Radek Stepanek has revealed he will be working alongside Novak Djokovic on a day-to-day basis while Andre Agassi will only travel to major tournaments as the Serb prepares for his comeback to the ATP Tour in 2018.
The 12-time Grand Slam champion ended his season early due to an elbow injury that forced him to retire from his Wimbledon quarter-final against Tomas Berdych and has spent time away from the court in order to fully recover.
He has now added close friend Stepanek – who retired from tennis in November – to his team and the pair will work alongside Agassi as Djokovic looks to return to the top.
Stepanek and Agassi’s roles will be rather different, with the Czech spending more time with the 30-year-old and Agassi linking up with the rest of the team for the big events.
‘Andre will only travel to major tournaments,’ Stepanek said. ‘I’ll be working with Novak on a day-to-day basis.
‘We’ve all talked to each other and the feeling is right away that we’re in the same tune. The most important thing is that we understand each other and know what we really want.’
The trio worked together for the first time at the Piatti Tennis Center in Italy and Djokovic will hope his new-look backroom staff can help him recapture the form that saw him hold all four Grand Slam titles at once after winning the French Open.
Djokovic announced the news on Friday, saying: ‘This is the new team, this is my new man. We are excited for the new season.
‘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.
‘He has a 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.
‘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.’
Stepanek added: ‘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.’