Tennis: Novak Djokovic hints at stellar name after coaching overhaul

Madrid (AFP) -Novak Djokovic hinted on Sunday that he will follow the trend of hiring a highly successful former player as his new coach, but says he will take his time to make the right decision.

The Serb parted with long-time coach Marian Vajda on Friday, having also ended a three-year relationship with six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker at the end of last season.

"It's going to be someone that has been through similar experiences like I have," said the world No. 2. "Not too many people in the past of tennis have managed to get to that stage and play at that level, so I'll see.

"I'm thinking slowly and thoroughly about it. I don't want to take things with a rush."

Andy Murray ousted the Serb as world No. 1 at the end of last season after rehiring eight-time Grand Slam champion Ivan Lendl, while another former top-ranked player, Carlos Moya, has joined Rafael Nadal's coaching team this season.

With barely two weeks until the defence of his French Open begins, Djokovic, 29, has been joined on Tour by his brother and his spiritual guru Pepe Imaz.

"I also know that I'll not stay by myself without a tennis coach for too long," added the 12-time Grand Slam champion, speaking in Madrid. "I'm sure difficult paths lead to beautiful destinations, so I'm sticking with that."

Djokovic's form has slumped markedly since winning the French Open to complete the career Grand Slam 11 months ago.

His defence of the Australian Open ended in a shock second-round defeat to Denis Istomin, while he failed to make it beyond the quarter-finals of both the Indian Wells and Monte Carlo Masters series tournaments.