Djokovic hires Stepanek as coach

Former world number one Novak Djokovic said on Thursday he had added close friend Radek Stepanek to his coaching team and was excited to be working with the Czech. Djokovic, a 12-time major champion, and Stepanek announced their partnership during a joint appearance on Instagram Live on Thursday.

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What was not immediately clear was how Stepanek and Andre Agassi, who began working with Djokovic on a part-time basis at the French Open in May, will divide their coaching duties. Djokovic split from longtime coach Marian Vajda shortly before bringing aboard Agassi, and stopped working with Boris Becker a year ago.

Djokovic hasn’t competed since a loss at Wimbledon in July, citing a right elbow injury.

Stepanek retired as a player in November and turned 39 on Monday. He was ranked as high as No. 8 in singles and No. 4 in doubles and won two Grand Slam men’s doubles titles. He also won a bronze medal in mixed doubles for the Czech Republic at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

”I‘m honored to be a new member of Novak’s team,“ said Stepanek. ”It is a new and exciting challenge for me, which I‘m looking forward to, and I believe that as a team we can help Nole (Novak) reach his goals.

Djokovic, 12th in the world rankings, is due to start his comeback at the Abu Dhabi exhibition event in December.

Radek Stepanek spoke about his new relationship with the 12-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic. The former world no. 8, who earned $11 million in his career as prize money, admitted that in some ways he was attracted by money: ‘It took me a little time to think about the offer, which is financially interesting.’ However, Stepanek also quickly specified, ‘But, the money in this case is not the main motive.

It is not only a great honor for me to work with Novak, but it is also a great responsibility.’

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