Novak Djokovic has made the surprising announcement that he is parting ways with his tennis coach Radek Stepanek. A statement was released on the tennis player's website, confirming that Novak, 30, and Radek, 39, have ended their cooperation. It noted: "The private relationship with Stepanek was and will remain great, and Novak has enjoyed working with him and learning from him. He remains grateful and appreciative of all the support he has received from Radek during the last period."
The statement also made reference to Novak's long-standing elbow injury, which caused him to miss the second half of the 2017 tennis season. It read: "Novak remains focused and eager to come back stronger and more resilient from a long injury break that has affected his confidence and game. He is continuously and passionately looking for new and different ways to regain winning form." The statement also confirmed that Andre Agassi has left Novak's coaching team.
Novak with his newborn daughter Tara
Novak, who is currently ranked world No. 12, took a break from tennis last July, after bowing out of the Wimbledon quarter-finals. He uploaded a video at the time, revealing that he had been suffering with an elbow injury for a year and a half.
In a video posted to Facebook, he admitted: "Wimbledon was probably the toughest tournament for me in terms of feeling the pain that has escalated. I have consulted many of the doctors and specialists in the last 12 to 15 months and especially in the last couple of months where I've felt the injury is getting worse. They all agreed that I need rest, I need time, this is one of those injuries where nothing can really help instantly."
Novak spent the second half of 2017 caring for his family – his wife Jelena and their children, three-year-old Stefan and baby Tara, who was born in September. Last year, the couple, who married in 2014, faced rumours of a marital rift. However, Jelena and Novak were quick to quash the reports, wishing each other a happy anniversary just days after their daughter was born.