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Novak Djokovic: 20-time Grand Slam champion confirms split with coach Marian Vajda for second time

Marian 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; Goran Ivanisevic will continue to work with Djokovic

Image: Novak Djokovic has parted ways with coach Marian Vadja

Novak Djokovic has confirmed he 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.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after he beats Russia's Karen Khachanov during a match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Image: Djokovic recently lost his world No 1 ranking

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.

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Barry Cowan is not worried by Novak Djokovic’s lack of match fitness and believes he will be in the mix if he is allowed to play at the remaining Grand Slams in 2022.

"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."

What next for Djokovic?

These are undoubtedly difficult times for Djokovic, who lost the world No 1 ranking to Daniil Medvedev on Monday and has played only one tournament this season.

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Andy Murray believes Novak Djokovic's absence from Grand Slams is not good for tennis, following him missing the Australian Open and potential being ineligibile to play at the French Open.

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.

Djokovic says he was not against vaccination but would not defend his Wimbledon or French Open titles if he was forced to take the jab against Covid-19.

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