idea, and seeing the differences in the people around her made her realize she needed a change if she was ever going to reach the goals she set for herself.So Madison set an ultimatum for Kylie.“She said that if we were ever adults she would not want to have a family with kids with a mother who’s as messed up as I had been,” Kylie recalled.“I know, it sounds really harsh,” Madison chimed in.“But it’s the truth,” Kylie added. “She said that we didn’t need to set goals for when we had kids, we needed to do it before, so we were ready to have kids.”Madison wanted to show Kylie a better life than she’d had. But Madison is also the one who first prompted Kylie to try meth. So why does Kylie still trust her?“Nobody’s ever told me that they supported me or they believed in me,” Kylie explains, “but she has.”In order to get clean the young couple had to get away from everyone who was still using, so they went to live with friends in Wasilla.“If you try to quit and you’re still around all those people that do drugs”—Kylie starts.“–It makes it a thousand times harder,” Madison swoops in, finishing the sentence for her. It’s part of an increasingly normal relationship between the two of them, squabbling over housework, and supporting each other through what Madison says has to be a personal decision.“You have to make the decision to leave and get better for yourself,” Madison says.Madison has relapsed since trying to get off meth. But she knows that is part of the process, and she just has to move on.Both women say it’s hard, but that together they’re trying.Update: The two women moved back to Anchorage, found secure housing, and are planning their wedding. Hear their update here.The Blind Spot: Spaces Between StatisticsThe Blind Spot: A System of Order Over ChaosThe Blind Spot: Harm Reduction at the Transit CenterThe Blind Spot: Beyond No-Man’s Land