Novak Djokovic says he and his coach are parting ways
Novak says split with coach was ‘joint decision’
Novak Djokovic and coach Boris Becker are splitting up after three years and a halfdozen Grand Slam titles.
Djokovic posted a statement on Facebook on Tuesday, saying the duo “jointly decided to end our cooperation.”
“The goals we set when we started working together have been completely fulfilled, and I want to thank Boris for the cooperation, teamwork, dedication and commitment,” Djokovic’s posting said.
“On the other hand, my professional plans are now directed primarily at maintaining a good level of play, and also to make a good schedule and new goals for the next season. In this regard I will make all future decisions.”
Of Djokovic’s 12 career major singles trophies — trailing only Roger Federer’s 17 and Pete Sampras and Rafael Nadal with 14 apiece — half came while working with Becker.
Djokovic also was runnerup at three Grand Slam tournaments during his time with Becker, meaning the Serb made it to the finals at nine of the 12 majors during their partnership.
Becker also was around for Djokovic’s first French Open title in June, which allowed him to become the eighth man to complete a career grand slam — at least one championship at each of the sport’s four most important tournaments — and the first in nearly a halfcentury to win four majors in a row.
Becker, now 49 and a sixtime Grand Slam winner during his playing career, reacted on Twitter by posting a photo
The goals we set when we started working together have been completely fulfilled ...” Novak Djokovic, on splitting with coach Boris Becker after three years
of himself and Djokovic celebrating this year’s French Open title, saying: “Thank U! We had the time of our life ...#teamdjokovic.”
At Roland Garros, Djokovic was asked about working with Becker, who was a dominant force in the 1980s and ’90s and part of a recent wave of past greats who signed up to coach current stars.
“The last couple of years, I had some great times with him,” Djokovic said, explaining that Becker taught him “from a psychological point of view, how to handle things on the tour, on and off the court.”
“His contribution to the team is definitely big, and so everything works in harmony so far,” Djokovic said at the time.
“How long it is going to go for, we don’t know. We go year by year. So at the end of this year, we will see if he goes for another year.”
After Djokovic’s triumph in Paris, his season went sideways.
He was upset in the third round at Wimbledon by Sam Querrey and in the first round at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics by Juan Martin del Potro, then lost the No 1 ranking to Andy Murray last month, finishing 2016 at No 2.
With Becker in his corner, Djokovic finished 2014 and 2015 atop the ATP rankings.
Djokovic made an earlier change to his coaching team towards the end of the season with Spaniard Pepe Imaz joining him for the Paris Masters, where the four-time champion fell in the quarterfinals, and for the World Tour Finals in London, where Djokovic lost to Murray.
Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker chat during a practice session at the US Open on Sept 2 in New York.