ELEVEN months after winning the French Open and capping the greatest Grand Slam run in modern tennis history, Novak Djokovic hit the reset button on his career, firing longtime coach Marian Vajda and the rest of his team after a stunning career free fall that’s seen him suffer the biggest upsets of his career, lose his spot at No. 1 after having the biggest lead in ATP rankings history and seemingly lose all the confidence and mental fortitude that helped make him the best tennis player in the world.
Djokovic made the announcement on his website, saying he needs a “spark” and that the split with his coach, trainer and physio was amicable.
“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”, said Djokovic.
Novak has added that he believes this “shock therapy” will help him achieve better results.
“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”, said Novak.
“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”, concluded Djokovic.
He hasn’t made it out of the quarters at any tournament since. The results — going from winning four straight Slams to not making any semi-final in the last four months — are as disparate as any in memory. Djokovic is pushing 30, a time when tennis players have to tweak their games to make the inevitable concessions to age. The losses — to Sam Querrey at Wimbledon, to Juan Martin Del Potro at the Summer Games, to Stan Wawrinka in New York, Roberto Bautista Agut in Shanghai, Marin Cilic in Paris and even Istomin in Melbourne were, on their own, understandable. Querrey and Istomin played the matches of their lives.
Below are his results after French open victory
Wimbledon: Lost to Sam Querry in 3rd Round.
Canadian Open: Won the title against Kei Nishikori
Olympics 2016: Lost to Juan Martin Del-potro in 1st Round
Us Open: Lost to Stan Wawrinka in Finals
Shanghai Masters: Lost to Robert Batista Agut in Semi Finals
BNP Paribas, Paris: Lost to Marin Cilic in Quarter Finals
ATP World Tour Finals: Lost to Andy Murray in Finals
Qatar Open: Won the title against Andy Murray
Australian Open: Lost to Denis Istomin in 2nd round
Mexican Open: Lost to Nick Kyrgios in Quarter Finals
Indian Wells: Lost to Nick Kyrgios in 4th round
Monte-carlo Rolex Masters: Lost to David Goffin in Quarter Finals.