Novak Djokovic has split from long-time coach Marian Vajda for a second time.
The 20-time grand slam champion began working with Vajda in 2006 when he was a teenager and the Slovakian coach has been by his side for virtually his whole career.
They briefly split in 2017 while Djokovic was struggling with injury and off-court problems but reunited the following year.
Vajda has taken more of a back seat since Djokovic brought Goran Ivanisevic into his team in 2019 and it was revealed on Tuesday that player and coach agreed to go their separate ways at the end of last season.
Djokovic said in a statement: “Marian has been by my side during the most important and memorable moments in my career. Together we have achieved some incredible things and I am very grateful for his friendship and dedication over the last 15 years.
“While he might be leaving the professional team, he will always be family and I can’t thank him enough for all he has done.”
Vajda’s scaled-back role enabled him to spend more time at home but the 56-year-old hinted he is keen for another coaching job.
“During my time with Novak, I have been lucky to watch him transform into the player he is today,” he said. “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.”
These are undoubtedly difficult times for Djokovic, who lost the world number one ranking to Daniil Medvedev on Monday and has played only one tournament this season.
Following his deportation from Australia, Djokovic returned to the court in Dubai last week but suffered a shock quarter-final loss to Jiri Vesely.
If he remains unvaccinated against coronavirus, as he appears determined to do, the big ATP Tour events in Indian Wells and Miami look off the table while the European clay tournaments that follow are also far from straightforward.