Novak Djokovic has no plans to reunite with former coach Boris Becker despite the six-time grand slam singles champion advising the Serbian to "get back to business" amid a troubled campaign. The pair split in December 2016 after a three-year partnership during which time Djokovic won six major titles and reached world number one for the first time.
But upon completing the career grand slam after winning the French Open last year, Djokovic suffered a stunning downturn in form and was replaced as world number one by Andy Murray. At the Australian Open, he was then beaten by world number 117 Denis Istomin in the second round to continue his disastrous run of form.
But Djokovic has denied that advice could lead to the pair working together again and insists he is focusing on extending his career.
"Someone may interpret Boris' statements as a signal, but I do not see it," he told Serbian publication Novosti. "We hear and all we have to say to each other, and we do. Our relationship is really excellent. Becker has done a lot for me, it's great we fit, won a large number of tournaments, including several Grand Slam. I am grateful to him for that.
"However, now is my career in a slightly different rhythm from the previous year. That's what I repeatedly spoke. I decided to cut down the rhythm, to preserve my health and prolong the career and to dedicate myself more, at the cost of not having to win every tournament I play."
Djokovic missed the tournament in Miami with an elbow injury but is fit for the start of the clay court season at the Monte Carlo Masters, a tournament which Australian Open runner-up Rafael Nadal starts as the favourite in the absence of Federer. But having featured for Serbia in the Davis Cup he is fully fit for the tournament in the principality.
"The elbow is fine now," he said. "I've been training for the past couple of weeks, playing Davis Cup and making the transition to clay that's very demanding for the body. I was sceptical of how my elbow would react to the heavy balls on clay, but it's been good so far. I've paid a lot of attention to recovery since having to miss Miami and am now in shape to compete. My Davis Cup match (against Albert Ramos-Vinolas) went really well. It was my best serving match in the past six or seven months, so hopefully it can keep going well here."