PEDRO LUIS ALONSO
Monday, 30 January 2023, 16:14
Though Spain's stars struggled to shine at the Australian Open, there was one Spaniard who was at the centre of attention as Novak Djokovic equalled Rafa Nadal's Grand Slam record of 22 on Sunday.
Carlos Gómez Herrera from Malaga was seen congratulating the Serbian from the box after his 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5) final win over Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Gómez Herrera, who has been very close to Djokovic for many years, is now part of the new world number one's coaching team, along with the player's brother, Marko, and former Croatian tennis player Goran Ivanisevic.
Having been his doubles partner and sparring partner in numerous training sessions in Marbella, where Novak has his second home (in the famous Sierra Blanca residential development), his influence has now grown and he has become part of the volatile Serbian's inner circle.
Gomez Herrera, 32, has himself been a regular on the ATP Challenger tour in recent years. That said, he has never come higher than the top 200 in the singles rankings and he hasn't competed since October.
His relationship with Djokovic began at a Masters 1000 in Madrid and both are regulars at the Puente Romano Tennis Club in Marbella.
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