Again, Djokovic splits with long-time coach Vadja

Djokovic splits with long-time coach Vadja

Former world number one Novak Djokovic has split from his coach Marian Vajda for a second time.

Serbia’s Djokovic, 34, lost the number one ranking to Russian Daniil Medvedev on Monday.

The Serb, a 20-time Grand Slam winner, began working with Slovakian Vajda as a teenager in 2006 and the pair briefly split for one year in 2017.

Slovak Vajda has been a near-constant through Djokovic’s career, helping him to 20 Grand Slam titles and an unprecedented 361 weeks as the top-ranked player.

The pair parted ways after the ATP Finals in Turin, a statement on Djokovic’s website said.

Croatian former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic joined Djokovic’s coaching team in 2019 and will continue to work closely with the Serb.

“During my time with Novak, I have been lucky to watch him transform into the player he is today,” said Vajda.

“I will look back on our time together with immense pride and am so very thankful for the success we have achieved.”I remain his biggest support on and off the court and look forward to new challenges.

Djokovic lost his world number one ranking to Russian Daniil Medvedev this week after suffering a shock 6-4, 7-6(4) defeat by Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely in the Dubai Tennis Championships quarter-finals.

Djokovic was unable to defend his Australian Open title in January and compete for a record 21st Grand Slam crown after being deported from the country over his lack of COVID-19 vaccination.

“Marian has been by my side during the most important and memorable moments in my career,” said Djokovic.

“Together we have achieved some incredible things and I am very grateful for his friendship and dedication over the last 15 years.”

Djokovic and Vajda agreed to part company at the end of a 2021 season in which the Serb won three Grand Slams.

Having been deported from Australia on the eve of the Australian Open last month, Djokovic returned to action in Dubai last week where he lost to Jiri Vesely in the quarter-finals.

Vajda said he would look back on their time together “with immense pride” and added he was looking “forward to new challenges”.