It’s the time of the season where nearly all players – even those who played through the Davis Cup final – are getting back to work.
Barely three weeks remain before the start of the 2018 season.
So it’s late in the day for an announcement of the end of another successful coach-player pairing.
But here it is.
Cilic announced on Twitter Friday that he had reached the end of the road with Jonas Bjorkman.
“@ and me won’t be working together anymore. We had some great results during 16 months and established an amazing relationship. It was a great pleasure to work with him. Would like to thank him for all his efforts and wish him the best.”
Bjorkman offered the usual lovely words of his own, less than two hours later.
“Thank you for the past 18 months! It has been a great pleasure working and spending time with you both on and off the court during this time. I have such respect for all the hard work you always put in and for being such a gentleman! Wish you all the best for 2018!”
@BjorkmanTennis and me won't be working together anymore.
We had some great results during 16 months and established an amazing relationship. It was a great pleasure to work with him.
Would like to thank him for all his efforts and wish him the best. pic.twitter.com/vMWolKrSax
— Marin Cilic (@cilic_marin) December 8, 2017
(A little discrepancy there in terms of the length of Bjorkman’s tenure. All moot now.)
Tough end of season for Cilic in London
Bjorkman, a former No. 4 in singles and No. 1 in doubles, worked with Andy Murray for the last part of 2015, as then-coach Amélie Mauresmo went off on maternity leave.
He replaced Goran Ivanisevic as Cilic’s coach after the first part of the 2016 season.
It’s been a feature of some of the recent coaching changes that the coaches themselves have gotten out front of the news.
That was especially true in the case of Bjorkman’s fellow Swede Magnus Norman, who abruptly left Team Wawrinka this fall.
But this time, it was Cilic who announced it first.
Cilic only won one ATP Tour title in 2017 (Istanbul). But he reached a career-best No. 4 in October.
Bjorkman’s last tournament with Cilic was the ATP Tour Finals in London, where Cilic lost all three of his round-robin matches in three sets: to Alexander Zverev, Roger Federer and Jack Sock.