Ever since he won that elusive Roland Garros crown last spring, Novak Djokovic has not been the same player we all used to know. From a ruthless machine, unstoppable on the Tour for a few years, Novak lost his ground completely, losing a huge lead over Andy Murray he had in the rankings and winning just two more titles after that success in Paris.
After winning Doha in the first week of the new season (he had big troubles there as well), Djokovic is yet to make a semi-final and his second round loss to Denis Istomin in Melbourne shocked the entire tennis world. With a second child just around the corner and obviously being on a turning point in both personal life and his professional career, Novak decided to make a radical step and this morning he announced he will no longer work with his coach Marian Vajda, fitness coach Gebhard Phil Gritsch, and physiotherapist Miljan Amanovic! Vajda worked with Novak for almost 11 years, being a part of every big success that Serb achieved over the years, and he stayed with the team when Boris Becker joined Djokovic to raise his game to an even higher level.
Gebhard Phil Gritsch has been recognized as one of the best (if not the best) fitness coaches in the world, turning Novak into a beast on the court that could endure all the physical efforts, something that wasn't the case in the past.
Miljan is one of the closest friends of Novak, working with him since 2007, and he also helped him a lot during the career. After another setback in Monte Carlo, where he lost to Goffin, Novak decided to make some radical moves in order to bring his game to a higher level again and get back to where he belongs.
It is yet to be seen how he will form his new team but he only had great words for these 3 men, acknowledging their work and dedication in a statement that was released on his site (read it HERE):
“I am forever grateful to Marian, GG and Miljan for decade of friendship, professionalism and commitment to my career goals.
Without their support I couldn’t have achieved these professional heights. I know they completely dedicated themselves and their lives to help me achieve my dreams and they were always my driving force and wind in my back.
It was not an easy decision, but we all felt that we need a change. I am very grateful and proud of our relationship and unbreakable bond that we built through years of mutual love, respect and understanding. They are my family and that will never change.
I want to continue raising the level of my game and stamina and this is a continuous process. I enjoy this journey, it feels like I am starting something new again and I love this challenge. I am a hunter and my biggest goal is to find the winning spark on the court again.
I feel like this is a new chapter in my life. My career was always on the upward path and this time I’m experiencing how it is when the path takes you in a different direction. I want to find a way to come back to the top stronger and more resilient.
I have so much faith in this process and that’s why I will take time to find the right person who I can connect with professionally. I have been on the tour long enough to know how to manage daily routines and I don’t want to rush my decision.
I will be on the tour alone for a while with support of my family and management. I will inform the public when I find the right person, but for now I thank you for your support and understanding", said Djokovic.
“Time spent with Novak feels like a whole lifetime.
We were part of many of his incredible achievements, we were living and breathing for his dreams. I gave everything I could as a coach and I am very proud of our results. We arrived to the point where we all realized we need new energy in the team.
Novak can do so much more and I am sure he will. I am convinced that he will remain at the top of the tennis for many years and that he will bring a lot of joy to all the tennis fans around the world with his victories. Of course, we will continue consulting each other, seeing each other and hanging out together because after all, we are a family”, explained Vajda.
SOURCE: I want to find the winning spark on the court again ALSO READ: 15-year-old Amanda Anisimova wins the USTA Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge and writes history
“Novak is my best friend and my brother. I spent more time with him than with my family in the past 10 years. Nothing will change between us as our lives are interconnected in so many ways. I will forever be here for him and I look forward to seeing him rise to his full potential again.
I have no doubt that he will”, said Amanovic.