Croatia’s Ivan Dodig has joined the long list of ATP players parting ways with their coaches this offseason. After Milos Raonic, Borna Coric, Elias Ymer and Thanasi Kokkinakis all parted ways with their coaches, Dodig announced today via his Facebook page that he will no longer be working with coach Martin Stepanek. The pair had been working together for six years.
Dodig and Stepanek's Results
During their time together, Dodig won his lone ATP World Tour singles title, in Zagreb in 2011. He reached a career-high singles ranking of 29 in October 2013. In 2011, he scored the biggest win of his career, defeating then-world number two Rafael Nadal in three sets in the second round of the Rogers Cup in Montreal, bouncing back after dropping the first set 6-1 to win the remaining sets in tiebreaks.
Dodig (left) and Marcelo Melo (right) after their French Open title. Photo: ITF
Despite some respectable singles results, Dodig discovered that his true skill set was in doubles. He started to experience success in 2012, reaching two quarter-finals. In 2013, he teamed up with Marcelo Melo and the pair became one of the best doubles teams in the world. They reached their first major final at Wimbledon of that year. They would break through to win their first Grand Slam title at this year’s French Open. Dodig would climb as high as number four in the world, and is currently ranked sixth. Dodig and Melo were third in the Race to London.
Stepanek will be very difficult for Dodig to replace. Stepanek has been Dodig’s coach as long as the Croatian has been successful on tour and helped to get Dodig into the top one hundred and made him a main-stay on the tour. Dodig will be 31 in January. He had been coached by Stepanek since he was 25. He will now need to find himself a coach who can help him overcome the struggles he is likely to face in his 30s. It is easier for doubles players to play into their 30s, but it could still be a challenge for him to play at a high level. He will need a coach who can continue to find ways to motivate him.