Belgrade, Dec2: Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic on Friday announced the Czech Republic’s Radek Štepánek as his new coach.
“We have a new official member of the #TeamDjokovic guys. #NoleFam please welcome Radek Stepanek to our team,” the 30-year-old tweeted.
Stepanek will begin working with Djokovic in the following days in Monte Carlo, as Novak prepares for the next season and upcoming tournaments, after the break due to an elbow injury.
“Radek is one of my very close friends on the tour and I was always impressed with his level of determination, passion and love for the sport. The fact that he just recently retired at the age of 37 speaks volumes of his love for the game.”
“He has lot of experience and knowledge, and he has played on a high level for many years. I am excited to join our forces together and cannot wait to compete again having a new team to back me up,” the three-time Wimbledon champion said in a statement released on his official website.
Stepanek and Agassi will travel and work alongside Novak, depending on the schedule they make, and on the calendar for 2018 which is yet to be confirmed.
“On Andre’s suggestion I pursued Radek, therefore I am sure the two of them will work well together. The new season is about to start and there is a long way to go back to where I left off. We are aware that I need to go step by step, not hurrying anything. I feel much better now, and I can’t wait to play matches again,” Djokovic added.
Stepanek said: “I’m honoured to be a new member of Novak’s team. 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 to reach his goals.”
“As longtime friends off the tennis court, I believe that our friendship and similar views will translate onto the court as well, and we will share some memorable moments together.”
The 39-year-old recently announced his retirement from the sport after 21 years on the professional tour. Stepanek turned professional in 1996. He started on tour as a doubles specialist, winning 18 ATP titles, including the Australian Open (2012) and the US Open (2013).
Stepanek won the Davis Cup in 2012 and 2013 and a bronze medal in mixed doubles in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
In singles, Stepanek won five ATP titles, with eighth place as his highest ranking.