Updated: Monday, 23 December 2013 00:52 | By Agence France-Presse

David Ferrer splits with long-time coach Piles

World number three David Ferrer said on Sunday that he has split with coach Javier Piles after a 15-year working relationship.

David Ferrer splits with long-time coach Piles

Spain's David Ferrer is pictured during the ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournament in London on November 8, 2013

“Tomorrow I will make a statement because I finished my relation with my coach Javier Piles three or four days ago,” Ferrer told www.sport360.com.

“I am sad because it was a very familial relationship and next year I will begin with Jose Altur along with my same team."

Ferrer, 31, who reached his first Grand Slam final this year at the French Open where he lost to compatriot Rafael Nadal, made his announcement at the  Mubadala World Tennis Championship which gets underway in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

“I broke my relation with Javier, it was okay, we didn’t have any personal problems. We worked together for many years and we decided to end the coaching relationship.”

Ferrer and Piles had endured a close but sometimes roller-coaster relationship.

The coach once locked Ferrer in a cupboard as punishment for a poor performance on the practice courts.

Ferrer is the second top three player to change coaches in the last week after world number two Novak Djokovic shocked the sport by hiring German legend Boris Becker as his head coach on Wednesday.

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