Djokovic row: Andrew Allison defends him, saying its his 'choice'
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Novak Djokovic’s year has got off on the wrong foot with the Serbian superstar being forced to miss the Australian Open before being stripped as the World No 1 following Daniil Medvedev’s rise in form. And he could be in an even more of a difficult position now after splitting from his coach Marian Vajda, claims Justine Henin.
Djokovic was not allowed to compete in Melbourne due to vaccination laws, with the Serbian star being deemed as unable to play as it ‘was in the public interest to do so’ by Australian officials. Soon after he entered the Dubai Championships, but lost in the quarter-finals to Jiri Vesely.
The loss meant Medvedev leapfrogged him into the No 1 spot. Djokovic, who had reigned at the top for 361 weeks, has since split from his long-term coach.
And according to former seven-time Grand Slam winner Henin, Djokovic is going through a ‘difficult period’ – although the Belgian backed him to turn his career around.
“He is going through a difficult period. And in difficult times sometimes important decisions have to be made,” Henin said to Eurosport.
“I think that if there was a turning point in the months, it probably happened during the Olympics. It will have an impact in the next few weeks.
Djokovic’s split from Vadja means that he will aim to win a Grand Slam without the Slovakian coach for the first time in his career.
The Serbian has won 85 of his 86 titles under former tennis player Vajda and may find it difficult to get going again under a new coach.
The 20-time Slam-winner has thanked his former coach for the help he has provided him with down the years in becoming one of the best tennis players in history.
“Marian has been by my side during the most important and memorable moments in my career,” Djokovic said.
“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, who had a career that spanned from 1984 to 1994, never won a Grand Slam himself.
But having won the 2018 ATP Coach of the Year award, alongside being on Djokovic’s coaching staff for the last 16 years, there will more than likely be a queue for his services.
And the former tennis star has claimed that whilst he wishes Djokovic the best for the future, he cannot wait for the challenges that lie ahead.
“During my time with Novak, I have been lucky to watch him transform into the player he is today,” Vajda said.
“I will look back on our time with immense pride and I 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.”
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