No. 2 Djokovic parts ways with Martin

Updated: April 12, 2010, 10:02 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

MONACO -- Second-ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia split with American coach Todd Martin on Monday, but the 2008 Australian Open champion plans to continue working with Marian Vajda.

The 22-year-old Djokovic started working with Martin in August, but he said it became complicated working with two coaches whose styles were different.

"I'm not working with Todd Martin anymore," said Djokovic, who is playing at the Monte Carlo Masters. "I'm full-time with Marian again and hopefully we can have a lot of success.

"We tried to work with two coaches, and Todd is a fantastic person who has so much experience and he shared everything with me," Djokovic said. "But it just did not work out in the end and we separated with no hard feelings."

Martin told ESPN.com's Bonnie D. Ford on Monday that his relationship with Vajda and Djokovic's trainers "had only improved" over their time together, and characterized the past eight months as "interesting" and "constructive."

Martin said he was receiving positive feedback from Djokovic and those around him "until our time in Miami, when it was obvious Novak had had a change of heart," he said.

Djokovic asked Martin for targeted help with his serve at the Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami last month, but the high-pressure atmosphere of those tournaments was not an ideal environment to make changes, Martin said. Djokovic lost in the early rounds of both events.

"If a couple weeks is what my eight months are going to be judged on, so be it. I understand some level of resistance from a player who's had that level of success before," Martin said of Djokovic, one of only a few players to interrupt Roger Federer's and Rafael Nadal's recent dominance in Grand Slam events. "I was committed to the process of effecting some change, not drastic change, but gradual change, and Novak did not have the same level of commitment."

Djokovic reached the Monte Carlo Masters final last year, losing to Spain's Nadal 6-3, 2-6, 6-1. It was the first set Nadal had dropped in Monte Carlo since his 2006 final win over Federer, and gave Djokovic confidence that he could challenge Nadal on clay.

"After that match, I believed more that I can win against him," Djokovic said. "I played so many matches against Nadal and most of them were on this surface. In a couple of matches I was quite close and had equal chances to win."

Djokovic then lost to Nadal in straight sets in last year's Rome Masters final, and narrowly lost 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (9) in the semifinals of the Madrid Masters.

"There are certain losses that you cannot delete from your memory right away and that was one of them," Djokovic said. "I was carrying this mental frustration, and I just felt bad about that match for the next two or three months."

Djokovic went on to lose in the third round of the French Open to Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, and plans to make amends at Roland Garros later this year.

"I am really excited to come back to [clay] because I had a lot of success in 2009," he said. "But the tournament I really want to make my success is the French Open."

Bonnie D. Ford covers tennis for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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