Novak Djokovic has ended his three-year partnership with coach Boris Becker and the German has revealed that it was a mutual decision to part ways ahead of the 2017 campaign.
The partnership between the 12-time Grand slam champion and the former world number one yielded 12 finals and six Grand Slam titles for the Serb. He also completed a career Grand Slam following his win at Roland Garros in 2016 and also held all four major titles in what was a dominant spell at the top of men's tennis under the guidance of Becker.
Becker, himself a six-time Grand Slam winner, admitted that it was not a spur of the moment decision between the two, but one that has been discussed extensively leading up to the announcement. The German revealed that it was a 'challenging' last six months for the duo as Djokovic suffered a loss in form following his dominant start to the 2016 season.
The Serb lost his number one ranking to Andy Murray in November following a horrendous run of form that saw him win just one title following his triumph at the French Open in June. Djokovic admitted that his mind was not in the right place during his dip in form, but Becker has revealed that the former world number one spent less time on the practice courts which were also a factor in his poor showing at Wimbledon and at the Rio Olympics when he lost in the first round.
"It was mutual," Becker confirmed to Sky Sports. "A decision like this does not happen overnight. It is a progress.
"I think the last six months have been challenging on many levels. Our hands were tied a little bit because we couldn't do the work we wanted to do. He didn't spend as much time on the practice court in the last six months as he should have and he knows that," the six-time Grand Slam winner explained.
"Success like this doesn't happen by pushing a button. Success like this doesn't just happen by showing up at a tournament. You have to work your bottom off because the opposition does the same."
The 49-year-old, however, has backed his now former client to regain his form next season and get back to playing at his best level. But he has made it clear that he needs to get back on the practice courts more often than he has been doing in recent weeks.
"I'm convinced - and I am his number one fan for next year - that he will come back and regain that No 1 position and regain being the most dominant player in his sport," he continued.
"But he has got to go back to work. He has to go back to the office and practice these hours and refocus on what made him strong in the first place."