ATP Tour

Djokovic hints at stellar name after coaching overhaul

2017-05-07 19:16
Novak Djokovic (Getty Images)

Madrid - Novak Djokovic hinted on Sunday that he will follow the trend of hiring a highly successful former player as his new coach, but says he will take his time to make the right decision.

Djokovic parted with long-time coach Marian Vajda on Friday, having also ended a three-year relationship with six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker at the end of last season, in a bid to get back to his brilliant best.

"It's going to be someone that has been through similar experiences like I have," said the world number two.

"Not too many people in the past of tennis have managed to get to that stage and play at that level, so I'll see.

"I'm thinking slowly and thoroughly about it. I don't want to take things with a rush."

Andy Murray ousted the Serb as world number one at the end of last season after rehiring eight-time Grand Slam champion Ivan Lendl, whilst another former world number one, Carlos Moya, has joined Rafael Nadal's coaching team this season.

With barely two weeks until the defence of his French Open begins, Djokovic, 29, has been joined on tour by his brother and his spiritual guru Pepe Imaz.

"I also know that I'll not stay by myself without a tennis coach for too long," added the 12-time Grand Slam champion, speaking in Madrid.

"I'm sure difficult paths lead to beautiful destinations, so I'm sticking with that."

Djokovic's form has slumped markedly since winning the French Open to complete the career Grand Slam 11 months ago.

His defence of the Australian Open ended in a shock second-round defeat to Denis Istomin, whilst he failed to make it beyond the quarter-finals of both the Indian Wells and Monte Carlo Masters series tournaments.

Djokovic admitted he doesn't know how long it will take him to find top form once more.

"In the last six months I haven't had too many great results. That's why, you know, I've felt like I needed some changes and I needed to approach things maybe a little bit differently, which is completely fine.

"How long maybe this process is going to last before I get to the winning terms again? I don't know, I'm just hoping I will get there again."

Murray said Djokovic's decision to split with his entire coaching team was a surprise.

But he sympathised with the stresses and strains tour life can have on player-coach relationships.

"Obviously for us it appears like it's all of a sudden," said the Scot.

"It's great in some ways, but it's also difficult travelling with the same person or same people for 10, 11, 12 years.

"It's very rare nowadays to see teams or coaching relationships last that long, just because of how intense it is.

"A lot of travelling, a lot of time away from families. You're spending a lot of hours in the day together."

Djokovic will begin life without Vajda on Wednesday at the Madrid Masters against Tommy Robredo or Nicolas Almagro.

Read more on:    atp tour  |  novak djokovic  |  tennis
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