Paris | Djokovic set to play Roland Garros but parts with coach

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The French government has announced that they will be easing their regulation regarding Covid restrictions as of March 14 which should allow unvaccinated individuals to enter France leaving Novak Djokovic free to compete at this year’s French Open and at the Monte Carlo Masters.

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, Novak Djokovic

The 34-year-old Serb, deported from Australia in January, has competed in just one event this season resulting in a quarterfinal exit in Dubai and his subsequent fall from the top of the rankings.

Currently, as an unvaccinated player, Djokovic is very limited in choice of tournaments to play and will be missing the two American Masters events at Indian Wells – which starts next week – and Miami later in the month but now it looks like he will be able to defend his French Open title and Wimbledon where no vaccination requirements apply.

This week, Djokovic also announced that he has split from his long-time coach Maria Vajda who has indicated that the player’s reduced tournament schedule, because of his vaccination status, had been a factor in the decision.

The parting has been described as an amicable split, leaves Goran Ivanisevic as head coach of the Serbian’s team.

“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,” Djokovic said in a statement.

Marian Vajda said, “During my time with Novak, I have been lucky to watch him transform into the player he is today. 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.”

The 56-year-old Vajda had been against Djokovic playing the Olympics with the calendar Grand Slam at stake in New York and as history now shows, the Serb failed on both fronts.

“It’s true. We officially agreed (to split) after the championship tournament in Turin,” Vajda told a Slovak news agency,

“Not everything went smoothly since the end of July, culminating in New York, where he lacked the last step towards great fame.

“There he already ran out of strength in the finals, because he lost a lot of them at the Olympics. I was not in favour of his participation in Tokyo; the deadlines were busy, there was little time to prepare and the failure under the five circles drained him a lot of mental and physical strength.

“I understood his goal, he longed to win gold for Serbia, he broke up there and then it turned out in New York.”

Vajda added that with a limited schedule in 2022, the time was right to part.

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