Radek Stepanek's wish to remain in tennis after his retirement looks to have been granted sooner than expected with reports suggesting that he is about to join Novak Djokovic's coaching team alongside Andre Agassi for the upcoming 2018 campaign.
The 38-year-old Czech Republic veteran announced his retirement earlier this month owing to fitness issues but made it clear that he does not want to walk away from the sport.
"In what department will I be better than I am in tennis? Will it be in business? Will it be opening a restaurant? Maybe a car dealership, what will it be?" Stepanek said, as quoted on ATP's official site. "The best I can be will always be in tennis."
"In what department will I be better than I am in tennis? Will it be in business? Will it be opening a restaurant? Maybe a car dealership, what will it be?" the former world number eight added. "The best I can be will always be in tennis."
Stepanek is keen to give back everything that he has learnt during his career and according to Czech publication iDNES.cz, he is set to join the Serbian 12-time men's singles Grand Slam champions' coaching team for the 2018 campaign.
Djokovic currently has Agassi as his head coach after splitting with long-time coach Marian Vajda in the lead up to the French Open. The Serb is currently recovering from an elbow injury and will be back to action at the Qatar Open in the first week of the New Year.
The 30-year-old has always held Stepanek in high regard and could add the Davis Cup winner to his team. Their last meeting on the court was at the Qatar Open in Doha in January this year and after his win, Djokovic was quick to praise the Czech star.
"I have the highest respect for him. He does not stop fighting at his age. Thirty minutes later, in this wind and winter, he will still be in the mess. For so long he has been holding his toes. He's a super guy, he looks after himself," Djokovic said after his over Stepanek in Doha this year, as quoted by iDNES.cz.