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David Ferrer signs up new coach

World number three reveals Jose Altur will be replacement for Javier Piles

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: David Ferrer became the second player in tennis’ top three to change coaches in the space of a week. The World No. 3 announced on Sunday he was ending his 15-year relationship with coach Javier Piles.

Ferrer revealed his decision during a teleconference ahead of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, which begins on Thursday at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi.

Last week, world number two Novak Djokovic made the stunning announcement that he had hired German legend Boris Becker as his head coach.

“I finished my relations with my coach Javier Piles three or four days ago,” said Ferrer, who will be now working with Jose Altur.

“I am sad because it was a very familial relationship and, next year, I will begin with Jose Altur along with my same team,” said Ferrer, whose relationship with Piles has seen its share of ups and downs.

The coach had once revealed that, in Ferrer’s early days, he had locked him up in a cupboard as punishment for his poor performance during practice. However, Ferrer insisted the split was not brought about by any cracks in the relationship.

“I broke my relation with Javier, it was okay. We didn’t have any personal problems. We worked together for many years and decided to end the coaching relationship,” said Ferrer, who made it to the French Open final this year, where he lost to compatriot Rafael Nadal.

Ferrer, who will open his campaign against Stanislas Wawrinka on Thursday, despite finishing the year with a career-high ranking of third, surprisingly said that he was more keen on being in the top 10 in 2014.

“Of course, I made it to the Grand Slam finals but this year I want to be in the top ten where the best players are. I would like to concentrate on the Abu Dhabi tournament and then the Australian Open. I will then set my next goal, but the main thing is to be in the top ten,” said the 31-year-old.