At the end of last season, Vajda’s longterm partnership with Novak Djokovic came to an end. During their 15 years together, the pair captured 85 tour-level titles, while the Slovakian earned the ATP Coach of the Year award in 2018.
With one of the most impressive resumés on Tour, demand for Vajda was high. However, due to his Slovakian roots, Molcan had an edge and with a bit of luck, their partnership was born.
“It was pretty lucky how it came about,” Molcan told ATPTour.com. “When I heard that he was finished with Djokovic, we started to speak about things. At the start, it was just speaking about a few things. Then we met again and again and now we are working together, alongside my other coach Karol Beck. It was pretty lucky, but I am really happy and excited that this has happened.”
Since teaming in May, Molcan has continued his impressive development. The 24-year-old enjoyed a run to his second tour-level final in Lyon, while he defeated Pedro Martinez on his Wimbledon debut to set a second-round meeting against American Marcos Giron.
“It is amazing to work with him,” Molcan said. “There are so many things that he knows, so he can tell me lots. He is an incredible coach and extremely professional. We are all learning from him.”
For Molcan’s development, Vajda’s experience and know-how are invaluable. However, the World No. 51 revealed that despite his success, the Slovakian coach is also learning from him and Beck as they look to bounce off each other and form a formidable team.
“Even though he was with Djokovic before, he can learn new things. He won’t say he is the best coach. He still has his feet on the ground,” Molcan said. “He is a really cool person. He is funny and extremely professional in terms of everything to do with tennis. The atmosphere within the team is working.
“He jumped on the train that was already on the way. We are working on specific things. We aren’t doing something completely different. I need to understand what he wants from me and how to execute it in matches. Both Marian and Karol are great at communicating, making it easier for me to understand. I am asking him about stuff, but he is not trying to make me play like Novak, it is about being myself.”
Away from the court, the relationship has been just as strong, with Vajda slotting comfortably into the setup.
“We have a lot of fun together. We are playing games. We are all very competitive. We played a fun game of guessing who I would play in the first round and it is really incredible as he correctly guessed I would play Martinez. We have a lot of fun and the atmosphere is incredible,” the 24-year-old said.
Molcan is aiming to break new ground this week at Wimbledon, where he is aiming to reach the second week at a major for the first time. However, with their partnership in the early stages, the Slovakian is focusing on the bigger picture as he aims to continue his climb up the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.
“We have certain goals and we are just trying to improve my game,” said Molcan, who is 17-11 on the season after reaching the second round at SW19. “I am trying to improve my mentality because tennis is not an easy sport. It is tough out there. I want to improve many things. It keeps me motivated because I still feel I can hit my groundstrokes better and then I will be a better player. We are working hard and I feel it will be a good rest of the season.”